Time for Me?

As a new member of Nav Encore, I am making the transition from full-time ministry to fewer scheduled hours. But to do that transition well, I find that I need to think about what I value at this season of my life and what restores me to feel energized and be effective in ministry.
Recently, I was challenged to think about how my values affect my choices. The challenge came in the form of a question: “Is it okay to value what is important to me, to focus on my own needs so that I can be healthy—healthy to serve and love others without feeling guilty?”
My key verse for life has been Galatians 2:20 (NLT): “ My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”
I also have thought a lot about 2 Corinthians 4:7 (NLT): “. . . but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves.”
How do I understand my own needs when Christ is living in and through me?
As a human being, at times I feel like a fragile clay jar. In Christ, I sense power and direction from God. As I am growing older, I have a strong desire to be intentional and purposeful—a good finisher of this life race. Am I being self-centered to slow my pace; say no to some activities and even some people with needs?
When I moved from full-time ministry to Nav Encore, I was looking forward to having more time to give to music pursuits; serving in the community; making a quilt; spending time with my 91-year-old sister; making new friends; and so forth. Can I do these things and do the ministry God wants me to have in the lives of women and families?
I believe the answer is yes! The apostle Paul’s exhortation in Philippians 2:4 assures me I can do both: “Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too” (NLT). God built these values into me—they are part of who He created me to be. I believe He rejoices in seeing me pursue activities that refresh me as much as when I am “doing ministry.”
I am looking at my schedule and making some adjustments. I have found I function best when I can spend focused time with people. I love having lunch with a friend and talking about spiritual things or lessons learned. I also need time alone each day—time with God and time to do some basic life activities such as cooking, potting a plant, or writing an email.
The challenge is to listen to the Spirit and do what He is leading me to do. After years of living by a schedule, this is a new way of thinking for me. But it is one that leads to freedom, restoration, and fruitfulness.

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