Praying for Rest

Post by Contributing Writer, Emily P.

It was one of those days. I wore my shirt inside out all day…all day. The saddest part is that I knew it was inside out. To say I didn’t care would not be entirely true. I did mind a little, just not enough to take the time or energy to correct my malfunctioning wardrobe.

We all love to judge moms before we ourselves enter that arena of life. After all, let’s face it mothers, there is a lot to judge. Motherhood is messy and less than glamorous, so why shouldn’t we be judged by our outward appearance?

Before the kiddos came, spending a half an hour on my appearance in the morning seemed like a reasonable amount of time. Not too long to be considered “high maintenance” and not too short to be considered “apathetic.”

Now being 7 months pregnant with a 15 month old daughter in tow, I never spend a half hour on my appearance. I’m not saying that with pride or with shame, I’m just saying it.

Should I spend more time on my appearance? Perhaps. Should I use that time for the millions of other things piling up around me? Perhaps. Is this a season of life where my expectations need to be lower? Perhaps.

Those quiet, peaceful, half-hours that seemed so frequent and normal before kids, now seem so few and precious that it’s hard to prioritize what to cram inside of them. Then again, I don’t want to be a person that crams things into peaceful moments. I’d rather sit, rest, and not feel guilty for wearing my shirt inside out so I can take a moment to put my feet up, listen to the thunderstorm outside, and be quiet…if only for a few minutes.

When I am tired and overwhelmed I always pray for strength. That seems noble and right, doesn’t it? What I realized this week is that I never pray for rest in those moments.

Relying on the Lord for strength is wonderful and praiseworthy, but I often forget to rely on Him to provide moments of rest for me. Maybe what I need today more than strength is to let go of some unrealistic expectations and take those precious half-hours and rest.

I can’t do it all, and though I desperately would rather be doing the dishes, meal planning, and being “productive” I’m going to sit here and rest. Because I need it. This baby inside me needs it.

Thank you Lord for providing moments of rest when I am weary. Give me strength this day when I need it, and give me the ability to rest when I am weak. Help me not to hold myself to standards that You have not placed upon me. Give me the ability to be a good mother and wife in my weariness.

For the LORD sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart.  – 1 Samuel 16:7

Praise the Lord that He sees past my inside-out shirt and sees a tired mommy looking for rest.

Emily and her husband recently moved from the northwest to the suburbs of Chicago.  After the arrival of their baby girl in the spring of 2010, Emily quit her job and dove into homemaking headfirst and wholeheartedly.  Emily is passionate about helping others become self-sufficient through simple and sustainable living.  Find Emily’s latest adventures at Sustainable Food for Thought.

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6 comments to Praying for Rest

  • “Help me not to hold myself to standards that You have not placed upon me.” I’m not a mom yet, but this line in particular resonates with me. This is such a trap for me, confusing my standards with God’s. He gives grace, strength, and rest for that which He has called us to – and just what He has called us to. I’ll say a prayer for you =)

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  • I needed to read this today… Thank you.

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  • Beautifully written.

    I am reminded of a favorite verse of mine:
    “He tends His flock like a shepherd:
    He gathers the lambs in His arms
    and carries them close to His heart;
    He gently leads those that have young (Isaiah 40:11).”

    To me, “gently leading” doesn’t involve unrealistic expectations.” I think He is always especially tender with young mommies, desiring to give them what they need during this precious season of life, which is very often much needed rest.

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  • wendy krug

    Thank you for this today. It came at the perfect time, at the end of a day spent sitting in a chair, 12 weeks pregnant, watching my two children play, instead of doing the zillion things I felt like I should be doing. These days are so fleeting. Laundry can get done another time.

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  • Lori

    Emily, I can wholeheartedly relate. I am 8 months pregnant with a 15-month old, and had just declared today a “rest and recovery day” after a busy and difficult past couple of weeks. Thank you for the encouragement and insight!

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  • I don’t have a baby inside me and I need to rest right now. Thanks! Somedays being a mother is really difficult!

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