As I think about the covenant I have entered with God, I realize that I still don't know everything about it. I'm okay with that, because I have enough faith to recognize that I'll know what needs to be added as it comes up. I know that God wouldn't just ask me to ... well, actually He might ask me to change my whole life. It has happened to others before me. Christmas was just a week ago... Didn't God change Mary's whole life? No, I don't expect to give birth to the Messiah. I do expect God to change my world for His glory though.
I believe that some of the tenets of this new covenant sound remarkably selfish. Like sleep. Getting enough of it. Or eating complete meals. I feel almost ridiculous saying this, but I feel that God wants me to take care of myself. On one hand, it feels so ludicrous because if my body is a temple for God, why wouldn't he want me to care for it? On the other hand, it feels pathetic to admit that I don't do this well at all. I know that I need enough sleep, that I need to eat healthy meals, and that exercise is something that I need to do on a regular basis. The information isn't new, but accepting and embracing it is.
When I think about really caring for myself, I feel selfish. Like why should I have all of these needs. There are so many people out there who have more issues and are in much worse situations than I am, so why should I spend so much time focusing on me. I've heard the wisdom from several of the women who mentor me - "If you don't take care of yourself, you become useless to everyone." I don't want to be useless to God, so I suppose I need to get myself in gear.
Just because I haven't been in a dark place (suicidal) in the last year, doesn't mean that I've mastered caring for myself. Burnout is a different dark place. When you push too hard for too long without giving yourself a break, burnout is inevitable. I can say I know this, because I've been burned out for months now. It isn't anybody else's fault, and after being off work for two weeks, I can say that I do feel better. Quitting my job isn't an option though, so other things have had to go. As much as I love playing with my church's handbell choir, I'm giving up playing with them on a regular basis. I'll leave myself open to being a sub, but I just can't keep going at this pace.
Caring for myself doesn't mean getting a weekly mani-pedi or buying new clothes every month. That isn't in my budget. There are things I can do instead. I do like the idea of being able to cook myself breakfast and lunch instead of fast food or just raiding leftovers. I enjoy cooking, but adding it to my everyday tasks is a rather overwhelming proposition. There is a compromise - cooking breakfast on Friday mornings and lunches on Saturdays while making enough to last me for the next week.
Not only can I cook, but I can choose to make healthy meals. As much as I love my food "Southern fried", I realize that it isn't the only way to cook. A couple of weeks ago, I got on the scale and was appalled that I could actually weigh in at 228 pounds. Since I'm only 5'3", this is clearly not a healthy weight for me. I'm determined to take some of it off though. I don't need to be supermodel skinny, but I can lose 75 pounds and become an overall healthier person.
I don't know what I'm going to do as far as exercise, because right now my everything aches when I overdo it. I'll find something, and hopefully soon. Right now, a lot of my options are limited because it is so cold outside. While I've been off, winter has arrived with a vengeance. That kind of hurts my desire to go for a walk or pull out my skateboard. My best options may be to borrow dvds from the library or get a gym membership.
I'm working on learning to care for myself, because I won't always have someone else to remind me to do it.