Thursday, March 3, 2016

Learning to Balance

Before I even start, I just was to say that this is a good to write but tough to share blog.

After Oved was born, I dealt with postpartum depression. It was a rough bunch of months. I struggled through them, but ppd was affecting every single area of my life and it had to stop. In October--right around when we started this blog--I decided that I couldn't live like I was living anymore. I had to do something. Something that would make me feel like a person again. Something that would bring me out of the fog I was surviving in. I cried out to God and He answered me. I believe that God led me to the right people and things to help me take steps to get to a more balanced life.

I knew my relationship with God had to be the priority in my life. I started to go to a women's Bible Study on a weekly basis and study throughout the week. I started to write down prayers and seek the Lord in that way. I started to try to have worship music playing in the house as often as I remembered to get it started. This was a breath of fresh air.

For those of you in ministry (and even those of you who are not), you know how important it is to set boundaries to protect yourself from burnout. Burnout happens without much warning if you aren't paying attention. I had to set some boundaries with ministry vs. everything else. When we are at home, in Haiti, it can be easy for us to go through each day planning and preparing, striving to make sure ministry happens well. Since our office is in our house, we can easily get caught up and continue working well into the evening hours. For me, this had to stop. Especially now that I have two little ones who need attention, love, and nurturing.

In November, two things happened that really pushed me to get to where I should be in my personal life--through Facebook. 

First, I joined a Facebook group of ladies who were going to commit to praying for their husbands for 30 days. I jumped at the chance to be a part of that community of women, holding each other accountable, praying for their husbands and their marriages, and sharing stories of how God was working. That month was such a precious time for me and God used that time to grow me and draw me closer to Him while He was enriching and strengthening our marriage.

Second, I was put in touch with a group of people who were challenging themselves and holding each other accountable specifically to live a healthy lifestyle. Some people in that group of individuals striving to live a healthy lifestyle, truly pushed me to get healthy because it is important. When I was in the darkest time ppd, I didn't have energy for my marriage, my kids, or the ministry God had called me to. I felt lost and stuck. These ladies pushed me, so I started to take 30 minutes a day (most of the time when the kids were asleep) to exercise. It was amazing the difference taking care of myself made for me in every day life. I have more energy and I feel great! 

I am so grateful that at just the right time, God put these two--really three--groups of people in my path so I could get on the road to learning to balance. If I am not balanced--I have come to realize--I get stressed and end up not doing anything well. I can't pour into my marriage, my kids, or my ministry if I am empty. 
Things my days consist of now.
Do I have it all together? No. Am I always as balanced as I could be? No. Do I still struggle through some days? Definitely. I am so glad that God has grace for me as I am on this journey. So grateful that I can give myself grace when I mess up. So glad that God still rejoices over me! 

Zephaniah 3:17
"The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing."

God is still teaching me a lot through this journey and I know I've got a long way to go.