Finding Strength in Our Exhaustion
Parenting is exhausting. No other word describes the bone deep fatigue and wear of keeping up with your family day-to-day, week to week, month to month. It takes its toll.
As a pastor and a parent, I talk regularly with families, and moms in particular, who describe their days as “exhausting” or their state of being as “exhausted." No further description is necessary, I get it. You get it. We all get it.
It’s the pulse of a daily grind that most of us experience. The work of preparing our kids for their day, followed up by the rushed and never-enough-time process of getting ourselves together for our schedule. The frantic pace we try to maintain as we strive to keep up. Battling each day to find a way to do all the things our family requires us to do. The uphill battle to complete our laundry list of errands, schedule changes, doctors visits, dry cleaning, grocery and pet supplies.
At the end of the day, we collapse after begging “someone” to do the dishes, take out the trash and clean up the living room. The space we need for “us” collapses soon after we walk through the back doors of our homes. Homework, left overs for dinner and last-minute needs of our friends and family soon crowd out whatever personal time we may have carved out for our day.
We drop in our beds just in time to catch the evening news or weather and politely say “goodnight” to our spouses right before we enter a six-hour coma with barely enough sleep to keep us moving for the next day. The idea of rest is an elusive dream that never quite seems to be fulfilled, and we somewhere, deep inside, hope beyond hope that this struggle has a purpose… a point.
We’re doing more than surviving, we’re raising a family. Building a heritage of home and stability and hope for our kids. In the middle of that battle we can feel defeated, fatigued, overwhelmed and yes… “exhausted”.
The goal is to be “faithful” to move forward, believing that the day in and day out struggles are purposeful, intentional and worthy of our best. The Bible describes our daily struggle as having an “eternal” purpose, much deeper and more meaningful than it may feel like. The bible also tells us that when we are most weary, His strength is perfected and reminds us that our struggles are temporary, while the blessing we’re sowing in our kids is everlasting. Encouraging stuff for exhausted parents.
2 Cor 4:16-18 (Message)
So we’re not giving up. How could we! Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without his unfolding grace. These hard times are small potatoes compared to the coming good times, the lavish celebration prepared for us. There’s far more here than meets the eye. The things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow. But the things we can’t see now will last forever.
Simply put, when you are most tempted to throw in the towel, God is ready to pick it back up for you.
Yep, He’s there to hold you up when you fall down and when we can’t seem to muster the strength to get back up and fight. It’s this principle of faith that we must come to grips with if we want to do more than survive our lives. Christ Jesus is there, waiting for us to simply ask for help.
Try it out and see.
Next time your're “exhausted," and rightfully so, take the time to withdraw from your crazy schedule and frenetic family pace to spiritually pause and catch your breath. Ask for HELP. Ask for STRENGTH, ask for JESUS.
I promise, His response will be exactly what you need.