It’s hard for me to admit this. I don’t know the balance of not killing my body with stress and laying my life down for Jesus’ sake. Jesus Christ is the most amazing example of selflessness, and I know it’s such a privilege to learn selflessness from my Savior’s example. I also know that I’m Daily, I struggle to trust the Lord in all my ways and not feel like I should be involved in everything.
Welcome to the life of a girl who is a bit or very much of a control freak when it comes to being involved in everything.
So my question for today’s post is this:
What’s the best way to prioritize? (Learning the joy of not being constantly stressed but also daily dying to self and a concern for self) – If you’re me, and you’re single, which I’ve posted about quite a bit lately., you don’t want to live life for yourself. I want to live life for Jesus Christ; I want to be available to love those in the church, but I can’t be available for everyone.
I love the treasures of God’s Word, how God keeps His children balanced by each of these reminders.
Be Still – Psalm 131:2, ‘But I have calmed and quieted my soul, like a weaned child with its mother; like a weaned child is my soul within me.’
Isaiah 30:15, ‘For thus said the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel, “In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.” But you were unwilling,’
Work Heartily as Unto the Lord – Colosians 3:23-24, ‘Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.’
That’s pretty cool right: it doesn’t say that we need to work ALL the time, constantly, incessantly, without rest, but whatever you do, work heartily for the Lord, not for men.
So how do I prioritize and find out what and how God wants me to use the time I have?
I’ve really treasured advice from Robyn’s blog, even though she’s a bit different, being married and having a baby, but her principles that she shares about ‘saying no’ and stress have helped me tremendously.
What are the priorities to me?
#1) My relationship with the Lord. – Getting into God’s Word in the morning.
#2) My family and helping them with the job that I have. – Cooking for them, helping with the dogs, doing my daily news job. Part of this is also my daily social media job.
#3) Being available for Christian friends/family in Christ. Praying for them and getting together with them.
#4) Other ministries like jail ministry or pro-life ministry.
The struggle comes in when I lose sight of those priorities.
An example from today of learning to re-navigate those priorities:
Today I was planning on doing an informal prayer time, but it was just too much. I’ve been still learning what I can handle when it comes to not over stressing my body in order to get a regular period. I noticed, this month, that my period has been late in coming, and this almost always directly correlates with the amount of stress on my body.
The amazing thing about stress? (It teaches me my limits and reminds me that God is not limited.)
Isaiah 40:28-29, “Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding. He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength.”
Articles from Desiring God on Stress and Rest
Another question to ask yourself is:
What contributes to your stress?
Too many things on your to-do list
Not knowing when to say ‘No?’
Feeling like you need to get everything done in one day
Making yourself feel guilty when you don’t do everything on your to-do list
One of the biggest comforts for me in those ‘stressors’ is this:
God is sovereign. God executes His plan, no matter what, and I am not indispensable to Him if I need to rest, sleep, say ‘no’ to something, say ‘yes’ to another thing. He will even work out for good, the times that I forgot to follow through on something because I overloaded my schedule with too many things.
This isn’t to say that I have no responsibility to be responsible.
It’s just that I don’t and shouldn’t be acting as if everything depends on me.
The Lord has given me a little space in the world to serve Him, to serve others, and I need to focus. I need to focus with grace and joy on what’s right in front of me, not being in the other side of the world, trying to work there and here.
In all of these things the Lord is my strength, and I don’t have to be the ‘strength’, because I can’t be. But Jesus Christ can be, and He is the strength that I need.
So that being said; I’m still learning this, and I would love to learn from you if you have any thoughts to share about selflessness, managing stress, and what it looks like to say, ‘No’ graciously and ‘Yes’ with enthusiasm.
Selflessness: what does it mean to be selfless but not load yourself with stress?