Monday, July 20, 2015
Are you tired today?
I recently was reading a book for nutrition and the doctor who wrote it used the words "bone weary". I became excited because I could identify with those words on a very deep level! I have felt bone weary many times in life and I'm sure you can relate.
Where does this weariness come from? Are we burdened beyond what we can bear? Are we being tested? I believe much of our burden comes from inside. In other words, we do it to ourselves....
Hang in there with me! I understand we all have different lives. We all have a certain spot on this earth to fill with God's glory. My personal problem is that sometimes I am shoulder deep in fatigue and feel as though His glory gets put on the back burner. Am I alone here? I imagine not.
As women, we tend to wear many different hats. I do not think we work harder than men, but we tend to hold onto more and have a harder time letting go. We honestly feel as though the whole world will implode if we miss a load of laundry, do not cater to our children's needs immediately, keep a clean house when we know someone is on their way over, and try to look less than disheveled when our prince charming comes through the door. If you weren't tired before, I bet you are now!
In my line of work I see overworked moms and wives all the time. We all try to live up to the Wonder Woman standard of doing it all and in doing so we always fail at something. We may get the house to look spotless, but we completely forgot to shower and now we just can't even. We may tote our kids and their friends everywhere, but somehow we forget to eat lunch ourselves. We work overtime at our job, but we neglect our own physical health and opt to sit for hours on end. We are making ourselves weary...
Luckily, we have guidelines that can help us in these times. I encourage you to take the first five minutes of your day (before phones, texts, emails, showers and maybe even coffee) to read in God's Word. Instead of feeling like a time of devotion doesn't count unless it's thirty minutes, why not start with five? In fact, I have a great resource for you:
Proverbs 31 now has an app for that! I kid you not :) a mobile app that gets you connected to the ONE Who promises rest for the bone weary. You can find it here: http://first5.org/ and I encourage you to start right now. Set your alarm for just five minutes earlier tomorrow morning and expect something to happen. Finding our way into His presence daily will take the burdens from our shoulders. It won't change the course of everybody else's day or erase family needs, BUT it will change the way we respond to stress and help us stay connected to our Supporter all day long.
So, I offer up a challenge to you, bone weary sister: commit to spend the first five minutes of your day with God for the next five days straight and just see what burdens can be lifted. The core of our heart desires a peace only He can provide, but we must first be willing to accept that peace.
As always, I am listening! Leave your comments below on how the challenge is going for you and what has changed. I am faithful and confident that God will move.
Thursday, July 2, 2015
Our world seems more frantic and fast-paced these days doesn't it? I feel like I barely have time to return texts, and who even talks on the phone anymore?!?!?!
These days we are so hyper connected that we have become people who try to do everything. Here's a truth: You CAN do anything....you just CAN'T do everything. Most of us are too busy for our own good and that makes us ineffective for God's kingdom. Our days start early and end late. We are ALWAYS on call! Have you thought of that? Every time your cell phone gives you a notification, you check it. I know some people will say, "No I don't!" basically because you think you have life far more figures out than the next person.....studies have show that when a notification sounds on our phones that our heart rates quicken and our pupils dilate. We reacted without ever looking.
This epidemic has placed us into a constant state of stress. This constant state of stress is leading to more and more disease.
In Chinese medicine the word disease is treated as two parts: dis (meaning lack of) and ease (meaning comfort or well being). If you think about it, that is the general take on disease right? Now, we have a common disease of busyness. The symptoms are as follows:
- chronic stress
- lack of sleep
- feeling overwhelmed
- feeling ill-productive
- lack of strong relationships
- lack of self worth and self esteem
- back problems
- and can even cause obesity and other health problems
We can even be busy with seemingly GOOD things. Maybe we volunteer at church all the time or raise our hands when anybody needs someone to step in or step up. Before we go on please note, I am NOT saying that helping people is bad...I'm saying that if we fill ALL of our time with the busyness of helping others it can actually become a sin.
This is what Jesus said in Luke 10 about a busy woman we all know:
At the Home of Martha and Mary38 As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. 39 She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. 40 But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”
41 “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, 42 but few things are needed—or indeed only one.[a] Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”
That starts to put our busy lives in perspective right? Man may look at the outside and see someone who is either working tirelessly towards a dream OR someone who serves every opportunity they get, but God looks at the intentions of the heart. Last week I heard somebody say "If God had to rest on the seventh day, why do we act as though we are too good to need rest?" Perspective change, right?
We stay busy for MANY different reasons, but I believe whole-heartedly what busyness is a disease we bring on ourselves. It is absolutely preventable and curable, but you must first identify the root cause (a holistic technique taken from Chinese medicine).
- We are busy because we live outside of our means. We have more payments than we get paid and therefore we must work more. An epidemic that sweeps our nation.
- We are busy because we are greedy. Put simply, we want more. We want a larger house, better car, bigger vacation, sharper clothes, etc. You name it, we want it.
- We are busy because we think far too highly of ourselves. We imagine that the world will spin out of control if our hand isn't in the center to steady it......at least, our little corner of the world.
- We are trying to rack up good works. Good works do not get us a ticket into Heaven. Even if we know that, some of us can feel as though we need to make up for past wrongs or build a bigger house on the other side through our own efforts.
- We are busy because we fall victim to guilt.
Guilt can be powerful whether it comes from within or without. Guilt is not something that God uses so if you have a guilter in your life you may want to lovingly remind them of that fact. Doing things out of guilt are not in God's will.
I encourage you to take some time this week and write out what keeps you busy. After that, start to weed out what you need to. Pray over it before you begin. Pray that God will show you exactly what needs to go! Are you swamped with writing deadlines for a newsletter? Maybe you won't let go because you think the world will be over if you do. Honey, the world will spin on. God may have somebody even better to come in, but He's waiting on you to get out of the way! The same is true for ALL areas of life.
Sometimes you have to take a step to the side to see the picture a bit more clear.
Don't get caught up in busyness, get caught up in obedience.
Now it's YOUR turn!
Have you overcome the disease of busyness? Comment how you were able to and share your strategies below!