you don’t have 9 lives. balance isn’t a bad word!

We all need to have stabilisers in our lives. These 10 stabilisers should help you focus on what counts and do life well!

Set Realistic Goals.

Setting realistic goals is something Roy, and I both struggle with. We want to save the world before breakfast is over. When this goal isn’t accomplished, we can feel deflated and disappointed with ourselves. We now try to set realistic and tangible goals so that we can celebrate when we have achieved them.

Take breaks.

I spoke to a doctor last week about my struggle with migraines. He asked me if I spent a lot of time working at the computer, I answered, ‘Yes’. He then asked me what I did to relax I answered, ‘I play on the computer’.  Taking a break isn’t just stopping work, but it is doing something completely different! I have been feeling much better since putting that piece of advice into practice.

Alone time.

Spend time alone reading, walking, thinking, painting. Do something you enjoy that will refill your spiritual and emotional tank.

Bring it to God.

We need to remember that God didn?t want us to carry everything on our own shoulders. We need to remember that we can trust God to bring about his purposes.

You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast because they trust in you.
Isaiah 26:3 (N I V)

Interdependence not independence.

We don’t need to go it alone. As a family, we know that we need to function as an interdependent family. Rather than being self-focused we are family focused. It isn’t just about giving help, but it’s also about receiving help.

As missionaries, we need to extend that further. We are not in the missionary age where we have to go months without communication; we can connect with people on a daily basis. We use ooVoo and Skype to keep in touch across the miles, and it has been a huge source of spiritual encouragement for us as well as being a good vehicle for ministry.

Listen to advice.

Our experience has taught us that advice is something we all like to give, and many of us don’t like to get. The main reason is that often the advice involves us changing to some degree; it could be changing the way we do things or changing a negative aspect of our character. Listen to my instruction and be wise; do not disregard it. Proverbs 8:33 (NI V)

Identity in Christ.

Knowing who you are in Christ is essential because your ego can take a few knocks as you go over the potholes of missionary life. Sometimes the knocks come from the Nationals, at times from your family and sometimes from your supporters. You identity can really take a hit if your language of love is words of affirmation and all you are hearing is criticism.

Romans 8:35 (N I V) Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword.

Zealously pursue God, not the mission.

(I’m going to cheat and use the American spelling of stabilizers so I can use this word! Zealous!) Sometimes we can be so focused on what we are doing that we neglect the very reason why we started doing what we are doing. If God is left out of the equation, we simply become someone who is doing good works.  It is the Spirit of God who gives life so when we are feeling drained we must remember John 6:63 The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing.

Enjoyable activities.

The ‘No fun please we’re missionaries’ approach is a sure fired way to end up with severe culture stress and sickness of heart if not physical sickness. It isn’t a sin to have fun and laughter is good medicine.

Proverbs 17:22 A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.

Replace negative thoughts with positive ones.

When we start getting negative we can get on a bit of a role. Negative thoughts have the breeding capability of rabbits, and suddenly there are a lot of negative thoughts hopping around. We need to be careful what we allow to breed. Consciously make a decision to think about the positive things.

Philippians 4:8 8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable?if anything is excellent or praiseworthy?think about such things.

Sleep.

Getting a good night’s rest is really important but people struggle with it for various reasons. Sometimes it is due to stress, bad routine or a sleep disorder.  This is a stabiliser we certainly need, and we found that one of the biggest problems in achieving a good night’s sleep was a poor night time routine. Putting discipline into our lives in this area hasn’t completely eliminated the problem, but it has certainly helped.

Psalm 4:8 In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, LORD, make me dwell in safety.

Bringing Worlds Together Book

Many couples struggle to get on the same page in marriage. Whether you are newlyweds or have been married for years Bringing Worlds Together will help you blend together. Expect to learn more about your spouse, gain insight and be challenged.

Are you ready to move closer rather than drift apart?

Available in print and ebook formats.

Adjusting Expectations Book

No-one enters marriage expectation free. Adjusting Expectations helps identify how expectations were formed and whether or not they were realistic. Most expectations need some adjustment; they are often too high but can also be set too low. The good news is expectations can be reset!

Find out what you should expect and what God expects from you.

Available in print and ebook formats.

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