Tag Archives: parenthood

Self-Care Isn’t Selfish.

Nowadays, self-care is “in.” However, some in Christian circles believe that the idea of “self-care” is equivalent with being selfish. Let me put that myth to rest for you right away. There are many accounts in the Bible of Jesus going off on His own for prayer and respite. (The crowds still tried to follow Him.) He was fully Divine, yet also fully human. Jesus needed that time alone to connect with His Father and to be empowered for ministry. 

“Yet the news about him spread all the more, so that crowds of people came to hear him and to be healed of their sicknesses. But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.” Luke 5:15-16

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Photo by Nick Agus Arya on Unsplash

So if the One that we follow also needed time to refresh, how can we say that we’re above Him? Being fully human, we need to make a priority of our self-care. Every single day, we need to make time for God. We need to also be aware of the unique way that we are wired and to make time for those forms of self-care most fitting for us. Once we start making time for our needs, we’ll find ourselves better able to nurture and care for the people we’ve been gifted with in our lives. We cannot pour from an empty vessel.

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Photo by ilya gorborukov on Unsplash

There are seasons of life where we need to be firm & speak up about our needs. This is especially true of moms of young children. Moms of young children may need to let their husband know how depleted she feels. Single moms must pray for loving support and people they can count on.  There is no shame in asking a family member or another trusted person to take over for a few hours once in awhile to tend to yourself.  Every person has their own limits. It’s important to recognize yours and to take the steps to care for you before reaching your limit. Burnout comes after a person has given & given to others without fulfillment of their own needs. This state often leads to depression, resentment toward those one cares for, and tremendous fatigue. For most people, burnout isn’t a “quick fix,” so it’s important to be continually mindful of self-care. 

Every person is the “expert” on what works for them for regular self-care routines. Here are a few ideas to get started:

  • Prayer
  • Reading Scripture, especially in the context of a Bible study
  • Journal
  • Exercise
  • Therapy
  • Painting, drawing, sculpting
  • Finding a new hobby
  • Quality time with supportive & encouraging people
  • Support groups or “moms” groups
  • Reading “fun” books, such as novels
  • Time in a peaceful nature setting
  • Going out to eat (to a place that offers nourishing foods) instead of cooking
  • Make dates or intentional times to reconnect with your significant other a priority
  • Attend a concert, museum, play, or comedy show
  • Short weekend getaways or retreats

Importantly, don’t feel guilty about taking the time you need for self-care! There are people counting on you. Remember how Jesus told us that the second greatest commandment (after loving the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind, strength) is to love your neighbor as yourself? (Mark 12:30-31) Jesus’ command assumes that we love ourselves! When you recognize that you were created in the Divine image, you will love yourself because you recognize WHO you belong to! When you take care of yourself, you will be much better able to care for others, and to do it well!

What is your favorite form of self-care?

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Photo by Nikita Kachanovsky on Unsplash

 

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Parenting and Our Good, Good Father.

“Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”–Matthew 5:48

Parenting is a topic often on my mind. It’s a huge responsibility, greater than anyone could ever imagine. The spiritual, physical, intellectual and emotional

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Photo by Julie Johnson on Unsplash

health of a precious human being is at stake! When I reflect about becoming a parent someday, I’m filled with great joy. It’s one of the biggest dreams of my life. However, the reality sinks in that I am very much still a person “in process.” What is the prominent way that children learn character? By observing their parents–both their actions and whether their words make sense with the reality of their actions. When you become a parent, you’re going to have little eyes and ears observing everything you do and say. That goes for even when you don’t expect it. How can I expect a child to turn out a certain way when I myself am living in a different way? If my character isn’t matching what I hope the character of my child will match…How will I teach them? The good news is, we have God’s grace. Even in spite of our shortcomings, God’s grace can work in all circumstances. It’s still working on me, and will be each day until I die. I’ll never be a perfect parent–no parent on earth will be.

 

Yet, I had a very important realization: I can continually learn from THE perfect and best parent: our Heavenly Father! As I grow into a deeper relationship with God and come to know more and Who He is, I learn from His character. As I journey closer and closer (walking by faith) to the day that I become a parent,  I’m going to look at His character and see more of the type of parent I want to be. Most of all, I pray that I can give any child, any person that comes into my life, a glimpse into His deep love and Who He really is. 

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Courtesy of John-Mark Kuznietsov on Unsplash.com