Thursday, April 29, 2010
There was a time in my life, specifically the years 2001-2006, when I was exhausted most of the time. Ah, my child-bearing years... so full of new life for the new people on the planet and so amazingly exhausting for me. I have to admit that going into those years, I actually believed that I would not be one of those slow-motion confused young mothers who seemed to age exponentially upon the first month of midnight feedings. I had stayed up late plenty of nights cramming for exams or working night shifts before having kids. I was so glad that since I was a "night person," this would actually make it kinda fun to be awake with my baby at night. I was fairly confident... over-confident... blissfully ignorant... and my delusions of grandeur would soon have a day of reckoning with reality. My first daughter Faith was a frequent feeder day and night (despite my "Baby Wise" plan) and so began the "infant haze" of which my sister-in-law forewarned me. She was right. I nursed Faith for a little more than 1 year. Just as my body was starting to feel like my own again, Steve and I welcomed pregnancy #2 and had Lucas just before Faith's 2-year birthday. I nursed him for a year. He slept longer stints than Faith, but was still awake once or twice a night for months and months and so was Faith for that matter (potty training day and night). Just when I felt like I was getting my body back again, we welcomed pregnancy #3 and Anika was born 3 months before Lucas's 2-year birthday. Each birthing experience was the highlights of our lives. Now, getting on with life, there's only so much messy potty training and diaper changing a person can handle in a day. But this is about the time that Steve wanted to get two kitten for the kids to enjoy. Ok... I'll stop here. I'm saying all this because for one, I'm not exhausted anymore (praise God on high), and for two, I just wanted to point out that people who are physically exhausted don't have to be intellectually and spiritually exhausted. This was a time when a lot of things started to "wake up" with in me. I didn't have a whole lot of spare energy, but I valued every bit I had. I kept my mind fresh by reading books. I started getting rid of junk food which drained the life out of me, ate whole foods, and even entered the unknown world of raw milk. Very good place. I didn't have energy to make any elaborate meals, but I'd make at least one meal a week that was new and entirely God-food. I slowly made changes as much as I could handle. Granted, my house was an absolute mess for all of those years (tidiness is still not my forte), but God is teaching me that even house cleaning can help to center me on the bigger picture. I like that. I need that. If you happen to be reading this and you're exhausted, be encouraged that there's still a vibrant person in there regardless of your energy level at the moment. Try starting your day with two glasses of pure water, take a 20 minute "deep breathing nap" at any point possible in your day (whether or not you fall asleep is less important than the deep breathing), and start moving forward on something you've always wanted to know more about by reading or listening to teaching on the topic. It's fun to awaken your mind and spirit even when you're body is sleeping. Dream life fuels progress.