Permission to Rest, Granted

A few weekends ago my mom and I led a ladies retreat. Even though I spent many days and hours preparing for my sessions, the weekend turned out to be a sweet time of fellowship for me. But by Tuesday I crashed and couldn’t move.

I ate breakfast on the couch and when Zach woke up, he came and snuggled up beside me, pulling the covers tight around his neck. I couldn’t get up, even when I needed to wash out my smoothie cup…and brush my teeth for that matter.

Finally, Zach wanted breakfast. I almost joined him in the kitchen but then, Mackenzie ran in to get a turn of snuggling with Mom on the couch  – it’s a rarity, that I sit for that long! I told Mackenzie to hold on a minute while I go to the bathroom and brush my teeth.

In the bathroom, I held my toothbrush and started to unscrew the cap on the toothpaste when the thought hit me… Mackenzie doesn’t care if my teeth are brushed! If I brush my teeth, then I’ll have to get dressed, and then make my bed, and then check Facebook…I just want to go lay on the couch with my daughter!

And I did. Stinky breath and all.

While we were there someone mentioned how it would be fun to watch a movie, since we’re just lying here on the couch anyway. Instantly in my head I heard the song, “These are a few of my favorite things…” So I said, “If you can find The Sound of Music, we’ll watch it!”

They all shrieked with joy and started looking for the DVD. Needless to say, this is what our morning looked like:

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About half way through the movie we paused and made chocolate chip muffins and scrambled eggs which we munched on and resumed watching Marie steal Captain Von Trapp’s heart.

We decided, why do we need to be sick to have a sick day? Let’s have a sick day when we’re not really sick so we can actually enjoy it!

At 3:30, I was still in my PJs. I did brush my teeth sometime in there, but after the movie, I let the kids have some time outside and I put myself in my happy place…behind my laptop. The door to my room was shut, candles were lit, quiet instrumental music queued up and I did a few of my favorite things…resting, writing, smiling and enjoying this day!

A friend of mine recently said about homeschooling that “it’s just natural when I stop trying to control things.”

I couldn’t agree more. My kids needed a rest too. They work best when they do a few of their favorite things too.

My daughter said something profound to me the other day while we were walking. We were talking about public school compared to homeschool and I was asking if she missed being in school. She insisted she didn’t. She said, “When I was in public school, I stopped doing cartwheels. That’s when I knew something was wrong. I always do cartwheels in a certain spot. God made me to do cartwheels, but when I was in school I stopped wanting to.”

We both agreed that the day Mackenzie doesn’t want to do a cartwheel, something is wrong!

We can put so much pressure on ourselves as homeschool moms to finish our curriculum and enforce a rigid daily schedule but we can burn out ourselves and our children.

So here’s your ticket to take a break when you need to…a sick day when you’re not really sick.

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(Please, take a minute and share this with another friend who needs permission to take a break – homeschool or not!)

At the beginning of this week, when I was in the shower (where all great revelations originate) I had this overwhelming feeling about all that needed to be done in the days ahead. I cried out to the Lord, “How will I do all of this? I’m worn out from the weekend.”

It’s like He whispered back to me, It doesn’t have to be perfect Julie. My grace is sufficient for you. Remember, my power is made perfect in weakness.

Yes. Grace. I need His grace. I cannot do everything well. And if I did, I wouldn’t need Jesus and His grace. We will have gaps. I will lose it. But because God has called me to this and because He is God, He will gather it all up in His time and mend the tears and redeem the gaps. Hes’ not looking for me to be perfect, He provided a Son for that in my place. He’s not frowning at me while He summons the angels once again to go help Julie. She needs you to fix another situation.

No, He’s waiting patiently for me to realize I can’t do it on my own and I need Him. I don’t need Him to just give me a big head start like when I pushed my kids on the swings when they were toddlers. I need Him ALL the time. I need His grace that He freely gives. That realization infuses hope into my soul. I share it here to offer that hope to you too.

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This post is apart of a series called 31 stories of hope for every homeschooler. To see the entire series, click HERE.

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