Words for Weary Mothers

Repeat these words after me: It is not my job to run the world.

He makes me to lie down in green pastures.

--Psalm 23:2

Moms, did the title perk you up faster than your morning


? I hope so, because I'll bet you could use a little rest just about now. By the time you've got the house humming and the kids running, by the time the bills are paid, meals are made, and life begins to look orderly, it all starts over again. You need a break, don't you? You're not alone. Read the consequences of the burden; then guess the cause:


  • It afflicts 70 million Americans and is faulted for 38,000 deaths each year.

  • The condition annually costs the U.S. $70 billion worth of productivity.

  • Teenagers suffer from it. Studies show that 64 percent of teens blame it for poor school performance.

  • Middle agers face it. Researchers say the most severe cases occur between ages 30 and 40.

  • Senior citizens are afflicted by it. One study suggests that the condition impacts 50 percent of the over sixty-five population.

  • Treatments involve everything from mouth guards to herbal teas to medication.


    Any idea what's being described? Chemical abuse? Divorce? Long sermons? None of those answers are correct, though the last one was a good hunch. The answer may surprise you. Insomnia. America can't get to sleep.


    For most of my life I secretly snickered at the thought of sleep difficulties. My problem was not in going to sleep. My problem was staying awake. But a few years ago I went to bed one night, closed my eyes, and nothing happened. I didn't fall asleep. Rather than slow to a halt, my mind kicked into high gear. A thousand and one obligations rushed at me. Midnight passed, and I was still awake. I drank some milk, returned to bed. I was still awake.

    I woke up my wife, Denalyn, using the blue ribbon of dumb questions, "Are you awake?" She told me to quit thinking about things. So I did. I quit thinking about things and started thinking about people. But as I thought of people, I thought of what those people were doing. They were sleeping. That made me mad and kept me awake. Finally, somewhere in the early hours of the morning, having been initiated into the fraternity of 70 million sleepless Americans, I dozed off.


    I don't snicker at the thought of sleep difficulties anymore. Nor do I question the inclusion of the verse about rest in the 23rd Psalm. People with too much work and too little sleep step over to the baggage claim of life and grab the duffel bag of weariness. You don't carry this one. You don't hoist it onto your shoulder and stride down the street. You drag it as you would a stubborn St. Bernard. Weariness wearies.

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