Why Can’t I Rest?

By Christine Fishel

I’m so flippin’ tired! I can understand why I’m exhausted—my four kids, the fact that I haven’t had more than a handful of uninterrupted nights of sleep in twelve years, the daily mothering of them, and the four additional ones I care for each week day. Then there’s the husband I adore and never have enough time or energy for, the aging parents I want to support, and the friendships I enjoy that also take time and energy. Plus the yellow lab who eats our patio furniture when she doesn’t get enough attention. Just thinking of the energy it takes to love others makes me want to escape on a relaxing vacation. I’m just so flippin’ tired!

I do have opportunities for rest, though. My hubby and I took a four-day weekend and spent it relaxing at a luxury cabin that was beautifully isolated from everyone else and all the non-nature distractions of our world. I rested the first night and first full day. And then, I didn’t.

When I awoke on the third day, I felt rested enough to attack my to-do list: create a photo book as a gift for a friend, write two new chapters for my novel, update my planner with next week’s family activity schedule. I got it all done, too.

With the distance of five weeks, I think, “Really?! This is how I spent my third and fourth days of vacation?” I can see that I missed out on a wonderful opportunity for rest. But I didn’t see it at the time. And I’m not sure I’d have been able to take advantage of that opportunity if I had seen it.

I’m a doer, and when I run out of energy I become a pusher. I “mental game” it through my unending list of what I need to do until I collapse in tears or anger. Most nights I’m available to avoid the tears or anger by a glass or two of wine with a side of chocolate. But this is not rest. I’m sure it’s also not fun for those who live with me.

And this is not the life my God intended for me. It makes me sad to realize the difference between my daily living and his plan for me. I know it must break my Father’s heart. I just read this in Deuteronomy 3:12 this morning: “Let the beloved of the Lord rest secure in him, for he shields him all day long, and the one the Lord loves rests between his shoulders.”

As soon as I read those words, I knew what God was telling me. “Come here. Rest your head right here on my chest. Let me put my strong arms around you while you just rest your head a while.”

The image immediately brought tears to my eyes because I want that so much. We were all created to desire that from him. I picture the little children I hold in my lap facing me so they can rest their heads against my chest while I hug and rock them. I picture my four growing-up kids whose heads I pull to me when I reassure them in their insecure moments.

Here is my Father, wanting to do exactly the same for me, which tells me:

  • He is my true Daddy who loves me with a perfect Daddy’s love
  • He thinks of me and desires relationship time with me
  • I think I’m all grown up now and can do it on my own, which is really just exposing my immaturity to him
  • He will be waiting for me with open arms every time I turn back to him for that hug, that reassurance

If I want to make this a daily thing instead of an only-when-I’m-so-flippin’-tired I-can’t-stand-on-my-own thing, then I need to make it a daily practice to crawl into his lap and rest my head against him: recognizing him, talking to him, listening to him, simply being with him.

This is rest. Letting go and letting Him.

2 replies on “Why Can’t I Rest?”

Chris, Your blogs are amazing. You are a wonderful mom and wife. Stay strong and when you need rest, do it!! God loves you and so do I !!!

Thank you, Melva, for your continuous love and support for me and my whole clan. You are Jesus to us.

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