I Corinthians 6:19-20
Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.
Self Care. This term wasn't even in my vocabulary 15 years ago. Not because I didn't love myself, but because I knew no other life. I took great care of myself back then because there was no one else to take care of. Rewind with me ladies... remember young adult days before kids and marriage? Remember college life or singles days when the entire paycheck was spent on whatever you wanted? Yeah, that's the kind of Self Care I'm talking about. Self Care these days is all about sneaking into the closet to hide and not share my Peanut Butter Snickers Bar while the kids are banging on the door.
We live a different life now- For months, we talk about getting together with our girlfriends for a weekend at the beach. You know, when there's a little more time and money. It takes weeks of planning just to get a haircut, manicure, or coffee with a friend. Women tend to walk a fine line between putting the needs of others before themselves and the art of self martyrdom. I was reminded recently of the graphic and direction given to passengers by flight attendants before take off; the one where you are instructed to put on your OWN oxygen mask before trying to assist young children or adult dependents to do the same. How can you give what you don't already have for yourself?
I'm not just talking about coffee with your girlfriend and getting your roots done every 8 weeks. We're talkin' balance between spirit, mind, and body. Ask yourself these questions:
1. Am I learning anything new? What am I doing to sharpen my mind?
Read some books. Sharpen your skills in some area. Take an online course. Take up photography, learn how to change a tire, read about how crayons are made. Join a book club or learn how to line dance. I've always wanted to learn how to Fence... as in sword fighting. Anyone care to join me?
2. Am I growing spiritually, or am I too busy for Quiet time with God?
Find yourself an accountability partner; a female accountability partner who won't be afraid to step on your new pedicure when you aren't going to Bible study and indulging in God's Word at home each day. This God of creation is crazy about you and is in hot pursuit of your life to pour out immeasurable blessings on you! How can you refuse an offer like that?? Cut out ten minutes of social media and give those minutes to Him. Our gracious Heavenly Father tends to multiply our time together like the fishes and the loaves.
3. Am I taking care of my body?
There are a lot of folks with some very real limitations here. There are a lot of folks without limitations though. If you are blessed with the ability to move, then get up and take a walk. Begin a new thought process about food so that you can begin to make healthier choices. Exercise releases feel good chemicals into your body and stimulates energy! It also gives a mom a few minutes of sweet mental, stress relief. I always come back through the door a bit more focused and happy even after just ten minutes for a walk, run, bike ride, or pathetic attempt at Zumba.
Self Care isn't at all selfish. It's biblical and necessary- even our sweet Savior backed away from the crowds to rest and refresh for the next round of ministry to friends and crowds that needed him. Are we so different? Girls, if you aren't taking good care of yourself you simply cannot give what is required to others who may depend on you. That makes perfect sense right? Here's another approach. You are a holy temple. Your body houses the perfect Holy Spirit of the Forever, Living God. What are you doing to ensure that His temple sustains the gift of life He has given you?
Amanda Williams is a forty-year old wife and mother of two who can still swing her pony tail and display just a tad of sass. She is also a Jesus loving girl who realizes she is nothing without the One who saved her. Amanda has two degrees specializing in serving students with special needs and is currently working in the field of Leadership Development. She is a Christian author, speaker, blogger, and publisher who loves serving beside her husband at her local place of worship, First Baptist Church of Ocala.