by Kristi Fleming | Author of Rescued, Redeemed, and Restored
As a mom of four boys under five, most days you’ll find me with a messy bun in my hair, stains on my white shirt, and styling chipped fingernail polish. It’s no surprise that my life is hectic, and my time is limited. The simple things such as taking a shower every day, putting on makeup, or getting dressed outside of my pajamas are things of luxury in my home. When there are little lives to be cared for, there is not much time for myself. Can you relate?
As mamas, from the moment we conceive life, we give up ourselves - our body, our time, our wants, and our needs. We no longer think of ourselves first, but we put the needs of our children before our own without hesitation. It is a demonstration of God’s sacrificial love on this side of heaven. But there is a balance. The balance of caring for my family and still caring for myself is one that I was terrible at.
Raising little people who love and serve the Lord is no small feat, and many times, I felt like it took my life to give them their life. I didn’t want to complain about the very thing I had prayed so hard to have; yet the feeling of drowning never seemed to go away. Life had become so busy that taking time with the Lord was almost obsolete, and every area of my life felt the strain.
One summer evening, I snuck outside by myself onto my porch and collapsed on the rocking chair. There I sat for the first time all day. I was utterly drained. I had nothing left to give anyone else, including the Lord. I felt like a failure. I had snapped at my husband, was impatient with my children, and internally beat myself up all day. Outwardly, I looked like a basket case. As I sat there, a small breeze brushed across my face. It was refreshing – almost as if God Himself was breathing on me. Tears began to flood my eyes, and I heard God whisper Psalm 23:2-3a NIV. “He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul.” The words echoed in my spirit. I wish it wasn’t true, but we as a people are so quick to allow the demands of life to come before the One who gives us life. For us to truly be refreshed, we need to quiet ourselves before our King.
Allowing ourselves the grace to cut out even a small pocket of time each day with Him will only make us better moms, wives, friends, and leaders. After years of feeling as though I couldn’t catch my breath, I discovered something imperative – something I knew all along but had forgotten amongst my busyness. When I focus on Jesus, He aligns my body, soul and spirit. He gives me strength and breathes new life into me for each new day. One definition for the word “refresh” means “to give new strength or energy.” That is exactly what we need. God knows my season, and He knows yours. If we are faithful to prioritize quieting our soul, He is faithful to refresh it.
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