After my recent post I started thinking I’m also like Peter. I think I mentioned in the past, that if it wasn’t for my husband Terry, I don’t know where I’d be. He would say we’re going to church when I wanted to sit on the couch and do nothing. So I can relate to Peter. When He watched Jesus die a horrible death on the cross it took the wind out of him. So he decided to go back to fishing. Fishing is one of those do nothing activities. I think everyone goes through times where the discouragement is so great we can barely breathe. Am I hitting home with anyone yet? You may or may not stop going to church but, inwardly you’ve stopped trusting and reverted back to some other way to cope with the pain.
In my skewed thinking, I thought my useful days of ministry were over. How could God use me if I wasn’t standing in faith? I also thought that standing in faith meant that pain couldn’t touch me. Wow was I wrong. As I read the scriptures “And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it” I had an epiphany. I wasn’t done with me! If the promise He made to Peter was still valid even after Peter denied Christ! That mean His promises for our life still stand too!
I know I talk a lot of my personal perceived failures, but I believe my journey has become a message of sanity and hope for others. In that way God is building His church by freeing our hearts and minds from the ties that bind!
It seems the word lately is self-care.I’m a Christian. In that world, service and sacrifice are preached from the pulpit and highly valued. But the down side of that is burn out. Recently I encouraged 2 women, that I respect greatly for their willingness to be there for others, to take time out for self-care. Usually when I say self care to a Christian I hear a nice little hmmm…. as if sounded like music to their soul.
One of the women is in full-time ministry. The other is a school teacher in the school district of the recent stabbings. They both need a little self-care. Wouldn’t you agree?
The truth is that if we don’t take care of our self we may go with that need not being met. Why would I say that? Because friends family and coworkers may not notice that we are in need.They get used to us being the strong one with the broad shoulders.They are used to us being the go to person. Oh did you notice how I which from using the word others to we? I think I’m speaking to myself.
Self Care can take on many forms from a good night sleep and a lazy day mulling around the house to declining a request from someone to help in some way.Or maybe some retail therapy 🙂
I’m including several tips for self-care.
1. Sleep (my bed is my favorite place)
2 . Eat right
3. Exercise (usually I think of this as a dirty word)
5. Get a hobby (mine is shopping and cooking. I shop because I need bigger clothes
because I like what I cook and don’t always exercise) I really need to take my own
6. Pamper yourself
Life is good right now! I been sitting here thinking about my friends. Old friends are like a favorite comfy sweater. New friends make life fun and exciting. But I must say my new blogging friends have added a special dimension. A dimension that I never in a million years would’ve thought could be as gratifying as it is. Thank you all for being a part of my life. You’ve added to my joy. You’ve stood with me in times of need. And for those reasons I am thankful!
You ought to be ashamed of yourself,’ said Alice, `a great girl like you,’ (she might well say this), `to go on crying in this way! Stop this moment, I tell you!’ But she went on all the same, shedding gallons of tears, until there was a large pool all round her.
Alice made the mistake of eating the cake topped with currants. I hate making mistakes. It drives me crazy when I mess up and someone else brings it to my attention. I’m ok whenever others make mistakes but I can’t. Usually its work related where your job performance counts. When I really dug deep I’m aware of the core issue. It’s more than doing things perfectly. It’s more than being afraid of getting in trouble. As layer upon is revealed, it’s also about fearing exposure and appearing flawed. I know it’s irrational, I know it’s not the truth. But none the less it persists. At times it’s made me anxious. I can drive myself crazy being me.
In chapter 2 of Alice in Wonderland, “A Pool of Tears”, she tells herself “Oh dear nonsense I’m talking” That’s how I feel at times! While I don’t often express it out loud, it mostly seems like nonsense whirling around in my head. These feelings of fear and insecurity never bothered me when I was younger and I wished they didn’t bother me now. I don’t know if its menopause, a series of bad experiences or a combination of both that contributes to the battle that goes on from time to time.
I take thoughts captive because if I don’t I would torture myself. Sometimes its real spiritual work and it can be exhausting. Then just because I have to take these thoughts captive I berate myself for not walking in victory. I want to pray once and have lasting victory. I know it’s totally unrealistic. Can anybody else relate? Leave a comment
If we’re honest there are days when we want to quit. Sometimes we vacillate between waiting patiently and being discouraged. Some of us have walked through seasons so difficult that it’s hard to maintain the right posture of waiting in faith. I’ve been there. It wasn’t bad enough that I privately felt like fainting then I would beat myself up for feeling that way. Can you tell I’m pretty hard on myself? Maybe you are too.
Well did you know that Peter and the others fainted after the death of Jesus? Peter said I’m going back to go fishing and the rest of the disciple joined him. They fainted and went back to fishing because their dream died. All they believed in and hoped for seemed to have vanished into thin air. In Alice in Wonderland, Alice finds that everything she knew was no longer recognizable. She said “How queer everything is today”. That must have been how the disciple felt when they got back into their boats to go fishing. Has your vision ever been so obscured that things seemed unrecognizable or queer, the way it was for Alice? If you’re honest then you’d have to say yes because we’re all human.
But then Jesus appeared to them! Jesus caught in the act of fishing and asked them did you catch anything? Cast your nets on the right side of the boat and you’ll get some. I suppose they could have felt a little ashamed of themselves for giving up. But they didn’t. They were overjoyed! They saw Him, really saw Him again! They came alive in their hearts with vision again. When you faint you can’t see anything. Unlike me, Jesus didn’t scold them for fainting like I scolded myself. He just picked up where He left off in the relationship with the disciples.
My problem was that I knew better and expected more of myself. I shouldn’t have fainted even though I couldn’t see Him. I guess I’m a little like Peter. Underneath it all I realized I wasn’t being gentle with me the way Jesus is. I wasn’t willing to forgive myself the way Jesus forgives.
Not forgiving yourself will blind you to your purpose because it’s as much sin as anything else. Without a dream you have no drive. You go through the motions and everything will seem queer. That, my friend, is a pretty high price to pay Thank God Jesus got passed all the muck of self-punishment! Are you harder on yourself than Jesus would be on you? Are you one given to self-punishment? Then I want to hear from you. Admission is the first step toward healing and resurrection!
Isaiah 40:31 but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will run and not grow weary; they will walk and not be faint. Teach us Lord to wait!
This morning I came across a scripture that I underlined a long time ago. It was fresh with new meaning for me. In 2 Samuel 10:12 it says “Be strong and let us fight bravely for our people and the cities of our God.The Lord will do what is right in His sight.
As I meditated on this passage, the phrase fight bravely for our people that got my attention. Sometimes we’re a place of strength and can fight for others. Sometimes we’re the ones that need someone to battle for us. That’s life. It’s easy enough to stand in the gap for someone who is physically sick. We can pray, make a meal, take them to an appointment or clean a home to offer practical help.We can “see” the need.
It’s not always as simple to help someone that’s in an emotional conflict. We can’t always “see” the hurt and pain behind the smile.But if they open up we might gain some understanding. Behind their story we find a soul in conflict. It’s like there are stones clogging the river of God from flowing toward the heart. Those stones create huge waves of emotion. If the injured person brushes the incident off, the stone will get stuck in their heart. It’s the stuck places that cause repeated pain.
We can fight for others by listening for clues as to why they are disturbed within. All the while we are listening for the voice of God for additional information. We can help them process their feelings so that the stone is rolled away and the river can flow freely to the heart once again.