Can't I Just Get a Little Break?

I don't know if you've ever seen the caricature going around the web about the mom who just wants a few minutes of peace and quiet but can't even find it in the bathroom. I laugh at this because it's so true. Whether you're a mom or not, there are seasons of life in which peace and rest seem hard to come by.

When I become tired and weary, little phrases start floating through my mind and sometimes out my mouth. Things like:

  • "I deserve some down time."
  • "I just need rest."
  • "Can't I just get two minutes alone?"

When my husband walks through the door, I'm ready and waiting for him to give me the break I deserve. I start to think, It's the least he could do. I've kept his children alive, clothed, and fed all day, after all.

Sometimes we feel entitled to big things—sex, alcohol, extravagant indulgence. I see the danger in these things and think, Those aren't a huge temptation. I'm doing okay.

I'm learning to be thankful for the interruptions to "me time," because they send me to the only One who can truly give me rest.

But I indulge in far more subtle areas. Caffeine. "Me time." Netflix. Five uninterrupted minutes with my phone in the bathroom. There are many other possibilities—shopping, chick flicks, romance novels, phone games.

Understand, I'm not saying there's anything inherently wrong with having a cup of coffee or checking Twitter or watching a TV show. I enjoy all these things.

The problem is when I'm looking to these things to give me rest. I find myself thinking, It's been a hard week, I think I'll just settle down and watch an episode of a British period drama (which, in my case, turns into a whole season in one week). Then I'll feel rested and refreshed.

But then the kids wake early from their naps, or my phone conversation is interrupted, or we don't have time to pull through the coffee shop drive-through. I quickly think, Ugh, can't I just get a break? Is it too much to ask for one little luxury?

God gives good gifts. I'm convinced coffee is one of them. A long phone conversation with a friend, an enjoyable story, a long bath—these are all good things. But they aren't ultimate, and ultimately they can't satisfy.

I'm learning to be thankful for the interruptions to "me time," because they send me to the only One who can truly give me rest. Don't get me wrong. I don't always respond with truth and love. Sometimes I'm frustrated and wonder why I can't just have what I deserve—a little break.

My weariness can lead me either to escape my troubles temporarily through indulgence, or it can lead me to true rest.

And then it hits me. I get what I don't deserve. My Father has promised to give me rest. He has promised to give me all I need. He has poured out His wrath on His Son instead of on me. I know only love and grace.

In Philippians 4, Paul wrote to the church at Philippi, thanking them for their generosity toward him. He says at one point they were the only church who gave to meet his physical needs. Knowing the sacrifice they made, Paul encourages them by pointing them to the One who cares for them:

My God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus (Phil. 4:19).

Like the Philippians, I can sacrifice my time and resources without worry. I don't have to demand "me time." God meets every need I have, through Christ. My weariness can lead me either to escape my troubles temporarily through indulgence, or it can lead me to true rest.

Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken (Ps. 62:5, 6 NIV).

To what do you run for rest and relief? Have you, like me, forgotten where true rest comes from? How can you remember to find rest in God alone?

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About the Author

Catherine Parks

Catherine Parks

During nap times and between loads of laundry at her home in Nashville, TN, Catherine Parks is a writer. At other times of the day you can find her either pretending to be a cheetah wrangler with her two small kiddos, or trying to convince her husband, Erik, to become a coffee drinker. Catherine has a BA in English literature from Bryan College and has finally put the degree to work in A Christ-Centered Wedding.

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