Devotional 4/14/2020

Today I feel uninspired.  Normally by the time I write this devotion I am struggling with which idea to use and which to set aside.  I should make a list but often I just forget the unused ideas.  

But today, I feel blah.  In part its because Amanda had a bad night so I am on a lack of sleep.  In part its because today is the day we are taking Amanda's pacifiers and I am sad about not having a baby anymore.  Husband does not know but I hid one in the cabinet- a pacifier, not a baby.  In part its because I am mentally tired- my job is completely different than it was a month ago and it has been tiring to be figuring out how do ministry together (a feeling many of you might relate with as your lives have also been drastically altered).  In part its because I do not like Tuesdays.  Weird right?  No joke, Tuesday has always been my least favorite day.  I really hope someone else knows what I mean.  I think of them as Drag Tuesdays.  Not in the cross dressing type but in the heavy burden that you just trudge along with until you make it somewhere better.  In this case, Wednesdays.  In part its the weather- just make up your mind Ohio! Pick a season.  In part its because I am an introvert and weirdly enough I have less time alone now at work or home than ever before and I have not been recharging like I should.  And its about a thousand other in parts.  

I am just blah.  I bet you all have had blah days before as well.  Days when inspiration and energy are just allusive.  Days when you just auto-pilot through until you can get to wherever/whenever it is better. 

And on blah days or worse days, we do need to work on what we can.  For instance, I cannot change that today is Tuesday or that Amanda will cry alot today but I can make the  time to 'introvert' and to take care of myself.  

We are not called as people or Christians to constantly sludge through at the determent of ourselves.  We are called to not focus only on ourselves of course but we are called to care for ourselves.  Scripture reads "love your neighbor as yourself" (Mark 12:33).  In fact Jesus calls that the second greatest commandment after love your God. And while we often focus on the loving our neighbor we must also see that this states we are to love ourselves.  And that means to care for ourselves. 

To be clear, this does not mean caring for ourselves at the cost of another and it never means putting ourselves before God and our service to God (ie you should probably not own 10 fancy cars and never give money to charity).  But it does mean that we should love ourselves enough to nurture ourselves.  Through whatever recharges and relaxes us.  Now some avenues might be closed for you to do this right now- there are no ball games to go to, no organized sports, no manicures or pedicures, no eating out, etc.  But that does not mean that this is the time to neglect ourselves.  There are ways even now that we should be feeding ourselves. Maybe watching amazing sports moments of the past, playing the sports you can at home, going for a walk, having an at home 'spa' treatment, or indulging in your favorite treat.. Whatever it is, please make sure that you are caring for your needs as well as others. 

I too often hear of pastors who have served others and neglected themselves.  These stories often end with bitterness, anger, physical ailments, family troubles, affairs and more.  None of us, including pastors, are called to so wholly neglect ourselves that we fall in disrepair.  Because the truth is when we fully neglect ourselves, we cannot serve others as well.  I see this most evidently in my parental life.  When I do not take care of myself, I am snappier with my family, I cook food that is less good for us, and I do not fully engage when I am with them.  Simply put, when I don't care for me, I cant care for them as well.   And you are all like this too.  We must care for ourselves if for no other reason so that we can better serve God and others.  But we should also consider that God has created each of us, God loves each of us, and so we need to care for ourselves because we are God's beloved creation. 

So take care of you today!  Personally, I am going to spend some time hiding in my basement working out and probably bake some cookies with my daughter.  Two things which feed me.  Find yours today and do not wait to take care of yourself because you are a beloved creation of God!  

With love,