The Good in the Tired

August 23, 2023 · by Hillary Wheeler

The phrase, “I’m good and tired” has been spoken from the heart of many hard-working people through the years, and it’s a phrase that easily conveys the depth of tired that most people feel after pouring out of themselves - whether it's physically, emotionally, spiritually or a mixture of all three. My PawPaw has said something a few times this past year in just casual conversation that’s stuck with me. When asked how he is doing, he’s said that he is “good tired”. The first time he said it, it made me stop for a second and ask him what that meant. He said that there is “tired” and then there is such a thing as “good tired”. So, I’ve thought about that and this topic has come up in my soul and in conversations with friends and family a lot this year. What does “good tired” mean to me?

I'm going to be an open book and say that the level of tired I’ve felt this year has checked all of the boxes I mentioned earlier. Physically, emotionally, and spiritually, I’ve just felt tired. I’ve felt pulled in a lot of directions with “busyness” ruling my life. Now, have I been busy doing good things? Absolutely! But while doing good things and pouring out of myself, my tired turned from “good tired” to just plain old “tired”.

See, good tired is when at the end of the day you feel that you’ve been emptied out, but you have a joy and peace filling you up. Your joy comes because you know the tired you feel is from the emptying of yourself with joy and gladness into the lives of others and the kingdom of God. Whether that be your own family, friends, prayer, tending to needs of others, general life, church growth, and the list could go on and on. When we serve with the end goal of heaven in mind, we are able to lay down our head at night and know we are the good, fulfilling, and productive kind of tired. God always extends His strength to His children when they are weak and tired.

In contrast to this, I will use myself as the example of what “tired” can be. My mind shifted somewhere along the way this year from being joyful and happy to serve and pour out at church to murmuring to myself and eventually my husband and friends about how many things I had going on...and how I needed to figure out what I need to stop participating in...or how I need to figure out what's most important at this season of my life. And while it is good to evaluate seasons of life, I know my heart posture just hasn’t been right and my mind has been leading me down the road of the tired, burn out, and complaining. I’ve noticed that the more I let my mind dwell on how “busy” I am that the more easily words of complaint spilled out to others, because our mouths will always betray what our heart is feeling. So, I became just “tired”. Tired of the nightly obligations, tired of the endless motherly duties, tired of the obligations of life, just TIRED! The more I pointed out things I was tired OF the less I was mentally and spiritually INvested in all the good things happening around me. I was missing out on the blessing that comes when God rewards the cheerful givers that He loves.

This verse has convicted me so much:

2 Corinthians 9:6-7

“But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully. Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.”

I’ve seen the rewards, I’ve seen the fruit of those that give their all with a cheerful heart and it’s beautiful, inspiring, and something I want to be a part of and partake in. As the scripture says, it is a choice that has to be made in our hearts. We have to purpose to give, through our tired or rested days, with all of our might because whatever we withhold will never be able to produce and spring up bountifully in our lives or the lives of others. Most importantly, give with cheer, because the way in which we give matters to God.

My Pastor says a phrase that always makes our congregation chuckle, he says, “I wake up tired”. And it’s so true, no matter if I have a little going on or a lot going on I still wake up wishing I had just a few more minutes of rest. So, wouldn’t it be better to be tired doing good for the kingdom with a joy and gladness, than to be just plain tired with no productive, eternal or meaningful reason?

I just want to say, that I know it’s so hard to juggle life and to find the right balance of all the things life encompass, and this is just something I’m learning and figuring out. My heart goes out to and my prayers go up for all who are striving and trying to balance family, life, church, relationships, spiritual growth, and all things in between. If you’re finding yourself in the same heart posture and mindset that I’ve been in, you can always start fresh today. God is so merciful and will help us make the changes we need to make to please Him. God’s dealing with me that maybe if we start to pinpoint the good in the little here and there moments of our days and place a value on them for either ourselves, our family, or the kingdom then maybe we will be able to say that we are “good tired”. I know it may sound like just a positivity tactic, and I do believe there are seasons for changing up things in our lives with the guidance of the man of God in our lives, but our heart posture really does make a difference and can make a huge difference in our perspectives.

My dear sister (and speaking to myself as well), we must do good, we must give God our best, we must show care and compassion, and give of ourselves to further the kingdom (whether big or small), because we are the good in this world. Anyone that runs a race is going to be tired at the end of it, but it’s worth it. We can’t quit serving and striving. We will get to hear Our Savior say “well done, good and faithful servant” someday, and until then let's give everything we have, lay our heads down at night and say, I’m tired, but I’m doing good, and God is good. God is doing good things and if we have the right heart posture we will be able to take part in those good things with joy! This is just a lesson God is teaching me personally and I pray it helps someone else, and we can bind together to become closer to God and servants after His own heart. May God bless you greatly in your serving and striving!

“And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” Galatians 6:9 KJV

Your Sister in Christ and love,

Hillary Wheeler

Hillary Wheeler

About Hillary Wheeler

Hillary Wheeler is a former Pre-K public school teacher turned stay-at-home mom who homeschools her three young and wonderful children. Her life is full of the normal and fulfilling hustle and bustle of child rearing, kingdom work, and family life. When she has moments to feed her personal interests, she will be writing songs, writing, singing, reading books, or spending time outdoors. Hillary loves to learn from women, both young and old, and values the wisdom of those that have gone before. She feels that her "cup runneth over" with undeserved blessings but is also filled with immeasurable thankfulness for the goodness of God and His great kindness in her life. She knows that life is far more vibrant and beautiful when God, our Creator, is able to lead the way and do all the marvelous things that He does so well. She will forever say, "God is good".