Two of my friends graciously took the time to reply to my post a few days ago about Self-Others Balance.

“Mary” shared the following. It touched me so much that I can’t resist sharing it with you too. Her wisdom penetrated my thoughts, and has me thinking again of my head in Jesus’ lap and of JC the grandfather.

“Note well the words of Jesus, if you are heavy-laden with your service…It is not ‘Go, labor on,’ as perhaps you imagine. [But]..’Come to me and rest.’ Never, never did Christ send a heavy-laden one to work; never, never did he send…a weary one, a sick or sorrowing one away on any service. For such the Bible only says, ‘Come, come, come.'” Could it possibly be the devil has a play in making you think your worth is based somehow on service? Could it be he wants you think that the trials and stresses in your life are not a heavy enough burden to wrap yourself in the
God’s quilt and rest? If he wears you to illness or lack of energy, keeps your head full of anxiety, can you truly serve God? Could it be that God wants you to take care of yourself first, love yourself fully, for you are the image of him? That doesn’t mean quit, give up taking care of your child, etc. but it might mean a paradigm shift. It is hard for me to accept that I have to put the oxygen mask on myself first before others, but if I don’t, what good am I?

And, another friend, “Rachael,” reflects upon a different aspect of things. She points me to simply being myself, and she has inspired a whole new train of thought with me, one that rings true with some of my ponderings and mental travels of late.

I know that God has wonderful hopes and plans for each of us. I know that he expects great things from us. I also know that (at least I)sometimes sabotage hose plans by expecting things that he doesn’t.

Don’t expect things from yourself that God doesn’t expect. Don’t ever be afraid to simply be yourself. That is what God created in you.

Both of these friends, in taking the time to reply to me, and to share their thoughts, have made me appreciate even more the tapestry of friends I am blessed to know. They have caused many prayers of thanksgiving this weekend, and they have given me courage to just be “me” to all the people I see each day (not just to you, gentle readers, to whom I have blessed anonymity). Their wisdom seems to come straight from the Holy Spirit, and I am reminded again of the powerful role women play in the world. I don’t say this in the spirit of “women are better than men” but in the spirit of “wow, I’m a woman too, and God expects these kinds of things from me too.”

I hope you have friends in your life who support you and remind you of what’s important, friends to whom you go with your concerns and who point you back to prayer, even taking the time from their own busy lives to pray with you. I hope you experience the joy of laughing with friends, and the agony of sharing grief and sorrow with friends.