Friday, June 11, 2010

Photos reposted

Note - I've linked photos directly to picasa albums as blogger doesn't seem to be loading them well. If you missed photos below - they should show up now.

Michael, it's GOT to be a blogger thing. Remember, you can log into the Picasa Web Album to see our daily photos.

Choosing Joy!
©2010 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...

Self-Care Day 1 and 2

From 2010-06-10

Self-care, margin,  boundaries. Yeah, I know. Several of you have attempted to discuss with me in the past.  I've listened. I've tried. I admit, it seems to me that if not careful, self-care becomes self-centeredness. I felt it would be INCREDIBLY selfish, silly and plain wrong to take time for "self-care" while Michael is in a WAR ZONE....below is the story of how God caught my attention.

I've been pushing HARD with International trips, local and regional events, a deployment, double-timing school... I was real and honest and admitted on the blog that I was struggling not to slide into depression that week after the retreat.....then began 9 days of traveling and ministry. I'm NOT depressed...but I am totally exhausted.

Into my life came W.I.L.D. and part of my "job" was to speak on priorities and "self-care". ::snort:: God will get my attention.....

To bring it home He graced my life with Victoria - a WOW - Woman of Wisdom, who spoke at the general sessions of W.I.L.D. this past week. She, along with many others, have sent me reminders to rest....lead from a position of rest and not stress. I know that means so much more than physical rest - spiritual rest.....but the thing is......I finally get it. The last couple of days of our trip, Victoria began to ask me what I was going to do for self-care. I had no answer. None. She told me self-care is not selfish....I began to know that it was time to take this word to heart. Michael usually makes sure that I take time to regroup....but he's not here....and I am carrying the weight of family alone....(not really - you KWIM - right?) and so I had been thinking there is simply no time to play...and it was depressing me. I wanted to play, be pampered and rest, but I felt like I'd have to "carry on" since Mike is deployed.  I MUST take time to pull back, be spiritually fed and rested because ministry is stressful and it's not getting any easier. I will not be the leader God has called me to be, if I continue to push until I collapse....I'll be making snap decisions that will lead to stress.

Here's an excerpt from an email Victoria sent me, in case any of YOU need to hear this message too, or wonder if I swimming in selfishness.
After a major ministry event (Mt Carmel and the fire that consumed the sacrifice) Elijah did not take time for himself to rest and regroup in the Lord... and a "negative word" from Jezebel sent him into despair... 1 Kings 19:3-8

Exhaustion and despair.

Elijah was afraid and ran for his life. When he came to Beersheba in Judah, he left his servant there, while he himself went a day's journey into the desert. He came to a broom tree, sat down under it and prayed that he might die. "I have had enough, LORD," he said. "Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors." Then he lay down under the tree and fell asleep.

All at once an angel touched him and said, "Get up and eat." He looked around, and there by his head was a cake of bread baked over hot coals, and a jar of water. He ate and drank and then lay down again.

The angel of the Lord came back a second time and touched him and said, "Get up and eat, for the journey is too much for you." So he got up and ate and drank. Strengthened by that food, he traveled forty days and forty nights until he reached Horeb, the mountain of God."

We see here that Elijah was exhausted and had no plan to rest in the Lord... so when "one more thing" went wrong for him... he became discouraged and even told God "it is enough...just let me die!"

I love how tender God is with Elijah! He doesn't say "Get up and get going need to just pull yourself up by the boot straps.

No!!! God sends an angel to feed Elijah! And after a good rest and some spiritual food... he was able to travel and accomplish what God was calling him to do!

I always take time for "self-care" after a major ministry event. Time to be still, reflect and to be gentle with myself.
I knew this. I've taught it. I've heard it taught. I've not applied it well. I respect Victoria and her ministry. She lovingly stuck with me until I got it...even emailing me AFTER we said goodbye. ::grin::

I've declared that yesterday - Sunday are "self-care" days. More than one day as I've taken 3 International Trips, several in country trips, spoke at a retreat, sent a husband to a war-zone, pushed with school - all without a break or rest.  I'll not stress about local or regional responsibilities. I'll not stress about school. I'll sleep in (if I can), read, walk, pray, worship, play.....Michael suggested I call some peeps and head for the onsen.....maybe tomorrow.

Day 1 - yesterday - I slept in until 7 a.m.,  finished paperwork for the last trip (I'd stress if I knew it was waiting),  hugged on kids, buzzed two boys (relaxed me and stressed them), got to Skype with Michael, sat in the sun, spent time in the Word, visited with a neighbor, blogged, and watched an episode of Monk.

Day 2 - today - I slept in until 7:30, told my board I would not be dealing with anything until Monday, played with kids, read Facebook, went to Shimoda Park, walked, cried, hiked....and now we'll enjoy a family night and figure out what to do tomorrow and  Sunday.

I cannot deal with "one more thing," and there have been three "one more things" since I arrived home, unless I take time to pull away and hide in Him - FIRST. Nothing is truly urgent....while important the crisis of others can wait for a bit of time.  I get it. Thanks to all who have tried to share this with me over the years.....Michael, Mom and Dad, Lynn, Deb, Carol and countless others......I'm a slow learner.

Choosing Joy!
©2010 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...