Rest on the Road

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Growing up in rural Missouri, it was a treat when we got a Starbucks within 20 minutes. I gave Starbucks far too much money during high school and massage school. My first real job was even working for a small suburban cafe within an orthopedic doctor’s building that was “Proudly Supplied by Starbucks”. Then, I moved to Maplewood. Maplewood, Missouri is by no means “city living”…but suddenly I found myself within walking distance to multiple local coffee shops and within a 15 minute drive to EVERY good independent roaster/coffee shop St. Louis had to offer. A couple years after that, Andrew entered my life and introduced me to home roasting, tasting notes (who knew coffee could carry oh so many adjectives!), and the world of a quality cup of black coffee. Starbucks began to fall low on my coffee totem pole – begging for only a couple of yearly visits for seasonal calorie binges. Give me all of the peppermint hot chocolate, please!

But now I have a toddler who wants to wake for the day so early that she confuses the night owls. At the same time as we “fall back”. At the same time as her excellent sleeping baby sister decides to be a normal newborn and wake up 3 times before big sister is up and at ’em. Y’all…I am running on EMPTY. Sunday mornings are tough anyway…fellow wives of pastors, please weigh in, please tell me it won’t always be this bad? I feel terrible tearfully hugging my husband at the crack of dawn on a Sunday as he is preparing for the biggest morning of his week. I feel terrible telling him, “Sunday’s just kind of stink…”.  How do you be vulnerable and honest in your utter exhaustion when you know he that already feels a sense of responsibility/weightiness as he is absent from his family but diligently loving and shepherding a flock on the morning of the week that is unfailingly the hardest for every young family? It’s true. They’re HARD. And, the work that he is called to (we are called to) is important, God given/ordained, and I am so very proud of him. That “and” is important. So, we hug and we kiss through my tears and then I shoo him off knowing that it’ll be better for him when he’s not looking at my face anymore and it’ll be better for me when I can “kick in to gear” and do all the things.

But, that’s not what Sundays are for either. Doing all the things? The Lord’s day is about rest. How I long to walk into that building ready to worship, ready to sit at the feet of Jesus…He says to come weary – and boy, do I – but I also tend to come flustered, with a brain that is sinfully churning out worst case scenarios and to do lists and grumbling about lack of sleep or behavioral glitchiness (in myself and in my toddler).

So…yesterday I got the girls dressed, we piled in the car for a drive in an attempt to give my big girl some quiet time before several hours worth of nursery play. I found our nose pointed toward the nearest Starbucks. It may not be independent…but it has a drive thru and some really beautiful cups (though, I must say, this particular design looks a little like Harley Davidson’s ideal Christmas cup #flames). And friends, I actually joked with my husband later that we may need to add Starbucks into our budget as a line item during this very weary season. Or maybe it wasn’t a joke… 😉

Why the “joke”? Because yesterday morning the Lord, in his ever gentle leading, brought this weary mom rest on the road. Both babies slept in the car. A perky employee coaxed a smile out of my grumpy soul. Silence opened my eyes to the sunshine blazing through the chill of the morning. Words of hope serenaded me through the radio as I clocked minutes and miles before worship. Caffeine probably had a little to do with my brighter eyes, but even more than that…I was met and ministered to in a (dirty) black Kia Sportage.  That precious half hour filled me.  He brought me peace and joy that didn’t disappear the moment I parked my car.  He reminded me of his provision in the great and the tiny…the serious and the silly.  He allowed me to intimately register how he SEES me and KNOWS me when I got the dreaded text from the nursery saying that my big girl needed extra mom snuggles on a rare day that Andrew was not preaching or leading the Lord’s Supper and thus was free to hold our sleeping newborn.

“Even when I walk through the dark, scary, lonely places…I won’t be afraid. Because my Shepherd knows where I am. He is here with me. He keeps me safe. He rescues me. He makes me strong and brave.” -Sally Lloyd-Jones in found 

 

“He will tend his flock like a shepherd; he will gather the lambs in his arms; he will carry them in his bosom, and gently lead those that are with young.” – Isaiah 40:11

He’s still meeting me on Monday. And I know he’ll meet me on Tuesday. Because he is faithful. He does not abandon his beloved. He gently leads the weary and the lonely and the scared.

So the Sunday morning Starbucks runs will probably continue. And I think the mama weariness will, as well. But because of yesterday’s rest on the road, my soul has been watered by my sweet Shepherd…and his water never runs out.

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