The past few nights, I've been heading to bed early. I've found myself simply worn down and exhausted by the demands of my family, my job and my commitments. Even when I get to bed early, I haven't been sleeping well. Either a child has woken me up or I've simply slept fitfully. This morning, I'm simply weary.
I look at the explosion of chaos in my kitchen -- the result of a weekend filled with company, a soccer tournament and a cookout -- and I feel weary knowing I'm going to have to dive into the mess sometime today. I feel weariness settle on my shoulders as I stare at the mounds of laundry that my family has managed to dirty since the last time I did laundry at the end of last week. I feel weary when I think of the extra stories I need to edit today because I took yesterday off.
Our children experience weariness, too. A bad day at school, an overscheduled life and, sometimes, dealing with parents and siblings can create weariness in our children. Sometimes the best thing we can do for our kids is to let them take a day off. I know that my oldest daughter enjoyed playing in her soccer tournament this weekend, but she is really looking forward to next Saturday when we don't have soccer or hockey. She can sleep in and just be lazy. The date is marked on her mental calendar.
The true cure for weariness, though, is not a day off -- though that can help. Jesus is the one who can lift that burden of weariness off your shoulders. In Matthew 11:28, Jesus says "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." Doesn't rest sound wonderful? We're not supposed to run ourselves into the ground. Jesus offers us strength and rest. To be a successful mom, we need both, and for our kids to be successful, they need both.
That's why this week's memory verse reminds us of the source of our strength. Memorize Isaiah 40:29-31: "He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint."
On the days when you're exhausted because a kid was up all night or your family is in the midst of crisis remember these verses and seek out Jesus to be the source of your strength. Don't try to do everything out of your own strength; let Jesus give you His strength, so you can soar on wings like eagles instead of trudging along your own dusty path.
When your kids face things that make them want to give up, remind them of this verse. If you have someplace you can go to see an eagle, take your kids to see one. Talk about how beautiful an eagle is when it soars, yet it doesn't work hard. It allows the wind to carry it. Just like the eagle, we want to let Jesus carry us. If we rely on His strength, then we won't get tired.
Let these verses penetrate your heart this week, and remember when you feel weary to spread your wings and let Jesus help you soar.