When I was a kid, my parents subscribed to Games magazine. Every month a new publication would arrive and I’d scan the pages to see if there were any puzzles I could work on. My favorites were the “Eye Ball Benders”… pictures taken of objects at unusual angles that we would try to identify.
One month there was something new. Letters that you had to translate into words. Just the letters. Think texting, only this was in the 80’s, people.
These were a riot! And although I’ve forgotten most of them by now, one has stuck with me for some reason. I F-N N-E N-R-G. Go ahead and try it. Read the letters only. Don’t sound it out. Just read each letter.
Did you get it?
I = I
F-N = haven’t (it’s a stretch, but if you say it fast, it sorta sounds that way)
N-E = any
N-R-G = energy
And that about sums up the last 10 years of my life! I haven’t any energy!!!
After bringing home baby #1 from the hospital, I expected to be tired. We found our groove with naps and such, but soon I found out that motherhood removes the ability to sleep soundly. I hear everything now. A whimper. A dreamy giggle. Every cough and sneeze gets my attention at night.
Not long after carrying baby #2 through the front door, I reached a level of exhaustion I didn’t even know was possible! Those were the days of leaving the house and then panicking as I looked down to make sure I remembered to wear pants AND buckle in BOTH kids!
Again we found a groove, but soon naps were a thing of the past and homeschooling was the new norm. Do you know how draining it is to listen to children bicker all day long? Do you know how completely exasperating it is to constantly stop what you’re doing to guide/discipline/fuss at these same children all.day.long.?
If you’re a parent, you do.
So I took my lack of N-R-G as part of the territory. The “season” I was in. I accepted it. Until this past December.
At the end of December our pastor announced that he wanted our congregation to go through the daily devotional “Experiencing God” as a whole body. This worked well for me since I already had the book. I pulled it out and noticed that the year I did it was 2006. I began reading some of my notes and prayers in the margins. I began to notice a pattern and I didn’t like it. I sounded so weary.
Granted, my son turned one in 2006. He started walking and stealing his sister’s toys. (Let the fighting commence.) This was a year before the economy tanked and two years before we mourned the loss of our business. It was four years before our house fire and Jeremy’s hospitalizations, and five years before our foreclosure and eventual move. So, yeah, maybe I was weary. But I didn’t like reading about it in my journal.
Do I have to be so tired all the time, I wondered? I mean, God doesn’t want me to feel this way, right? Even during the hard times, we may need periods of rest, but this shouldn’t be how life IS.
I decided to make some changes. First of all, turning off the TV at a decent time and going to sleep. Also, waking up at the same time every morning. Early. Getting a head start on these fussing kids of mine! Preparing breakfast became more important than dinner, because Jeremy is home in the morning but can’t always make it home in time for dinner. We all started taking vitamins to give our bodies the nutrients they aren’t getting from the food we eat.
These were all positive changes and it felt good to make them. On January 6th I decided to take it a step further and do the Advocare 24 Day Challenge. I’ll spare you the details of the eating plan. Basically I’ve been eating mostly whole foods, along with taking their supplements, and exercising 5-6 days a week to their workout DVD. I don’t know the words to describe how wonderfully different I feel inside and out!
I’m so glad I pulled that Blackaby book off my shelf 2 months ago and read the words I had penned. It was a wake up call for me. I don’t believe God wants us to live our lives in a state of weariness. It’s true, at times our circumstances can cause us to be tired, but sometimes we need to look around and see if we are doing it to ourselves. Are you too busy? Are you eating foods that are hard for your body to digest? Are you getting enough rest? Are you exercising? It wasn’t until I asked myself these same questions, and answered them honestly, that I was able to make changes that resulted in feeling great today!