You may know that I’m a student. I know that school makes a lot of people cringe, but I love learning. I feel close to God in a classroom/study environment. One thing I’ve learned is that being a student requires balance. You have to manage your time wisely if you want to graduate and still have friends and a family when it’s all said and done.

I think being alive, period, requires balance. In order to flourish in your day-to-day life you have to find some kind of balance between your relationships, work, and endless other commitments. You have to set priorities because you can’t do everything for everyone. Ruth Haley Barton in her book, Strengthening the Soul of Your Leadership, shares the story of Moses and his need for balance in his daily life.

The book talks about the fact that God called Moses to serve Him right in the midst of who he already was. God called Moses to serve Him as a human being. God wanted to use him with his flaws and limits and everything. We know that Moses had a temper, and he also felt the need to help every person who came to him. He had trouble saying no. But God still wanted to use Moses for something great.

We read stories about people like Moses who experienced God in a miraculous way and we forget that they were human just like us. Then, when God asks us to do something big, we disqualify ourselves. We say these kinds of things to ourselves: 
Be encouraged today, YOU are the person that God wants to use to do something great! God wants YOU to be a great mom to the kids that he has trusted you with. He wants YOU to teach that Bible study that you’ve been considering. He wants YOU to step in and make a difference in a way that no one else can.

If you’re like me you have gone through a period of time in your life when you wonder why you aren’t succeeding or why things aren’t going the way you had planned. You wonder why you aren’t flourishing. Sometimes we aren’t following God’s plan for our lives and we are being disobedient. More often than not, it seems like we aren’t flourishing because we are trying too hard with our own strength. We don’t recognize that we are finite (limited) human beings.

Moses had a lot of trouble “being human.” He didn’t recognize his limits. Exodus 18 gives an example. Moses would sit all day and help people solve their problems. He was the leader and he felt like the people needed his help and only his. He thought pretty highly of himself, and didn’t know how to say no to people. He felt like he was the only one who could lead the people toward God.

God commands us to rest. The fourth of the Ten Commandments is to “remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy.” This is one of the commandments, or words that Deuteronomy11:18-21 says we should, “fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds….”

The purpose of the Sabbath was rest. God wanted the people to acknowledge their limits and take a day of rest. We are limited human beings who need rest and recharging and we need His help. God is the only one who is limitless.

I’m such a practical person, so when I write a post like this I think in terms of action and how I can apply it to my life. Here are a few tips that come to mind.

I hate to break it to you, but you're not superwoman and neither am I. Ask yourself what is keeping you back from living life to the fullest? Are you taking on too much responsibility at work or church? Do you feel the need to help everyone without saying no? Pinpoint what the issue is for you and ask for God’s help in setting the right boundaries. Boundaries honor God and allow us to rest.

The awesome part about Jesus is that he brings freedom and Sabbath rest to our everyday lives! So yes, you can take a Sabbath day off, but you can also take a Sabbath hour or Sabbath ten minutes if that’s all you have. A day is ideal, but not everyone has that luxury. If you have young children, I’m sure that ten minutes feels like a vacation from time to time! The goal isn’t to make yourself feel guilty for what you can’t do. Instead, start small and take time to rest.

Remember to recharge as well. We think that escaping from reality and our responsibilities is all that we need to rest. As Christians, we also need to recharge spiritually. We have to take time to reconnect with God and do activities that bring us joy. Zoning out is great sometimes, but it doesn’t fill our tank when we’re on empty.

Friend, I want you to flourish. I want you to live a more balanced, satisfied life. God doesn’t want his daughters to be exhausted and depleted everyday. I know I don’t want to be exhausted all of the time. When my tank is full I can be a better Christian, wife, daughter, student, friend, co-worker, and a number of other things.

I encourage you to take the time to be your best this year. It can feel selfish to take time for yourself or to say no, but God gives us permission and the wisdom if we’ll ask! Go on, invest in yourself! After all, you’re only human.

Tomorrow is it!
Our New Year giveaway is ending tomorrow at noon. If you have not gotten entered click here and get in on the fun. The winner will be announced tomorrow afternoon, so be on the look out.

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