When I am stressed or feeling overwhelmed, I have found that being still and resting in God’s presence helps me cope with the demands of marriage, motherhood, and ministry. While I used to be too high-strung to slow down long enough to take these “sanity breaks” or not bother lying down unless I had two hours to nap, I now seize whatever time I can whenever I can. If I have twenty minutes before heading out the door to soccer practice, I let my kids know that I need some “Mommy time.” I close the door, set the timer, lay down on my bed and imagine Jesus holding me, stroking my cheek, even running His fingers through my hair. I often meditate on Psalm 46:10, “Be still, and know that I am God.” These few minutes can alleviate stress, lift my spirits, adjust my attitude, and give me a second wind to continue going about my busy day. Just knowing that the almighty God sees how hard I am working to maintain a household, raise a family, and run a ministry and sensing His loving encouragement to press on gives me the strength to keep running the race, even when I’m stumbling or feel like quitting.
I don’t know about you, but I desperately need that kind of encouragement and affirmation. I used to perform for others to get this need met. I knocked myself out for my boss, going way above and beyond the call of duty, just so I could hear, “You did a great job.” I fixed myself up all the time, dressing to arouse men and hoping to hear, “Don’t you look gorgeous today!” I went out of my way to do things for people just to hear them say, “I appreciate your thoughtfulness.” But when you look to others for your affirmation, you have to find ways to get a fresh supply, which eventually will run you ragged. But I have found that God’s affirmation fills my emotional tank even more than any human’s flattering words will. When I sense the God of the universe saying to me, “I see everything you are doing and your hard work brings me great joy… You are so beautiful to me even when you are sleeping… I see your heart and you are so very special to me,” His sentiments send me reeling further than any man ever could.
Excerpted from Every Woman’s Battle: Discovering God’s Plan for Sexual and Emotional Fulfillment by Shannon Ethridge. Copyright 2003. All Rights Reserved. Published by WaterBrook Press, Colorado Springs, CO 80921. Used by Permission. Not to be copied without Publisher’s prior written approval.