For busy mums, it seems there are plenty of things that keep us on the go. Besides housework, extra-curricular activities, never empty washing baskets, appointments, meals, shopping, and careers, there is also the catching up of friends, family and celebrations.
It’s what I like to call ‘life in all its beauty’ – it is busy, but it is good-busy. We are alive, so why not enjoy life’s activities in all their colours?
These days, technology is growing in the number of ways it can apparently ‘assist us’ in order to make life ‘easier’ and more organised. There are now a number of apps to help the busy mum such as: calendars where we can record our schedule with reminders; apps to help us budget and make shopping lists; apps to record our children’s milestones, artwork, extra-curricular activities and even organise their share of chores for the week.
While these are all good and helpful, I often dream of apps that could do more. I am still looking for the app that will make the family meal after a long day of work, that will do my grocery shopping, that will clean my house and pull the weeds from my garden. Perhaps even one that will do my washing so that I can spend more time writing books, playing music, having fun and spending time with my family with a never ceasing flow of energy for each activity.
It’s a dream, I know, one that I dare speak of at a time when I’m feeling fairly drained. I don’t know about you, but sometimes my mind is more energetic than my body. ‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me,’ (Philippians chapter 4 verse 13) and yes, this is true, but there is a point where we have to stop and say, is it God’s will for me to run until I’m running on empty?
In a perfect world, this wouldn’t be a question. In a perfect world we could run on a full tank at all times. But in this world, there is cause to stop and be refreshed. At the end of the day, if we’re not looking after ourselves, then we’re no good to anyone else. It’s all fun and games until your body has had enough.
A good friend recently observed my weariness and said to me, “You need to remember to take a drink from the river that flows from the Throne.” When I recalled the verses I had been reading lately, I realised that God was saying the same thing to me and I needed to stop a bit longer and really soak those words in: “Be still and know that I am God,” (Psalm 46:10), “Come all of you who are thirsty, come to the waters,” (Isaiah 55 verse 1), and my favourite: “There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the Most High dwells. God is within her, she will not fall; God will help her at break of day,’ (Psalm 46 verses 4-5).
Sometimes it’s easier to be a Martha than a Mary. If you’re not familiar with the story in Luke, Jesus visited the home of two sisters Martha and Mary. While Martha busied herself preparing a meal, Mary sat at the feet of Jesus and listened to his words. When Martha became annoyed with Mary’s lack of activity, Jesus said, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed – or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” (Paraphrased from Luke chapter 10 verses 38-41).
So I’ll let you in on a little secret, the refresh button at the top of the computer screen will not refresh you nor will deleting all your emails or ticking your to-do boxes. You will actually need to stop, take time out and drink from the river that turns the dead to life – a river that truly refreshes and restores. The river of God.
“Then the Angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations.” (Revelation chapter 22 verses 1-2)
Originally published for Christian Today Australia, 13th September 2016