A long time ago, waaaaaaay before children, my cousin had a baby, quit her job, and became the most rockin’ stay-at-home mom I ever knew (next to my step-mom). She’d invite me over, let me play with her cuter-than-cute baby, feed me sandwiches, and even listen as I went on and on about how “busy” my 25-year old life was. Bless her.
Then one day she went and said the incredulous. You guys, it was like she opened up her mouth and trash came out.
“Jonna,” she said, “Life is just SO BUSY as a mom!”
And I was like, Why? You only have ONE kid, AND you don’t even work! (Yep. I actually thought those things. Please don’t hate me; I was young.)
Maybe you’ve never thought those things about a mom, but maybe you have thought them about someone else — someone whose life seemed so very different from your own. Because it’s hard to “get” what you haven’t lived yet, right?
Well, soon enough, I GOT it. Big time.
Five years later, I had my first daughter; and even though she was an easy baby, I STILL couldn’t find the time to do the laundry, keep my house clean, and get together with friends. (But I ONLY had one kid, right?! For the love.)
Then my second daughter came, and then my third…and everything just seemed to topple on top of each other like stacks of deli meat! I started to feel like a Triple Decker Mom Sandwich: life was just TOO big to tackle without a knife.
Because there was (and still is!) the carpooling and the activities, the cooking and the butts to wipe, the appointments and the dishes to wash, the homework and the school projects. So with all this “stuff” going on, it became easy for me to get wrapped up in my own “sandwich” and forget to put down “the meat” and just relax!
Well, I am here to tell you ladies, there IS a better way! And it’s called REST. (Only you can’t spell it with a “but”; you have to spell it with Zzzzzzzs. :))
It’s called the “Seven Sacred Pauses”.
This strategy is based on Macrina Wiederkehr’s book, Seven Sacred Pauses. Its basic premise is that our bodies naturally require rejuvenation (or short “pauses”) throughout the day based on the vibrancy of the sun. These reflective pauses should happen, then, when we feel the most depleted and in need of God.
For me, these times seem to happen right when I wake up and around 3-5pm (which happen to be times when I’m the MOST in need of coffee and the least likely to “mom” well. Just sayin’). Your times might be different, though, so here’s what I want you to do:
1) Ask yourself two questions:
- What times of the day do I feel the most stressed?
- Who or what triggers my stress?
Take note and then move on to Step 2.
2) Set an alarm on your phone at those specific times of day.
Macrina suggests that we reflect on certain themes throughout the day (for example, at dawn, we are to PRAISE God), so if you’d like those themes and verses just download my handy-dandy cheat sheet here! Otherwise, when that alarm goes off, JUST PRAY!
3) Do this for two weeks and see how you feel!
I’ve done this with all seven pauses and I’ve done it with two, and BOTH ways have helped me see God in ALL areas of my #momlife. This has therefore made me a more attentive and intentional mom, simply because I was taking the time out to reflect on the ONE who matters most: our Heavenly Father.
So try it out! You can always add more meat to your sandwich later; but for now, just put it down (no really, put it down), take a deep breath and pray (it only takes two minutes), and then go back to making that Mom Sandwich of yours. I promise you, it will taste better anyway when you add in a little prayer and whole lot of God.
Jonna Meidal is a mother to 3 girls who seeks to parent them by the fruits of the spirit (and her Quiet Hat). She’s been to 20 countries (yay!), loves to write & laugh (a LOT), & can’t get through the day without eating popcorn (duh!). You can read more of what she’s been up to at jonnameidal.com or follow her adventures on Instagram @quiet.hat.adventures.