As a woman, do you feel pressure to be a Betty Crocker mom, a Victoria Secret wife, and a Martha Stewart house-keeper, all while working to help provide some family income?
We tell ourselves that we ought to home school our kids, and then we feel selfish if we don’t or can’t. In addition, we want to pray and study our Bible, take care of our aging parents, volunteer at church, be involved in a small group, work out at the gym, and the list goes on and on.
When you can’t meet these expectations (and you can’t), do you feel guilty? Is it difficult to say “no” and set limits because you’re afraid someone might get mad or feel disappointed about you?
Fortunately, God never asks us to do it all. Rather, he tells us to be a good steward of our resources. In reality, you and I only have four resources at our disposal: our time, our talents, our energy, and our money. And, the way we allocate these resources not only impacts us but also those we love. Therefore, it is essential that we give some thought to our deepest values and priorities.
Feeling stressed out usually means that we have misspent our resources. For example, many people feel overwhelmed these days because of high credit card debt and financial difficulties. Their monetary resources were overspent, and the consequences are draining them emotionally and financially.
Women can do the same thing with their other resources. For instance, you can go into debt with your energy resources by extending yourself beyond your limits. If you do this too long, you’ll windup physically drained and emotionally exhausted. Always hurrying is a refusal to accept the reality of time. We weren’t made to live without margins and try to squeeze every moment out of your day. It’s not surprising that we feel sometimes like a taut rubber band that’s ready to snap.
Sometimes life becomes too hard because we have not been good stewards of our resources, including ourselves! We collapse under the stress of trying to do more than we have the resources to handle.
How can you regain control over the strain? Take some time to evaluate how you allocate your resources of time, energy, money, and talents. Ask yourself these two questions:
1. Are you living within your limits, or are you usually overdrawn?
2. Do you budget your resources according to your priorities and your family’s needs? Or, do you use up your resources in order to meet others’ expectations or gain their approval?
Living beyond your limits will ultimately catch up with you. It’s like giving someone else unlimited access to your bank account. Don’t let people write emotional checks that your body and mind can’t cash.
Say “no” when necessary, and don’t feel guilty or fearful for doing so. Avoid paying the price for being too nice. Maximize your personal resources by living within limits that give you room to breathe.