It's 1 AM, and here I sit, doing my nightly decompression ...
Hmmm, now there's an interesting connection. Last night, my husband and children picked, oh, probably 3 bushels of green beans from our garden, and most of us stayed up still about midnight canning the first of them and getting them all snapped. Over the past 24 hours or so, I've canned 55 quarts of green beans. That's 8 canner loads of 7 quart jars each, except for the last load, which was 6. I learned something very important ... when the directions tell you to let the canner cool on its own and NOT to "help" it depressurize, there are good reasons for it. The jars are still boiling furiously inside, and a too-sudden release of pressure sends the liquid almost spewing out from under the still-sealing lid and ring. I had one jar refuse to seal because I was in too much of a hurry ... was amazed to see a later one seal anyway, despite hissing sulkily at me as I pulled it from the canner. (I was getting tired and impatient again and needed to clear the stove for supper ... silly children, that they think they should have something to eat besides green beans! :-) )
I've discovered that I need that time, too ... when the kids have gone to bed and the house is quiet ... to think and pray and ... just breathe. If I don't, I lie in bed, wide awake, my thoughts racing like a hamster on a wheel. (My husband can tell when "the hamster is running" and will tease me about it.)
Getting up early works for some, but my children have radar and also wake up earlier. (Ping! Mom's awake--she must be lonely! I must go keep her company!!) I'm told that I'll be more productive if I just get up earlier. I might. I also know that the earlier I rise, without a nap I'm completely worn out by the end of the day, and accordingly irritable--not pleasant for the rest of the family.
And besides ... Jesus Himself stayed up late, sometimes all night, communing with the Father in the solitude of the hills. How much greater must His need have been for quiet, humanly speaking, to rejuvenate from the demands of ministering to people all day long.
The canning and cooking and mothering I've done this past week doesn't seem quite so overwhelming in retrospect. :-)