Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Other Side of Exhaustion

I think I have walked around feeling tired since the day I had a child. Who knew these little creatures didn't arrive ready to sleep through the night? I was lambasted by the constant demands of parenting. 

It wasn't just nights with many interruptions, it was the constant responsibility for a caring for a little person's physical needs, cultivating their spiritual life, and feeding their voracious minds. 

Usually this care is my delight. I like interacting with each one as I get them dressed and do their hair (although some days neither of those things happen). We love nothing more than dramatic readings around the supper table. Flash cards give me an opportunity to joke around with Sophie and connect.

Kids soak it all up. The problem enters when I feel completely dry, worn-out, with not one more ounce in me that can be squeezed out.

Many moms and dads can relate. Exhaustion existed for me pre-Calvin but it was taken to a whole new level once Calvin arrived. The constant care every day and every night made us physically exhausted. Stress was always intertwined with every activity and nearly every thought.

I've struggled with God many a time over exhaustion. Begged for a night's sleep. Prayed for strength to go through another day of all the medical and care issues while struggling to keep the rest of the brood out of complete chaos and insurrection! 

Maybe you're exhausted. Chronic illness and pain can constantly rob you of sleep, leaving you to drag through the days. Young kids are wonderful but their care can be exhausting. Maybe you're a caregiver to someone else. 

My hands are tied most every day with Calvin. It frustrates me. I am sick and tired of being sick and tired :). I have a lot of ideas and goals but no time or energy to accomplish any of them. I want to take my other kids places, I want to home school, I want to take older ladies out for lunch. The list is endless. And so is my pity party at times. 

Whatever you situation is, I want to recommend a resource that has completely changed how I view exhaustion, I'm Exhausted by David Powlison. It is published by CCEF (Christian Counseling and Educational Foundation) and is part of a larger series. It can be purchased here. It's not a self help book, rather it fixes your eyes on the Lord and His purposes for everything in a believer's life, even exhaustion.

It's just a short little booklet but one of the most valuable resources I've come across for this issue. Plus, who can read a massive volume when they're exhausted? In the next few days I'll post a bit from this resource, it has changed my perspective so much that I want to share it with you, in hopes it will help some of you. 

In the meantime here is Calvin with his haircut, side view for ya. No he's not sleeping, his eyes always close because of low muscle tone. I wish he was sleeping by this time of night! But he is awfully cute, eh?

 Ok, maybe not so cute anymore...

 And now, for fun, Evie's recent drawings.

Is this us? So flattering. I love kid's first renditions of people.


Rachel said...

So thankful you've found this booklet. Most books that CCEF publishes are amazing. Our ladies bible study took Running Scared by Ed Welch and I'm in the middle of taking How People Change by Paul Tripp and Timothy Lane. Both are life changing.
Calvin looks so grown up with his hair cut. :)

KarenKTeachCamb said...

Thanks again for yet another great post. Thanks for helping me put things back in perspective! I think I'm exhausted, but I only have my treasures for 7 hours a day, and then I can send them home! I think I probably don't really know the meaning of the word. So glad you've found something that helped you gain some perspective too! Thanks for sharing the photos, and especially Evie's artwork! Your boy is cute, even when he's screaming, and your smile is just as I remember it. Thanks Kara. Love you. Karen

Karen Van Zweden said...

Dear Kara,
How I enjoyed my few minutes of holding Calvin last eve. when I snuck him from your sister! He is a precious little boy! I so enjoy your posts--they always lift my spirits.God bless you for all the ministering you do to others.