Running on empty?

So let’s not allow ourselves to get fatigued doing good. At the right time we will harvest a good crop if we don’t give up, or quit. Right now, therefore, every time we get the chance, let us work for the benefit of all, starting with the people closest to us in the community of faith. Galatians 6: 9-10

Another version says “as we have the opportunity”.

The balance between self-care and individual, alone time with Jesus and caring for others can sometimes bring fatigue.  There is a term– compassion fatigue– that describes secondary trauma and burn out associated with caring for others.  You know you are not balanced when you begin to experience symptoms of anxiety, depression, sleeplessness, somatic complaints, cynicism, and not being able to separate yourself from the person’s life you are helping.  You personalize their problems.

There are so many nuggets of truth to this verse.  The importance of taking opportunities to speak kindness into someone’s life, offer a prayer or helping hand, seeking to understand their situation and perhaps just listening–maybe a good ear is all they need and a hug.

It’s also interesting to me that we should start with the people closest to us in the community of faith.  The people who are closest to me are my husband and children.  Our home makes up a community of faith. This extends to a body of believers.

None of this is possible if we are not balanced.  When fatigue sets in we are no good to ourselves or anyone else.  Put Jesus first and don’t feel guilty saying no to rejuvenate your mind and body so that you can make the most of an opportunity.

What rejuvenates you?

  • Resting
  • Exercise
  • Mindfulness of what you are eating and drinking lots of water
  • Counting your blessings and accomplishments from the day–being grateful
  • A hobby
  • Alone time consistently with Jesus
  • A date night

The list is endless and personal to each one of us.

You will never have time to take care of you.  You have to MAKE time and know you are worth it!  For more information on compassion fatigue:  http://www.compassionfatigue.org/pages/pathtowellness.html

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