Recently, I was in charge of a ladies tea whose purpose was to bring women to hear the good news about Jesus. I asked other women to help, but as the day got closer I realized that I was feeling overwhelmed (it didn't help that I was out of town the week before the tea). Overwhelming feelings usually are accompanied by other emotions - inadequacy, stress, worry, and the "what was I thinking?" emotion! Two days before the tea I was wishing that I hadn't even agreed to do this.
Now, I knew having the tea was a great idea, but I was out of desire/motivation/spiritual energy. It reminded me of other times and events where I just wanted it to be over. (I'm ashamed to admit it, but it's true.) How do you "work up" the desire/motivation/energy to do things?
Well, there are probably a lot of different answers, but I'll tell you a couple of things that worked for me.
First, other people helped me. That afternoon, I was grousing to my daughter over tea and she shared amazing ideas for the door prizes. (which leads me to a second thought - don't leave things until the last minute - then you hate to ask people and are left doing it yourself- but I digress) I was energized by her energy! God gave us other people to help and encourage us - the Bible uses the illustration of a body working together. Other ladies in my church performed their responsibilities with diligence (hostessing the tables, praying, making food, doing follow-up, etc.). Including other people makes them feel wanted and it also helps you. Even simple tasks can be delegated if we think and ask others to help us.
Second, do what you know to do even when you don't feel like it. Sometimes we don't do good things because we're waiting for some kind of mysterious feeling. I've found if I will get up and do something that needs to be done (make that phone call, write that letter, clean just one room, etc) it gives me just enough motivation to do more. My husband always says, "feelings FOLLOW obedience." I usually like to wait for the feeling to do what I know is right. Doing it - even if it's out of a sense of duty and because you know you have to and other people are counting on you - can bring amazing results.
I'm determined to add pictures to my blog (I've haven't been writing, but I'm going to do better - You're probably saying, "follow your own advice!") Thank you, I believe I will.
The pictures are from our ladies tea held at the Longview Mansion here in Nashville.