Rest For a Parent

Frustration is something a parent has to combat on a daily basis.

Why? Because, if you are anything like me, you start your day off with certain plans or expectations. And, if your children are anything like mine, they will often blow your plans for the day out of the water and replace it with their own little agendas. Jayt did this in the most lovely way on Sunday morning. I woke up at 6:00 in the morning and he was still asleep. He usually gets up at about 7:00, so I started formulating a plan right away. I decided that he was going to sleep for another hour and I was going to lay in bed next to him, quietly reading through a few chapters in my little pink bedside Bible. I would allow myself to dose off if I got sleepy, but whether I did or didn’t, it was going to be a wonderful and relaxing time spent in God’s presence just soaking in His Word with no noise or distractions. It was a brilliant plan! A plan that lasted till about 6:02, at which point Jayt popped his little head up, revealing a devious grin spread across his sleepy face.

I tried to get him to go back to sleep.

FRUSTRATION!

Nope, he wasn’t going back to sleep. I had to quickly get him outside to the back patio before he started making noise and waking up everybody else in the house. I opened the sliding glass door, leaving behind my plans for the morning, and stepped out into surprisingly cool and breezy weather. I sat on the patio steps and put Jayt on my lap. To my amazement, he stayed there. Very unusual. He is usually very rambunctious in the morning and likes to run around wild and crazy. Not only did he stay on my lap for a long time, but we snuggled together while watching a gentle, yet dazzling sunrise unfold. It was a rare treasure!

As I sat soaking in the sheer pleasure of it all, I sensed the Holy Spirit whisper a jarring truth to my heart. He said, “My plans for the morning were better than yours. Aren’t you enjoying connecting with me like this even more than what you had planned?” I had to admit that He was right. He always is. Jesus said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” (Matthew 11:28-29) There are moments in parenting that are aggravating and make us feel so weary and weighed down. We can come to Jesus in those moments and allow him to give us rest. This requires us taking his yoke, exchanging our plans for the day with his. Being humble and gentle in heart like him and willing to bend and accommodate the needs of another. In this we find rest for our souls. It will never come the same way twice. That’s part of the thrill of it all! But, if we are willing to stop fighting and screaming because things aren’t going our way, and embrace what God has for us in the moments of frustration and weariness as a parent we will partake of beauty and rest and joy that cannot be compared to anything we could have orchestrated on our own.

May your day today be filled with beauty like a sunrise, sweetness, like a baby snuggled close, and refreshment like a cool, gentle breeze. You will face frustration as a parent. Remember that Jesus is waiting to turn it into rest for your soul.

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