Amazing how some songs get stuck in your head. I woke up to strains of “I’m Every Woman” ringing in my head this morning. But I have to confess it was one of those days when I did not feel like “that woman.” That woman who felt great about herself and her abilities to do well… everything. She was the go to girl for everything to everybody. As fabulous as it sounds to possess super powers to run and control your world and everyone else’s this can be exhausting at best.
As a single woman I really don’t know how wives and mothers do it. I find myself depleted at the end of everyday and the only person I really had to take care of was myself!
How a woman can juggle the hats of business woman, wife, mother, lover, sister and friend is a daunting proposition. The pressure to get it together and keep it together can render a sister undone! I consider the words of the Shulamite and I can relate. “I am very dark, but lovely… Do not gaze at me because I am dark, because the sun has looked upon me. My mother’s sons were angry with me; they made me keeper of the vineyards, but my own vineyard I have not kept!” (Song of Songs 1:5-6)
My own vineyard I have not kept. It is so true! Everyone else gets the best of us and we sacrifice ourselves more often than not as we bow to the pressure to not let the needs of those we love go unattended.
My question is who tends your garden while you care for others? There is a reason the emergency instructions on a plane instruct you to put your oxygen mask on before trying to help anyone else. This action insures that you will be able to help others by preserving your life first. I’m not talking about being selfish. I’m talking about being your best self so that you can be there for others, well able to give your best help.
It begins with tending your own vineyard. Spiritually, mentally, emotionally and physically. Doing your soul work, your heart work and taking care of your natural body produces the strength you need to produce rich, sweet fruit in every area of your life. It’s the little foxes that ruin the vine– stress, distraction, worry, moving at the speed of light, being all things to all people. Take a deep breath. Put God first. He knows how to redeem the time. Make sure your connection to Him is intact. It is this critical connection that makes all of your other relationships thrive and flourish. Cast off depression, anger, fear and all the other emotions that wreak havoc with your mind and render you crazy or paralyzed. Watch your diet, get the proper rest and exercise. How you feel physically will affect your emotions and your ability to function. As you put you first, right after God, you will find all the other pieces of life coming together in the perfect order. God never called us to do, He called us to be. Be still and know that He is God in those times when you are tempted to be an overachiever, a control freak, or simply the perverted job description of a woman. Only God can be all things to all people. This fact should liberate you to tend your own vineyard and enjoy the fruit of it.