Jeremiah 29:13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all of your heart.
There are three basic elements to building a house. A solid foundation, a sturdy structure to hold the walls up and the decorative covering such as brick, wood, or stucco.
Think of self-care as the foundation. The eight principles for making wise choices (that we will dig into later) is the structure and the skills you use to get through the day is the outside covering. Without a good foundation of self-care you will never make wise choices on a consistent basis.
I have coached many individuals who felt like things were falling apart at the seams. Without exception there were one or more areas of self-care that the person had neglected. Getting back on track in those disciplines is always the top priority.
Prayer and personal reflection is the first discipline in self-care. This assures that you are setting your day up to align with God’s will for you. It allows the Holy Spirit to work in your heart and affirm that whatever you face, He is there to help you get through.
It also helps to assess your day and how you reacted or responded to the situations you faced. It causes you to take full accountability for your choices rather than blame other people and situations. We can never control other people or our environment, but we always have a choice in how we respond.
God has reminded me time and again that He has given me everything that I need to get through any day and any situation. When my eyes are on my circumstances, they feel huge and out of control. But when my eyes are fixed on God, my circumstances tend to feel less threatening.
That doesn’t mean that they aren’t big issues. We all have times where those heart-wrenching and difficult trials come our way. But there is a way through and God is the leader of that way.
Personal reflection has also helped me gain a balanced perspective of myself and others. When you feel discouraged, past shame creeps into your day, or you find yourself impatient with others, ask God to help you see the validity of your emotions. Emotions are real. But they are not always accurate. The Holy Spirit is our counselor during these times.
Finally, there are often steps to take after engaging with God in prayer and reflection. You may need to ask God for forgiveness. You may be asked to make amends if you’ve snapped at someone or made judgments that were not fair. You may have to see yourself through a different lens or realign your goals and priorities to what God has planned for you.
Whatever direction God gives you, He is ALWAYS filled with love for you and His grace extends to you whenever you ask for it. There is no error you can make that God doesn’t already know about. He has already dealt with your sin on the cross. But He does want to engage with you when you slip up because His heart is to restore what the enemy would mean for your harm.
I guarantee that engaging with God for prayer and personal reflection will change your life. I can offer that guarantee because He has already promised it in Jeremiah 29:13. Ask God to see things through His eyes and with His insight.
God bless your journey.