Since returning from the medical furlough, I’ve tried to make “self-care” a part of my daily ministry.
Self-care is basically what it sounds like, taking care of yourself! For me, it means making my own physical fitness a priority.
My self-care habits include things like
- One or two (usually two) brief naps a day
- Constantly wearing sunglasses to protect my eyes
- Eating healthy meals
- And setting aside time each day for relaxation
These and other habits are important because I’ve learned ministry cannot be done at 100% if I am not at 100%
The months leading up to my medical furlough was a painful reminder of this. The lack of proper eyesight affected my energy greatly since lots of my bodies strength went into helping me see. I had a desire to do the work, but lacked the energy to accomplish it.
It is possible to minister when you’re at about 75% or 80% physically, but it simply isn’t effective.
More than that….
Lack fo self-care damages ministry
I came back to the States beat up not only physically, but mentally, and emotionally because of my cataracts. Looking back, I can see this issue came because I didn’t take care of myself (my eyes particularly).
During my time home I re-committed myself not only to spiritual health, but personal health. Which means eating right, wearing my sunglasses, and making sure I get enough rest.
Because in order to help others, sometimes I need to take care of John first.