Sorry this series has been dragging a bit! Our schedule for daily life has gotten a bit more busy this semester. However, we’d like to finish out and make sure we’re true to our word. 😉
Anyway, Luke and I have been sharing different goals we set for this year in order to have a more full & abundant life. We believe that our hearts will come alive the most when we’re living the way God intended (i.e…. “God-made” life). We’ve shared a bit about some health things we’re doing (natural soap and less refined things…) and now we’re going to share about the lovely topic of relationships and EMOTIONS! Yayyyy (said like Ben Stein).
Firstly, when I say “emotions”, I don’t mean things like girly emotions – like PMSing or something (although that can be emotional). What I mean by emotional health is the general well being of our souls (souls = thoughts, personality, general disposition of feelings, etc). Everybody has a soul, therefore everybody has a personality. And every personality was created GOOD by God!
For example, I’m a hardcore introvert who likes quiet nights at home, or hanging out with small groups of friends. Luke, on the other hand, generally enjoys larger groups of people and would be happy spending evenings out with others.
Both dispositions are not wrong or bad…. just different.
So part of our goal for this year is for us personally and in our marriage to experience greater freedom in emotional health! The more ourselves we are, the more joyful we’ll be.
The main three areas we’ve incorporated into “emotional health” are:
1. Alone time – Being alone and having time to journal, read, pray or stare at a wall is incredibly important. Even the most hardcore extrovert will certainly benefit from a little break time. And even the best marriage will benefit from some space. Since Luke & I live in a tiny 300 square foot attic, we see a lot of each other all the time… his work desk is next to my workout space… which is next to our couch…which bleeds into the kitchen….
Anyway, you get it. It’s tiny. And although we love each other and generally like each other, we need space. One of the things we’ve started to do is have a night apart. Each Tuesday Luke attends a prayer meeting at the Boiler Room. I stay home and journal and read. I get alone at home time, he gets people time! Yay.
Obviously, depending on busy lifestyles, this may not always be feasible… but try to get some alone time at least once a week!
2. Inner-healing – This may seems like a random point, but I truly believe that receiving healing from the Lord in the area of our emotions is vital to a healthy life. We’ve all picked up mannerisms, thought patterns, and generally wrong perceptions about ourselves and others throughout the course of time. These issues can be caused by any number of things (upbringing, trauma, abuse, etc). The important thing though is that Jesus can and WANTS to heal these areas. Personally, I’ve been on a journey of healing with the Lord regarding some of those areas. And through prayer, people, and God’s love I’m walking in more healing and freedom! Wahoo.
If you know there’s areas of healing you need, don’t feel overwhelmed or discouraged! Trust that the Lord is fighting for your wholeness more than you are. The best steps are to bring brokenness into the light by sharing with a trusted friend. And with prayer and resources, start walking into the truth. Two great books to either start or aide in the journey are The Healing Path by Robin Pasley or Orphan Slave Son by Ben Pasley. They’re written by a husband and wife and center around the same issues, but Robin’s book is probably better suited for women and Ben’s book for men. 🙂
3. Enjoying Myself – Although I generally like myself, I don’t always tend to enjoy myself. Do you enjoy yourself? Do you love that you love art? Or do you appreciate the way you feel when you go on a run? Or do you love that you’re a book nerd and can devour books?
Okay, perhaps you don’t actually enjoy running or reading, but I’m pretty positive there’s something you love loving. It could be cooking, helping others, talking to strangers, enjoying a great cup of coffee, hiking, singing, or hanging out with friends. Whatever you love to do, keep doing it! We were created to be ourselves (isn’t that a crazy thought, we’re most alive when we’re doing things we like to do…. who knew…) so let’s start doing it!
For Luke and I, we have a list of things we love doing… both together and separately. I really like going running. Luke loves playing the guitar and singing loudly.
So often, we stifle parts of our personality because it’s not “productive” or “beneficial”. Maybe playing a long game of Settlers isn’t productive, but it sure is fun. And maybe stopping for 15 extra minutes just to watch a sunset isn’t beneficial, but it sure does make you happy.
Why don’t we put our list of rules away and just start living like ourselves? One of my favorite parts of Ben Pasley’s book, Orphan Slave Son is when he’s sharing about how silly mission statements can be sometimes. He writes, “Believers, take out a notebook and write down the answers to these questions on the pages: 1. What do you love? 2. What are you great at? 3. What do you do that is healthy and fun when no one is expecting anything from you? Ok, now wrap all that up into a short paragraph and try that on for a mission statement for a while. Call it: The Mission to be Myself. See how much more your family smiles at you after a few weeks.”
So why don’t we try out this whole “Mission to be Myself”? Let’s start a journey of loving ourselves well. 🙂