Today’s guest post is from Heather Riggleman. Heather is a wife and mother to three, one with special needs . You can find Heather chugging coffee and sharing her latest in the trenches of motherhood at her site www.heatherriggleman.com or on Facebook:www.facebook.com/HeatherRiggleman. You can find more encouragement in her book, Mama Needs A Time-Out.
I’m tired and don’t want to talk to anyone yet my daily routine of shuffling kids and women’s ministry forces me to interact. So I smile and say, “I’m fine, thank you. How are you?”
The truth is, there are very few women I’m willing to open myself up to. If someone shares about their burdens, too often I struggle to be present. I find myself retreating to the inner depths of my soul, discovering that I am already over capacity.
My own cup is already full of burdens; stresses of finances, weary of my so-called ‘God’s Call to Write’, concerned with what our future holds, worried about behaviors my son is presenting, and pushing myself to be ever present for my oldest child in her turbulent teens combined with Aspergers; but I choose not to talk about any of that.
Very few friends really want to listen and even then, their circumstances weigh heavily on their minds. It’s not that they aren’t good listeners, it’s because I know they don’t have what I need. Weary laden, I drive home, already mentally checking out.
This mama needs a time out.
Maybe you do, too.
Over the last couple of years , I’ve begun to more intentionally seek God. I’m thirsty for his presence and his peace. Having a moment or two with God revitalizes my soul, helping me to redeem the day with my kids—even if it means a quick prayer in the bath as little fingers find their way under the door.
Take a time out.
Take one often.
Take it with God, even if it means breathing in, to simply breathe out his name.
In the quiet of my home, I hear Him speak to me those three same words we often use out of politeness: “How are you?”
I respond knowing that God isn’t overly burdened and weighed down: “I’m lonely, God.”
He responds, “And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:20b (NIV).
“I’m weary, God.”
“Your soul will find rest in Me alone. I am your salvation. I am your Rock, your fortress, you will not be shaken.” Psalm 62:1-2. (paraphrased, NIV).
As I pour out, He pours in.
I realize that being quiet in His presence is almost a lost art that needs a revival. When we quiet ourselves before Him, He is able to completely fill us in exchange for what is weighing us down. He uses His presence and His Word to breathe life into us, and we need so very much more than we realize.
Being a mother and woman of God can sometimes weigh us down so deeply with concerns, crisis management, worries, needs of our children, demands from others, and expectations of organizations.
Without quieting ourselves before God, we become so full and yet so very empty.
Our souls were created for the ebb and flow of pouring ourselves out before Him, as He pours life back into us. He touches our hearts, just enough for each day.
Just enough that we long to come back to Him for more.
Just enough to recreate a bond that can overcome any feeling, any burden.
Just enough to teach us the depth of friendship with Him.
Just enough to create a vibration in our spirits.
We become filled with His truth and peace and we can begin the ripple effect of giving His friendship to others when we truly ask them, “How are you?”
In the depths of being a woman and mother, this is truly the hardest question to answer honestly because we think we are supposed to have it together all the time.
As I sat basking in God’s presence, I heard him laugh at me and say, “Nowhere in my Word have I ever referenced or stated that you need to have it together.”
There was a slight pause before I hear more from Him, “Who says you have to do it all? And why do you have to do it alone?”
As I sat pondering those questions, I remember that we are meant to be in relationship with God and we are meant to be in fellowship with each other. God fills us up so we can be there for others.
So go on. What are you waiting for?
Tell God what’s on your heart, let him fill you up, and then ask someone else, “How are you, really?”