I used to think the Lord would never let me hit a wall. And then it happened. I awoke in a hospital bed hooked to IVs four years ago. An exhaustion breakdown, doctors said.
I returned home fragile. Surprised at myself. Who knew I had to regularly eat. Regularly sleep. Regularly say no to all kinds of things. Self-care, they called it.
I’m not good at self-care. I admit it sitting here alone in my house tonight, trying to rest. The boys are fishing. They invited me to go. I wanted to go. But I needed to rest. I canceled two other events tonight because I know I’m seeing a wall up ahead.
My life is incredibly full. I care for others. So much so that I forget to care for myself. Mothers do this all the time. They give and give and give until they are gone.
Don’t be a gone girl.
I’ve never seen the movie. Never read the Gone Girl book. I’m not talking about that. I’m talking about you.
You, little mama. I see your weary face on Facebook. Instagram. When I pick up my boys at school. All you busy little mamas loving your babies. Working your behinds off for others. Day in, day out. Night in, night out. There’s no unions setting hours for mamas.
My mother-in-law, God rest her soul, always called me, Little Mama.
“Please eat,” she would say. “Please rest. You never sit down. You never rest. You’re always working. I worry about you, Little Mama.”
I used to think my mother-in-law was over-reacting. A little lazy. A little crazy. I never believed her.
Sometimes I miss her now telling me to rest. My mother-in-law was smarter than I knew.
Mamas are made to work. But they are also made to get some rest.
I could work till the cows come home, I’m just not good at resting. I’ve been pushing hard to get another book done in the midst of everything else. Dreams come at a price. Every dreamer who becomes a doer knows this. I also know I need to rest here and there to get my doing done.
Do you need to rest, little Mama?
Do you need to slow down for a little while and do some self-care?
Do you need to say “no” to something so you can say “yes” to some rest?
Just today I was telling my daughter, Lacy, “I really think this has been my biggest downfall in life. I’ve got to get better at saying “no” to things. Because there’s so many things. And only one me. I’ve got to trust that someone else will say, “yes” after I say “no.”
They will. They really will. I don’t have to do it all.
You don’t have to do it all.
Just say “no” to hitting that wall.
I promised Lacy I would say “no” and get some rest. I hope you will too.