Exhilarating Exhaustion

The term ‘exhausted’ has taken a whole new meaning lately.

Before kids, the sweat on my brow was a good precursor to the experience. It was also the first feeling I exuded while kicking off my heels after a 9 hour workday. Yet the moment was always fleeting and often easily contained.

Now that I’m in charge of raising a child and managing a household, I realize exhaustion does not begin in the limbs. It is more than a feeling. It’s a mindset.

And today? Yes. I can honestly say I’m exhausted.

Photo by redcargurl

But I’ve made it. Time to unwind. I snuggle down in my favorite chair, feet up on the matching ottoman, favorite afghan draped meticulously. The TV in front of me reveals small fingerprints on the blank screen. Mozart’s playing gently in the background. My ‘Counting to 1000 Gifts’ journal is in hand, opened to the place where my next gift will lie. I take a cleansing breath, hoping to find energy deep down to think. I’d forgotten to journal my gifts today. I somehow need to reflect and try to capture the joyous moments I failed to see.

I’ve got nothing. I’m blank.

Think, Nikki, think. Don’t let the day go down as spent. Make it worth something. Anything.

My eyes instinctively close with the next deep breath, a prayer seeps through my lips as I utter a plea for help.

And I can’t help but wonder: Did I fail today? Did I waste it?

I’m flipping through my journal now, reminiscent of the gifts I’ve been writing down for months:

  • Late night giggles
  • Kitchen sink empty
  • A pride-less apology
  • Laughter and its ability to heal
  • The familiar feel of ‘ivories’ under my fingertips

Such simple little things become big in the sight of grace. God’s gifts. And I smile wide.

I’m reminded that stepping back, changing perspectives makes us see the big things God does more clearly. For my God does things in a big way. I need to make myself lower, smaller, to even see but a glimpse of His grace.

“To receive God’s gifts, to live exalted and joy filled, isn’t a function of straining higher, harder, doing more, carrying long the burdens of the super-pharisees or ultra-saints. Receiving God’s gifts is a gentle, simple movement of stooping lower.”
~ Ann Voskamp One Thousand Gifts pg 171

Father, I’ve been so busy being consumed with me that I’ve failed to see You today. No wonder I’m so exhausted. Forgive me as only You can. I’m convinced You were with me every step of the way. Thank You. For always being here for me. I don’t tell You that enough…

And suddenly, my pen flows freely on the page. Receiving the gifts God had already given me this day:

  • An encouraging smile from a stranger
  • Discovering new Christmas music
  • My boy’s excitement with every Christmas decoration unwrapped
  • Simple ornaments telling our story, opting me to share Yours
  • Hubby cleaning the kitchen. No questions asked
  • Tiny fingerprints on the TV
  • Turning exhaustion into exhilaration — through God’s grace

For all is grace as all can transfigure. (One Thousand Gifts pg 101)

My energy is renewed. Exhaustion’s transformed into exhilaration as I sit in my chair bursting with joy. My God was with me every step of the way today. Giving gifts. He never lets me down for He is always good and I am always loved.

Yes, exhaustion starts in the mind.
And if we’re not careful, seeps into the heart, the gateway to your soul.

I’m going to keep striving to stoop lower. To slow down as being rushed always empties a soul. May I keep this perspective so I continue to see my God in a big way. To God be the glory.

How about you? What gifts were given to you today? I’d love to hear. 

Simply striving,


Join us for Gratituesday at Heavenly Homemakers!

I’m linking this post up with:


21 thoughts on “Exhilarating Exhaustion

  1. I love, love, love this. Thank you so much for linking up and reminding us that there is always something to be thankful for and that the little things really are the BIG things.

    It is renewing to remember and focus on our blessings!

    • Thank you so much, Theresa, for your kind words and stopping by. I’m always so blessed by Thankful Thursdays.
      Renewing. Remember. Focus. Blessings. Yes, yes, yes, and yes!
      Thank YOU for blessing me today!

    • Thank you, Becca, for stopping by and taking the time comment. I’m glad I’m not the only one who’s felt this way. And now that I see that, I’m going to strive to avoid it. Feel free to let me know if you have any tips on how to do that!

  2. Love Love Love your entry today! I am trying to discipline myself to write in my journal for 1,000 gifts; and I am just not consistent! But this is a newe day, a new month and I am determined to do this daily! Thankyou for the encouragement, I like everyone else, have too much to be greatful for!

    • Thanks for taking the time to comment, Helen! Yes–each day is filled with new mercies. What a blessing! You and I are striving for the same thing — consistency. daily discipline. I believe we can do it!
      I appreciate you following along on my journey. To God be the glory.

  3. I’m visiting today from Thankful Thursday at 3 Thinking Mothers. I really enjoyed looking around your site, and reading some of your recent posts! I’m so very glad to “meet” you!

  4. Hi Nikki:

    Reading your post is a gift for I am coming off an exhausting week with training on a new software program at my job. I love how you turned the tiny handprints on the TV screen into a gift – thinking of those precious little hands that placed them there.


    • Oh Joan, I’m so thankful Friday is here for you. Thank you for taking the time to stop by and leave such kind words. And thank you for blessing me by being able to link up to your lovely blog!
      To God be the glory

  5. Pingback: The Ultimate Power Nap « simplystriving

  6. Visiting from Thought Provoking Thursday…

    What an inspiring, encouraging and uplifting post! A word that kept going over and over in my mind as I scrolled down your post was “perspective”. When we keep things in perspective, thankfulness comes much easier.

    Enjoyed my visit here…

  7. I, too, think that exhaustion is in the mind. Remembering the gifts and being grateful for them is so important!
    I read the “Enjoy the little things in life…” quote on another blog very recently. It is a common theme this week 🙂
    Thanks for sharing with Three Thinking Mothers!!

  8. Pingback: You Can Have Me « simplystriving

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