“How are you?” I’m sure you’re asked this question often. “Busy,” is a very common response. We live in a culture that encourages busyness. But how quickly can we get burned out, physically tired, spiritually exhausted, and emotionally beat?
Just a couple weeks ago, I was texting a sweet friend of mine and when she asked me how my week was, I was completely transparent and said, “my soul is tired.” I began to list all the things that had happened the days prior and she agreed I had good reason to be fatigued and frantic to regain some emotional energy, I tried to think of what could fill my cup. My calendar was full of events, so unfortunately, a vacation was out of the question.
I took inventory of my time and realized a couple things were lacking that definitely added to my exhaustion:
- I wasn’t spending time with the Lord.
- I didn’t have “me time.”
- I wasn’t saying, “no!” to things.
I’m sure you can identify with at least one if not all three of these. When we are consumed with our schedules, it’s easy to miss your date with God, forget about yourself, and you get in the habit of saying, “yes” to every meeting, dinner, and activity. I can truthfully tell you that I was on the edge of a breakdown when I realized something had to change.
Schedule time with God.
Mark 1:35 says, “Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where He prayed (NIV).”
When I was a SAHM (stay at home mom), I usually got in my time with the Lord either before my daughter got up for the day or during her morning nap. It was routine even though at times is may have been cut short due to shorter nap or I multitasked and talked to God while I folded laundry. Because of the amount of time I spent with Him, I felt more connected. But now, I work full time and leave the house at 6:30am for the day. Although I would love to get up earlier, I’m pregnant with baby #2 and this mama sleeps until the last possible moment. I didn’t want to make excuses, so I had to put God in my schedule. I made a plan. Now, while I drive to work, I worship and pray, and then once I get to my desk, I read at least a chapter in my Bible before I start my work.
Just getting my “Jesus time” on Sundays was simply not enough. I noticed I was extra stressed, anxious, and easily drained. We need our Father every single day! Write it in your calendar if you have to. I promise if you actually schedule the time, you’ll be more likely to do it.
Take care of yourself.
Genesis 2:2 says, “…on the seventh day, He rested from all his work (NIV).”
Girlfriend – even God rested. He taught us from the creation of the world that we needed time to rest and refuel. I could make “resting” or “Sabbath” a blog post in and of itself, but the general idea is “resting” / “Sabbath” / “taking care of yourself” does not mean you have to sit on the couch all day. This looks different to everyone. For some people it’s taking a walk by themselves. For others it’s pursuing their hobby, watching Netflix, taking a bath, or even doing yardwork. Some it’s spending time with others who recharge them. The big picture is you are intentionally setting time aside to recharge.
It’s okay to say, “no.”
Ecclesiastes 3:1 says, “There’s an opportune time to do things… (MSG)”
This one can be hard, but it’s so rewarding. Now, understand that there are seasons where certain things are required of you that just take time. For example, I’m in school right now, but I graduate in May 2018. So I know that my time will be differently used when classes, homework, and other requirements are no longer there.
Back in July, I started looking at my calendar for the fall, and it was blank. I first scheduled my non-negotiables (time with my husband and daughter – date night, family day, etc.). Then, I wrote down my obligations (school, extended family get-togethers, small group). So now that I know my calendar and everything is written down, I know when I’m available, so I can say “yes” and “no” accordingly. At the end of the day, you can only do so much, and it has brought me so much clarity and peace knowing when I am available and when I am not.
It’s so easy for us to grow weary in the day-to-day, but I hope and pray that God showed you an area in this post that you need to focus on more. I highly encourage you to make a game plan and stick to it. Your body and soul will thank you!