Very early in my ministry I remember reading the book, When I Relax I Feel Guilty. I could certainly relate to the title…then and NOW! But…why is it always so much easier to tell others what they should do (relax, refresh, learn to laugh at ourselves) than it is to take our own advice and practice said truth in our own life? Throughout my ministry I have always struggled with giving myself permission to take time for ME.
Today, let’s agree to let each other learn to relax, refresh and when needed laugh at ourselves. How are we going to do it?
- RELAX – Establish a PLACE for you to be able to “get away” from all of the chaos of life. Many of us would do well to take just a few minutes each day to “take a deep breath, get away from the hustle and bustle of life, and remember from where our joy comes.” In the last few weeks, with my family life’s craziness being added to by two grown daughters and their four kids moving in with us, we have established an “I Need a Little Me Time” spot in our home. We are blessed with an unusually large walk-in closet. We place an oversized chair, small table, lamp and rug inside the closet. We placed the sign “I Need a Little Me Time” bought at a local thrift shop on the door. It’s amazing how just a few minutes in THE CLOSET help me to relax, regroup and emerge with a “second wind.”
- REFRESH – Plan times just for YOU to take care of your temple and fill your mind with new thoughts. Purpose to make wise choices in eating and exercise and consider maybe giving yourself time to read Scripture and some of the newest resources on the market for your career and passion. Make yourself take vacation days. These days will equip you to keep on keeping on with new energy.
- LAUGH AT YOURSELF – Think back over some of your most awkward/comical times in ministry. Laugh at yourself! Learn to enjoy your days in ministry and consider the opportunity to minister to kids and their families as a blessing. Loosen up! Force yourself to spend time with kids in both a structured and non-structured environment. My favorite story to “remember” was a time one evening in 1997 when I locked myself outside of my little apartment during my days of transition to a new job. The kicker: all I had on was a pair of boxer shorts. One comedy led to another during a few hours of trying to get help while being scantily clad! During these moments of snickering and embarrassment, God whispered “Relax! Laugh at yourself. I am still in control and have wonderful plans for your life.”
Commit to trying this formula TODAY: 1. Relax; 2. Refresh; 3. Laugh at yourself!