The Sea of Doing Too Much

I am learning that I am probably headed away from God when I am not taking care of my “SELF”. I met with my therapist last week. I’m officially living in the “m” word (menopause!) and I am grateful for her stabilizing influence on this sea of “change”.

Now, I’m not even sure what made me call her, but that, too, is part of the voyage, forgetting and such. We talked and she said, “Juanita you are doing unto others, but you are ignoring doing unto yourself FIRST.” Ahh, now I remember why I called her frantically.

My husband said, “You are not taking care of yourself, you are not at peace.” He mentioned that during my cancer chronicles some 18 months ago, that I was at considerable peace but that it was now elusive. This is the first time my therapist has ever used the “C” word with me… CO-dependant.

I know that when I begin to allow any and everything to take me away from my morning devotions, meditation and prayer, that I am in trouble. When busyness begins to crowd my schedule, and weeks go by and I have not journaled, or had a few days of retreat for silence and solitude then I am drifting away from God. When I’m putting my needs on the back burner to satisfy the needs that others feel I should respond to. When I’m allowing things that are primary to me to go unfulfilled (which I generally justify by saying “it is for the good of someone else”) then I am moving away from God.

So this morning I got up and began my morning with some scripture and a reading out of the Hazelden Foundations Book: Twenty-Four Hours a Day. It’s a devotional for those who are in recovery, and hey aren’t we all? My addiction is to performance, perfectionism and let’s add a touch of people pleasing just to round this all out, a combination that could sink any ship.

This mornings reading said “if you are honestly trying to live the way you believe God wants you to live, you can get guidance from God in times of quiet communion with God, provided your thoughts are directed towards God’s will and all good things. The attitude of ‘Thy will, not mine, be done’ leads to clear guidance. Act on this guidance and you will be led to better things. Your impulses seem to become less your own and more the leading of God’s spirit acting through your thoughts. Obeyed, they will bring you the answers to your prayers.”

Ahh, there now, safe solid ground. With all the influences in my life tugging on me I can easily be adrift in the sea of doing. God’s love and God’s word anchor me and guide my direction, energy and thoughts. When I forget that I’m an addict in recovery I abandon my “one day at a time Sweet Jesus” and become subject to the fierce winds of the demands of others and I lose my way.

For more to help in anchoring you, you might consider some of the following resources:

Moment by Moment: A Retreat in Everyday Life by Carol Smith & Eugene Merz, SJ

Enjoying the Presence of God: Discovering Intimacy with God in the Daily Rhythms of Life by Jan Johnson

The Frazzled Female: Finding God’s Peace in Your Daily Chaos by Cindi Wood

Join the Conversation

Have you found yourself ignoring your own needs recently? Do you remember when this started?

What are the things that keep you anchored in God’s love on a daily basis?


Juanita Campbell Rasmus:
Juanita Rasmus Conversations JournalJuanita Campbell Rasmus is an inspirational speaker, motivational teacher, author, and founding board member of the Bread of Life Homeless Project. Juanita and her husband Rudy co-pastor Saint John’s United Methodist Church in Houston, Texas.
    • Todjlyn

      Wow thanks for sharing…I really needed that because I am the same way up and down. My therapist told me the same thing, I try to do me but then I fall right back into that same mode..Pastor Juanita you are an inspiration and a great motivator. Thank you again!!!!

    • Annette Bolds

      Thanks, Juanita. You are speaking to me at this point in my life. I needed to be reminded of how easy it is to be addicted to doing and pleasing others, and how I need to not allow that to happen.

      Love ya sis!

    • Ava

      Thanks for sharing. In recovery we talk about HALT. Don’t get to hungery, to angry, to lonely or to tired. Before recovery, I had low low bottoms. I am so grateful that since seeking God, my bottoms aren’t as low as they use to be.
      Congrats on taking care of you. I love you lady. May God re-store what’s being depleted and rejuvenate what’s being ingnored.

    • Let not my will, but thy will be done! Luv ya…!!!

      Let not my will, but thy will be done! Luv ya…!!!

    • LaTrease Revis

      Well said Pastor Juanita. I can relate in every aspect, including the cancer. I will be praying for you, as you are always praying for so many of us. I will never forget how you stopped and prayed with me at MD Anderson in the middle of your own battle. It really did show your compassion and love for others. You have a genuine concern for others and keep praying that God gives you the guidance and inner peace to love as he would have you to love.

    • yang


    • It’s amazing how experiential knowledge can help to lead to a “spirit” filled life with God. Sometimes just knowing who you are and who you are striving to be with Him makes all the difference in discovering “the You” He created you to be. Keep seeking the “peace” that can bring healing and wholeness to our lives and assuredly, God, in His graciousness, will grant it!

    • Dawn

      These were the words I needed at this moment. I remember you giving a similar sermon on this and because of God’s grace and mercy, he brought it back like a flood and a calming peace came over me. The peace comes with knowing God’s will, not mine, WILL be done. I just have to “be”. I’m not required to be perfect and I’m not required to make sure everyone else is ok – I just have to “be” and the Will of God takes over…