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.
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.
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