Some of you may have noticed that the She is the Future series took a break. Once the pandemic hit, I wanted to pause and come back when the timing felt right. I also wanted to make sure these stellar women didn’t get lost in the chaos, but as we settle into this new normal the timing felt right to resume.
SO, kicking us back off this week is Callie Ammons! I first met Callie when I was on her podcast and at the end of it I immediately invited her to be a part of this series. One of the things that impressed me about Callie is that she asked me questions–HARD questions–that no one had asked me before. She is smart and she is challenging, and you will discover this as soon as you hop on her Instagram and check out her LEGIT enneagram wisdom.
I know you will be blessed by her words this morning, and if you would like to hear more from Callie, check out her podcast Living Enneagram. Welcome Callie!
Caring for Your Soul During Hardship
By: Callie Ammons
It was a cold morning when my alarm went off at 4 AM. Nothing about the cold room made me want to get out of my warm bed, but I knew that if I didn’t get moving, I would be late for work. Plus, isn’t living for Christ a sacrifice anyways?
I spent weeks hustling at work, school, family, and community life. I didn’t even have kids to add to the mix, but trying to keep up with making everyone in my life happy became hard. Boundaries were a foreign concept.
I mean, were boundaries even okay? It was our own family and church community pressing for our attention and time. Apart from that, we had to work in order to pay bills and graduate college. I hit this season of exhaustion both emotionally and physically.
In fact, there was one night while I was laying in bed. My heart was hurting. I was 23 years old at the time and very active; why was my heart hurting? I realized my sleep, eating, and over- committing habits were out of control.
The Reality of Your Current Life
This story isn’t to complain, but to share the reality of getting caught up in a lie. I found myself believing that I “must sacrifice and take care of everyone else’s needs because that’s what it looks like to follow Christ.” The problem here is that when we don’t take care of our own heart and soul, things start to spin out of control – whether or not we want to admit it.
Have you felt this before? Maybe in a season of Coronavirus you’re finding yourself out of routine and running around taking care of your friends and family to make sure they’re all okay, but you aren’t thriving? We’re going to take a look at how we care for ourselves in such a strange time.
Here is a question/truth we must face, “does God call us to serve and show up for others?” Absolutely. But He first calls us to steward our own soul FIRST. If we are commanded to love others as we love ourselves, we might actually trash some people if you look at the way we’re handling our own life.
30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ 31 The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”
Don’t get me wrong, there is a time to work hard and to take care of those around you (John 15:13), but I hit a point of burnout and was completely ignoring the very masterpiece that God put in my ownership. It was time something changed and maybe you’re here too?
Later that year, my husband Kramer and I were convicted to figure out our essentials in life. What does God call us too? What has He asked us to steward on a daily basis?
We knew that if we identified this, it would be very clear to us as to what we should do and not do with our time. Instead of binging Netflix or sleeping in, maybe He has something he’s wanting to do with your time?
Making Progress in Your Personal Life
I can’t make you do anything, but my prayer and hope is that as you read this post, you’ll take the time to ask God, “What are the things you want me to care of right now?”
It’s easy to look around and to see what has changed. Maybe you’re discouraged that you’re not in routine, you can’t get your favorite latte, or go on the vacation you had planned. When our feelings are overwhelmed and our world is spinning out of control, it’s easy to just “numb” ourselves.
But here’s the deal, God’s word tells us in James 2 that during hard times, we can grow in our character, faith, and ability to persevere. Do you realize that He is wanting to build YOU right now?! He’s wanting to equip you as you read this very post. Our God is for you.
If you want to experience more freedom and to activate the truth that you can grow right now, then try this practice:
- Ask God to reveal to you what the essential things are in your life. What is He calling you to steward today?
- Make a list of all of the things God is placing on your heart and showing you through His word. Here are some ideas of what I’m doing daily (spending in-depth time in the Word, exercising, connecting with a human, intentional time with my husband, stewarding my business)
- After you have written your list, place it somewhere exactly where you can see it.
It’s powerful when we can truly ask ourselves this question.
“What do I need to do for my soul or body in order to draw me closer toward Jesus, and to step into the woman God has called me to be?”
This might mean exercising, reading a book, studying God’s word for longer than usual, fasting, etc. Self-care can look so different for each of us, and that’s why we must be careful to not judge harshly. We must look inward and ask God how he might want us to steward our hearts and lives better.
Sister, when you know how to love yourself, you then can love others with the same overflow. If your basic needs are not being taken care of (like the boat I was in) with not getting enough sleep, time with Jesus, stillness, etc, then things are going to be spinning out of control.
We have to be intentional with our life and our time so that we can love ourselves and others better even through the midst of a world pandemic. This can feel backwards, but remember, aligning our hearts with Jesus is the most important thing we can do. And His word gives us very clear instructions to follow as far as stewarding the very life that He gave to you. Only you have control of your life and it’s your responsibility to care for it.