Well, it comes around every week. It’s MONDAY.
When you haven’t seen a post from me in a few days, you can tell what kind of a week it’s been. And boy, was it ever a draining week. I’ve been trying to pinpoint what exactly wore me out so much this week, but it was truly a combination of major lack of sleep, worry over financial strains, little “me” time, and HEAT (it was soooooo hot this weekend, and we were basking in it for most of Saturday, yikes-but still enjoyable!). To be quite honest, by the end of the week, my anxiety level had gotten higher than I would have liked it to be, and my body really started to feel the impact of the week (as well as my poor husband. Bless his heart). By Sunday night, I was SPENT. I’m feeling a bit more refreshed (thank you, coffee), but recognize that my body truly did take this on.
The Apostle Paul knew a little bit about this (okay, maybe more than a little bit). In Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians, Paul speaks very openly about his own weakness and struggle, and is very aware of it. But he gives this message regarding being “spent”:
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of All Comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows.” -2 Cor. 1:3-6
But…but…but Paul? You don’t get it. You don’t get my current situation, and just how frenzied I felt this week. Where was my comfort then?
Truth be told, I wasn’t doing a great job of seeking out God at the end of this week. I also lost my lens of gratitude, and every little thing just seemed so much bigger than it actually was (power of perspective!). We have a God of all comfort that has the power to refresh and revive us in the midst of anything we may be experiencing. Best part is: He is literally ALWAYS there. Always! We don’t need to make an appointment with him (although appointments with professionals are gifts from God too, believe me), and we don’t have to wait to get our time with him. We merely need to seek him out in his word, through prayer, and through being present in the moment with him.
Now, to be fair, I am all for taking care of yourself, which sometimes means making sure your needs are met so you can fulfill your obligations and roles, but to neglect my personal time with God can have a serious effect on my functioning-I wasn’t partaking in the comfort of Christ in order that I might provide comfort to others through Him. Hindsight is usually 20/20, isn’t it?
Another wrong turn I took was losing my lens of gratitude. Looking back to my above “laundry list of chaos” that occurred this week, I should have been reframing it as such:
- gratitude for our darling pup, who even though has been giving us great challenge lately, always greets us with so much unconditional love and excitement (even if it is a 4am, ouch). She is also making great gains in some other areas of training!
- gratitude for so many activities and loved ones to engage with this weekend! Schedule was tight, but we got to experience so many events that reminded us of the love and support God has placed in our lives
- gratitude for Christ having a plan, and him being the one in control (and praying for patience while he unfolds it)
- gratitude for the awareness that personal time, for me, is necessary (and prayers of how to continue to balance that on the more chaotic weeks)
- gratitude for the current financial means we do have, and the compassion that my partner and I were able to show one another in tackling some of our concerns in this a bit more head-on
- gratitude for lack of rain when we needed to be outside all Saturday afternoon, and the beautiful day we were able to have.
Doesn’t this list sound a lot less hostile than the beginning of this post? If I had engaged in this type of thinking, it is quite possible that I would have had a different outcome regarding my stress level and functionality. When God said “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness”, he meant it (2 Cor. 12:9a). God’s comfort and the power we receive from him in the midst of struggle or more challenging week is our greatest strength. To engage in this is to further our personal relationship with Christ, as well as slow down our minds and bodies to better experience the joy in the midst of struggle.
With that being said, my lens of gratitude is screwed back on, and personal time for self-care is an absolute priority this week as it should always be. How does your lens of gratitude and personal time in prayer affect how you experience life? I would love to hear your hearts.