Sunday, February 18, 2018

The Non-Expert's Advice on Self-Care and Rest

Hey Friend,

Usually, we think that writers write from a place of knowledge or expertise.  Today, I am writing about something at which I truly stink and need to do better.  

As the President/Director of a growing non-profit ministry, I seem to repeat or follow the same mode of operation.  I go, and go, and go until I finally hit the brick wall, and then, in exhaustion, I collapse.  This isn't good for me.  It's not good for those I serve, and it certainly isn't God's way of doing things.  

I've been going to the Source for a little Godly advice and self-talk. Here are some things I found and some new methods to try.  I know I'm not alone.  I know there are many who work tirelessly for the gospel despite their own deteriorating health.  Might you be one??  I know I am.

There is just so much need and good work to be done that carving out time for rest and self-care seems selfish and counter productive.  

That, my friend, is our own human thinking - but what does the Bible have to say about rest and self care?

1.  We should enjoy our food and keep up with personal grooming.  

Go, eat your food with gladness, and drink your wine with a joyful heart, for it is now that God favors what you do.  Always be clothed in white, and always anoint your head with oil.  (Ecclesiastes 9:7-8)

So, I guess yoga pants, a workout top, and my hair pulled back in a ponytail with a baseball cap wouldn't make the cut?  I'm not a fussy girly girl, but after reading this, I did get myself in to get my hair cut and colored (long overdue) and I decided to be "clothed in white" by whitening my teeth.  I love to smile, but my smile has been looking a little aged and yellowish, so I invite you to join me on my teeth whitening adventure compliments of Smile Brilliant.  Stay tuned for Before/After photos and giveaways to come.....look what came in the mail.....
Me with my hair down....

2.  We need to take care of our body because it is the temple of God.

Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God?  You are not your own; you were bought at a price.  Therefore honor God with your body.  (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)

This includes exercising and putting nutritious food in our mouth.  I'm an emotional eater, so this becomes a challenge at times.  Also, not only what we put in our mouth, but in our ears and our eyes is important.  They are part of the body as well.  What are you feeding your senses?

3.  We are to be loving and caring toward ourselves.  It's okay to practice self-compassion.  

After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church - for we are members of his body.  (Ephesians 5: 29-30)

Also the Bible tells us to "Love your neighbor as yourself."  How well do you love yourself?  Would God say, "Relax and give yourself a're being too hard on yourself?!"  Hmmmm.....thoughts to ponder.

4.  Resting is an act of faith.  We rest because God says we SHOULD AND WE CAN.

A.  We need to enter in a Sabbath-rest.

There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; for anyone who enters God's rest also rests from his own work, just as God did from his.  Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will fall by following their example of disobedience.  (Hebrews 4:9-11)

B.  God will continue to work and take care of things even as we are resting.

It is vain for you to rise up early, to retire late, to eat the bread of painful labors; for He gives to His beloved even in his sleep.  (Psalm 127:2 NASB)

C. It is important to set boundaries.

Mark 6:30- 31:  The apostles gathered around Jesus and reported to him all they had done and taught.  Then because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he (Jesus) said to them, "COME WITH ME BY YOURSELVES TO A QUIET PLACE AND GET SOME REST."

Even Moses' father-in-law chided him in Exodus 18:  "What you are doing is not good,  You and these people who come to you will only wear yourselves out.  The work is too heavy for you; you cannot handle it alone."

D.  Rest for the mind is essential.

I love the words of Ruth Haley Barton in "Invitation to Solitude and Silence"  (by the way pop over to Linda Stoll's study on this book):Click HERE to pop over to Linda's place

Chapter 6 - Rest for the Mind:

"The human mind is perpetually busy trying to control things, trying to figure things out, clinging to the latest idea, grasping at the nearest straw.  It works very hard trying to make sense of things by endlessly seeking to put everything into categories and boxes and systems of thought.  Sometimes even God himself gets relegated to a category or a box in my mind rather than being free to be God in my life.  It seems that my mind will go to great lengths to fix things, control things and defend against anything that would disrupt my carefully constructed equilibrium."

*  "I will refresh the weary and satisfy the faint."  (Jeremiah 31:25)

*  "My presence will go with you and I will give you rest."  (Exodus

*  "Hear my cry, O God; listen to my prayer.  From the ends of the earth I call to you.  I call as my heart grows faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than I.  For you have been my refuge, a strong tower against the foe.  I long to dwell in your tent forever and take refuge in the shelter of your wings."  (Psalm 61:1)

Lord, let me look at the birds of the air and the flowers of the field that do not worry.  They rest in you abundance.  They don't toil because they know You will provide.  You call me into rest in You....Oh Lord, draw me in, settle my restless heart, hold me close to Your heart of love for me and let me rest in your arms.... let me sleep in the soft rhythm of your heart beating next to mine.  Let me be still, in You....and simply rest. Amen.

Be blessed and thank you for reading along with my sermon to myself.....

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