It’s 4 AM. My 2 year old toddles into my bedroom whimpering slightly. “Mommy, my ear is hurting,” he says. He has a fever, and I sigh. After some ear-numbing drops, a dose of ibuprofen, and a few snuggles, he’s feeling well enough to go back to bed. And I trip back to my bed as well.
It’s been a rough season of sickness in our family. Our family vacation in October was cut short by a baby with a stomach bug. The week of Thanksgiving was completely hijacked by another stomach virus that hit nearly everyone in our family. And, now it’s just past Christmas. We’ve traded a cold, accompanied by a nasty cough, between the members of our family for over a week, and it’s developed into ear infections in two of my five children.
And I’m tired. Physically tired.
I don’t think I’ve had a full night’s sleep in a month after getting up with children who are ill and uncomfortable at night.
It has also been a season of paring in my life. Dear friends have moved away recently, either physically or emotionally. Some dear loved ones have suddenly passed away in the past few months. My children have heart issues that must be handled so carefully yet swiftly.
And I’m tired. Emotionally tired.
And I’m spiritually tired too. Taking time away from church to stay home with little ones who are sick. Neglecting personal devotions and bible studies to take care of my babies as well as trying to catch up with the never-ending tasks of housekeeping, homeschooling, and motherhood in general. It all takes its toll on my spiritual health. And I despair in my tiredness.
Trying to catch up with a friend, I make a quick glance at Facebook to see that someone has posted a picture on her page. Its caption says, “You can’t pour from an empty cup. Take care of yourself first.” I give a mad cackle of laughter seeing that since I’ve been bone dry since sometime in November. But, as the day goes on, I ruminate on what I read.
This particular day ends in tears. There are just too many people and things pulling at me. I cry out to God, that I can’t do this anymore alone. And, very gently, he reminds me that I’ve never been alone in any of these times (Isaiah 41:10). He reminds me that he is rest (Matthew 11:28), and that, if I look, I’ll find him right there with me. (Jeremiah 29:13) Where he’s always been.
I finally realized that God had really and truly been with me, even though I was exhausted. I thought I was dry, but it was God who refilled my cup each and every time. Now, each morning, instead of dreading the day before me, I thank God for his new mercies every morning, and I pray for him to fill my cup one more time.
Hugs and blessings, Charlotte