Let me ask you a question. When a person has a graduate degree and works in a certain field...what do they usually get each week? In my experience with my acquaintances it is a two day weekend. Now let me ask you what many pastors/staff members do not get each week. I am pretty sure you know the answer to that question. If you are not able to read between the lines the answer is a two day weekend. Why would I mention this to start a blog? Let me explain.
Today was a milestone for me in my physical health. Though I have 10 pounds to go until I hit my weight loss goal, I can look back and celebrate the 20 that I have lost so far. I have not been at this weight since I was 22 years old. When I hit my ultimate goal I will be at the same weight I was when I graduated. Something I have been thinking about though quite a bit was confirmed for me at a conference I recently attended which is that of improving my mental health. It makes so much sense to me. Now that my physical health is doing very well it would only make sense to work on my mental health as well. You do not have to look very far in the scriptures to understand that we are fully integrated beings and that we are very spiritual beings as well. So...it goes without say that if my physical health has improved and I am being more productive, if I improve my mental health as well that it will also enhance who I am as a husband, father and pastor. How will I do this? Let me break it down in 2 steps for you.
1. It will be my goal to have a “sabbath” each week. It’s funny that many pastors take Mondays off as it is the “hangover day” from Sunday. This will start to be an office day for me so that when I feel more at the top of my game (Friday) that will be the day I am now off. Many of us wait until we are completely fried or burned out before we take a day off or go on vacation. What happens is that it takes a few days to get out of the slump and by then it is time to go back to work. I am choosing to take my day off when I am not in a slump and I am more at my best so that I can give my family the best. On Fridays, I will not be on email...Facebook...and will be VERY selective on who I answer the phone for. If it is church related at all, I will not answer. I will also have Saturday off as well so that I can have some normalcy in my life and that my family can have normalcy as well. I will be quite ruthless in keeping my days off as I will dive headlong into all the other days. If I say no to you or someone else for any reason...it is simply because I am going to truly value these times with family. Will there be a day when something will come up? Absolutely. These things happen and I will roll with it. As a whole though, I am sticking to this.
2. If you know me then you know that I love social networking. It has become more and more apparent though that if one is to get a good nights sleep then one should stay off Facebook/email after a couple hours before bedtime to be in the right mindset for good rest. I have had plenty of those times where it is 10 or 11 p.m. and I read something on email, a blog comment, or email that gets my brain running once again. Please know that if you send me an email, etc. after 9:00 p.m. I will not be on any social networking site or email. If I am on my computer or iPad it will be because I am either studying and putting my message together or reading a book on my Kindle.
When someone takes steps to improve their life by setting up boundaries it can inevitably get some people upset with you. It is quite interesting though that thousands have read the book “Boundaries” and yet may lack setting some up. I completely understand as I have and probably will continue to be that person. What I am excited for is a refreshed zest for life and ministry while taking care of my whole being. There is no need for concern that I have flipped out or am totally stressed. This is not the case. In fact, I am in a great place and couldn’t be happier with the direction of Radiant Fellowship. I will say that by doing this I am setting myself up for things to come which I am anticipating to be good. Will you help me stick to my two steps? How can I help you find some peace of mind? I would love to be a sounding board for you should you ever want to chat. Here we go onto a new page in life.