I Have the Malaise

Lately I have been absolutely exhausted. The past year we have all been living, working and learning in completely new territory and carrying the weight of grief on top of an upside down world is wearing on me. My four year old, Margot, often likes to tell me how many “energies” she has left and when she is running out of them. For example, If I tell her we need to make a run to the grocery store before we go home, she will respond with, “Ok. But I only have 10 energies left.” Margot will then proceed to announce to me as we go down the aisles each time she loses an energy. Waiting on our shaved turkey at the deli counter…”Mom, I just lost an energy! I only have nine left.” Picking out produce…”Mom! There goes another energy!” Loading our groceries on the conveyor belt to check out…”Hurry, please! I’m down to my last two energies!” My oldest daughter has always been an old soul, but her concept of energy is one of the most relatable things about her. I’m not sure how many energies I started with, but I’m fairly certain I am almost out.

Did anyone else need the ENTIRE month of January (and then some) to get back into a close to normal routine? After having made it to the “finish line” of the first year without my husband I am fatigued and sore. My brain is still constantly foggy and it feels like the lights are on but nobody’s home. It is important to remember that grief is a marathon and not a sprint. While I have certainly done my fair share of carbo loading lately, I’m not sure what marathoners do after a race because when it comes to grief there is no real finish line. There is no trophy for the grieving. I don’t even get a finisher’s medal, just a naked ring finger and a few more laugh lines (what an ironic name).

I woke up Tuesday morning to what has slowly become the norm over the past year…the girls and I snuggled up three deep on Taylor’s side of the bed. I was exhausted, but particularly thankful for the extra body heat and down comforter since, like so many others, we spent the night without electricity. While I was annoyed that it was still out after a long weekend snowed-in with preschoolers, I quickly changed my mindset to focus on the things I was grateful for. I know I am incredibly fortunate to have spent the night in a home that has walls built to withstand this type of weather. Even the finest homes in Dallas and Houston were not built with the intention of protecting their owners from below freezing temperatures. Whenever I feel inclined to complain, I try to focus my energy into praying for others and it usually works to quickly switch my mindset to remembering we are all living according to God’s will and not our own.

“This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says: ‘In Repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it.'”

-Isaiah 30:15

When you have quiet prayer time, you will quickly find that any time spent with God is not wasted. In fact, taking time to ask the Lord to guide you to carry out His will tends to make you more efficient and energized the rest of the day. I constantly have to remind myself of this gift! Maybe this stems from being a mother of young children or from being married to a man with the strongest work ethic of anyone I’ve ever known, but I struggle with guilt any time I need rest as if napping is the ultimate sin. It is important to remember that God designed our bodies and knows them inside and out better than we could possibly imagine. There is a reason the Lord rested on the seventh day. I don’t think God needed to recharge, but was merely setting the precedent for us to. In the book of Matthew we are instructed, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.

God knows exactly what each one of us need in every moment of every day. Doesn’t it make sense that we should turn to our creator for restoration the same way we take our vehicles to the dealership for a tune up? With today being the beginning of Lent, many people who observe the season focus on what they are going to give up for the next forty days. If you are one of those people giving things up for the Lord, why not instead add daily and intentional prayer time with the Lord seeking out His will for you? That is my resolution for the next six weeks and I hope some of you will join me. I have said before that we don’t always get a choice in our circumstances, but when we focus on God’s plan for us and not our own, our lives are much more restful.

Love, Molly

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