After an unmistakably difficult day yesterday, during which I attacked my living room with a vengeance and threw out 6 boxes of crap, and a hard night which consisted of little sleep and lots of tears (yes, I cried because my littlest kept crying, and then we were both in this terrible crying cycle that we couldn’t break) I woke up this morning with a single thought:
I’ll make nap time early today, and then if I can just get through til then, I’ll call it a success.
Around 1:00AM last night I picked up my phone and picked on the Tenth Avenue North devotional I read off an on. The one last night was entitled “Worn” about how sometimes we just experience this really intense feeling of worn out-ness, and only Jesus can give us rest. The verse that went with it was Matthew 11:28 (my paraphrase):
Come to me all you weary and broken-hearted and I will give you rest.
So this morning, when I was thinking about how best to make it until nap with two girls who abhor the idea of staying in pjs in bed watching Suits or HIMYM, I started asking Jesus, “Practically speaking, how do I find rest in you? How do I find rest when I can’t physically rest until the night comes?”
I talk a lot about intentionality and practicality, and I’m on the Thrive Intentionally Facebook group started by Kristen of When at Home, so there’s a lot of talk circling my brain about how to live life with intention. So as I was trying to come up with a game plan for making it until nap time, I felt like the best way to do today was to live it out intentionally instead of trying to just make it through with as little bruising as possible.
I read my Steady Days book (awesome, btw) and I’ve created my own Steady Days routine. And in the two days that I’ve carried it out it’s worked wonderfully. So when I asked Jesus to show me how to rest in Him today, I felt like he was telling me to go back to that schedule. That I don’t have to live it out minute by minute, and that I don’t even need to approach it with zeal and enthusiasm, but that I need to have a steady day that follows a pattern, or the four of us wouldn’t be any better off than when we woke up this morning.
I think it’s funny that we talk a lot about intentionality in the big things: being intentional in motherhood, with reading the Bible, with your relationships with your husband, friends, and God, but a lot of times we don’t talk about intentionality in the little stuff. Like getting dressed. When my body is craving gym shorts (not a yoga pants kinda girl) and my husband’s t-shirt, instead I showered, did my hair and face, and wore clothes I wouldn’t be embarrassed to be seen in. When my mind is craving lots of vegging out to TV, I’m going to clean off my dining room table and start a load of dishes. I’m going to babysit my granddaughter (did you know that when your child has babydoll daughters, that makes you a grandmother??? yup, news to me, too) and rock her to sleep the exact way I’m told to. (See mom? The exact way my daughter tells me to.)
In fact, intentionality has become a synonym for the word “productive.” Like, if I wash my clothes, I’m being intentional about my day, but really aren’t I just being productive? I’m still not sure how to describe this phenomenon, given my groggy state of being, but I’m thinking that we’re missing the boat on intentionality. It’s supposed to be “deliberate and purposeful.” Doing something on purpose so that a bigger picture can be acquired. I guess that can mean to clean your house or wash your dishes, but today it means that I’m intentional about taking a day to do things I don’t want to do in order that my attitude changes and I don’t take my frustration out on my daughters. It means that I’m getting dressed even though I don’t want to because it’ll make it’s a first step in tackling other parts of my day. It means that I’m going to clean the kitchen because I’d much rather be doing nothing, purely because Jesus has called me to this day, and I’m going to do what He says knowing that my heart and mind will both be a lot better off for it.
And if all I do today is get my cloth diapers in order, rock my granddaughters, wipe off my dining table, I’ll call that day a success, because it means I didn’t sit in my own way of resting, and I’m sitting in His.
So today is all about being intentional with being practical. Because none of us need a day that we are just trying to get through. We need a day that follows a routine, is productive in the little things, so that by the time we get to nap time, we can all rest in Jesus, knowing that everything is getting a little bit better.
And probably, we’ll go to the beach. Because even though it’s not on the schedule, the beach is always a good remedy. Especially when it’s on a pond and you’re the only ones who are ever there.