Over-Stressed and Under-Blessed, Part 6
Now why would taking care of self be a priority above your marriage? Doesn’t the Bible call us to look out for the interests of others above our own in Philippians 2:4?
But we live in a world of burned out and weary women – women who are tired beyond exhaustion, and women who push themselves beyond breaking point for the sake of taking care of everyone else. How can you be effective in ministry if you’re burnt out? How can you be effective at work if you’re coming home to nothing but chaos? How can you be a gracious homemaker if you’re exhausted all the time? How can you be a loving wife if you’re over-stressed?
We are built to be caretakers, ladies. God designed a woman to desire to give of her time, energy, resources, and love to others. God designed a woman to take care of her home, husband, and family. God designed a woman to be there for her friends, to be sympathetic listeners, and to offer caring company.
If you taking care of everyone but yourself, you cannot effectively love your husband, serve your household, minister in your church and community, or complete your work.
This is what I call the overstressed-underblessed syndrome. When you reach a point where the stress is weighing in so heavily, you’ll feel like no one is ministering to you – and this is when you desperately need to be blessed.
1. Personal worship time. Listen to Christian music in the car on the way to work. Get up a few minutes earlier and spend time reflecting/meditating on a Psalm of praise such as Psalm 46, Psalm 118, or Psalm 146. Write a prayer of adoration to the Lord in your journal while the kiddos are down for a nap. Worship takes the focus off you and stress and onto God. I highly recommend reading through my friend Sword Sail’s series on BHE about personal worship styles to help better understand how you connect with God.
~ “Be still and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10
2. God’s Word. Download a Bible app on your phone. Use a Bible verse for your desktop background. Hand write Bible promises on index cards to stick in your purse, on your bathroom mirror, on your refrigerator, in your car glove box.
~ “Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” Psalm 119:105
3. Prayer. Take your cares and anxieties to Him daily. Keep a prayer journal so you can record your requests and can track God’s answers and the lessons He teaches you. Have a quick prayer in mind for when you don’t know what to say. I invite God into the moment by praying, “Holy Spirit, help!”
~ “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” Philippians 4:6
1. Enjoy your food. We live in a busy world, but being too busy to eat or enjoy your meal isn’t healthy. Get up early enough to eat an adequate breakfast, take a break for lunch, and sit down and enjoy your dinner with your family. Adam and I try to have a sit-down meal at least 3-4 nights a week where we pray, connect, and enjoy a meal together without distractions. Taking the time to prepare your own meals and snacks will help you curb junk food and quick microwave meal fixes. Balance your meals with a healthy amount of fruits, veggies, proteins, carbs, dairy, and sweets. I love this tip from my sister’s blog Alicia’s Random Thoughts: replace one soda or juice drink a day with a glass of water. When you enjoy your food and get adequate nutrition, you’ll be healthier, feel healthier, and enjoy your life more.
~ “Go, eat your food with gladness, and drink your wine with a joyful heart, for it is now that God favors what you do.” Ecclesiastes 9:7
2. Sleep. Sleep is an act of worship. As I wrote in this article, “By sleeping, you are placing your trust in God that He will take care of you while you are asleep. By sleeping, you are allowing your body the much needed rest it was designed by God to have.” Let your body rest.
~ “I lie down and sleep; I wake again, because the Lord sustains me.” Psalm 3:5
3. Exercise. The Bible encourages us not to be sluggish or lazy. Stay active. Take stairs instead of the elevator. Park farther out in the grocery store parking lot. Get up and move at least once an hour when you’re working at your computer. Play with your kids in the yard. Invite your husband on weekend walks. Stretch during commercial breaks.
~ “She dresses herself with strength, and makes her arms strong.” Proverbs 31:17
1. Laugh. Find joy in life.
~ “A joyful heart is good medicine.” Proverbs 17:22
2. Sunshine. Get outdoors for a few minutes each day. Not only is the Vitamin D good for your skin, the sunshine can improve your mood.
~ “Sunshine is sweet; it is good to see the light of day.” Ecclesiastes 11:7
3. Cultivate friendships. Spend time with your friends regularly.Call a friend on the phone to check in and send a friend an encouraging text message or email once a week. Develop an accountability partner, someone you can pray with and who can pray for you regularly. Double date with friends or join a fellowship group with your husband.
~ “Iron sharpens iron so one person sharpens another.” Proverbs 27:17
The solution to staying motivated and keeping your resolutions is relationship with God, spouse, and self. This post is Part 6 of the Resolution Solutions series, Priority #2 – Taking Care of Self.
Starting March 5th, I’ll launch an in-depth series on Loving Yourself Wholly – taking care of your most important needs too! If you would like to guest post for this series about healthy living and taking care of yourself from a Biblical perspective, please contact me.