There are big things happening in the world. Major crisis and heartache are out there. The goings on in my home seem so insignificant but they hit me like huge waves at times. I can’t seem to gather my thoughts, I am scattered and moody. I can’t seem to get into my groove for the day and I just spin my wheels. I have an overwhelming feeling that I have forgotten something
The magazines advertise “self care” and underneath is a subtitle about spas, manicures, “me time” and lunch out with friends. LUNCH! That’s right, that’s what I forgot. I need food. I’m hungry and I have a headache. Hmmmmm…. maybe that is why I can’t focus and I feel like I am just running in circles but not accomplishing anything. Come to think of it, I’m thirsty too. Coffee as my breakfast and hydration isn’t working out so well today. I should have known better but the day just got started and, and, and…..
I know you are busy. I know the kids need help (with everything under the sun). I know that if that list doesn’t get done now, then it only waits for you and it’s getting longer. Can I tell you, as an older mom who put off the notion of self care for perhaps nearly two decades…. you need to consistently take care of you. No, you do not “need” a spa day. You do not need to have your nails done. If it works out for you to have those things, that’s okay and a pure bonus, but mama, you need to make sure you eat, sleep and drink water regularly. I so often blew off the words “self care” because I knew that I didn’t have time or resources for the pampering part but I had included basic life survival in my boycott.
When I read scripture, I am stopped by the fact that even Jesus and the people he cared for needed the basics that somehow I didn’t acknowledge were a need for me. In the Feeding of the 5,000 the Lord recognized that the people would be able to concentrate and hear the message if they just ate first. When the disciples were out on the water fishing, Jesus was there on shore preparing a meal for them because He knew, they would need to eat. In Luke 24 on the road to Emmaus it was after Jesus offered bread that eyes were opened as to who he was.
Luke 5:16 “But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed”. Jesus himself withdrew when he needed to pray and in Mark 6:31It is said “Because so many people were coming and going that they (the disciples) did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” Does that not sound like motherhood? They did not even have a chance to eat. Guess what? They needed to go to a quiet place to be restored. Why do I get it in my head that I can skip the very things that God designed to give my body physical life? The Bible does model times of fasting but that is temporary and for a specific purpose. We all know a mom or have been a mom that chronically forgets to or intentionally puts off eating, hydrating or getting rest in favor of our never ending service to others. When we do this week after week, it actually slows us down and lessens our abilities to care for them.
Sometimes I think we are so programmed to “do stuff” that we forget to just live in a basic life sustaining way. There are times when it all gets so frustrating, people irritate us and we just are falling more and more behind. When I am feeling overwhelmed like this, I have found is that I literally need to evaluate myself. You know how when our toddlers are fussy and we problem solve to try to figure out what is throwing them off? Well I need to do the same for me. Thinking back through my day, I ask myself if I have eaten, had enough water and consider the amount of rest that preceded a day that has gotten out of control.
Yes, you may have more to do, you have people who need you in so many ways, but please mama, make sure you are caring for yourself in the same ways that you care for those around you. You will be more equipped for the tasks God has called you to and the challenges you face will be more manageable.
Let’s look to the Lord for even these simple lessons in life, He will bring us victory!