Friday, December 4, 2009

Rest

She can't sleep. Her tired eyes and fussiness tell me that her body is craving it, but for some reason, she just won't give in. She looks up at me and gives me a gummy grin, oblivious to the green running from her nose into her mouth. I grab a tissue and she yells at me, reminding me of her hatred for getting cleaned up. I shush her, and tell her I love her.

I sit down on the couch, frustrated. She needs rest, and I need her to rest. Laundry is piling up, leaves need bagging , floors need sweeping, toys need organizing. Tonight we will decorate for Christmas, and I need to get the house in order before getting out the decorations. I can't do that with a fussy baby in my lap.

I e-mail my sister. "This baby won't go to sleep. Nothing is getting done. I'm feeling frustrated." And she replies from work with, "I'm so sorry. I wish I could come over and rock her to sleep. I really wish I could go home and rock my own baby to sleep, honestly." Her little one has been sick as well, so she knows how I'm feeling. The difference is that she is stuck at work, unable to comfort her little one; while I'm stuck at home, frustrated with my little one.

When was the last time I rocked my baby to sleep? Ever? I usually nurse at the computer while checking my e-mail or while helping the boys with schoolwork. Rarely do I take the time to sit down, give full attention to the baby, and rock her to sleep.

I close the computer. I pick up the sleepy, fussy baby. I grab her favorite, soft blanket from the crib, and I head to the rocking chair. Before sitting down, I must remove the clutter. Clothes, books, bags of who-knows-what....all cluttering the space that should be reserved for rest.

Finally cleared off, I lower myself into the soft chair. The chair where in days past, I have spent the wee hours of the morning with my Savior. Begging Him to change me, asking for His grace. How long has it been since I spent time with Him? How often do I fight the rest that He knows I so desperately need? How often do I rub my eyes and fuss and complain, when all I really need is some true Rest?

Tired baby continues to fight me. Her little legs kick, and her wide eyes look up at me while she nurses at my breast. I hum a sweet lullaby, and look around the room thinking about everything that needs to be done. The bed is unmade, the bookshelf is cluttered, the floor needs vacuuming, the dirty dishes cramp Ray's desk. And I realize I'm doing the same thing the tired baby is doing. I'm fighting rest.

So I bow my head, and close my eyes, and start talking to the One who provides sweet rest and comfort. I've missed the fellowship and communion that I have forsaken in the name of sleep each morning. I tell Him what is weighing me down. I ask for the rest that only He can provide.

Tired baby has stopped fighting. Her eyes are closed, and her body is limp. The soft blanket that her daddy bought for her is hugging her face, and she is finally at peace. I rock her for a few more minutes, enjoying the warmth of her body against mine.

I realize how much I have missed by letting "stuff" clutter my time with her. And I realize how much I have missed by letting "stuff" clutter my time with Him.

Stayed upon Jehovah, hearts are fully blest
Finding, as He promised, perfect peace and rest.