…and I will give you rest.
Last night I was so tired, and Jeff had obligation after obligation. I was fast asleep before he came home. Yesterday I felt so helpless when Jeff came home for 20 minutes only to leave again. Sometimes I feel… it’s hard to describe, really. It’s a mix of bitterness and gratitude that leaves me speechless. It’s as if I’m on the verge of either being consumed with envy and anxiety, anger and exhaustion, or enveloped in the sweetness of all of it, for the same reasons.
Yesterday was a beautiful day, too. I went out to breakfast with my sister and friend. Then we all went to the beach with my other sister and my mom. We laughed while babies swam and read our books under a tree. We packed a beautiful picnic. By the time I got home, though, I was sun-tired – that strange kind of sleepy after a day at the beach. I immediately felt overwhelmed at the prospect of staying home alone that evening, Jeff off with his friends while my baby is wanting attention and play. The house is in dire need of a good cleaning, too. Not to mention the fact that I’ve neglected the garden for several days. I couldn’t say anything, either. I didn’t want him to stay home. But I just wanted to get a break from the weight of caretaker for a while. I’m sure I could’ve asked someone to come spend time with me, but I was too tired to socialize. It’s one of those things where I could have complained, but that’s all it would’ve been… complaining. So, with a lump in my throat I told him to have fun. And I meant it.
This morning that feeling carried over. I felt like I was teetering on a narrow rail, tears forcing their way forward and blurring my vision. Jeff slept soundly while I took my smiling baby to get changed and nursed. Then I juggled her in my arms while I tried to get some (paid) work done. He woke up and thanked me for letting him sleep in, he offered me breakfast, rubbed my shoulders a little, and left for class. Tonight he has band practice. Before he left he asked me if I wanted to talk about anything, and I felt speechless again. I told him that he probably already knew, so no use talking about it all. He nodded and said that he wants us to cancel our date with our friends on Saturday, so that we can spend time alone. I really didn’t have to say anything, he just knows. And it makes a difference- whether it comes from me or from him- to both of us, I think.
I am definitely learning a lot about myself. This morning I wanted to let him sleep in, I’m sure he needs it with his crazy schedule lately. Even so, there was a part of me that was bitter about it. And I don’t like that part of myself. It’s disruptive. Anyway, after he left I got to work and changed our bed sheets. I decided to use these pillowcases that my mom embroidered as a wedding present. They said “He gives to his beloved sleep.” and “…and I will give you rest.” After a quick google search I found that they come from two different Bible passages. The first is from the psalms- it’s all about how it’s vain to get up early and go to bed late, and to eat “the bread of sorrow” (I took this to mean work done with a bad attitude), because sleep and rest is as important as anything else. This spoke to me, go figure. Then the second is from Matthew, when Jesus said “Come to me all who labor, and I will give you rest.” This also spoke to me. There was a time not too long ago when I was too proud to admit that the Bible had some truth to it. I was so irritated with the Christians I saw that I didn’t let it speak to me in it’s own way. Now, I don’t feel as defensive or proud, and I think it’s totally full of amazing stuff- mostly what Jesus actually taught- which was all about forgiveness and kindness and humility and peace. He was a rockin guy. Anyway, what I took from the second one is basically to give it up and trust the process. I can’t do it on my own, and so it’s important to let go of my control and give it to my higher power. Then I thought about the whole thing together. “He gives to his beloved sleep… and I will give you rest.” This struck me all of the sudden. I had given my beloved sleep. I have been working hard and caring for my family. And so maybe it’s all about having faith that I will be provided for too, in a way. Maybe I have a few less hours of sleep, or less time to spend with friends without a baby in tow, but I will get the rest I need. I am learning to shed my pride and gladly work without understanding why all of the time. I just have to have faith. Regardless, I think I’m becoming a better person than I was, and that’s encouraging.
In other news, my brother is back in Denver playing on the street and trying to make some money. Would you believe his luck? Some girls stopped and told him they loved his music and that they had an extra ticket for this music festival. They offered it to him, and he happily accepted (he went on the 20th). Lucky dog. THEN he is back playing on the street and who walks by? None other than Dave Matthews himself. He tosses Ben a dollar in his guitar case and says “Good stuff, man.” Ben was stunned and continued playing his song (an original), and continued to play for 3 more hours in that spot, in the hopes that he might somehow “walk back”. I love my brother.
Today I’m going to balance it all. I’m going to work and rest, and while I’m resting I won’t allow anxious thoughts to creep up, because rest is for rest’s sake.
I think that’s it for today. A quote, of course:
“So you see, imagination needs moodling – long, inefficient, happy idling, dawlding and puttering.” -Brenda Ueland
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As ever your insight, reasoned honesty and calm inspire and amaze me. You are a strong and incredible woman and don’t let doubts ever convince you otherwise 🙂
You’re not alone – motherhood is a rollercoaster of cognitive disonance I’m learning! Whilst I work I feel happy because I’m fulfilling the career bit of me and providing for my son but sad because I’m not with him and guilty because I feel like I should be – all at the same time!! And that’s just one small example. It’s mind-bending but wonderful and, as you say, a total constant learning experience.
If you struggle to give Jeff the right words to explain how you feel, perhaps you could show him something of this entry because I think it explains it totally x