Is there a woman alive who hasn’t experienced guilt of some sort?
Guilt for not being the wife you think you should be.
Worry about struggling with patience in your parenting.
Shame for the way you spoke with irritation to your Mom.
Overwhelm for your ever-full sink of dishes and laundry basket.
Disappointment at your lack of energy after a full day of work, only to come home to a messy house. Frustration for meals that are served too late, or not at all…
“It’s every man for himself tonight! Grab a box of cereal and eat that for dinner.”
You fall into bed at night, beyond exhausted, and dread how quickly the night flies by, only to face it all again in the morning. Dramatic, I know! I’m painting a picture, though exaggerated a bit, one so many of us are familiar with if we were honest. I know. I lived it. And I’ve seen some of my daughters live it as well. It’s an emotional treadmill. We need to unplug and hop off. Keep in mind, a treadmill, running long enough on it, can make us feel exhausted but we never get anywhere! Let me ask you a question. When was the last time you felt concern over not taking time for yourself? I’m not talking about concerns about diet and how we need to exercise. Yes, that’s important, but I’m talking about me time. Time you have chosen to spend doing something for you, outside of your normal routine. Our last few posts have been about creating a workable calendar–––one with space for all the things that matter, and especially what matters to God. How is it, then, that it’s a rare occasion you pencil your own name in that calendar?
You are God’s treasure and you matter very much to Him. He wants you to put yourself on the list of top priorities. Have you left some white space on your calendar for you this week? I have a home-schooling friend of many decades who had ten children and a spotless home. One day I remember she spoke at a luncheon I was attending and this is what she said when asked how she kept up with everything so well: “Oh, I may appear to have a perfect home but who did I take out to keep it that way?” So whether you are a perfectionist with a perfect home, all in order, but suffer from guilt at the amount of frustration you endure keeping it that way, or you’re behind and see piles all around you…making you believe you could never take time for yourself…there are things we can do to kick our guilt and frustration to the curb. Keep in mind, neglecting ourselves means there’s a good chance we may be neglecting all those who rely on us as well. I want to encourage us all to begin to live deliberately with ourselves in mind as well as the rest of the family. We can’t be hesitant to carve out the time we need to take care of ourselves. We don’t want to face burn out, finding ourselves resentful, frustrated, and irritable. If we want our marriages, parenting and homes to all flourish, then we have to flourish! But we have to flourish guilt-free. Flourishing with guilt isn’t flourishing at all.
Self-care, and what that looks like, is talked about so often. Many of the ways that are suggested take more time and energy than I have to give. So next week I am offering an extensive list of ways we can take care of ourselves that I think you’ll be excited about. I know I am.
Of course this is free of charge. My heart is to see us feel a sense of well-being, joy and rest, even though we’re busy everyday. If you want to receive this list, just subscribe at the end of this post by putting your email address in and I’ll send it to you after next week’s post. I promise you that your inbox will never be swamped by me. I’m not a fan of thousands of emails filling my inbox. Keep your eyes open for a post that will be up Sunday or Monday because I have a special guest lined up to share with us. In my opinion, she has a platform to speak from. For years she has lived a guilt-free self care life––––with peace, confidence and such a joyful heart. Last night I asked her to come on board with me and she accepted with joy! Self Care is one of her passions because she knows how wonderfully it changed her life.
In closing, I want to encourage you to start small this week. Look at your calendar or planner. Consider getting one if you don’t have one–––it’s such a relief to have your week laid out in front of you. Find a small amount of time for yourself. Pencil yourself in! Then when that time comes, sit down with a cup of something hot and a cookie or go out in your yard for some fresh air and just slow yourself down. Even if it’s five or ten minutes. Oh, and my suggestion is to leave your phone behind. Unplugging for periods of time during the day is freeing. And breathe. Your journey of flourishing will begin! Let’s travel the road together…we can do this!
“When our lives refuse to pause…we pause… and with grateful hearts we live out our days with thanksgiving.” On this journey together, Deb