Mom Talk Monday: Why are you sleeping?

Does anyone else feel like summer ran over them like a Mack truck? I don’t even know what happened, y’all. It has been a constant stream of activities and birthday parties and the hot! Mercy. The children are bored and I would love to help but I am too busy positioning myself underneath the ceiling fan with ice packs under my arms. Do not waste too much time trying to picture that. It isn’t pretty. Mom Talk

So, I apologize for neglecting my sweet fellow mamas out there. I promise that you are not forgotten. In fact, I have been meaning to write to you for the last couple weeks about a passage in Scripture that has stuck with me.

A couple of weeks ago, a friend of mine posted on Instagram about her tendency to take a nap when life became too overwhelming. I could completely relate because sleep has often been a refuge for me, too. Whether it is just the everyday stresses of life, insecurities regarding motherhood, financial struggles, or issues with loved ones, it is tempting to pull the covers over our heads and disappear for a while.

After reading her status update, I coincidentally found myself reading in Luke 22. It was the part where Jesus asks His disciples to wait for Him while He goes to pray. He returns to find them asleep. I’ll be honest. I have always kind of rolled my eyes in disgust at those lazy men. I mean, seriously.

Then, I read this verse – slowly.

And when he rose from prayer, he came to the disciples and found them sleeping for sorrow, and he said to them, “Why are you sleeping? Rise and pray that you may not enter into temptation.” – Luke 22:45-46

Do you see it?

They were not lazy. Or exhausted. Or bored.

They were sleeping for sorrow. They were burdened. They were overwhelmed. They were anxious. They were sad, y’all. Now, can you relate? I know I can. Suddenly, I see these men in a completely different and much more compassionate light.

Are you feeling burdened? Overwhelmed? Anxious? Just. plain. sad?

Jesus has your answer.

Why are you sleeping? Rise and pray

We need to train our bodies so that our first instinct is not to sleep, but to pray. Perhaps, we begin with a simple prayer asking God to give us the desire to stay awake. Ask Him to give you the energy to just do the next thing. Do not retreat into sleep. Rise and pray.

Why?

Rise and pray that you may not enter into temptation.

Satan is always waiting for an opportune time to strike. (Luke 4:13.) What better time to strike than when you are neglecting prayer or feeling overwhelmed or retreating into isolation?

Naps are good. Do not get me wrong. I am all about a Sunday afternoon nap. But, if sleep is your go-to defense mechanism, than you may want to rethink your pattern of behavior. The first step is as simple as answering Jesus’ question:

Why are you sleeping?

You are loved.

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Called to the Quiet

The world screams loudly and clamors for our attention.  It pulls and tugs in a thousand directions until we are no longer certain which way we originally intended to go.  False worldly wisdom is whispered in our ears. Shiny things are paraded before us and don’t they all just seem lovely?

We feel the need to fill every moment of every day with engagements and activities. We have bought into the notion that we need to be constantly busy and then, just for good measure, record our constant busyness online for all of our “friends.” Then, we wonder why our bodies are tired and our spirits are restless.

Aspire to live quietly… – 1 Thessalonians 4:11 ESV

Live quietly.  That, Paul says, should be our goal.  Yet, don’t we often find ourselves seeking just the opposite? This world has established a culture of name droppers and bigger is better. People are terrified of being overlooked and deemed unworthy of the spotlight.  The spotlight, however, shines on those who chase it and that is simply not our place.

Christ followers are called to the quiet.  The hushed dedication of nightly prayers with little ones.  The whispered good-nights that the rest of the world never hears.  The silent devotion of a marriage that holds fast year after year. Bibles full of heartfelt notes and tear stained pages.

Maybe no one sees the effort you put into your job day after day. Maybe no one applauds for the dishes you wash at eleven o’clock at night or the cheerios you sweep up for the forty-third time.  Or maybe, Someone does see and maybe He does applaud because He sees you living the quiet life and it pleases Him greatly.

It’s acceptable to be still.  Rest is okay.  There is nothing wrong with ceasing from your labor, enjoying the silence and, as Paul says, minding your own affairs.

Let the world be loud and attention-seeking.  Choose, instead, to answer the call to be quiet.

~~~

A happy life must be to a great extent a quiet life, for it is only in an atmosphere of quiet that true joy dare live. ~Bertrand Russell

For the weary with work left to do…

IMG_0089I stared at the jar of peanut butter and the bare slices of bread and thought, I just can’t do it. To make lunch seemed to require more energy than I had at that moment. I was more than tired. It wasn’t a simple lack of sleep. I was weary – in body, mind and soul.

I’m sure you have been there. Maybe, you are there now.

Life is so difficult, y’all. It sure can cause a gal to grow weary. The Lord knew this to be true.

Come to Me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. – Matthew 11:28

Weary and burdened. I’m sure you know all about some burdens.

Financial struggles?

Family drama?

Medical issues?

Lost loved ones?

Broken relationships?

Anyone? Yeah, me too. Here’s the thing. The Lord doesn’t say, “Come to me and I will fix the problem at hand.” Now, he may very well fix it. That, however, is not our immediate need. We may think it is but He knows better. This world is broken and we will always have trials and temptations. Jesus knows that we need rest more than we need a quick fix. 20120920-011548.jpg

The Greek word translated “rest” in this verse is anapauō. (I’ll try to refrain from the corny “it’s all Greek to me” joke. The pronunciation, however, is ä-nä-pau-‘ō.) It’s really a great word with a great definition.

to cause or permit one to cease from any movement or labour in order to recover and collect his strength

We don’t give ourselves permission to stop. We know there is always another load of laundry that could be done. There are those pesky cobwebs hanging from the ceiling and fingerprints on the windows. There is always something that needs to be done. So, why does the Lord insist that we come to Him for rest? He wants to give us the permission that we will not give ourselves – permission to just stop for a moment. 

Stop.

You have permission to watch cartoons with your kids this morning.

You have permission to sit on the porch and drink your coffee.

You have permission to turn on the radio and dance in the kitchen.

You have permission to laugh.

You have permission to breathe.

You have permission to recover from whatever has been weighing you down.

You have permission to regain your strength.

The Lord gives you that permission that you have been denying yourself.

And that work that you still have left to do? It will still be there tomorrow.