Take a breath.
Long and deep, and all the way into that part of your spirit that feels frayed around the edges. Send a sweet, rich breath into that part of you that is stretched and worn and weary.
Got it? Good. Now, hang on. Because we’re about to set you straight. This might hurt a little.
You’ve forgotten what your job is. It’s not a job of completing things. I know you find this frustrating- it’s not your personality. You like things finished. Tidy endings. Satisfaction from a job well done. But the dishes never get done, not for long. And the laundry, no, not that either. Rare is the time you find the bottom of the pile. There is always something to wipe, and wipe again, and again. It’s easy to see why you would get discouraged if you thought your job meant being able to finish all these things by the close of each day.
Silly rabbit. That’s not your job at all, though it might look like it.
The truth is, if you tell yourself that’s your job, then it’s easier to admit you’re falling a little short on that job, than on the REAL one. Much better to feel like you’re behind on mopping and dusting than on teaching and mothering little hearts. This is the deal: you’ve got to get your priorities straight. So take this pep talk for what it is. Forget the dishes- or at least, forget feeling guilty about the dishes. You will ALWAYS have the dishes, just stop fretting over them. Instead, turn your eyes to the five beings lined up in front of you, and GET IN IT. Stop half-listening. Stop frowning. Stop being impatient. Stop watching the clock for naptime or bedtime or the second shift walking through the door. Stop escaping into a book, or a movie, or into your own mind. Stop putting yourself ahead of them. Stop resenting interruptions and messes and questions that require Google or a Bible concordance.
This is your life.
Get over what YOU want, what YOU’RE doing. Nobody ever said this was easy. Stop feeling sorry for yourself.
Ask God to forgive you for being selfish. Ask Him to help you see that sin for what it is. Ask Him to break your heart over it. Then ask Him to make you a GIVING MACHINE. A willing servant. Ask Him, even though there is part of you still being selfish right this minute that doesn’t WANT to ask. Ask, and ask, and ask. Because that’s the only way to peace and contentment and yes, REST.
You rely on yourself too much- this is why you burnout, get frustrated, overwhelmed. Because you’re still trying to do it in your strength. And listen, you. You just can’t. You don’t have what it takes for this job. You don’t have the patience, the wisdom, the endurance, the selflessness. You are not up to this task.
But He is.
He’s a fount of all those things, waiting to bubble up in your life, and into theirs. Stop trying to use your puny little muscles when you’ve got the Almighty God ready to do the heavy lifting. Banish your pride, woman! It is laughable to believe you can do this without Him. You will fail, and you won’t be the only one to suffer for it.
Now. That was rough, I know. You feel pretty rotten at the moment. Uncomfortable. Convicted. Good. That means God loves you, ya know. In this moment, with all your faults and sins and shortcomings all underlined and exposed, God uses the Holy Spirit to prompt you on to something better. To repentance, to change, all to His glory. And His glory IS the point. Of everything.
So go on. You know the next part. Go find a quiet corner for a minute, and pray. Tell Him what He already knows, and is waiting to forgive. Tell Him- let Him restore, rejuvenate, repair. He’s done it countless times, and He’ll do it countless more, because you are precious to Him. You are His cherished, favored daughter. He cares about your life, how you live it, how you feel in it. He looks at this moment where you struggle, and He wants only joy for you, satisfaction for you, abundance and peace and contentment.
Go on now. Let Him do His work.