I am a pretty energetic person for the most part. I'm a hard worker and I can get by on very little sleep. I don't let the little things get to me, and I try to face challenges with a great attitude. However, I must admit I am surprised when I hear the question, "Do you EVER get tired?"
Of course I do. I am human. I definitely have my limits. As a wife, mother of 4, and a full-time missionary I am living at a very high activity level. Yes, I get tired. Not just physically, but emotionally and spiritually as well. I get tired A LOT. It's hard when you give and give and give...and give some more- and I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one who feels that way. I'm guessing that a lot of mothers feel the same way at times- not to mention a lot of students, fathers, teachers, pastors, and pretty much anyone else in any walk of life.
So, the question is, what should we do to get energized when we get tired out? I'm sure everyone has their own way of doing things, but here are some ideas that I have found very helpful:
1) Take some time to think about the One who gives you strength. This can be accomplished by many different methods, and often will depend on where you are and how much time you have to do it in. If I am at home and have 10 minutes, I get out the Word of God and start to read in one of my favorite books. I don't get to read much more than a few verses, but just being reminded of the Truth when I am frazzled is a huge relief. If I am in the car or with other people, I often take time to pray. Even when I feel so drained that I don't know what to say, just telling the Lord, "I'm so tired that I don't even know where to begin, but thank you for being with me and seeing to my every need," helps to remind me that I am not doing this on my own. If I am in the middle of another task, I often sing. There are so many great songs that can speak for us and help to put things in perspective. One of my personal favorites for trying times is an old Steven Curtis Chapman song that says, "His strength is perfect when our strength is gone. He'll carry us when we can't carry on..." Remembering that all I accopmlish is because of Christ's strength IN me helps my stumbling feet to fly again!
2) Think about something you can do for someone right now, and DO it. Often in the ministry we labor for a long time before we see much fruit. Focusing my thoughts on a lack of tangible results can make me tired faster than anything. So, when I feel tired out I try to think of something, usually on a small scale, that will bring a smile to someone else's face. Deliver baked goods as a surprise for a neighbor, send out an encouraging card to an unsuspecting acquaintance, buy a candy bar for the person behind you in line at the grocery store...anything. The sky's the limit. The point is that by thinking of someone else, your own problems tend to seem a little smaller, and causing someone else to smile often will make you smile too. There is nothing like a smile to put a little life back into you and revive your tired bones and sore muscles!
3) Treat yourself to something that is special. I know many of us don't get a lot of "alone time", but it is necessary to create some down time in your schedule so that you can unwind a little bit...take your mind off of the stress and relax a little. For everyone it will be different, but I try to get my alone time when everyone else is in bed...usually around midnight. This is my time to read a good book, write in my journal, watch a movie, or even to just sort out my thoughts while eating a treat or drinking an ice-cold coke. Even if it is only a half an hour, it makes all the difference for me. Relaxing for just a bit helps the stress to lose it's power over you, and you once again feel like with God at your side, NOTHING is impossible!
I am so thankful to know that even when I am tired, I can get energized again. And again, and again, and again. The Lord empowers us to do the things we must, and to live a life worthy of all He has called us to do. Thank you, God, that ALL things are possible through YOU because you give us strength. If God is for us, who can be against us???