I have given birth eight times, but never really rested. My first was born on a Tuesday, and in church with me on Sunday. My second was stillborn at 22 weeks, but I immediately went out to buy a bike carrier to lug my oldest around. We took our third to an amusement park when she was only three weeks old (yeah, that was brilliant). When our fourth was 10 days old, we had her dedicated at church, followed by a big cookout in our backyard. When the fifth came, we went out for lunch and visited my husband's office when she was only days old. I had my sixth on a Thursday and came home on Saturday to grill dinner for my husband's birthday. I finally wised up by my seventh and eight babies, taking care of kids and home, but not going out and doing stupid things right away.
Three weeks ago I had a total hysterectomy, with a TVT and A&P repair. I had to rest; it was required, not suggested. And guess what? The world did not spin out of orbit because I sat down. My house did not collapse, but is actually better than before my surgery. My mom and husband were around with all of my babies, and big kids were rarely in short supply either, so why did I feel the need to do it myself?
A week before my surgery, I felt God reminding me of a verse which was going to be my life for this school year. "In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength" Isaiah 30:15. It felt so risky to have six weeks of rest ahead of me, but I knew God's peace was going to make a way. I'd been praying for peace in our home for at least a year, but was never still long enough to experience it. During these last three weeks, I have had time to think, to plan, and to slow down. I've reevaluated my priorities, prayed for my family, and enjoyed meaningful conversations with my children. I think my kids like it when I sit. I remember back in M.O.P.S when somebody told me I have to sit for my little ones to have a lap, well I think I need to sit for my teens to have a listening ear too.
During my recovery, we have surged forward in our sun room and laundry room renovations, unpacked stuff I though we wouldn't get to until summer, and even finished potty-training my youngest child. I have accepted every helping hand offered to me and asked when I needed something. Everyone pitched in. I am amazed at the stuff my three and four year-olds can lift that are over my weight limit. My eight year old can scrub a bathroom, and all my big kids can cook and clean. The kids have been especially protective of me, rather than demanding. My husband has been tender, kind, and very productive with the house projects. My mom came in with energy, consistency and creativity. Our whole home feels more peaceful, or at least I do, which is partly the point. I refuse to feel guilty about all my wonderful help, only extremely thankful. I have had times when it was my turn to serve, and someday it will be that time again, but now is my time to rest.
Don't get me wrong, I am getting pretty eager to lose my limitations. But I am determined to hold firm to God's plan for me this year. Do I desperately need Him? Then I must turn my back on my faulty ways of thinking and doing. I need to rest. Do I need His strength like never before? When I am quiet and confident in Him, I am strong. Like any act of faith it seems risky, but I know what He is asking me to do and I trust Him.
I've needed rest so badly. Who doesn't? It feels impossible, but He promises it is not. Can we stop long enough to let Him do His thing?
It is worth the risk.
Bekah and Hannah hanging out with me after my surgery