(All photos taken over the weekend at a Ladies retreat)
Some Lessons are learnt the hard way. Perhaps, sometimes, this is the only way. However, if you can avoid calamity, let me steer you in a better direction.
As I’m generally a mess without a plan, I sat down recently to write out my personal priorities. I was surprised to discover that this could be summed up in two main categories. This really simplifies things. 🙌 🙌
You may not, initially, agree that self-care is top priority. It sounds selfish on the surface. Nevertheless, it isn’t if the motivation behind it is right. There is also Scriptural truth to support making self-care top priority. The spirit may be very willing, but the flesh isn’t merely vulnerable to temptation; It’s also susceptible to exhaustion and burn-out. I personally think burn-out was part of my own passion killer. (Depression and anxiety also entered the mix.) Thus, it’s taking me a long journey to recover that fire inside.
Here’s what I wrote down:
1. SELF CARE: Self Love and Love for God
One could argue that the verse below (in context) is about sexual immorality, not self care. It is. However, this verse, combined with what Jesus says about how we should naturally want to cherish our bodies, reminds us that our bodies belong to God, Thus self-care should be top priority.
Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.”1 Corinthians 6:19
For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body.”Ephesians 5:29 – 30
Speaking (er writing) from experience, in our eagerness and zeal to help others we can quickly sacrifice our own well being for their sake. We must first take care of ourselves so we have the strength to bare the weakness of others.
After the ladies retreat I have a whole different perspective on the quote above. To paraphrase our speaker (Leslie):
It’s not up to us to create that fire for God. He initiates it. 🔥
The Apostle Paul went away for 3 years before his own ministry (Galatians 1:15-21). Likely to learn more about his new faith and strengthen himself for the journey ahead.
In 1 Kings we also see the need for self-care when Elijah runs off in fear to the wilderness. Here he prays to God for death and is advised to strengthen himself for the journey. When we become weak God always advises us to strengthen ourselves. I’ll go into greater detail on self-care in a future post.
…He looked around, and there by his head was a cake of bread baked over hot coals, and a jar of water. He ate and drank and then lay down again.
The angel of the LORD came back a second time and touched him and said, “Get up and eat, for the journey is too much for you.”
So he got up and ate and drank. Strengthened by that food, he traveled forty days and forty nights until he reached Horeb, the mountain of God.—1 Kings 19:4-8
She dresses herself with strength and makes her arms strong.—Proverbs 31:17
2. THINK OF OTHERS
If you can, share your strengthening and healing journey (help yourself while helping others) Then, when you’re ready, find other ways you can contribute within healthy boundaries. Don’t put too much on your plate. If you’re served too much, share with a friend or family member. Let others help.
My Personal ‘Think of Others’ Goals
- Maintain a healthy home environment and relationship with spouse
- Be there for friends and family (Encourage others.)
- Church involvement?
- Employment (2 Thessalonians 3:10)
Priorities #1 and #2 can be summed up with one verse and command from the Lord:
When the Pharisees heard how he had bested the Sadducees, they gathered their forces for an assault. One of their religion scholars spoke for them, posing a question they hoped would show him up: “Teacher, which command in God’s Law is the most important?”
Jesus said, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence.’ This is the most important, the first on any list. But there is a second to set alongside it: ‘Love others as well as you love yourself.’ These two commands are pegs; everything in God’s Law and the Prophets hangs from them.”Matthew 22:34-40