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No Better Self-Care Than With God



I am completely humbled to have the opportunity to write this blog about self-care. In honesty, I struggled to put this blog together because I had felt unworthy and insufficient to be speaking on self-care especially that self-care is still an ongoing battle for me.


As I pieced this blog together, I had many doubts. At times I would just be in a blank space with no words to type. I would ask myself over and over again, “What do I say about self-care to my sisters in Christ? Where should I begin? How should I end the blog? What information can uplift my sisters in Christ on self-care?”


I had so many questions. One day as I sat staring at a blank sheet on my laptop, I just felt this calming presence in my heart. This calming feeling in my heart reminded me that our own knowledge and wisdom will never be enough but that the knowledge and wisdom from God is sufficient. I then realized that I have been trying to speak about self-care from my own abilities and that God wants me to just share my heart with you all because it is through those tribulations and deliverances in my life that will speak to self-care for us who are God’s daughters.


She then said to me, “This moment is only temporary. This is only a season in your life. You are so loved by so many and even loved more by someone you may not even know.”

It has only been over a decade that I have come to know God and receive Christ as my savior. I am now almost forty years old, so I’ve spent most of my life not knowing our good good Father and the grace that He gave us. Sometimes I pounder on that time lost but yes, I am again reminded that He has a purpose for everything and a time for everything. I now know that those years of not knowing God was to mend my heart for Him and to build me up to serve Him now.


As a child, then a youth, and then a young woman I lived with feeling insufficient, insecure, and with low self-esteem. I found my self-worth in people. How people responded to me, how they made me feel, and how they accepted me gave me a sense of self-worth, so I was always seeking approval and acceptance. That mindset led me down a dark road because when I no longer felt acceptance and approval it almost cost me my life. It hurt so bad to not have acceptance and approval that I almost committed suicide.


When I drove down that road that day with a rope, I felt so alone and unwanted. I did not know it then, but now I see that God was with me every step of the way. Along the drive, a hospital sign caught my eye and I decided to go there as a last resort. When I got to the door, I was in tears, so a nurse came out to me, and she just embraced me. She asked me how she could help me and assured me that she cared. That embrace and that assurance made me weep in her arms. She then said to me, “This moment is only temporary. This is only a season in your life. You are so loved by so many and even loved more by someone you may not even know.” Those words stayed in my heart; they are still in my heart. Talk about speaking words of life!


If we don’t make it a priority to connect with God through prayer, through devotion, through everything we do … regardless how many times we go to the spa, no matter how many nice outfits we buy, no matter how healthy/fit we get from going to the gym, no matter how beautiful we look … there is no satisfaction.

From that moment on, I started to seek out who that “someone” is. Who is that “someone” who loves me even more than the family and friends I have. Who is that someone who can love a broken person like me? Who is that someone who can accept me regardless of all my wrongdoings and regardless of all my short comings? In 2011, during church service the Pastor asked the audience, “Who wants their life to be renew? Who wants their life to have meaning? Who wants purpose, acceptance, forgiveness, and redemption? If you are looking for all that, it can only be found in God through His son Jesus Christ.” I am sure that the Pastor had said those words many times but that day those words spoke to me. After service, I went up to the Pastor and asked him how I can learn more about God and His son Jesus Christ. From there on, I attended a couple faith beginner classes and then baptism class.


When I received Christ as my savior, I learned that there is nothing in this world that can give me enough rest, assurance, acceptance, approval, and certainties. It is only through Christ that I can find everything. It is only through Him that I will experience abundance of everything including self-care.


Like many women I struggle with self-care. I easily exhaust myself by doing too many things. I put my husband and children’s needs before my own. I work a full-time job. I participate in multiple ministries at church. I am currently attending graduate school. All these commitments require time and energy therefore I do go through moments of frustration and anxiety, but I have learned to praise God for the frustration and anxiety. I say that because those moments are the ones that I am reminded of God’s faithfulness and of His presence in everything.


