Wednesday, April 15, 2009


It started to creep up on me since the weekend.
Then yesterday I realized I had reached maximum fatigue the day before that.
You know what it's like: late nights, busy days, holiday festivities, child-rearing demands, household responsibilities, a dirty kitchen floor, dusty books, forgotten exercise, cooking, laundry, the never-ending pile of ironing, working and then there are the cares of life.
Travis told me, "You are boring after seven."
A little tactless as he later confessed, but true.
I had started to go into autopilot from five o'clock on.
Finish dinner prep, kiss Travis hello, nurse Kate, feed Kate again, clean Kate up, bathe Kate, eat my dinner, nurse Kate, put Kate to bed, finish household chores, get ready for bed, talk with Travis, fall asleep.

I realized that I was not only boring, but that if my marriage was boring, it meant I was bored in God.

You might think this is a bold statement. Our relationships on earth reflect our relationship with God. Our spouse is a mirror for us of our inner sense of who God is, what He is about and what He gives us through his Spirit. When I lack creativity, intelligence and the spark of joy, and slide into the automatic boredom of life's duties, it requires me to examine my inner self.

I am reading a book by Charles Lindbergh's wife Anne Morrow Lindbergh called Gift from the Sea. She reflects on this tendency in women, saying:
I walked far down the beach, soothed by the rhythm of the waves, the sun on my bare back and legs, the wind and mist fromthe spray on my hair. into the waves and out like a sandpiper. And then home, drenched, drugged, reeling, full to the brim with my day alone, full liket he moon before the nights has taken a single nibble of it, full as a cup poured up to the lip. There is a quality to fullness that the Psalmist expressed: "My cup runneth over." Let no one come--I pray in sudden panic--I might spill myself away! Is this then what happens to woman? She wants perpetually to spill herself away. All her instincts as a woman--the eternal nourisher of children, of men, of society--demands that she give. Her time, her energy, her creativeness drain ou into these channels if there is any chance, any leak. Traditionally we are taught, and instinctively we long, to give where it is needed--and immediately. Eternally, woman spills herself away in driblets to the thirsty, seldom being allowed the time, the quiet, the peace, to let the pitcher fill up to the brim. But why not, one may ask? What is wrong with woman spilling herself away, since it is her function to give? Why am I, coming back from my perfect day at the beach, so afraid of losing my treasure? It is not just the artist in me. The artist, naturally, always resents giving himself in small drops. He must save up for the pitcher-full. No, it is also the woman in me who is so unexpectedly miserly. Here is a strange paradox. Woman instinctively wants to give, yet resents giving herself in small peices. Basically is this a conflict? Or is it an over-simplification of a many-stranded problem? I believe that what woman resents is not so much giving herself in pieces as giving herself purposelesly.... Purposeful giving is not as apt to deplete one's resources; it belongs to that natural order of giving that seems to renew itself even in the act of depletion. The more one gives, the more one has to give-- like milk in the breast...Even purposeful giving must have some source that refills it. The milk in the breast must be replenished by food taken into the body. If it is woman's function to give, she must be replenished too. But how? Solitude...every person, especially every woman, should be alone sometime during the year, some part of each week and each day. How revolutionary that sounds and how impossible of attainment.
I sincerely think that we underestimate our need for rest. In a society that values productivity over purposefulness, I know that it can sweep me into it's frenzy. Yet then I quickly find that I "crash".

Where to start for me? Rest.
After a nap yesterday I felt the renewal of my energy as well as my spirit.

My goal is to experience renewal of my spirit from purposeful planning to rest my body and renew my mind. It is not just from a good desire to be "interesting" for my husband; I want to return to the experience of being filled up, spilling over, and overflowing with the Spirit of God living in me that breathes life into every thing that I do.

Don't you want that kind of life?


Laura said...

Thanks for this Nora. It was exactly what I needed to hear. Having a 2 week old I am finding it easy to do anything but "rest", even though I have many opportunities for it. I tend to find other ways to busy myself. And I can see how quickly it is catching up to me!

Danae Jones said...

Nora, thanks for posting this! I can identify with the feeling of being on autopilot when caring for those around me. The article was encouraging!