The holidays are normally a time when the calendar is booked full. There are special worship services, family gatherings, dinners with friends, musical concerts, and many opportunities for acts of service. To some, even the hustle bustle of shopping for loved ones is an enjoyable aspect of the season. I love this time of year.
This year is different for me though. This year I have chosen simplicity (or rather, it appears to have chosen me). Time at home to just breathe.
A few weeks ago I crashed (as I call it) as my Thyroid and Adrenal problems started coming back. I realized I’ve recently been living life like I never had any problems. I thank God that I’ve been feeling so good of late, so good in fact that I’ve neglected to care for myself as I ought. I’m now paying the cost of this neglect; but I’ve been here before and with God’s help, I will climb my way up out of this low point once again.
In the meantime, I’m giving myself grace. Time to be quiet. I’m not cramming my days full of every “needful” thing, because the list of “needful” things never ends. Several days I’ve gone to bed for the afternoon to rest.
The frustrating thing is that I look fine. And I act fine when I’m out and about. Nobody can guess that I’m having thyroid and adrenal issues and that I need quiet. And that is true of so many of us.
We can’t see the hurt, the pain, and the despair that exists inside of people. We all need grace, and we all need love and tenderness from other people. It is common to put on the brave face and tell everyone you are fine, when inside you are crying.
I learned long ago how hurtful people can be when others don’t feel well. I grew up with a mother who had seizures, and later became ill with Lupus. I was around sick beds and in hospitals with my mother many times. Well meaning people either spoke encouraging words that uplifted our souls for days to come, or they would say hurtful things – “it’s all your fault that you are sick, you just need more faith!” Such words brought nothing but more hurt to my mother.
We need to be tender with each other and show grace and mercy when one is weak. We should extend the hand of friendship during the good and the bad times – but especially the bad times. When I broke my foot a few months ago, I was surrounded with friends who brought us meals, and even friends online that I have never met sent us gift cards and gift baskets! My husband and I were amazed and humbled by the kindness that was shown to our family during this time. That is the body of Christ working together. And it is a beautiful thing.
Practically speaking, life must still go on. I can’t stop homeschooling, or drop my duties as a homemaker. Our business must continue. My husband still keeps crazy hours of staying up until 4 AM doing homework. I have just realized that I must make a better effort to rest more, to spend some time in the afternoon laying down if possible, to let all the business of the season go on around me while I merely live life.
We took a break from our regular social studies books last week and the boys read lots of history books on pilgrims. I did some of the unit study I put together for my girls, but I didn’t stress that we didn’t make it all the way through. Textbooks are a blessing to our family right now.
Life is simple but busy. Chaos still abounds, but my strength is in the Lord. He set my feet on this path, and He will see me through!
Take courage if you are overwhelmed and discouraged by events in your life. Stop to breathe, to give yourself grace as the Lord molds you through your weaknesses. In reality, you are probably doing a fabulous job of mothering your children, even though you feel like a failure. The day to day trenches are deep, and the road out of those trenches looks long. Just remember that the Lord walks in those trenches with you – you are not alone!
“And the Lord, he it is that doth go before thee; he will be with thee, he will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed.” Deuteronomy 31:8