Selfishness verses self care
I think the voyage of self discovery is a lifelong process. We're always learning and growing and changing. We're always seeing God's Word apply to new situations and speak to us differently than it did in another season of our lives. We're learning that things that worked perfectly for us in one season are virtually useless in this one or the next one. Life is a process and it makes sense that our relationship with the Lord will also experience highs and lows and changes. Not that we renounce our faith by any means, but just that faith in general at times is easier than others.
I love the mountain tops-who doesn't? I love feeling like Jesus is no more than a breath away and if I were in heaven it would feel just like this. But as I have matured in my faith I certainly understand the purpose and the power of the valley. I can't say I look forward to them because they sure are not fun, but I appreciate them and the lessons they teach. I especially appreciate when you come out of the valley and first start to notice that you can breathe again-only one word can describe it-grace.
Lately Satan and I have been going around and around about the topic of Selfishness. I say Satan because I'm not really sure any of this thinking originated with God or his current lesson teaching my heart to be more like Him. Let me say this first. My current season of life is so blocked in that if one or two things go wrong it doesn't take me long to flip completely out. That's just the truth. As long as I feel well, sleep and eat well, and everything else goes according to plan my life runs like a well oiled machine. But if I get a cold, can't sleep, am running late because the dog just puked on my cute shoes that go perfectly with this outfit, or someone totally innocent gets in my way and makes me late - I'll lose it - truly I will. I don't really like that about myself but it's so true. I just run 100mph ALL the time. I can't even tell you what I can cram into an hour if I ever get a free one. I definitely have at least 2 evenings a week where I stay home and read or talk to friends or whatever, but that time is also on a schedule.
So I don't like to think of myself as Selfish, but by nature of my jobs and life in this season I have to protect the time I have. If I don't sleep well Friday evening, I still have to work ALL weekend so I don't go out on Friday nights because I will regret it for 47 hours! I go out with my girlfriends on Tuesday night - really every Tuesday night for the last several years with very few exceptions. I look forward to it all week and it's my chance to get away with them for a few hours, discuss the week and hang out. I love it.
I'm so torn at the moment between being selfish and taking good care of myself. I have totally neglected myself in the past for the purpose of helping others and it didn't take too long before I fell completely apart. I feel closer to a good balance than ever before so I'm pretty sure that's why Satan is on the prowl-he surely doesn't want us to be balanced. I should also say that I am the absolute worst at being taken care of in general. If I'm not careful when people try to help me with anything I get very defensive and independent and end up hurting their feelings. I know this so I try very hard to not be so neurotic.
Recent examples-Last night I was at Cracker Barrell with my friend Tammy and we were running super late for the movie. She said she'd buy dinner and I could get the movie tickets. I was like sure great, but I started thinking what if dinner is more than the movie tickets and she ends up paying for more than I do? I was actually relieved when at the Movies she said, "Grab me a drink too." Whew! That meant I paid more which makes me way happier than when someone else does. WHAT A CRAZY PERSON I AM! What the heck difference does it make? Ugh. That's so annoying and SUCH a waste of perfectly good brain power! I think Satan LOVES that stuff, I really do. Bottom line is it made no difference. All of my friends toss back and forth the same $10.00 ALL THE TIME. One of us pays one time and one another and maybe it doesn't work out perfectly but it really makes no difference-at all. It's even more obnoxious to me now that I'm typing it, but I know I'm not the only one.
Another example-My grandparents have been here for the last 6 weeks. I love when they're here I honestly do, but like I said, I'm the worst at being taken care of. And truly they're just trying to help, but every once in awhile it so gets on my nerves. This past weekend at work was a nightmare, truly. I barely had time to run home change my clothes let the dogs out get some coffee and be back to work before the next patient arrived. Saturday afternoon I could barely keep my eyes open and I really just wanted to take a shower change clothes and get back. My grandfather stopped me at the door and proceeded into a long discussion about the front door and did I like the locks on it and did I think the frame was straight. My pager kept going off and we were still talking about the door. Finally I just said, "I love the door, as far as I can tell it's straight, and the locks match the rest of the hardware so I guess they're fine. Bye!" He really just wanted to know if there was something he could do to the door that would make me happier, but if he only knew-I don't even notice the door as I'm flying in and out of it!
Monday mornings you can probably guess are not Brenda at her finest. After working all weekend I have to be at the store to open. It's a miracle every Monday that I get to work at time and in any way look presentable. I have to be at work at 830 and it's 20 minutes away and if I don't stop at Starbucks-well, forget it! I woke up at 750 threw on some clothes and was trying to get out the door when my grandmother said, "I made breakfast!" I can't eat on Mondays until about 2 pm because my stomach is usually crazy from the weekends. I didnt' want to hurt her feelings, but I also wasn't about to eat breakfast. Well, there wasn't much else I could do about it, but she got her feelings hurt-and I was way too exhausted to be too bothered by it. I talked to her about it when I got home that night. She was just trying to help and I was just trying to survive and we came to an understanding, but it's still frustrating! I like it so much better when things run smoothly!
I am asking God to help me not to be selfish and if there are areas in my life when I need to be more understanding of people being late or postponing or changing plans that may or may not work for me. But I'm also asking God to not let me feel guilty for doing the things to take care of myself so that I can be at peace-body mind and soul. And definitely to recognize the difference.
So lately everytime Satan has whispered into my ear, "you're so selfish." God has gently whispered back, "you still need to take care of yourself." They're both right! I am selfish sometimes but God is showing me some of that time is because I have to be. And I do have to take care of myself. The patients that I see all weekend do not care that I am overly tired and the people who do care about me would probably appreciate me not snapping on them when they ask a question! It is about balance-the balance the Lord has for me and for this life at this time. I have to trust His leading.
And it was so wonderful last night to be a part of the body of Christ. I half jokingly said to my sweet friend Tammy, "I'm going to find some friends who can be on time to dinner so we don't have to rush to get to the movies!" She apologized and then said, "And I'm going to find some friends who don't schedule dinner so close to the movies!" I apologized too. Ah! I love it. Thanks friend!