The toughest command for mothers

photoThere is nothing like motherhood to remind you exactly how amazing our Creator is. Nothing quite like having children to bring you to your knees when you think about God’s perfect design: From the  miracle of my daughter being born, to watching her learn to smile as she recognizes my voice, to the craziness of breastfeeding.  I think about this 6-7 times a day when I am either breastfeeding my daughter or pumping milk while multitasking in my office at work (for example, writing a blog while pumping!!).

It is amazing to think that God created us with such intention and such perfect design.  And that he took it one step further and made us in His very image.  In the first book of the Bible, Genesis, The Creator speaks . . .

Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”
God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day.

I was made in the image of God.  You were made in the image of God.  This means that the Divine is placed within us, and can be reflected.  God put a piece of perfection in us when He created us uniquely in his image.  But that is not even the end of the story.  Because in the very next chapter of Genesis God does something very unlike what we might expect from the Creator of the universe.

AHe rests.

By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.

He created the world: light and dark, day and night, land and water, plants and animal, human beings in His Divine image, and then he did one last thing: He rested.

So there are 2 important lessons I want to point out in the first couple chapters of Genesis:

1. We are made in the image of the Creator
2. Our Creator rested after making us

What does this mean?  Maybe that if God chose to rest, we too must choose to rest . . . We were created and designed this way, like the Father himself.  It’s hard work just to be the creations that we were created to be. We need rest.  Again, nothing like motherhood to remind you just how essential and precious such REST can be.

My design allows me to have children, to give birth, to breast feed, to be a mother, but it also calls me to rest. The Scriptures are pretty clear: “Rest from all work”

restGod desires to give us rest. Even though it is hard for us to receive.  As adults this is true.  Not so much for children.  After all, when I look at the peaceful rest of my 2 month old, Maisie, it seems so clear that God designed us with the ability to rest.   In reality the Lord set aside an entire day for rest and I often struggle to take 10 minutes throughout the week to rest.  Now with a second child I have found this to be even more difficult.  How can I possibly rest?  I have to be a mom, a pastor, a wife, rest . . . . I will do that later when I am retired one day – right??????

I have a confession to make, ready?  Brace yourself, severe truth ahead. I am not perfect.  Phew!  I said it.  I cannot do it all, all the time, and do it well.  I fail.  Let me rephrase that, I mess up every day.  I do not get all the things done I wish I could, nor do I get them all done the way I want them to be done.  And now that I am back to work after only 8 weeks off with Maisie and Adeline, I feel like I am failing a lot more than ever before.  So really I am confessing this: I am human and therefore I am limited in what I can do.

I will take this confession one step further. But first let me say that even though I am a believer, I love Jesus and feel called to share the truth of the Gospel with everyone I can, AND  I am a Pastor to people who profess this very truth, AND I profess the Peace of Christ that surpasses all understanding, still I am human. I struggle with fear and anxiety, worry and doubt, despair and sadness.  I am human.  Believe it or not but being a Christian does not completely eliminate these things from my life. So what difference does my faith make?  It reminds me who I am and whose I am; I am created in the image of the Living God.

The reality of my humanity has crashed down on me after this last pregnancy.  I thought figuring out how to wear my many hats was hard before, well kid # 2 has magnified that challenge.  Wrestling with 2 schedules doesn’t really leave much time for anything else, like me, my ministry, my friends, my marriage.

Rest?  What is that?  Sleep?  I kinda remember that, but only in small clumps of hours.

MYet, God reminds me here in Genesis that as I am created in His image, I am designed to need rest as well.  I am not designed to go on and on and on without taking the time to stop and rest.  And even though I cannot imagine what this rest looks like and how I will fit it in, I know I can turn to my Creator and seek such rest (maybe even some peace too) as God himself commands it.  I am designed with a purpose and in order to live into that purpose, to live out my call as his daughter, (as mother, wife, pastor, friend, etc.) I need to cut myself some slack and remember to rest in the Lord.  I need to take a page out my daughters’ book and rest when I can, where I can.

Maybe it is too simple (never easy) but the truth is this:  We are made in the image of the very Creator who after implementing his perfect design took an entire day to rest.  I know it makes me a better mom, a more patient wife, a more compassionate pastor, and an overall more pleasant person when I take care of myself  — even though it is hard to do.  At times it even feels impossible.  Yet, I am certain there is a way to make it a reality.  So let us commit to it together – to rest in the very One who created us in his perfect image.

 

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