I also write for Hatfield Christian Church's Newsgirl blog, you can read Restore my soul there.
It’s that time of year where time starts stretching out, and the Christmas holidays seem just too far away. Everyone is tired and agitated, longing for some downtime to just rest and recuperate from the long year.
What are the little things you can prioritise to help fill your tank and keep you sane ‘til the holidays? For me, it is doing small craft projects.
I know DIY crafting is not for everyone, but open your mind to the possibility. For you, it could be baking, listening to music, enjoying nature, reading a book, or watching a movie that recharges you and helps you feel inspired again.
Similarly spending time with God shouldn’t weigh us down. It shouldn’t feel like a chore. Instead, it should be your source of joy and upliftment. A while back I was speaking to a friend. Her tank was running dry. Her energy was spent juggling more and more tasks every day, a few of which had already slipped out of her control. The thought of attending a church service felt like a burden, a chore. And the thought of not going made her feel guilty and ashamed.
Spending time in God’s presence, learning from his Word, and fellowship with his people was never intended to be a burden on us. He even gives us this promise: “… my yoke is easy and my burden is light." (Matt 11:30)
There was a time during university, just before my burnt out, that I sought advice from a mentor. She told me I needed rest, but in order to know when I needed to rest I first had to get to know myself. I had to learn to realise when I started to feel drained and pull back a little, say no to people and events, and prioritise time to recharge. Ask yourself: ‘do I feel energized by spending time with people or does spending time alone recharge my batteries?’ You could love to spend time around people, but just spending time alone makes you feel ready to take on the world again. It could also be different in various seasons of your life. So, how do you recharge?
You may have a similar feeling to the friend I mentioned earlier. I want to ease your conscience. God values your physical and emotional wellbeing just as highly as your spiritual wellbeing. He encourages us to take care of our bodies as if they are temples (1 Corinthians 6:19).
If you need to, take a Sunday off, spend time with your family, take a nap, do something that will help restore your soul and energise you for the week ahead. This is not an excuse to not spend time with God, but it's about being intentional with your time and choosing to rather spend more quality time with God through your daily devotions or attending your bible study group.
I want to leave you this thought I had recently:
‘My body may be weak and tired but my spirit-man is strong. Don’t let religious expectations of being “spiritual” cause your emotional and physical tanks to decline. For we are each made perfect in God’s image (Genesis 1:27); body, mind and soul.
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