Have you ever had the thought that it’s just easier to put yourself last?
If we are all honest, I think we’ve all had this thought and maybe even acted upon it.
I mean, after all, there is a lot going on, isn’t there?
Children need help with homework. A meal needs to be made. Projects need to be completed. Laundry needs to be done. Husbands and significant others need your time and affection. Friends need advice. The dog needs grooming. The car needs an oil change. The toilet needs a cleaning. A yard needs to be mowed. An email needs to be answered. Groceries need to be purchased.
The list is endless, isn’t it?
Self-Care is Tough
In all of our roles as women, we do such a great job of serving others, but such a poor job of serving ourselves.
Look no further than the list of tasks we do on a daily basis. Where on this list is time devoted to you?
As one women so honestly answered, “It’s just easier to put me last.”
Truth be told, it is easier to put ourselves last.
It takes work to find a babysitter, to prep a meal for your time away, to arrange care for your children when you want to go on a trip, and to weed through schedules to find 1 hour of time to meet with a girlfriend.
It takes you risking being criticized or demoted at work when you choose to not respond to emails or to do projects during the evenings or weekends.
It takes you overcoming feelings of guilt for being away from those you serve every single day.
When the energy is low, as it so often is, it is so much easier to just be okay with putting yourself last.
But, that is not how God wants us to live.
Asking God for Strength
In 1 Kings 19, verses 3-9, Elijah is on the run, afraid for his life. He went from town to town, before finally entering the wilderness alone. Elijah “sat down under a solitary broom tree and prayed that he might die. ‘I have had enough, Lord,’ he said. ‘Take my life, for I am no better than my ancestors who have already died.'”
As Elijah slept, an angel came to him and said, “Get up and eat!” He looked around and there beside his head was some bread baked on hot stones and a jar of water! So he ate and drank and lay down again.”
God knew Elijah needed more than what he was eating, so the angel touched him again and said, “Get up and eat some more, or the journey ahead will be too much for you.” Elijah got up and ate and drank some more before traveling 40 days and nights to Mount Sinai.
Like Elijah who needed the physical bread and water to nourish himself for the long journey, we too need our own bread and water.
In our 21st century living, our bread and water is not physical food. It’s about carving out time for ourselves to refuel, replenish, and to renew our worn out and weary soul.
How and what this looks like is different for everyone. You might not even know what it is that nourishes you. Or maybe you do know, but you’re just not up for the fight.
Friend, from the bottom of my heart, I pray that you seek God for strength to fight for you.
I know your own physical strength and energy might be depleted but let God give you His strength. Through His strength, you can work to find time to fill you, to say no when personal boundaries are crossed, and to push past feelings of guilt.
The journey ahead of you is long, windy, and moving at breathe-taking speed. Like Elijah you need nourishment to get through your journey.
Getting God’s strength is the key to saying yes to you during your journey in life.
Through prayer, you can acknowledge that you need more; more time to fill you up and to renew your weary soul. As you pray, ask God to give you His unexplainable strength so that you too can be nourished for the journey ahead.
Dear Heavenly Father,
I come before you to needing your strength and your grace. I’m tired and worn out. I need time to fill me back up, but working to find this time is hard and I don’t have the energy to do it myself. God, fill me up with your strength so that I can choose to say yes to me. When I say yes to me I’m ultimately saying yes to you and to everyone I’m serving. Thank you for your grace and your strength. Amen.
Praying you through,