Exhausted mom real life confession: I haven’t used an alarm clock more than five or six times in the last 3 years. My children have replaced that role in my life. If you have older children, you have likely gone a much longer time than I have without an alarm clock. We’re on the job immediately and don’t stop until we close our eyes again at night. It’s an awesome job, but also an exhausting one. If you are unlucky enough to get a non-sleeper baby from the get-go (like me), you may never get more than two to three hours of sleep at a time for months, maybe years. Even if you have a good sleeper, you are busy from sun-up to sun-down whether you are a working mom, stay-at-home mom, or somewhere in between. Children of all ages cause us to lose sleep, for different reasons as they age, but lost sleep is lost sleep. Add to that the 5,431 things we have to open, clean, repair, find, cook, doctor, play and care for each and every day. We have limitations on how much our bodies can endure and there are days when our bodies are pushed to the limit, if not beyond it. That kind of exhaustion can be maddening.
Did you know that Jesus experienced physical limitations too? Yes, he was fully God (John 1:1) so he didn’t really have limitations but he was also fully man (John 1:14) and bound himself to an earthly body, choosing to not break free from it until his resurrection so that he could be the ultimate sacrifice for our sins. The gospel accounts tell us about some of what he endured while on Earth. Let’s read one such passage from Luke:
“1 Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, left the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, 2 where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. He ate nothing during those days, and at the end of them he was hungry. 3 The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread.” 4 Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone.'” 5 The devil led him up to a high place and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. 6 And he said to him, “I will give you all their authority and splendor; it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to. 7 If you worship me, it will all be yours.” 8 Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Worship the LORD your God and serve him only.'” 9 The devil led him to Jerusalem and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down from here. 10 For it is written: “‘He will command his angels concerning you to guard you carefully; 11 they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.'” 12 Jesus answered, “It is said: ‘Do not put the LORD your God to the test.'” 13 When the devil had finished all this tempting, he left him until an opportune time.”
For forty days, Jesus fasted and was tempted by the Devil. And boy, was he hungry by the end! Can you imagine walking around in the desert heat during the day and the cold at night with no food in your belly for forty days? I feel weak and light headed after skipping just one meal. Not to mention I get cranky and no one wants to be around me. One of the first questions my husband asks me if I am grumpy, is if I have eaten recently.
Not only was Jesus starving, he had to deal with the nagging, manipulative goading of the devil himself. That fact makes the constant requests and chatter of our precious children seem more manageable. He was probably stumbling, sweating, and wanted to eat a chicken leg, then curl up and sleep for ages. Don’t think for a second that Jesus doesn’t understand our exhaustion.
So how do we cope with being this new level of exhausted mom tired? We do what Jesus did. Abide in God’s word. He was tempted when his exhaustion and hunger was at its peak. And each time, without wavering, he quoted scripture. Psalm 119:11 says, “ I have hidden your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.” That is exactly what Jesus did and it is exactly what we must do as well. His words are our fuel (Psalm 119:28), our hope (Romans 15:4), a light for our path. (Psalm 119:105). When we aren’t doing this, reading the Bible and memorizing scripture seems like a chore to add to the rest of our long list. But trust me, when you start abiding in God’s word regularly, you will wonder what you ever did without it (Psalm 42:1-2).
Here’s your challenge: get into God’s word daily however you can in the chaos of real life. Listen to an audio bible while cooking dinner, put verses on your bathroom mirrors and fridge doors to work on memorizing them throughout the day, read the Bible to your kids for five minutes during dinner time. Like any new habit, it will be tough at first, but you can do it momma! You need this to truly find rest in Christ and break free from the exhausted mom life.
This is part of a series called The “I’m Exhausted” devotional. Click here to read more of the series. Messy Tired Love devotionals connect everyday mom moments to the truth of the gospel. Learn more here.