Making an idol out of rest
Recently I received a sweet e-mail from an internet friend. I've never met this person in real life but we have much in common: we both love to write, love Jesus, and have babies who refuse to sleep through the night. We've commiserated about that last one plenty of times. There's just a bond that tired moms feel. All you lucky moms with babies who sleep through the night just have no idea. ;-) It's okay, we still love you...and we'll still share our coffee with you.
But back to the email... When I read it I had just been woken up by Isabel. It was two in the morning. Liam was sleeping next to me because he had woken me up just a couple hours before requesting to sleep in our bed. I was tired. All I wanted was to sleep. I mean, my children are 3 and 19 months old. It's time! Am I right?!
My friend said this in her e-mail, "I don't want to make an idol out of rest (or even of my kid, that if I please her just right she will give me rest.) I want to keep my very tired, droopy, can't-keep-em-open eyes on Christ." Oof. I don't know why in THREE years of motherhood I had never realized that I was making an idol out of rest! Maybe it's because my brain is so foggy from the lack of sleep, but I honestly never caught that.
There have been so many time when I have said, "I just want rest! I just need to sleep! If I can sleep than everything will be right with the world!" And man, do I get grumpy when my sleep is interrupted. Seriously, it's bad. When my baby cries in the middle of the night the last thing I feel is any kind of compassion. I'm usually thinking, "Again?! Just go the [bleep] to sleep!" I've blamed a lot of my grumpiness/laziness/etc on the fact that I haven't slept a full night since I can't remember when. BUT...rest is not all I need...that's making rest into an idol. All I need is Jesus.
Listen, I know how hard it is. It's not easy waking up at all hours to console a crying child. It can make you a little crazy to constantly have your sleep interrupted. But all I can say is, this too shall pass. Take turns with your spouse caring for baby throughout the night. Try to sleep in on the weekends. Do what you gotta do to get some rest...but remember, that Jesus is truly all you need. He is there. He has felt your exhaustion. Rest in Him.
In the morning, when I rise, give me Jesus (and a cup of coffee please).