Is Self-Care Self-ish?

Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else.
Galatians 6:4

My role as a mom and wife is dearly rewarding but often leaves me depleted with little time for myself. The coming new year marks time of reflection and one theme keep recurring in my mind – self-care.

I’ve often thought of self-care as somewhat self-ish, believing it meant neglecting care for others in order to do what I wanted to do. But is that really true?

In the hustle and bustle of the holiday season I spent more time baking, volunteering, and cleaning than exercising, reading my bible, and resting – all essential acts to maintain my health. And I felt it. I couldn’t run around with my kids, I struggled to get out of bed in the mornings, and my pants were too tight!

I started realizing that self-care is not selfish, it’s actually a necessary part of giving of ourselves to others. I won’t be my best mom-and-wife-self if I’m not healthy physically, emotionally and spiritually.

Galatians 6:4 reminds me of three important things relevant to self-care:

1. Self-care is my responsibility. Each one should test their own actions... Testing my actions means assessing my efforts to nurture my soul. Am I spending enough time with God? Am I eating healthy? Am I exercising? No one can take care of me as well as I can nor should I expect someone else to.

2. Self-care leads to confidence. Then they can take pride in themselves alone... When we tend to our personal needs, we feel better about ourselves. We can take pride in the choices we make knowing it honors God to respect the body and heart He has given us.

3. Self-care is personal. Without comparing themselves to someone else. I have many friends who do not understand how getting up an hour early to read my Bible couldn’t be anything but exhausting, but for me it’s just what I need. Other friends don’t struggle with a love of carbs; they don’t have to restrict their diet. It’s important to avoid comparing the ways we differ in methods of self-care. What works for me may not work for you and vice versa. What matters is that we make self-care a priority because doing so allows us to give our best to others.

Taking better care of myself is my New Years resolution for 2020 – what’s yours?

Old Saint Nick Loves Jesus

Today’s post is one I wrote as a guest blogger for Devotional Diva a couple years ago. I hope you enjoy and Merry Christmas!

Ready or not, the holiday season is upon us once again. Costco is in full swing mode, every aisle filled with all you need for “the most wonderful time of the year.”

Yes, I am writing this the day after Halloween, but who’s paying attention to that? Although it is the most wonderful time of the year and I absolutely LOVE Christmas, there once was a time I dreaded it.

A few years back, while standing in the checkout line at a local grocery store, a kind woman asked my three-year-old sons, “What is Santa bringing you this year?” They simply stared at her, dumbfounded by her question. I scrabbled to bridge the awkward silence, “We haven’t really talked about that yet, have we, boys?” It was a true statement – we hadn’t talked about Santa yet.

Because we didn’t celebrate Santa. You see, I grew up understanding the meaning of Christmas to be all out Jesus. My siblings and I didn’t visit Santa at the mall or fill out wish lists to mail to Him at the north pole or set out cookies and milk on Christmas Eve. And I’m okay with that; I enjoy celebrating Christmas for what it is – Jesus’ Birthday.

But, wanting to avoid future awkward grocery-store-checkout-line conversations, I began researching the history of Christmas and Santa. Why Do We Call It Christmas? by Phil Vischer beautifully explained how the Santa we know today evolved from Saint Nicholas, a Catholic Bishop who generously gave to his community in need.

Once, he tossed a money bag into the house window of a few poor girls and the coins landed in the stockings they had hung out to dry. Hence our tradition of stocking-stuffers. Saint Nick gave to others because of what God had given him – the gift of salvation through Jesus.

As I read the book to by sons, warm, fuzzy feelings filled my heart because nothing the world does to secularize Christmas will eliminate the root of it all – Jesus’ birth.

Now, we are prepared for the holiday season – my sons know who who Santa is and I don’t mind celebrating him – because doing so doesn’t take away from Jesus when we understand history. And God wouldn’t have it any other way!

Old Saint Nick Loves Jesus

via Daily Prompt: Saintly

Ready or not, the holiday season is upon us once again. Costco has been in full swing mode for the past month, every aisle filled with all you need for “the most wonderful time of the year”.

Although it is the most wonderful time of the year and I absolutely LOVE Christmas, there once was a time I dreaded it.

It started after an encounter while standing in the checkout line at a local grocery
store. A kind woman innocently asked my three-year-old sons, “What is Santa bringing you for Christmas?”

They simply stared at her, dumbfounded by the question.

I scrabbled to bridge the awkward silence, “We haven’t really talked about that yet, have we, boys?”

It was a true statement – we hadn’t talked about Santa yet. Because we didn’t celebrate Santa. You see, I grew up understanding the meaning of Christmas to be all out Jesus. My siblings and I didn’t visit Santa at the mall or fill out wish lists to mail to Him at the north pole or set out cookies and milk on Christmas Eve.

And I’m okay with that; I enjoy celebrating Christmas for what it is – Jesus’ Birthday.

But, wanting to avoid future awkward grocery-store-checkout-line conversations, I began
researching the history of Christmas and Santa. I found a children’s book, Why Do We Call It Christmas? by Phil Vischer. It beautifully explained how the Santa we know today evolved from Saint Nicholas, a Catholic Bishop who generously gave to his community in need. Once, he tossed a money bag into the house window of a few poor girls, the coins landing in the stockings they had hung out to dry. Hence, our tradition of stocking-stuffers.

Saint Nick gave to others out of love, just as John 13:34 commands: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. Because of God’s great love for us, He gave the gift of salvation through his Son, Jesus.

As I read the book to by sons, warm, fuzzy feelings filled my heart because nothing the world does to secularize Christmas will eliminate the root of it all – Jesus’ birth.

Now, we are prepared for holiday season – my sons know who who Santa is and I don’t mind celebrating him – because doing so doesn’t take away from Jesus when we understand history.

And God wouldn’t have it any other way!