The Art of Self-Care

“Are you tired, run down, listless? Do you pop out at parties? Are you unpoopular?”

If you are a big I Love Lucy fan like me, this script is likely familiar to you. And if you are busy mom like me, you are probably answering, “YES! Yes I am!” Actually, if you are simply a woman, you are probably answering “Yes!” because there is just something in the DNA of women that causes us to be like the Energizer bunny. We keep going, and going, and going.

We are natural caregivers and we instinctively give of ourselves to our children, our husbands, our friends, our churches, and our communities. But someone we often neglect to care for is the tired woman looking back at us in the mirror. She is not usually made a priority. Caring for her is at the bottom of our list and when we finally make it to her, we give her the leftovers.

She eats the leftover crusts of her kids PB&J for lunch.

She gets the leftover time to get dressed before the family heads out the door.

She uses the leftover energy to read her new book and ends up falling asleep on the third page.

She’s tired, run-down, listless. She pops out at parties. And her crankiness is making her pretty unpoopular.

I’m a low maintenance kind of a girl. I mean, I like makeup and jewelry and pretty things, but I also like to work hard. I like to sweat. I’m tough. I used to roll my eyes at girls who got massages and pedicures and took long baths, thinking that those things were so extravagant and unnecessary.

Then I had kids and I got a little bit older. And I began to realize that I can only make it so far on empty.

I read the We Deserve This series by Heather Fontenot and found a mother I really respected taking the time to care for herself. I listened to the powerful testimony of Paula Shearer as she talked about the deterioration of her health as a young mother who failed to care for her body. Slowly, my perspective on self-care slowly changed from seeing it as something only for the high-maintenance type of woman to seeing it as something necessary for health and well-being of every woman.

For the next few days, I am going to write about some of the different areas of our lives that we need to be more intentional in caring for our bodies, our minds, and our souls. And even though you might not like the idea of putting yourself higher on the priority list, in doing so, you are really putting your loved ones higher on the list right there with you, because they will all surely benefit from a happier and healthier you.

Cultivating Intention:

  • On a scale of 1-10, how would you rate your level of self-care?
  • What are some of the areas that you tend to neglect in caring for yourself?

Cultivating Grace:

  • Do you struggle with the idea of making yourself a priority? Why do you think that is?

“As Jesus and the disciples continued on their way to Jerusalem, they came to a certain village where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. Her sister, Mary, sat at the Lord’s feet, listening to what he taught. But Martha was distracted by the big dinner she was preparing. She came to Jesus and said, “Lord, doesn’t it seem unfair to you that my sister just sits here while I do all the work? Tell her to come and help me.” But the Lord said to her, “My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details! There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:38-42

If you are like me, and you are wired a little more like Martha than Mary, I encourage you to learn from Mary, whom the Lord praised for taking the time to get what her soul so desperately needed.

Always,

Amanda

This post is Day 3 of the 31 day series I am writing on cultivating a life of intention and grace. For a complete index of posts in this series, click here. To read more 31 Days series, please visit The Nester.

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Comments

  1. What a true post! I am not even a mom yet, but between full time job, house chores, husband, family and service, I feel my needs (especially the girly taking care of my body ones) go to the bottom of the barrell!

  2. You are seriously speaking right into my heart with this series. I can absolutely see how I’ve neglected myself over the years, especially health wise. Skipping quiet time because the kids are awake and interrupt me, falling asleep reading, not pursuing hobbies because I feel guilty about time away from my family, I could go on. Thanks for the encouragement with that wonderful passage. We really do need to remember to be still and seek what’s most important!

  3. latoya @ a peaceful crib says:

    Perfect scripture for a person like me who fails all the time to take time for herself. Can’t wait until tomorrow!

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