I'm Tired of Serving Others
by: Lysa TerKeurst

Why can't it be all about me today? I'm tired of constantly driving my kids around, running to the grocery store several times a week, cooking, picking up the dry cleaning, paying for everyone's activities, making costumes, setting appointments, helping keep everyone's schedule straight, assisting with homework projects, thinking of all the family details, and chasing after the dog who loves to run away. Being the woman of the household gets exhausting, especially when you feel under-appreciated, overworked and stretched way too thin. When I start feeling this way, I know it's time to make time for me. Not that life becomes all about me. But at times it's important to break away from the daily grind and let Jesus refresh me.

Mark 12: 30-31 says, "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.' The second is this: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no commandment greater than these" (NIV). Often we rush through this verse and park our thoughts on "love your neighbor." For women, our closest neighbors are the ones who live under our roof. Then, we love people who live around us, go to church with us, and those we interact with. While it is good to fulfill the "love others" part of the verse, if we don't balance it with the rest of this verse, we'll start to feel drained and grumpy.

First, we are told to love the Lord with everything in us. Think about all the things you did for your family to show them love this past week. Now contrast that with what you've done to show Jesus you love Him. How much time have I spent praising Him by singing worship songs and quoting Scripture? Have I taken time to talk to Him about my concerns, fears, challenges, expectations, plans, hopes and dreams? Have I even cracked open my Bible in the past couple of days for the sole purpose of wanting to hear from the Lord? Not just doing my obligatory Bible reading, but reading the Scriptures as a treasured love letter from my Beloved Savior.

Next we are told to love our neighbors as ourselves. The assumption here is that we "love ourselves." Not that we are self-centered and absorbed with our wants and desires, but that we take care of ourselves and make time to refresh and refuel.

When a vehicle's gas tank is low on fuel, the dashboard indicators warn that the car is almost out of gas. If the driver ignores the warning signal, the vehicle eventually breaks down. This is true for us. If we ignore the warning signals that we are running on empty, we will begin to wear down. Even if we can still go through the motions of life, our attitude and emotional outlook will suffer greatly.

How can we tell we are running on empty? Here are a few warning signs: a short temper, feeling that life is spinning out of control, having a sense of dread when waking up in the morning, missing appointments, feeling invaded when someone asks a favor, and having a hard time controlling your emotions. I know these well because I have to guard my time and my emotional energy by taking time to love God and myself.

Do you feel as though you're running low and need to veer out of the fast lane for a bit? Why not pull out your calendar and get intentional by scheduling time to spend with God and time to do things for yourself as well.

This is not being selfish. A wise person told me one of the best things I could do for my family is to take good care of myself. Then, instead of serving others from a grumpy, grumbling heart, I can serve from a heart overflowing with God's peace and joy.

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