It’s All About Ewe

“So, to review,” said my doctor at an annual check-up, “you’ve had a death in the family, your husband was out of work for four months, you’ve moved to a new town, and you had major surgery. All in one year. You’ve had a lot of stress in your life.”

I looked at her with amazement—not because she had figured out that I was stressed but because I had not figured it out. I had been bumbling along, trying to live at my normal pace while all this was going on. And I hadn’t even told her everything: allergies, homeschooling three children, heartbreak in our church family, trouble with extended family, and so forth.

AllAboutEwe

The effects of stress had caught up to me: sleepless nights, little patience, high expectations of myself and my children, a lack of humor, and a soul in anguish. My physical and emotional energy were dead in the water. Something had to change.

Maybe you are experiencing stress as well. Have any of these have been going on in your life?

  • Nursing a sick family member
  • Recovering from a surgery or the birth of a baby
  • Lost someone dear to you through death, a move, or strife
  • Trying to lose weight
  • Recovering from a difficult childhood
  • Financial woes
  • Marital difficulties
  • Rebellious teens
  • Experiencing an extended illness
  • Have someone living with you for a while
  • An older child just moved away or gone to college
  • You or your husband lost a job
  • Homeschooling with little or no support from your husband or extended family
  • Trying to learn algebra so you can teach it to your kids (You can laugh now. That one is supposed to be funny.)

All these things are legitimate causes of stress, and this is just the short list!

Jesus constantly surprises me with the account of Mary and Martha in Luke 10. He actually chides Martha for being too involved in things that distract her from the main item on the menu—himself. Unlike our modern mindset, Jesus does not say anything negative to Mary, the woman who looks as if she’s doing absolutely nothing for the good of anyone; He simply tells Martha that Mary has chosen the better thing—taking time to listen to Him.

This image melts my heart and gives me peace. Isaiah likens Jesus to a shepherd and us, his sheep. Then he adds something beautiful about how He treats mothers (that would be us—or ewe): He gently leads those that are with young. He leads gently. Gently.

The expectations that our children, society, churches, and guilt-ridden selves have of us are not the expectations God has for mothers who are home with their young.

What did Jesus expect of the women he knew? When He traveled this earth, Jesus often was accompanied by an auxiliary crowd, many of them women who provided for his needs. Can you imagine Jesus being perturbed with one of those dear women and rebuking her, “Hey, I needed that tunic this morning! You should have washed it yesterday”? Or how about this one: “I know you’ve got a family of your own hanging around here somewhere, but do you think you could get that soup made on time tonight? I’m a busy guy.”

I cannot imagine either one of those statements coming from Jesus’ lips, and, most likely, neither can you. Is it possible He’s changed his mind and is in heaven demanding more, more, more of us now?

When I first read this verse, I cried with relief. Paul writes this about giving gifts to God: “For if the willingness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has, not according to what he does not have” (2 Corinthians 8:12, emphasis added). It seems He is not demanding more of us but is appreciative of whatever we give.

And this was exactly His attitude toward those women who helped Him on earth. Why would His attitude change with us?

Live in your own time frame, not someone else’s. Feel free to acknowledge that when you step back to recuperate, recharge, or renew, it is necessary. Let yourself heal. Give yourself time. I gave myself permission to do less and to focus on the things that were most important to me: my husband, my children, and my spiritual healing and health. If a new activity didn’t fit into any of those categories, I avoided it.

It is no sin to take time to cope. It is no sin to “just” raise our children and take care of our husbands.

Do not regret the time and energy it takes to be a wife, a mother, a teacher. Allow Jesus to lead you gently.

 

 

SharonWatsonSharon Watson is the author of Jump In, Apologia’s popular middle school writing curriculum, and its sequel The Power in Your Hands: Writing Nonfiction in High School. She and her husband homeschooled their three children for 18 years and are still fairly sane. You can download free writing lessons by subscribing to her fun Middle School Prompts, engaging High School Prompts, or her practical Sharon’s Blog for moms.

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