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1 Corinthians 6:19-20 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.
After repeatedly ending up on the floor in tears from pain and exhaustion, I’m learning to divide tasks into smaller and smaller tasks. For example, this is how I now approach doing laundry – wash one day, iron one day, fold one day, put away one day. And if needed, to divide into even smaller tasks of folding Andy’s clothes today and mine tomorrow, ironing some of Andy’s shirts today and more the next, and so on…
Dividing tasks gets the job done. More importantly, they teach me patience, understanding, acceptance, and humility in the doing.
Yes, I do have to keep telling myself that I am working and not giving up or in to the pain and exhaustion. Yes, I do have to remind myself that this task doesn’t have to be done today. Yes, I do have to assure myself that when someone comes to the house that she is coming to see me, not the piles of laundry, dishes, or whatever is sitting out. Yes, I do have to reaffirm myself that all of this is ok and has no impact on how much God, Andy, my family, and my friends love me.
Because this is the bottom line – “it’s not about me” in the words of Rick Warren’s The Purpose-Driven Life”. Life is not about me, never has been, nor ever will be. A most important lesson I’m slowly learning in the dividing of tasks.
I purposefully didn’t use the word “pacing” in the title for this post. And “why?”, you might ask – because, to me, pacing is what I used to do when I was running. My desire was to get faster and faster. I would set goals for longer distances and faster speeds each day and do pretty much whatever it required of my body to reach them. I sacrificed my body on the altar of my own arrogance. Hence, pacing is the opposite of what I’m trying to do with dividing tasks.
The goal of dividing tasks is to protect my body and me from what my mind and heart want to demand of it, which is everything all at once and all the time.
Because in reality, what I want is to be in control, of everything all at once and all the time. And this desire for control is nothing more and nothing less than arrogance. Arrogance that shakes her fist at her Creator and her circumstances. Arrogance who thumbs her nose at Jesus and joy in obedience. Arrogance which turns away from Christ and commitment.
Because this is the bottom line – I have disordered loves in the words of C.S. Lewis’s The Four Loves. I love myself and how others might perceive me more than them seeing the love of Jesus in and from me. I love my agenda and dreams more than obedience to my God Who gave His only beloved Son for me.
In contrast, my Creator is the One Who will use all of this for good as promised in Romans 8:28. My Christ is the One Who will stay through all of this no matter what as promised in Hebrews 13:6-8. He loved me before I even knew Him. He loves me still even though He knows all of me.
Circumstances, including this body, are temporary (hallelujah!). Yet my response to them of obedience can produce an eternal Christlikeness that goes far past loads of laundry and dishes into the lives of others in need of hope. In other words, when I use up all of my energy for that which isn’t eternal, I only see the now. Yet when I choose to work in ways that honor Christ in my body as His temple, I reach past today’s pain and weakness into forever.
And forever is exactly what I yearn for today, in body and soul.
2 Corinthians 5:6 So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord
Thank You that You will never change. Thank You that You are always here with me. Thank You that You continue to teach me what is best. Please help me to learn to love You and Your people better. Please help me to choose what is best as I follow You. Please help me to trust You that Your strength is made plain when I am weak.
In the strong Name of Jesus,
If you’re interested in reading Patient Advocacy Parts 1-3, you can find them on the Latest Musings page here on the blog or you can find them in the older posts section.
Thanks so much for reading!
Written by and copyrighted to Beth Madison, Ph.D., 2021