Yesterday my son had one of those really fun 3-year-old meltdowns. You know the kind. Screaming, flailing, snot dripping down his face. I responded with the obligatory mothering statement, “Use your words!”
It took him about 10 minutes of tantrum to finally find those words. When he did I melted.
“Mommy, I just want you to hold me.”
I knelt to the ground, pulled him into my lap (snot and all) and wrapped my arms around him. He let his little body go limp, trusting my arms to hold him up and allowing his body to melt into mine. This was a completely different kind of melt down, it was surrender instead of temper.
How often do we run through life exhausted and then muscle through instead of stopping and resting? We can get pretty ugly when we rely on our own strength when we are already weary. Patience and joy go out the window as we try to plow through to do lists and make it to every engagement on time.
Overscheduled and over tired the first thing to go out the window is our relationships. We cancel coffee dates with friends to prepare for a Pinterest worthy party. We plop iPads and iPhones in our children’s hands so we can finish work or a never ending to do list. We delay date night with our spouse just one more week.
And then we are empty. Weary. Depleted.
As my son sunk into my chest and his breathing slowed to match mine I realized he was looking to me for strength. He was resting in my strength when he was weary. How sweet of God to let me have just a little piece of His job that afternoon to remind me to do the same as my son.
It was a kind and gentle reminder from my Savior that when I get weary I need to return to the source of all strength and match myself to His breathing pattern. Life in, life out. Life in, life out.
Life in…rest, pray, read my Bible, ask God to guide my steps and encounters.
Life out…slow down, notice others, love well.
Life in…"Come to Me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28
Life out… But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, Galatians 5:22
Life in…"For I satisfy the weary ones and refresh everyone who languishes." Jeremiah 31:25
Life out…"I give you a new commandment: love one another. Just as I have loved you, you must also love one another. John 13:34
Can I be honest? For a part of my son’s meltdown I melted down myself. I marched him to his room and told him not to come out until he could be quiet. I raised my voice to try to quiet his. I furrowed my brow and made my frustration and disappointment known.
It wasn’t until I also surrendered that peace was found. I needed to be still and match my breathing to another just as much as my son did.
The house didn’t get clean as I sat there on the floor with my son, dinner didn’t get made, my to list had to wait, but I was filled to a point that brought me to a priority shift. Life in. Life out.
I'm just a girl, standing before my God, knowing that He loves me and wanting others to know that love too.