“You just don’t understand!” With that anguished cry, sixteen year old feet run up the stairs and the resounding bam! of her bedroom door slamming shakes the house. I start to head up the stairs, intent on scolding my daughter (“We do not slam doors in this house, young lady!”) but instead, I pause, and then head the opposite direction. I’m just so tired of arguing with Kasey these days. Truthfully, I do understand because I was sixteen once, - a long time ago. Before I was so tired all the time.
I hear the raised voices before I reach the family room. It’s the twins, fighting with each other again. I’m tempted to ignore the fracas, but then I see Joe straddling his brother, with his fist in the air, holding a video remote controller. Pinned underneath his brother, Luke is about to have a very close encounter with the controller.
“Joe!” I yell. My nine - year old pauses, mid-swing. Thus ensues a session of “He did, well, he said” and ends with me sending one culprit to his room and the other to go feed the dog. I feel a headache coming on.
I enter the kitchen, intent on finding an aspirin – or the whole bottle. I pass by my desk and suddenly remember that the energy company expects to have a check in their hot little hands by tomorrow. Ugh. I mentally try to subtract this week’s groceries, the boys’ field trip money, and the check I had to write to the vet from last week’s balance. Hmm – wonder how much is in savings? If only Bill was working regular hours like he used to. But his employer has taken a hit with the economy, too. Once again, the idea of maybe having to look for some part-time work runs through my head.
I sigh - I’m tired. But it’s more than that, really. It’s this bone-deep weariness that has crept into my soul. Where’s the rest? Where’s the peace? This chaos and upset is not what I dreamed of when I used to envision my future life. Maybe it’s just called “reality.” Whatever it is, though, sometimes I feel like I’m coming apart.
I see that some child has drunk exactly two-thirds of a can of soda and left the remainder on the counter. I pour the rest into a mug and add some ice. Slipping outside, I sit down on the porch swing. Creak…creak…I am reminded that I need to ask Bill to oil that thing.
Closing my eyes, I drink and attempt to enjoy the last little bit of daylight. I know the kids will find me eventually, but for now I enjoy the quiet. I hear the ducks greeting each other down by the pond and the rustle in the grass of – well, I really don’t want to know what’s rustling in the grass! Maybe I just need to take more moments like these throughout the day – to relax, to de-stress.
“Come unto Me, all ye that are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.”
The Scripture learned long-ago pops into my mind. Can it be that easy? I know that when I go back in the house I’ll still have a surly teenager, boys that fight better than they get along, a dog intent on destroying every good piece of furniture we own, and bills we can’t pay. But if there’s some rest along the way for my fatigue, then maybe that’s all I need for now. And if that rest can come from Jesus, then so much the better. I think He probably understood heart - weariness as much as anyone during His time on earth.
Crunching over the gravel, Bill’s truck pulls into the driveway. As he gets out, I can tell by the slump of his shoulders that it’s been another rough day. I scoot over and pat the swing beside me. Bill slowly eases his body down. We don’t say anything, but watch as the brilliant sun disappears over the horizon. Bill’s calloused hand slides under mine and we lace fingers.
I feel my heart begin to lighten. Perhaps life isn’t so terrible after all. Sometimes a weary heart just needs the chance to come apart and rest for a little bit, that’s all.
Somewhere in the distance, I hear a mother duck, quacking to her little ones, calling them close for the night.
It’s time to rest.
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