Thursday, August 11, 2011

a mommy break does a mommy good

I realize today that I’ve been out for awhile, M.I.A I guess.  The kids were gone with grandma and grandpa for two weeks.  We were at summer camp with our amazing youth group for one of those weeks, and then for some reason our bed was the most wonderful place to be for a few days.  I guess 5 hours of sleep a night for a week just isn’t enough for this old body of mine.

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Still it seems like I’m still recovering, still catching up.  We retrieved our happy brood of kiddos and then subsequently spent two days just looking at them.  Oh, how we missed them.  Don’t get me wrong, it was wonderful to have time away and time off from the rigors of parenthood.  But I was all too happy to pick up my mom hat and apron come Sunday.

But having the longest break from motherhood ever sure gave me some time to think.  Maybe it was the silent house and undistracted mind that helped with that, but I dare say I was reminded that I do indeed have a brain and am happy to report that I think it functions rather well. 

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In the middle of the quiet days and long mornings spent with Jesus over coffee I remembered that I was not created to only be a mother.  There is more to life than this crazy, busy stage of parenthood.  I have a deeper purpose in life, you have a deeper purpose too.  Ultimately, that is to know and experience a deep relationship with the living God.  I remember reading something in the book The Celebration of Discipline (I think it was that book?) about creating the discipline of solitude.  The value of quiet time, alone.  It even went as far as suggesting that it is well worth it to book a small hotel room or cabin for a few days to simply be alone.  While I always thought this was a splendid idea, I also thought it was slightly crazy.  How on earth could a busy mom pull that off?  I am so grateful to my parents who allowed this happen for me.  In the silent rhythms of a week alone I found myself more sensitive to God’s nearness, aware of his moving.  Noticing him more and talking less, hearing more clearly.  The distractions fell away and the forced quiet allowed me to his voice in a fresh new way.  I ended my mommy vacation renewed.  Don’t we all need that?

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It’s hard to carve time out of life to be alone with God.  It can literally feel like you are etching something in stone, working against an unseen force with all your might.  But like an everlasting sculpture, our times alone with God leave their mark on us.  We come away renewed and changed, refreshed and amazingly longing for more.  I read once of a mom who would regularly farm out her kids so that she could have even half a day devoted solely to time with God.  Her God-dates were like cold water on a hot day, quenching her thirsty soul.  We allow our souls to get far too thirsty some days.  The discipline and commitment to time with God is well worth the effort, if it takes rising early or trading childcare or late night hours it is worth it.  How we do this is different for each of us, but the most important is that we do this.  Often.  That is my school year goal, I am stating it here in an effort to be accountable.  What about you friends, would you join me in some sculpting?

(these awesome pictures were taken at camp by one of our awesome youth…just a tiny sample of the amazing shots she got all week.  thank you Kyra for taking these!)

6 comments:

  1. "I found myself more sensitive to God’s nearness, aware of his moving." i need this. i've been busy this summer with everything and nothing...okay, really i've just been plain selfish! sleeping in and enjoying lazy days, because i know they're going to be a thing of the past once the home school year begins...but i MISS JESUS.

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  2. i'll be held accountable with you. i've been training myself to leave the dishes and laundry go during naptime and focus on time with Jesus while most of my kiddos are sleeping.....i need more of this and the more i get the more i want! what a perfect time (beg of school year) to begin a new motivation to spend time with Him!!
    <3

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  3. yes, me too. i've been looking foward to starting to wake up early again. after vbs, staycation, and the recovery from it, i wanted to start back this past monday. and turns out i caught a bad cold instead! ugh. but yes, i'm on board with committing to carve out that time more consistently than i ever have.

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  4. found you over at Denise's blog... oh, this is such a beautiful post. I felt refreshed just in reading in! :)

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  5. Awesome, Gina!!! I also have a friend who schedules her God time. One entire week each year. It's an incredible feat to be sure, but she's shared a bit w/ me about the unbelievable ways God has communed with her during these times... I need to work on this one.

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  6. Well, now it's our turn to go through withdrawal from these three adorable kids we got to love on and spoil for two weeks. It was such a sweet time and were grateful that you allowed us to be with them. Thanks for a timely post. With dad in Africa for three weeks, my initial thoughts were to spend many quiet days and times alone with Jesus. Today's day 5 since he left, somehow I've managed to fill every moment. I felt the Holy Spirits nudge as I read your post. I have changed how I will spend the rest of this day and I'm looking forward to resuming special times alone with him. Thanks for being His voice to me today!!!

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