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The Single Best Way to Refill Your Cup, Mommy,

You might need to sit down for this one.



There is nothing like plopping into a chair, kicking off your shoes, and just breathing after a long morning, afternoon, or day. It doesn’t matter the time. As “Awesome,” “ND,” and all other Moms of children with special abilities, finding the time to sit can be scarce. Ok, let’s be honest, sometimes it’s outright impossible. We go from moving a mile a minute to crashing in our beds, praying that sleep comes quickly because we know the time to wake and do it all over again is coming right after we manage to close our eyes. 


But on the rare occasion we get to sit, there is still so much to do. Let’s face it: we’re spent. We managed to work the day, only to work the night at home. And I’m not talking about the housework, or our own homework, or the work from work that bleeds into what’s supposed to be our personal time. I’m talking about the work of taking care of our children, helping to meet whatever need they have to grow and to live and to just be. And no one truly knows what that experience is like except other moms like us. 


Don’t get me wrong, our kids aren’t all the same, but do we ever share some of the same experiences, the same sentiments, the same worries and woes, the same hardships, the same frustrations… There is a sect of motherhood that is solely ours. And there is absolutely no time to sit. 


That’s why some of us (and of course I’m talking to myself) have such a hard time when we’re told to go sit down. We become like some of our children, where sitting - not to mention sitting still - is seemingly impossible. The setting and surroundings must be comfortable. We need the right surface. Sometimes we rock. Like when we eat; we have to get up and move around, then come back to the table. We have to flap our hands. We have to bounce in our chair or bump a person close by. 


We must keep moving. And we do.







That’s how we “mastered”the method of multi-tasking.We learned from the best:our kids!! 





But therein lies another lesson: even our children who struggle at times to sit when they’re asked, know when they are exhausted. They know that if they continue, they will grow weak, or be overwhelmed, or just that there is more of a need to be replenished.


I wish it was that easy for me to recognize.


I will never forget the season I was made to sit down. No, not situation. SEASON. In my mind there was no time to sit.


I was out of work; told my contract would be renewed only for it to never come to fruition. No income meant I couldn’t provide the way I felt was necessary. It meant I couldn’t come and go as I felt I needed or as I pleased. It meant my time was being used in ways that I felt was completely unorthodox and seemingly unproductive. And really, I felt like I was failing. 


I was being told “No” at every turn. 


  • No, you cannot travel for this contract because you don’t have a village to help you with your son during the week… 


BUT the income from this position will drastically change all lives connected if I can just get the chance. 


  • No, you cannot have this alternate job because it requires you to be available during these hours …


BUT I have to get my son to and from school during those hours because no buses or before or after care are

available.


  • No, you cannot enroll your son at this aftercare center because pre-pandemic, he required additional supervision, and we don’t have the staff … 


BUT he has grown and is so much more independent and capable of adapting to the group expectations. 


  • No, you cannot have peace in your relationship because you still have growing to do...


BUT I’m working on me and learning what I need. I’m doing my best. 


  • No, you cannot have support with your child in the classroom because we lack the commitment of challenging students and non-comparison between them… 


BUT I have a whole IEP that is designed to support him academically, behaviorally, and socially that doesn’t overextend you.


I was “rejected” so much, I thought it was my season of “No”. The more I heard it, the more I felt like I needed to do. 

Sit down? How? Why? What was that going to do for me?


The Bible held the answer. (Of course). 


ACCORDING TO SCRIPTURE




Every Gospel writer gave some account of Christ feeding the multitude. And what was the first command that He gave? 


“Make them all [the people] sit down.” 


(NKJV, Matt 14:19-21; Mark 6:39-44; 

Luke 9:14-17, John 6:10-14) 





The fascinating thing for me isn’t the miracle of the loaves and the fish. It was what Jesus did with them: 


He took them, blessed them, broke them, and gave them.


And with what His disciples saw as so little, it was not only enough to feed five thousand men (which gives no count to the women and children also present), but the scripture says they were FILLED. They were SATISFIED. And then, they were sent on their way.


Jesus knew that they could not continue after they had followed him for three days without nourishment. He knew that if they tried, they would faint before they made it to a neighboring town, let alone their homes. He recognized a need that 



How many times in our lives do we keep going and we become troubled?


Tired?


Too stressed to recognize we’re blessed? We feel like as Mom, we must be everything, to everyone, all the time. But Mommy, if you will just sit down, you, too, can be filled. 


The reason we tire is because we’re continuing to press forward when we’ve been asked to stop.


We experience frustration because we’re trying to make away instead of yielding to the Way-Maker


We become like our children: stubborn and determined to do it our own way. And while we might make some progress, we tire ourselves out because we refuse to simply sit down. 



What I didn’t understand was the reason for that season. I thought I needed to learn how to handle rejection because I


was taught (and therefore expected) to keep going. I thought I needed to put my head down and push through because whenever I would slow down, I was considered lazy, unmotivated, and ultimately deserving of my struggles. Life will condition us to keep going and we completely miss the moment, the lesson, and the opportunity to hear what God is saying to us.


I wasn’t in the realm of “NO;” I was in a season I was being made to sit down. And if I had done it sooner, I can’t help but wonder how much easier my circumstances may have been. Because by the time I got moving again, my son was in a summer program that was completely paid for, was enrolled in a new school that was not only close to, but his bus would pick him up right in front of, our home.




Not once did I have a bill that couldn’t get paid or an unmet need for anything during that time. I had not only one contract lined up that was perfect for me and my baby’s new schedule, but another better paying one, that I got to set my own schedule. I had a past client reach out to me that I hadn’t anticipated working with again who wanted my services only. I was more stable in who I was mentally, emotionally, physically, financially, and spiritually; and for MONTHS my cup was overflowing. 


Believe it or not, it still is. I am full. And I’m going about my way. But first, I had to submit to the will ofGod. I needed to sit down. 


It doesn’t mean I haven’t had circumstances arise that aren’t challenging. I’m facing one of my greatest yet, today. It doesn’t mean I know exactly what is going to happen next because I don’t. But fear is of no concern of mine because I trust that all I must do is surrender to God’s will, as He ALWAYS provides.


God can TAKE whatever circumstance, situation, or season you may be in from you. He can BLESS it in away that guarantees overflow for you. He can BREAK it so that it will flow through you without overwhelm. He can GIVE it back to you in a way that you couldn’t have planned even if you tried. 


And you will be filled. 


You will be satisfied. 





But first, please, Mommy, sit down! 


I am your S.E.L.F. Coach, Tiffany Shoemaker, helping solo special needs moms shift from sacrificing their well-being to caring for themselves as they do their children through self-awareness, self-acceptance, and self-advocacy.


Are you ready to STAND EMPOWERED and LIVE FREELY?


Let‘s Talk!

 




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