Last week I was sick. Sicker than I've been in a while. I knew I was headed for bronchitis or worse, so I made a plan. I cancelled everything. I put the house cleaning on hold. I put rice on and pulled out food from the freezer. I slept when my daughter slept. And I got myself better.
It took me a long time to realize that taking care of myself allows me to take care of my family. I read a fantastic book called Boundaries (When to Say YES When to Say NO to Take Control of Your Life)
which really helped me put things in perspective. It made me realize that saying no is not necessarily selfish, and that establishing priorities makes it possible to do the things I am called to do and be the person I need to be. I understand now that no one else can decide what my priorities are. I am responsible for myself, and for the sake of myself and my family, I must take a stand.
This does not just apply to physical strength. My spiritual health is just as important. Jesus Himself provided an example for establishing boundaries. When he was weary, He retreated to a quiet place. When He needed spiritual food, he found solitude and spoke to His heavenly Father. He didn't let anyone talk Him out of what He knew in His heart that He needed.
I've been learning these lessons for thirty-three years, and I'm just starting to get the hang of it. But hey, I hopefully still have at least that much time left to practice.
Then Jesus said, "Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28 NLT