We are in the midst of a string of rainy days. It’s been this way for weeks: three days rain, one day of clouds, two days rain, one day of clouds. Welcome, Spring. (I’m over you, by the way.)
Along with incessant rain comes the beginning of the school year. As buckets in the sandbox fill with water, the family schedule fills and drips over with bentos, three different school dismissal times, PTA meetings, parent-teacher conferences, and all manner of official and important-looking papers — which, by the way, I’m unable to read completely. A baby and little sleep have simply sealed the deal: I have no margin. I’ve spent my last penny. Suddenly, I’m just done.
When Bryan came home today, I sort of lost it. I hate losing it. I’d rather keep everything together: neat and tidy. I’d rather be limitless, have no need of boundaries or rest or margin. I’d rather be self-sufficient and not meet my husband at the door with tears in my eyes and a desperate plea to lock myself in the bedroom for an hour. But almost as soon as I sat on the bed, I knew those were ridiculous desires. I don’t have limits and needs because I’ve done something wrong, I was made with them. I’ve been designed this way. My needs have purpose that go beyond my own heart and into the realms of my spouse, family, and community. Perhaps the lack of margin I’m facing this April is the opportunity for a child to have an important conversation with dad. Or the time for dad to really study the baby’s face before she grows. Perhaps my limits will be the place Bryan and I meet each other to discuss, relate, and serve one another.
Certainly, when I reach the end of myself, I can see clearly how I’ve been working out of my own effort. And enjoying it! See how capable I am! Who needs naps, quiet, rest, or the Word of God? Who needs prayer and margin when you have coffee? Until, all of a sudden, it’s spent. Until, all of a sudden, the third rainy day in a month of chaos just snaps me and I meet my husband at the door crying. Even in the confusing haze of exhaustion, I can look past the sadness and see the truth: I needed reminding. I am not all-knowing, all-powerful, all-present. I have limits. I have a cup that needs refilling. I have a heart that longs for refreshment from my God, and even my body knows the truth.
Slowing down is hard, And slowing down correctly is even harder. I can rest up these legs with couch-surfing and binge-watching, but only part of me will end refreshed. It’s harder to walk the steps toward a quiet heart and really listen deeply to the words of life.
He leads me beside quiet waters. He restores my soul. My cup overflows. I’ll be seeking these things.