I finally sat down at the end of another day, Tyler smiling at me. I asked him, “You know what I think is hard about this?”… as I sort of gestured at the room… “Your home is your work and your work is your home.”
When you were a little girl, didn’t you just love playing home? Perhaps you had one of those plastic houses outside where you stirred soup made of water, twigs, and berries. Maybe you had a wooden doll house displayed along the wall of your bedroom where you spent hours upon hours with the tiny beds and even smaller wooden figures. There was even one time where my parents let a friend and me re-paint my bedroom walls! (Daddy had to finish…)
When we were little girls we played house.
And now as big girls, our playing home has become making home.
Making home is hard work. What used to be just play, easily abandoned at the threat of rain or in the need of sleep, has become the constant to do list. You cannot look out the window without noticing it needs to be cleaned. Simply walking up the stairs becomes a discipline in not noticing smudges, dust, and dirt. Laughingly I stated last night, “Our house is just one big smudge!”
You have it all – husband, home, children, you enviably work from home – but what was only play has become your all the time work. And because home and work are in the same place and there is no shift change or “see ya laters” at 5PM, it’s taxing.
If it’s not the housework that gets you, perhaps its the reality of raising your precious children. Your baby doll is actually alive, eating and dirtying diapers and needing a bath. Plus since your baby is real she needs emotional and spiritual care too. The on-call, 24/7 nature of being mom both invigorates -and exhausts – you. (Me too;)
Childs play has become your work and the home that used to be an easy refuge and retreat has become your grown-up responsibility.
Big girl, what are we to do?
Well, there’s a lot of soul work to be done here – we need to be made new. We need new hearts and new minds as we approach our people and our place. And the Lord takes care of that, through His Word and prayer, by the power of His Holy Spirit to the glory of Christ the Savior. He shows us that He is our Home and He is our Rest, Refreshment, and Retreat. He reminds us that the most important Work is done, that it took His life,.. so when we work, we can live & enjoy it.
What does enjoying the work look like? How do we get rest + refreshment under the constant demands of housework and the weighty responsibility of raising children?
>>>Surrendering to His design and His salvation, we engage Him in this renewal work.<<<
Sisters in Christ, in the sisterhood of homemaking and child-raising, I want to share with you some ways that the Lord has taught me to engage Him in my day in and day out. These are some practical ideas for enjoying today, for receiving the soul revival Jesus longs to give us, right where we sit at the end of a long day.
> Rhythm and routine go a long way. Say yes to the reality in front of you and no to what hinders and distracts. Create a skeleton of a schedule and stick to it, so in order to serve your family (not the schedule). Pray about everything, listen to the Lord, and DO what HE says.
> Within the framework of an intentional schedule, you’ll start to notice pockets of time where you can retreat without running away.
> The first pocket you may notice is in the morning before your birdies start chirping at you. A cup of coffee enjoyed in silence while reading scripture and listening to Jesus sing over you will refresh and ready for you the day ahead like no other time away.
> Other mornings it may be that God gifts you with extra sleep. Take it. Receive it. Enjoy it. And when you greet your babies and your husband at the breakfast table, smile at them. and thank them for the extra sleep.
> Then you might find a pocket in the morning to shower (at least once a week or so;). Honestly it’s sad how much I am negatively affected when I feel like my hair doesn’t look good or I think my clothes don’t fit. But when the Lord graciously gives me a shower… oh girl! it lifts me and refreshes me through this simple gift.
>There could be a time in the afternoon to enjoy dark chocolate- a coke – a walk. a neighborhood friend. Even all of these goods together!
> On certain days of the week you might pass a coffee shop,.. friend, go in for a latte. Sip it and remember, Jesus loves you. You are His Child. With littles loud in the back of the car, unraveling your nerves, let Him hold you together, heart, soul, and mind.
> I know I love just going outside at some point in the day. Sure I walk sometimes but mostly it’s simply to breathe fresh air, gaze far, and get some sunshine. I remember He’s big, I’m small, and He’s got me.
> At the end of the day, you might enjoy a cup of tea while the babies sit in the bath. You might put on cozy clothes and finish your housework in candlelight.
> After everyone is tucked in, hug your husband and share a glass of wine. Sit down.
> Thank the Lord for one more day to experience His Sovereign Goodness and Grace… and humbly ask Him for another.
These little-large actions to retreat, to find refuge and refreshment will go a long way as you work in your home, as you care for your children day in and day out. Soul-care will free you to enjoy the play of work and the people He has placed in your stewardship.
How do you engage His Rest in your day?
In what ways do you stop to listen to Jesus singing His love over you?
What moments of your day do you use to take care of yourself so you can serve others in joy?
I would love to hear from you, sisters. Please share!