Earlier this month, David and I were able to spend a couple of days on a leadership retreat with our church. It was an incredibly life-giving time. We chatted, laughed, and prayed together, and then we discussed the vision for the coming year and how we can best serve the families in our church. I left with much more energy and excitement than when I arrived.
As we drove home, I thought how often we undervalue and fail to prioritize those times of encouragement and refreshment. We go, go, go and never take any time to recharge, rest, and take care of ourselves.
We moms seem to be the worst at that, don’t we?
We fail to take time for the things we need the most like quiet time in God’s Word, exercise, and even eating right, because we think our spouse, children, and others need us too much to take that break.
But the truth of the matter is that BECAUSE others need us so much, we should take that break. We should work in time for fellowship and fun. We should prioritize our spiritual growth and our physical health.
All of those will make us better equipped and able to do our jobs well!
Coming together as a group like we did with our church leadership team this weekend should also be a priority. You see, God did not create us to function well outside of a community.
He created families, churches, and the greater body to give us ample opportunities for fellowship and growth together.
Yet so many fail to recognize the power in those things. I know I did for a very long time.
We fail to pause as David reminded us to do recently, so we can enjoy and appreciate God’s gifts to us more fully; and we fail to cease our striving long enough to allow the Lord to grow us and give us what we need to serve Him and those we love.
Whether I would have admitted it in words or not, I always felt like I was ok on my own. My attitude and my actions indicated that as long as I had my family, I didn’t need anyone else.
Did God ever change my heart about that!
To be completely honest, for many years while our children were young, as long as I could keep pushing forward, I felt like I was doing ok.
I’d exercise when I could, which was sporadic at best.
I’d rest when things slowed down, which they rarely did.
I’d try to find new ideas before I reached my absolute wits end.
But I was absolutely running myself—and by extension, my family—into the ground.
David used to tell me to take better care of myself, but I was doing ok… or so I thought. How I wish I had learned sooner the truth about God’s plan for me as His child and the great blessing He’s given me by being one of His children.
I didn’t even get the message when we started Teach Them Diligently. No, I’m a much slower learner than that.
I used to joke about the irony of God calling us to this ministry, for I would never be one who’d probably even go to it. I was too shy and too busy—and in hind’s sight, too self-sufficient for my own good or for my family’s good.
It took years of producing events and building the TTD365 community before I humbled myself enough to realize how desperately I needed what those things offer. I have come to highly prize the faith-strengthening friends I’ve made through TTD with whom I can share ideas, prayer requests, laughter, tears, frustrations, joys, and more. I just got home from a weekend retreat with several of them! ♥️
God has used countless TTD families to grow me and David in our walk with Him, and we’ll be forever grateful to each of you who have shared your lives with us through the years.
As the days get darker and culture becomes more wicked, our need for one another becomes even more evident.
As I write this article, I’m on a plane heading back from Poland. During our brief time there last week, we visited with some amazing brothers and sisters in Christ who are hungry for the opportunities we all take for granted.
Communities of Christians are rare there, so when believers are able to gather, they stay long and cherish every moment to gain the strength they need for the next leg of their journey.
As He always does, God used these amazing men and women to teach me much and to reinforce the need for all of us to prioritize gathering together with His people while we have the chance.
We’ve been given a special gift to be able to be surrounded by those who think and believe as we do. May we never take that gift or the life-giving benefits it gives us, for granted.