Two Fridays ago, I ran out of gas. I could not go meet anyone’s needs that day except my own. And by “my needs” I mean time to sit on the couch with my candles lit, a book and my bible in hand, and a massage appointment made by my mentor. She had seen the fumes the day before.
I finished that Friday thinking, “I can no longer let myself get so run down.”
But here I am this Monday in the same space. Outta gas again. To be fair, this weekend was a bit of an extreme case and yes, God was calling me to serve in a very hard situation. I’m on my couch again and I’ve had a slowish morning. All my “to-dos” are rattling around in my head, but I’m learning that letting them speak louder than Jesus is detrimental to my health.
The “to-dos” are not life-threatening, but continually running myself into the ground could very well be.
I must have tangible reminders that these concepts are true:
- Rest is necessary.
- I have the same basic needs as every other human being (Attention, Acceptance, Affirmation, Affection, Comfort, Encouragement, Respect, Security, Support, and Understanding). To ignore or deem myself unworthy of these needs is silly. It’s not scriptural.
- The world really does go if I drop the ball. I put way too much pressure on myself to keep it all together. The truth is, this pressure just causes me to implode and explode at home.
To affirm these truths, I’ve written some permission slips for myself. These slips are my tangible weapons to use against the lies that swarm around in my head. If one of my permission slips strikes a chord with you, perhaps we can share the same slip.
- I have permission to feel tired. I can choose to continue to tire myself out or I can choose to rest. I cannot simply make myself untired or expect my body to get with my mind’s program. Being tired is legitimate. I was not created to be a tireless human being.
- I have permission not to answer the phone, text messages, and emails immediately.
- I have permission to not turn all my thoughts and experiences into blog posts. Sometimes God tells me something or allows me to participate in something that is just for me and He doesn’t expect me to do anything else with it.
- I have permission to not always do things in the most efficient and productive ways. Sometimes, I will miss the joy or the lesson if I don’t take the long way around.
- I have permission to express my needs. I want to be self-sufficient, and yet, this is diametrically opposed to what I tell everyone else about how to live life in a healthy, community-based way. To continue live as if I don’t have needs would make me a hypocrite. I am not designed differently than everyone else in the human race in this aspect.
- I have permission to not meet everyone else’s needs. This is a hard one for me. When I see a need and I feel tired, the scripture that always pops in my mind is the one that says “Do not grow weary in doing good.” I take that piece of scripture and tell myself to just buck up and help. But God has been challenging me on what I define as “good.” If it’s not something He has called me to do, it might look good on the outside, but could cause lots of “not-so-good” on the inside of me. And, I could be stealing away the opportunity for someone else to do this good that would grow fruit, inside and out.
- I have permission to be sad. I am not happy all the time and I don’t have to pretend to be. This is part of being whole-heartedly authentic and allows me to see my friends care and have compassion for me. Seriously, it wasn’t until I saw Inside Out that I recognized how sadness is actually a valid and key emotion that can lead to other positive ones.
I am finding that being kind to myself naturally translates into me being kinder to others. If I find grace for myself, I withhold it less from those around me. Letting Jesus love me well allows me to tap into that unconditional love that so many people crave.
But even if these things had no effect on those around me, I have permission to do them anyway. Because I am worth it.
And so are you.
What permission slip do you need to give yourself today?
On Wednesday, Steph Cash-Becker writes an amazing post honoring veterans for Veteran’s Day. She tells her story as both a daughter and grand-daughter of veterans and as a mama to one, too. Come read her post and celebrate the veterans in your life.
On Friday, Shelley Benoit Hendricks shares an excerpt from her book, So You’re Chronically Ill, Now what? Shelley has an amazing ministry to those who struggle with chronic illness. She is authentic with her own pain and does such a wonderful job of walking with people so they do not feel alone.
We are scheduling SDG Connections posts for January 2016! Please pray about and considering sharing your story with us! Click here for details.
Looking for some unique Christmas gifts that all so benefit a sister in need of a scholarship? Check out this year’s SDG Fundraiser!
Part of our mission statement for SDG is to be accessible. This means financially, too! We are creating subway art to raise money for the SDG retreat to provide scholarships and reduce the overall cost for all attendees. Please come over here to check out our offerings and to order!
2016 SDG Retreat Information & Registration is LIVE! Click here for more details.
SDG Gathering is on a break (but we’ll still be writing)!
Can you believe that we’ve been linking up for 243 weeks between this space and Finding Heaven? That’s 4.67 years. CRAZINESS! It’s been a joy, y’all. So many friendships and connections. So much encouragement and truth offered over the years. God has been faithful to this community.
However, since Lisa and I have added SDG Retreat planning and I’m also running the fundraiser, something needs to fall off the plate. Though we love you and love visiting you, we are going to suspend the link-up until after the SDG Retreat.
We will still be writing on Mondays and hosting #SDGConnections on Wednesdays and Fridays, so please come and talk with us in the comments. We will continue to respond there (we really want to continue to be a community and it is so helpful when you respond to us after our posts – we love to hear your voices!), send out weekly prayer requests, and converse on Facebook.