Do you ever feel battle weary? Maybe you have toddler or preschoolers who are full of energy and don't always get along. Maybe your work environments is draining or you have some relationships that are really hard right now. Maybe you are a teacher like me or a homeschooling mom trying to balance many hats. Sometimes the days get long, and we become battle weary.
So this weekend, I have been recharging and regrouping. My time has been spent piddling around my house, reading, exercising, and spending time with my kids. I have been thinking about the upcoming week, and ways I can either help with or deal with becoming battle weary. Here is what I have come up with.
1. My battle is not against flesh and blood. Eph 6:12Most battle weary days involve people whether it be family members, students, or coworkers. I often take things personal which makes things worse. So when children or students misbehave or someone says something that hurts my feelings, I need to remember who the real enemy is. To be successful in battle, I need to keep things in perspective with God at the focal point.
2. I am not to grow weary in doing good. Gal 6:9
Some days I want to just give up. Why keep trying if it doesn't seem to make a difference? Maybe I should just give in. Paul in Galatians advises me differently. I reap what I sow. Don't give up. Being consistent with discipline whether with students or children can get tiring. Working on relationships that seem to not be making any progress can make you feel defeated. It is easy to want to give up but with God's strength I can keep at the work He has for me.
3. Be anxious for nothing but ....
...in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God which surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Phil 4:6-8. The other night I couldn't sleep thinking through my day, analysing and reanalysing. It was like a quiet voice said pray. After a time of prayer and listening to some praise music, my mind was a peace, and I had a new perspective. I lost a little sleep but much less than I would have if I would have kept worrying.
My afternoons are harder than my mornings. This week I am hoping to find a few quiet minutes around lunchtime to refocus and spend time with the One who can give peace and understanding. My students may not be better behaved, but my perspective and attitude will be.
4. My identity is not in how my students behave, etc.
When I have a good day, I feel good about myself. When I have a bad day, I feel like a failure. Too often my identity is wrapped up in my circumstances instead of being based on who I am in Christ. This is definitely a work in progress. I would encourage wisdom from those who are farther along on the journey than I am.
5. Connecting with others around me makes life better.
Often when I am battle weary, all I want to do is retreat. Sometimes that is what I need. Other times I need to be with others who will encourage me and help me find a new perspective. When I isolate myself, my vision can be limited. Interacting with others brings laughter and realness to life. I also find out I am not alone. I might even just get a few pointers for my next battle. This weekend I was renewed by conversations with my mom and a close friend.
6. Staying healthy requires discipline but is worth it.
Wednesday afternoon I came home from school and just wanted to crash. Instead I exercised. Somehow it gave me energy to finish my tasks for the day, and life didn't seem quite so daunting. Life always feels better when I take time with God, exercise, eat right, and get a full night's sleep. This is challenging for me being at school all day. Others may have little one underfoot or are restricted in what they can do. There are days were I feel like I am going one step forward and two steps back. Right now my hardest thing is getting a full night's sleep. I am looking forward to cooler nights soon which usually help my sleep cycle.
Now these points will not make my students better or the battle disappear. They will change my perspective and make me better able to handle the battle at hand. Of course, it would be nice if they were all little angels next week. With God, all things are possible.