For mothers, moms, and mamas:
… I wish I’d known
“For all who enter God’s rest will find rest from their labors…”
‘Come to Me all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens,
and I will give you rest…”
“let Me teach you.”
I sit, this morning, in my snug cabin in the woods. It is early, the day just arising—still crisp and cool. I am alone in the quiet, welcoming the day in the presence of the One who bids me come.
I flip the pages of my bible to these words, given me long ago when neither alarm clocks nor discipline were enough to pull me from my bed:
… He awakens me morning by morning,
wakens my ear to listen like one being instructed…
Here in the silence I quiet my mind and still my soul. I lean in to listen, to wait with the intensity of another seeker from long ago,
I waited intently for the Lord, and He inclined to me, and heard my cry…
David, in Psalm 40v1
And I remember how I got to this place of craving Him so much that neither discipline nor alarm clocks are necessary anymore. How I slipped in the muck of my own ugliness, how I couldn’t find my way out, how I raged and wept bitter tears of despair at the unfairness of life, of my life.
And then I remember how He rescued me, setting my feet on solid rock, washing me clean, inviting me into this place I love. A place of surrender, of satisfaction, of genuine, all-the-way-through-to-my-heart happiness.
This place of Rest.
I wish I had known about this place when I was a mother of little ones.
I wish I had known how to hide from the chaos and the neediness and the incessant conflict that sucks the life out of a young mama’s world.
But I didn’t. Instead, I tried. All the time, every day, I tried.
I tried to be patient… and failed.
I tried to be happy… and wasn’t.
I tried to be good and kind… and ended up irritated and mad—
and tired, just so tired.
I wanted so badly to be a good mama—the best—but I couldn’t be who I thought I should and wished I would be.
And this, my dear tired out mamas, is what I wish I had known then:
That trying harder is not the solution to your inadequacies and ineptitudes.
That the way to be the woman, the wife, the mother you wish you were is not found in books or podcasts or seminars or blog posts—but in Rest.
His Rest— God’s.
I wish I had understood that discipline is not what gets me there. That I will never deserve it… or Him… or any of His benefits. That being better and trying harder just managed to entangle me hopelessly in great knots of uptightness. And anger, and impatience, and self-pity and… shame.
I wish I had known that the Father is so madly in love with us— with me and with you just-as-you-are-right-now-in-this-flaw-filled moment— that He stands at the door and invites us to enter this place we all crave.
This place of Rest.
The key to this place? Not trying, not striving, not ten steps to a better you, but simply…
Belief. Which is trust, entrusting yourself entirely and without reservation to God.
Entrusting your children to Him.
Entrusting your worries to Him.
Entrusting your failings, your past, your future, your wishes and dreams and happiness— to Him.
And then doing it again. And again. Over and over every day, every hour until your head begins to believe what your soul tells you is the truest truth:
That God is trustworthy… that He is good… that He is able… that He is beautiful and He brings beauty and He makes you—and your children— beautiful.
Just because He loves you that much.
And so my one wish for you this Mother’s Day is this:
That you would cease striving and know… Rest.
I’ve offered no solutions here, no formulas. Because I have come to see that every single one of us has a different story… a story that urges us inevitably towards this place of rest.
I cannot tell you how (exactly) to get there, but I can and will pray for you if you will leave me a hint of who you are, of what you want and need from Him.
From my heart,
 For more, read Hebrews, the end of chapter 3 and all of chapter 4