I am living an interesting season of life right now. As the mother of six, spread over 15 years, I am in a magical time when all of my children are still home and spending most of their life under my roof. It will only last a few years and I try to enjoy it. At the same time, I am probably in the busiest mothering period of my life. Add to this that two years ago, we moved away from our extended family and established support system, putting more on my mom plate than ever. Then we started dealing with some medical issues for the kids, followed by some financial worries. Then a storm wreaked havoc on our home and our family of eight was thrown into hotel rooms 40 miles away by the insurance company for months at a time. Kids were being difficult and ungrateful and taking me for granted. Busy just turned into crazy.
So that’s where I am. Every mom or dad is in their own season in their own journey. And most of us will hit a period like the one I’m in now when there just doesn’t seem to be enough time or enough self to go around. And in this time, I find myself growing thinner and thinner emotionally and spiritually (no such luck physically) as I give and balance and juggle and give some more. Then one day, you just run out of gas and you have a choice: Go fill up or keep running on empty until you destroy the engine.
Surrounding this decision is feelings of guilt and inadequacy and the constant compromise between all you want to give and what you can give. I started trying to run on fumes and self-preservation kicked in. I abandoned my husband and kids for the day and sat in a parking lot and cried and prayed. I expected to feel guilty and selfish, but the more I prayed the more I felt simply loved and understood.
Suddenly, I remembered something. Jesus was often tired and spent. He gave of Himself so completely in His three years of ministry, that Scripture accounts for Him falling asleep from exhaustion, being guarded by the apostles when he was spent, and slipping away frequently to have time to pray alone. Well, I have six people pulling at me and needing from me and Jesus had everyone he met. Truly human, he allowed those human limitations to affect Him and He dealt with them in the most perfect way possible. By doing so, He taught us.
When it was evening, after sunset, they brought to him all who were ill or possessed by demons. The whole town was gathered at the door. He cured many who were sick with various diseases, and he drove out many demons, not permitting them to speak because they knew him.
Rising very early before dawn, he left and went off to a deserted place, where he prayed. Simon and those who were with him pursued him and on finding him said, “Everyone is looking for you.” He told them, “Let us go on to the nearby villages that I may preach there also. For this purpose have I come.” So he went into their synagogues, preaching and driving out demons throughout the whole of Galilee. (NAB Mark 1:32-39)
I have never before in my life so identified with this exhausted Christ that everyone needs more than He can physically endure. I thank Him for showing me that I have to try to take care of myself a little bit. I have to try to sleep when I can and slip away to the mountain even if only for a little bit so I can keep going. Jesus’ day makes my life look like a piece of cake. Weak and imperfect me is going to need more time to recharge and more time on the mountain and more time alone. And it doesn’t mean I failed. It means I’m human. The good news is there is Someone divine willing to fill me up and nurture me through it, if I just take the time to ask.
Copyright 2017 Kate Daneluk