For thus saith the Lord GOD, and the Holy One of Israel: In returning and rest shall ye be saved; in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength…
– Isaiah 30:15
Mothers must rest, too. Not just a few hours at night; not only an hour or two in the afternoon. Mothers need serious time away.Home educating mothers, especially. The homeschool takes it out of us.
Need I tell you why?
We work 24-7-365, that’s why. If we are lucky enough to go out to dinner with the girlfriends or date night with that hot husband, we are still on-call and right back on the job in a couple hours. So the main work is never far from our minds. We are probably talking about it the entire evening we are out. Some break.
Homeschooling, homemaking, mothering, and help-meeting are physically demanding jobs. We are on our feet most of the day (some of us still wear heels), always on alert (did I hear silence in the toddler’s room?), and constantly on the go (homeschoolers are rarely home). We are lifting, scrubbing, moving, shaking, folding, pushing, pulling, banging, crawling, and stirring … We wonder why there are mommy exercise videos in the first place.
Our job is mentally demanding, too. We are called upon to find creative solutions to myriads of problems every
day hour, problems like
“What’s for dinner?”
“What should I wear?
“Why is there water dripping from the kitchen ceiling?”
“Have you seen my other shoe?”
“Do you think the neighbor will mind our fence lying in his yard?”
“Did you hear what the toddler said to the neighbor today?”
“How do you solve a quadratic equation?”
[All but one of those questions came from 6pm Wednesday evening]. Home educating mothers are constantly learning, growing mentally, challenging their focus and problem-solving abilities to greater depths. But this commitment to family- and self-betterment comes at a price: We are mentally exhausted.
More than anything else, our job is spiritually demanding. The responsibility to advise our husbands, disciple our children, counsel our friends, and minister within our community can leave our own souls spiritually depleted. We fight for our Bible reading time; we come voraciously hungry to worship services. We beg on our knees for the Spirit’s power to do His work.
And after a time in the field, He calls us away to the wilderness to rest awhile.
About once a year, I am exhausted and in bad need of a break. So my husband (have I told you how wonderful he is?) sends me away for a much-needed time to myself.
This is not family vacation (that is something else). And this is not couples time (that is great, but not the kind of break I’m talking about here). I am talking about serious time alone. sans familia.
I go somewhere different every year. Sometimes a friend’s home; sometimes a relative. Once, everyone left and I had the house to myself. Sometimes, I take an entire week. Usually it is just a weekend. Regardless, the opperative word is alone.
During this time, I make sure I take my Bible and my journal. Maybe a book or two, too. I have big, big goals for this get-away time:
- Sleep. A lot. Until I can’t sleep any more.
- Eat. Preferably food I don’t cook myself.
- Read my Bible quietly without someone wiggling next to me.
- Journal my thoughts out of my brain until I feel comfortably emptied.
- Sit and think.
- Slowly begin to miss my family again and recall why I love doing what I do.
Usually, if I have traveled out of town to visit family or friends, they will take me sight-seeing and to fun activities. But I try to let them know I don’t need much entertainment; a bed and a light is really all I want. And the food part.
This weekend, I am attending a Ladies’ Retreat with my adopted mom. I am so excited for so many reasons … this was just the ideal get-away for me personally and it came at the perfect time. I am most grateful the Lord worked out all the details so that I could go.