After many false starts today and only three hours sleep last night, everything in me felt like abandoning a writing project that has a deadline attached to it. Have you ever felt like that? Just exhausted and overwhelmed with pressing stuff to do?? I was just about ready to give up on this because it was so much harder than I hoped it would be, when fatigue slammed down hard on me like I hadn’t slept in twenty years!! What do I do when what lies before me looms larger than life and my energy is zapped?? I TAKE A CAT NAP!!
I was sitting at my desk staring at my computer screen, a stark white page glaring back at me, when sleep won over. I went out cold! I’m sure the grandchildren that were floating around my house wondered if I was even alive; to the best of my knowledge no one even checked! I think I slept only ten minutes or so and when I woke up I actually felt refreshed! Life began to look differently and then I wrote this title on my screen: Writer’s Block and Cat Naps! With renewed determination I thought to myself, I can do something with this! I found it amazing that with just a tiny bit of rest, I had definitely recharged and felt like I could accomplish what only minutes earlier seemed insurmountable!
I’m sure we all know, as women, it’s imperative to take good care of ourselves. Raising a gigantic family that just keeps getting bigger and bigger, I have been forced to realize for sanity and survival’s sake that “self care” is NOT synonymous with “selfish care”!
There’s a HUGE difference between being a selfish person who always puts themselves first, versus actually recognizing the need you have of self-care.
To take excellent care of this amazing body and life we’ve been given is just as much our responsibility as it is to take very good care of our families.
I hope this rings a bell with you! This takes commitment on our part and a prayerful look at our lives, together with a willingness to ask the Lord’s help if we find ourselves needing an attitude adjustment.
Our tendency as women is to ALWAYS put ourselves aside a bit and continually pour out for our families and our household.
Have you ever heard of the “Martha Syndrome”? If not, read Luke 10:38-43 and make a mental note of what Jesus says to Martha.
I know it’s hard, as busy women that have demands of all sorts thrust upon us, to consider ourselves and the needs that are pressing in our own hearts and lives.
We do all we can to nurture our families, but caring for them DEFINITELY includes caring for ourselves for their sake as well as our own.
This is a truth that we need to consider at every age and season of our lives because no matter how old we are, it seems we are always putting our needs on the back burner.
Over the years, Amy Carmichael has become one of my most treasured mentors, even though she’s been gone for so many decades. Amy’s last twenty years of life and ministry were spent bedridden from a terrible fall she had when she was checking on some property that had become available for her ministry in India. Acquainted with hard work and excruciating, chronic pain, Amy gave a heart-felt cry as she penned these words of wisdom in her book “Amy Carmichael of Dohnavur”:
“Don’t do as I know I did, for truly I had to do it. Don’t work each day till you are unable to do one more minute. DON’T! Leave a margin.”
What wisdom she had! And the joy of it is, her wisdom and her words are timeless and are still a tremendous benefit to us today. This morning I was having breakfast with one of my dearest girlfriends and we were discussing this post and Amy’s quote. Theresa had real insight when she said ‘if we don’t have margin in our lives we surely won’t ever consider taking a CAT NAP!’ As we sat and talked, we began to take apart what margin looks like to each of us, how we have added it into our day-to-day lives, and the importance of sharing that with other women.
It was a lovely time together and fit into what “Cherishing Ordinary Days” is all about. We created space in our busy day and we spent some precious moments together; we both felt energized and encouraged as we departed. I am so grateful for our years as dear friends. Creating margin in our lives allowed that time.
So in closing, let me say that in the days and months ahead we’ll unpack all of these things in greater depth; margin, self-care, living a life of balance, and so much more. But for now I want to promise you that I will be praying for each of you and your need for rest and margin in your lives, especially considering I know first-hand our need for this as women, in whatever season we find ourselves.
I hope you visit often and we can become acquainted! Until then, it’s my prayer that you will do what it takes to add margin to your life…and oh yes, please, by all means, grab a CAT NAP-GUILT-FREE! I am quite sure when you wake up you’ll have fresh vision and renewed energy to tackle that thing that minutes earlier seemed insurmountable!