Jesus models to us how we should deal with exhaustion. He shows us that it is ok to break away to spend time in prayer and in devotion with God for rest and restoration.

I want to encourage us all to embrace self-care activities such as going to the spa, getting your hair done, putting on make-up, buying yourself a nice outfit, going to the gym, going to eat with good friends, going on mini getaways, etc. I am an advocate for those activities because I participate in them myself, but one self-care activity that is most essential is “staying connected with God”. I’ve learned that all worldly self-care as I had mentioned above (going to the spa, getting your hair done, putting on make-up, buying yourself a nice outfit, going to the gym, going to eat with good friends, going on mini getaways, etc.) is ineffective if we don’t put God first. If we don’t make it a priority to connect with God through prayer, through devotion, through everything we do … regardless how many times we go to the spa, no matter how many nice outfits we buy, no matter how healthy/fit we get from going to the gym, no matter how beautiful we look … there is no satisfaction. So yes, first, and most our self-care begins with God. It begins with having a relationship with God. Please spend time with Him through prayer, through devotion, through acts of service, through your words and hands at work, through the meals you cook for your family, through everything you do.


Lastly, I want to speak about exhaustion. The feeling of exhaustion can be something hard to express because it can be viewed as weakness, and it can make one feel insufficient. I used to view my exhaustion as a form of incompetency. I used to think that if I am exhausted that means I am not good enough for the situation. I praise God that in the last couple years my negative thoughts about exhaustion have been changed. After my mom died, I coped by keeping myself busy so that I wouldn’t spend time reminiscing on the memories of my mom. I took up extra projects at work, I enrolled in various academic courses, I took on multiple roles in different ministries, I accepted additional responsibilities that I did not need to, etc. Eventually all these roles and responsibilities became too much for me and I found myself completely exhausted physically, emotionally, and mentally. That brought me to my knees and crying out to God for help. I asked Him for rest, for restoration, and for guidance. I admitted to Him that I had coped with losing my mom by keeping myself busy and that I was withholding from Him the pain of losing my mom. In that moment with God, I felt comforted and relieved from the exhaustion. I then was reminded to look to Jesus, to look at how Jesus coped with exhaustion.


In Matthew 14:23, it says “After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone”. I’m sure Jesus was exhausted after healing and feeding the crowd of five thousand people. Jesus models to us how we should deal with exhaustion. He shows us that it is ok to break away to spend time in prayer and in devotion with God for rest and restoration. There is no better self-care than the one with God. Having a relationship with God is the first and most efficient self-care activity. God bless!

 

Pa Lou (N. Tswv Choj) Yang


God blessed Pa Lou with an amazing partner, her husband, Tswv Choj Yaj. They have been married 23 years. They have six children – 5 daughters and 1 son, that range from ages 22 years old to 4 years old. Originally, Pa Lou and Tswv Choj are from the Midwest and now living in Alaska. By occupation, she is a Registered Nurse working with mentally and behaviorally challenged children. Pa Lou is currently in seminary school, enrolled in the Master of Arts in Children's and Family Ministry program at Bethel University. She and her family have come to terms that God has gifted them with the gift of service, to serve others. They are humble to serve wherever God calls them to go and to serve whomever God places before them. It has only been over a decade that Pa Lou has come to know God and receive Christ as her savior. She is now almost forty years old, so she's spent most of her life not knowing our good good Father and the grace that He gave us. Sometimes Pa Lou pounders on that but yes, she is again reminded that He has a purpose for everything and a time for everything. Pa Lou now knows that those years of not knowing God was to mend her heart for Him and to build her up to serve Him now.


You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.

John 15:16

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KB Xiong
KB Xiong
12 ก.ค. 2566

Thank you for sharing your story. It’s a great reminder for us to make that time time with God a priority! It’s also okay to give yourself REST when needed. God Bless you!

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