“We ought to have some business to do in this world, and not to live in idleness, and not to meddle with what we do not understand. We must be diligent and take pains. Let us do what we can…We must prefer necessaries before conveniences, and not go in debt…Those who are busy-bodies, meddling in other men's matters, have little quiet in their own minds, and cause great disturbances among their neighbors. They seldom mind the other exhortation, to be diligent in their own calling, to work with their own hands. Christianity does not take us from the work and duty of our particular callings, but teaches us to be diligent therein. People often by slothfulness reduce themselves to great straits, and are liable to many wants; while such as are diligent in their own business, earn their own bread, and have great pleasure in so doing.” ~Matthew Henry
“Be fully aware of the condition of your flock, and pay close attention to your herds.” ~Proverbs 27:23
Now, I don’t have any sheep or cattle, but I do have affairs that need my attention. As a caregiver, it is easy to lay aside your own needs and wants while attending to the wants and needs of others. You can spend extraordinary amounts of time making sure that others and their business matters are in order, and fail to notice that your own stuff is piling up and toppling over. It is noble, kind and commendable to be of assistance to others, but not to the detriment of your own life. You will soon resent sacrificing for and taking care of everyone else if you look up one day and you’re suddenly the one in need of help.
Never put yourself on the back burner. That’s hard to hear, especially if you are a parent, have a servant's heart or are the nurturing type. It’s also hard to hear if you’re prone to be the go-to person when there are fires to put out. The first time I heard a flight attendant say, “Put your own oxygen mask on first” I thought it was the most selfish thing in the world! Then it occurred to me, you can’t help that helpless person if you’re unconscious.
The Bible says, “A good man shows favor, and lends: he will guide his affairs with discretion. “ This means being just, fair, and within reason. Not overextending oneself to the point of your own poverty.
1. Laugh often.
2. Honor your own feelings and needs.
3. Trust your gut.
4. Never fear hearing, or hesitate telling the truth.
5. Do what is prudent.
6. Know your limitations.
7. Speak up when necessary. Don't mince words.
8. Embrace confrontation.
9. Open your eyes. Love what you see.
10. See things and people for what, and who they are--not for what and who you'd like them to be.
11. Be content with the decisions you make.
12. Reject the inclination to explain yourself to those who have no authority over you, and to whom you are not obligated.
13. Be honest about your resources. Don't overextend yourself to please, impress, or appease anyone.
14. Protect your personal space.
15. Know precisely who is in your corner.
16. Don't ever sleep on your discernment. Embrace it.
17. Read on, and in between the lines.
18. Don't be gullible.
19. Embrace "No". Respect your own boundaries, and be careful making exceptions.
20. Refuse to be manipulated. Call out that imp.
21. Be grateful for genuine help. Don't be a martyr.
22. Appreciate conviction, and make changes when needed.
23. Maintain your standards.
24. Go where you are wanted. Enthusiastically celebrate those who celebrate you.
25. Forgive. Don't walk around with residue.
26. Let go. Rope burns are no fun.
27. One thing at a time. Pick your battles and stay out of other people's wars.
28. Rest well--on purpose.
29. Only make necessary apologies. You are not responsible for how others respond.
30. Respect and value your time and effort.
31. Remember it's perfectly alright, and wise, to consider yourself.