Running on Empty

I have been running on empty the last few weeks.  Tired.  So tired.  Some mornings I just want to crawl back under the covers and hide.

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I dream of slipping away to live in a tent in the forest.  No one needing anything.  No phone calls to answer or work to be done.

tent camping

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Stress will do that to you.  Ever felt that way?

For the last few months, my 92 year old mother has been very sick.  Thankfully, I have four able-bodied sisters who have all come together to help care for her.  We have a schedule worked out, and each of us spends a day and a night (sometimes two) at mom’s house.  We have been able to care for her and ensure that she in never alone.  We wouldn’t have it any other way.  Three of us still work full-time, so our weekends for the last two months have been devoted to caring for mom.  Then, we head back to our regular work week.  While I treasure every moment with my mom, let’s be honest, it is emotionally and physically draining to care for a loved one who is so sick.

Last week, mom looked better than she had in months.  We were even able to get her outside for a bit.  Her pain has lessened, and while she is weak and frail, we thought we were finally on the road to recovery.  While we love her dearly and have been blessed to be able to minister to her, we were all thinking: Maybe in another month she will be strong enough to be alone again?  Maybe I will have my weekends back?  I miss going to church and worshiping with my church family.  Maybe I will finally have time to finish all my projects?

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Unfortunately, mom took a fall this week and ended up in the ER.  Two cracked ribs later, she is home and back on pain medication.  While stressed and worried over her, I have to admit, I thought, We are back to square one.  Only now, she is actually in worse shape than she was when she first became sick.  Do I  sound too horrible when I admit that?

My sister’s and I are in this for the long haul.  We will care for our mom at home.  We have done pretty well so far, but the last few weeks, little irritants have become big problems and tempers are short.  We are tired.  We are worn.  But, we keep reminding one another, we will get through this as sisters!  We try to give each other a little grace…overlook those small differences in how we do things.

For myself, I know that I need to spend even more time in God’s Word each day.  In Matthew 11:28-30, Jesus said, 28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”  Ahh, rest for my soul!  This is what I need, especially now.  

Isaiah 43:2 says, “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you.  When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.”  I must remind myself daily that Jesus is walking this path with me and I must lean on Him.

The only remedy for weariness of the soul, is Jesus.  The only true rest we can find, is in Jesus.  His presence in my life and His Word in my heart and mind is the only thing that can fill my my empty tank and refresh my soul.