I’m sitting here bouncing a sick baby to sleep for a much needed nap between two coughing kids on the couch while another sick kid sits on the floor with a puke bucket and we all watch another episode of some stupid Netflix show between breathing treatments and baths. And I am weary.
Three weekends in the past month have featured sick children (who kindly shared their afflictions with me). Sore throats, stomach bug, colds, and some pretty terrifying asthma attacks for the 9yo and 5yo to add some drama to the mix (Thanksgiving Day was almost spent in the ER).
I can tell that my hardworking husband is also weary after several weeks of taking care of sick children in the middle of the night so the baby and I aren’t disturbed.
We have plenty to be grateful for and nothing at all is seriously wrong. In fact, it’s truly silly to complain! We have four generally healthy kids. No major crises have arisen.
But after a few weeks of broken sleep, whinier than usual kids, being cooped up too often inside, too many hours of screen time trying to keep asthmatic kids still and calm, and so much laundry I can feel that weariness seeping into everything, trying to cover over the colorful joy and wonder of life with streaks of grey.
Anxiety over finances, stress over meeting deadlines, and just the hum in my head of all the things that need to happen: doctor’s appointments, grocery runs, more laundry–it’s all feeling louder.
Some of this reaction is just a perfectly normal response to the challenges of the past month. A physical need for sleep, an emotional need for space to recharge, and a news cycle that always sounds apocalyptic. But I wonder how much of it is a need for Advent.
I deleted Facebook and Twitter apps from my phone until the new year. I want to unplug, read books (in print!! Remember those?), reflect, and be still and quiet. I want to take walks on trails with crunchy autumn leaves and take more naps. I want to wake up early and turn on the Christmas tree lights before anyone else wakes up and sip on tea as I pray lauds.
It’s Saturday night and we’re going to do Mass in shifts. Daniel will go to one Mass and then I’ll hit the later Spanish language Mass and while part of me is just tired and wants to go to bed instead, I know that my soul is desperate for the peace of being in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament.
I know that when I walk into the church, dip my fingers in holy water and make the sign of the cross, I’ll experience the grace of the Mass being poured out on me. I will remember the vast ocean of God’s love and mercy. I will be filled with wonder all over again. I will have respite from the weariness of this world. But I have to do the work of getting off the couch and meeting Jesus where He is calling me close.
I’ve been thinking about what I’m longing for this Advent: the peace of the Advent stillness, the joy that comes with seeing this world as a place enchanted by the footsteps of a God who loves us, and the hope that lies in his Incarnation and Resurrection.
He has not abandoned us to be worn thin by the weariness of life. He came to draw us to himself. To give us life in abundance.
A thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices,
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.
Whether you’ve been carrying true sorrows and pain, friends, or just have been feeling worn thin by the weight of the world’s daily worries, Advent is near. It’s time to start preparing for His coming. Let’s do the work of meeting him in his Incarnation so he can pour out his grace on our weary hearts. For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.
Saying a prayer for you! Kids hyped up on asthma meds is no fun, we spent October on steroids. Still recovering from it and keeping up heightened breathing treatments. God Bless!
Perfect timing! Reading this as I rock my own sick baby. Since I’m sick too, I missed mass for the first time in 8 years, but God is so good and always gives us just what we need, which for me means time to rest and heal with my kiddos. Come, Lord Jesus!
Thank you for keeping sick kids home from mass. This is one of the greatest mercies and gifts we can give our fellow weary neighbors! I will pray that your family is better soon. We have certainly had winters like that.
Thank you for this reminder to prepare for Advent! I’m such a procrastinator sometimes.
It always helps me during the thick of illnesses these days (today being one of them) to think of the days when my adult children will call me from far flung places (or post on social media!) to tell me how sick they are. And only my words will be able to help. Without hugs and snuggles.
Also, I read the last line as “For yonder breaks a new and glorious mom.” Which is also truth 🙂 Thank you for the encouragement to turn to God during these times!
Weary hearts indeed. I’m also struggling with feeling overwhelmed and exhausted in the face of relatively small trials in my own life. Healthy children, all physical needs met, loving family. But it does feel so dark lately.
Thank you for this reflection and encouragement, Haley. A blessed Advent season to you and your family!
Rebecca Millette says
Thank you, Haley! I’m fighting back stupid (ha!) tears as I read this because you hit me with a much-needed punch. It’s just Monday woes, but I want to throw in the towel. You’ve reminded me to turn again and begin the physical, but especially spiritual journey we need so much to that tiny babe. Thanks! Prayers for speedy recoveries.
Tracey Kruger says
A blessing, just what I needed to read. I hope that you are able to relax into Advent, and have some respite from the hectic pace of a life with young children. Best wishes for health for all of you.
Lovely reminder. <3
Hope springs eternal.
Needed this today. Thanks. <3
Praying you're all returned to health quickly and uneventfully.
I’m so grateful for your post today. It was the perfect reminder that when I’m struggling with everyday weariness, going to mass (preferably one where I’m not wrestling children to be still) is the perfect medicine. Thank you!
Beautiful post. Thank you.
Mike A says
Thank you for being able to see the Hand of God in the challenges of your life. Me we who read your posts receive the same Grace to see how God is preparing us to enter into the Advent Season! Pax
Oh, this was exactly what I needed. We’ve had a few really tough years down and are just plain worn out. I love your thought of deleting social media from my phone for the season. Last time I did that it was after I had lost my mother unexpectedly, and I just needed to retreat a bit. It was really refreshing.
Prayers for wellness for you all!
This hit me right in the feels. I am right there with you with my fourth newborn and it’s all a little much with homeschooling, kids with colds and a school semester of my own to finish. I need Jesus to come and quiet my heart.
Maurie Roselaine says
Thank you so much for this! My three kids and I have been sick on and off for the past month (including my baby, who is just a week younger than yours, I think!). Just got home from the doctor with a strep diagnosis for myself and I am so tired. This was a much needed reminder.