Five Minute Friday is a five-minute free writing blog linkup hosted by Gypsy Mama here. The word of the day is "Rest".
When I was in college I babysat for a mom in Chicago who had two little girls. The marriage was on the rocks and the girls were undisciplined, and outwardly the woman had an enviable lifestyle but inwardly she was obviously grasping at straws to find some stability and emotional health.
Once when I was with them the girls asked to read the book The Giving Tree, obviously knowing that their mom would react to it. She read it and when she got to the end she read it through tears, and from the girls' reactions it was obvious that she always did. The book is a book about a tree that loves this little boy. The boy is with the tree and plays on and in the tree, but over the course of the book you realize that relationship is a one-way relationship - the tree keeps giving and the boy keeps taking. At the end the tree is an empty stump.
This sweet mom came to tears because the book was symbolic to her of her life as a mother and wife - giving and giving and feeling like no one was giving back and that she increasingly had nothing left to give. Isn't that how so many of us feel?
That's why our society loves moving like Eat Pray Love - we feel like we're used, we're unhappy, and finally we have to sit back and fill ourselves up. I doesn't fill up, though, everything passes and then we are empty again.
You're probably wondering where all this is going and how it relates to the five minute friday word, "rest". Rest reminds me of all of this because I relate to it all now. I am a wife, a mother, I work full-time, currently several of my very close friends are in chaos, and so.... it's easy to be drained.
And then I remember "The Giving Tree" and how I told my mom about the crying mother's reaction to the story. My mom got serious and (as a wife and mother of six) said that it's true, as a mother you are somewhat like the giving tree in the story, but the difference is that as a believer, as a Christian, you never give without filling back up. The Holy Spirit in us is what fills us and fuels our giving. We are never empty. We love with His love, which is unlimited.
"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest"