I keep hearing it. The words are flying out of our mouths ALL. THE. TIME.
"Don't forget, self-care is important!"
" I need to take care of myself!"
"Have you been taking care of yourself?"
"Are you keeping promises to yourself?"
While these statements and comments most likely come with good intentions, the message is all kinds of wrong.
How would you define self-care? This term seems to be deeply rooted in "me time." Greeting cards, t-shirts, and commercials are shouting the message of self. The world has sold us a picture of what it believes will refresh us: pedicures, coffee dates, exercise, uninterrupted lunches, a glass of wine, a half hour scroll through Instagram, a scoop of ice-cream, a massage, a movie. The list could continue, right? While it isn't wrong to seek some peace and quiet, I believe The Lord has a different idea of what self-care looks like. There are multiple examples of Jesus retreating to be alone. However, in every one of them, He retreated to draw near to the Father.
Now before you roll your eyes and mumble mean things about me under your breath, please read on. I've walked the road of exhaustion. We had four kids in five years and three of them are wild boys. I've had years of sleepless nights, disobedient kids, no showers, and little appreciation... I promise to you that I HAVE BEEN THERE. And I AM STILL THERE!
That being said, take note of two things:
However, to prioritize those things or anything else above time with our Savior deserves to be challenged. To wearily retreat from our families only to gain fleeting refreshment, is a slippery slope.
Scripture is clear. Self-focus is not the goal, and the Lord is the one that supplies all our needs.
Motherhood is such an exhausting and refining job. And our world has slowly convinced us that self-care is the answer. Except the world's self-care says, "numb yourselves with fleeting pleasure, check out on your reality, and distract yourself from the issues of your heart." All of these things will leave you wanting in the end. Rather than making statements and asking questions that imply that taking care of oneself is the answer, let's take our weariness to our Father, just as Christ did. When your mom journey has you completely depleted and needing time to yourself, I pray that you will run to the feet of your Savior and find that His words fill you with an eternal refreshment that has no match to what the fleeting pleasures of this world have to offer. Below are five questions to help you process a biblical perspective of self-care. You may even want to discuss this with your community group or other like-minded mommas.
**For more on this topic, I encourage you to listen to this message from The Nest in Dallas back in 2016. Jeanie Cox and Leslie Barry will remind you to stay anchored to God even when you are exhausted.