Lessons in the Swing: succumb to rest

Be still, my soul, the Lord is on your side…


Eliot has been having a rough time with napping lately. The transition to rest comes with tears, sobs, and screams of resistance.

This morning we placed him in his swing– his favorite napping spot –and I sat in front of him on the floor, my hand on his belly, singing those words for the millionth time.

It’s always been one of my favorites. Funny enough, I never can remember all of the words, but I remember the important ones, the ones that took on a new, intimate, and fruitful meaning after Eliot was born. To this sweet boy I sing of stilling the soul and remembering that the Lord’s allegiance is with Him. The Lord fights on his side.

This morning I sang to him a song of surrender. I sang so that he would let his guard down, close his eyes, and fall into the sweet rest that his body needed. I sang one of my favorite Sara Groves songs to him. It’s gonna be alright; I can tell by your eyes that you’re not getting any sleep. But it’s gonna be alright, I believe.

I believe.

Eliot finally stopped wincing, his face calmed and softened, and he drifted. I stopped singing, because, at last, he was still.

This is my problem, and Eliot and I seem to have it in common right now: the proclivity toward avoiding rest. Only mine is in spirit, his in body.

It’s always a wrestling within me; lately I feel so much more like the daughter than I ever have. Pleading with my Father, stomping around, being a brat…not letting His love break and mend me.

Just as Eliot cried and resisted my aid to sleep, I resist His aid to be at peace, to be calm, to rest. My soul is worked up and flustered, aggravated and confused.

Be still, my soul, the Lord is on your side.

Travis and I talked about the conscious choice to allow Christ’s love to be placed over us as a robe of protection, peace, and security.

I admit, I’ve been throwing it back in His face the moment it touches my shoulders.

I never thought I’d see so much of my own childishness in the actions of my 5-month old.

In about 1 hour, Eliot will wake up rested and ready to eat, play, and laugh again. When I allow my Father to give me rest, to bring me out of myself and into peace, I wake into newness.

He is always the same good Father, but today I must choose His words, His singing voice over my resistance, pride and shame.

The Lord your God is with you, He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing. -Zephaniah 3:17

2 thoughts on “Lessons in the Swing: succumb to rest

  1. Well said! And Zephaniah 3:17 became a favorite verse of mine when I was a young mom facing challenges in my soul. It was freedom to know that God instead of being displeased, actually delighted in me. I certainly agree that parenting reveals the flaws in our character…giving us an opportunity to correct them perhaps just in the nick of time to help our little ones. Love you.

  2. I am glad you are writing. I can’t wait to sit and read your thoughts with J. Eliot when he’s older… continue to reflect and share. I cherish your words so very much!

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