(article by TLC writer Christina Black which appears in the
summer issue of TLC)
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30
Sometimes life makes us tired. Very tired. And in those moments we are possibly tired in body, mind, or spirit. We get tired of coming up with a new way to do things, and we get tired of trying to earn the praise of those around us. If we ever get brave enough to say anything, people look at us like- you are tired? What? You professors only teach 15 hours a week! You are just a pastor’s wife! You stay at home! Why would YOU be tired? And on it goes. Or they say: So fix it- you get to make your own schedule half the time, and that may be true or not… however, people don’t always understand.
If your mind is tired, it affects both how you think and how you feel. You will notice it in the following ways: You will lose initiative and it gets difficult to do anything you don’t absolutely HAVE to do. You may even get tired of learning. The very mention of a teachers’ meeting, ministry conference, ladies retreat, or other, may make you want to roll your eyes. If your body is tired you will feel aches and pains, and find it difficult to go to sleep or wake up. If your spirit is tired you may find yourself avoiding worship, friends, Bible study, and even prayer.
Some things I have tried that do help when I am tired in mind, body, and or spirit are to:
1) Try to take a day each week to get away from all things ministry or work related.
2) Be nice to yourself. Quit expecting the unrealistic.
3) Pick a moment when the light goes off at night- whether you want to go to sleep or not.
4) Drink water.
5) Be quiet.
6) Eat something that is good for you.
7) Take a daily vitamin.
8) Sell a hat. [Sometimes we just need to quit doing quite so much] “There is a time for everything, but maybe not all at the same time.”
9) Go for a walk.
10) Breathe deeply.
11) Put some routines in place.
12) Follow directions. Read three times and just do it once.
13) Stop eating sugar before bed.
14) Remember you have nothing to prove.
15) Remind yourself that it is ok to rest or do something fun.
16) Listen to a song.
17) Watch the coffee
18) Control your mind. [Resist thoughts such as “No one appreciates all I do.” and ”I am all alone in this.”]
19) Talk to God honestly.
As the busy, busy recent days of finishing a doctorate, keeping up all the work related to the education department of HSBC going, and managing a home and family, have flown by, I have often thought I could not take another step. But I learned that these 20 tips really do help. Ladies, I suggest you try them- consistently.
What a difference it makes when you decide what you can change and what you can’t, when you feel better, rest your mind or heart, when you get some sleep, when you allow yourself to call or text a friend and just chat, or slow down a little.
In the coming summer days, I will close my final school year as Ed Chair for HSBC, pack our way out of our offices, pack up our personal belongings, leave the only home we have ever owned, get in a rental car for deputation services, and again head overseas for the second time this fall. When the stress of a big change or job hits you, it is good to have some tips on hand. You can be as surrendered as possible in your soul, but it does not make the details any easier. The dirt behind the couch still needs cleaned, the files still need sorted, the boxes are still heavy, and the suitcases need packed. But if you try to handle it all in your own strength, you will falter or fail. Remember, it is His burden and He has promised to keep it light. But we need to cooperate with Him!
With love, dear friends,