MOM Help 911 Part 3 - REST
Moms are very amazing people and God has wired them to be in partnership with Him to grow little people into big people who become a productive and positive part of society and who will be salt and light for the sake of His Kingdom.
This post has been difficult for me to write and I’ve wrestled with how to communicate an important issue that moms must model - REST.
Seems like an oxymoron doesn’t it – MOMS and REST. I can almost hear some little snickers.
In my wrestling, last night I actually dreamt of a particular season in my life – back in the 80’s – where I – as a single mom – experienced the REST that I’ll hoping to use to get my point across. So, bear with me. I know my girls will recall this time.
First, a MOM must model RESPECT and if she grasps God’s grace, she must learn to model REST too.
A Season of Learning to REST
In the 80’s, I became a single mother because the man I’d married to decided he did not want to be a husband or a father and the world offered more options (women, drugs and parties).
In that season, I was living in north Texas and for some reason, God placed the girls and I out in the county, in a little run down home surrounded by the gold of wheat fields along with a menagerie of a few dairy goats, turkeys, chickens and cats for the rats. Oh, I hate mice and rats!
In that day, I putzed around in a little beat up army green colored Toyota, had no cell phone, no computer, no clothes dryer and a wood stove I stoked to warm us from those blistering cold north winter winds that would unashamedly whip through our little abode.
I have always been a hard worker. I learned hard work ethics from watching my grandfather, and my parents. Believe it or not hard work and joy go together. Of course, I still work hard, but I’ll tell you there’s NOTHING like the hard work on a little farm – milking goats, tending chickens, fixing fences, kidding goats, killing rats, and being mom to two little girls – single-handed, hanging laundry in the dead of winter to freeze dry and working a part-time job AND baking and selling the best wheat bread (ever) to earn a few extra dollars. Now, that’s hard work!
Work never seemed to end and it was during one of the hardest times of my life that I learned the rhythm of life with work 6 and rest 1 and I learned what it meant to daily have that quiet time with Jesus and to entwine my heart with His for the REST of day.
The work 6 and rest 1 was God’s idea, you know?
It was in those times of hard work and attending to the affairs of my home and making that my priority that I felt closest to Jesus. It was in those times that I learned to listen to Him, to pray and plan and hear His heart about the things that concerned Him about me.
My body, soul and spirit restored in the REST. My daily work was good because my heart was entwined with His.
Today's Moms have No REST
I long for today’s moms to understand this REST, and the problem I see is that they seem too busy. They don’t seem as focused as they could be in to attending their homes. They seem so distracted by too much outside their home, letting too much of what they’re distracted with on the outside come in – to the inside.
The home, which should be sanctuary, is not the Simple Home, but the chaotic, cluttered and home of constant – action. There is no REST.
When a mom isn’t at REST she influences the rest of her family (pun intended). She’s the light and life in her home and I have to say that the spirit (tone) of the home will often point to the mom.
The underlying, subtle mental mom mantra says: there is so much external stimulus nagging at my soul of what I could do, get to do, need to do, should do and better hurry up and do.
I wonder sometimes if all these modern conveniences (cell phones, computers, all our helps in the kitchen – which I am very thankful for) that are supposed to make a moms work easier actually require her to do more multi-tasking?
I admit that I can fall prey to thinking I can do more because I can start the laundry while I’m talking on the phone while I’m making the bed while I’m stirring the oatmeal while I’m jotting down some notes of what I need at the store while I’m checking my email. And, this is the Simple Home?
But – we don’t really want that REST, do we?
Get this – two places, God says (Isaiah 28:10) This is the RESTING place, let the weary rest and this is the place of repose – but they would not listen.
How does a mom get that REST?
It requires a mental system overhaul. It requires choosing to let many, unnecessary things go – the better for the best. It requires a mom learning the word NO and actually saying the word NO. It requires a mom to work hard for 6 and rest for 1 and it requires her to change her lifestyle and learn from the P31 Woman who made it a priority to attend to the affairs of her home.
What does the life of a mom modeling REST look like?
When a mom learns the art of daily stoking the internal fire and when she learns how to find that daily place of quiet and REST in entwining her heart with Jesus and being devoted to Him and His ways and when she understand how to adore her husband she’ll find she’s less distracted by things that won’t really matter for eternity.
Today’s REST assignment:
Go and clean the key working center in your home – your kitchen. Put your favorite CD of music on, don’t touch the phone; or look at the computer until it’s ALL done…spic and span and shining all over. Don’t get distracted by anything – set your little ones down with some play projects (not TV) and tell them that mommy’s working hard so she can REST – with them. Model for them this kind of REST.
Then and only then – when you’re all finished – make yourself a cup of coffee or tea and go REST – sit down with your children – read them a book, play blocks or some other creative thing. Model RESTED soul for them.
Plan the evening dinner. Start the evening dinner – with whatever you have – don’t leave your home and go buy something you forgot to buy the other day because you didn’t have a menu or a list – it’s OK – you’ll learn to do that later. Just stay home-and ask God to help you be creative with the evening meal in using what you have, and thank Him for His grace and goodness to you.
Need to catch up on MOMS Help 911? Here's Part 1 and Part 2 and Baby Steps to Becoming a Purposeful Home Keeper has a great recap here. And, after you get your kitchen in order - and have a REST moment, join me in Spain - I'm here another week. If you are hungry and don't have breakfast planned - try these wonderful pancakes!