What feeds your soul? Do you make time for it? Do you make time for you? What are your priorities and are you one of them?
It's easy to take care of everyone around us before we take care of, or invest in ourselves.
The truth is, I'm not good to anyone else, if I'm not good.
I've had seasons of weariness where I have overexerted myself to take care of everyone in my world except myself. That then spirals quickly into controlling my atmospheres and the people in them so I can have "peace". Unfortunately control and anger are good friends, so when I get tired and weary and start finding myself with a short fuse, I need to pay attention. Better yet, come up with strategies to not get there, otherwise I become physically sick and tired - literally, if I don't prioritize me.
Here's the deal, you don’t have to wait to be sick before you take care of yourself. You actually matter.
Eat healthy, whilst spoiling yourself every once and a while - moderation is the best. Go ahead, put YOU in your budget. Go to the movies alone and eat the whole tub of popcorn, hire a babysitter, splurge on afternoon tea with tiny sandwiches and all the yummy scones, jam and cream one can handle. Read a good book - not just the one you feel you SHOULD read to "be better". Get a massage, go on a walk, go to the gym (this is my next goal), take a mini trip, ask someone to help you with your endless laundry so you can put your feet up for a moment, book in you time - you’re worth it.
This week I’m speaking inNorthern Ireland at Green Pastures Church Women’s Conference called Passion, as well as their weekend services. Knowing this trip was coming up and all that is on my plate in this big season (I think they're all big right?), I decided to come 2 day’s early to be all alone. Yes ALLLLLLLL alone. I am an extrovert that needs introverted time to recover from my extroversion. Ha! Anyone with me? And with 4 kiddos, we're simply never alone and that's the way we like it but it also means we have to plan on purpose to be refreshed.
Paul and I do simple things like have a date night every week without fail so we can connect and get out a full sentence without interruption. Even if it's Sunday lunch after church when we have "Team Andrew" helping us out to make Sundays happen. I plan getaways alone every once and a while like I am right now here in Northern Ireland. It's giving me time to re-evaluate my life, pray, eat in silence, read a good book, go on walks, watch the final season of Downton Abbey, sit in a sauna and let the toxins leave my body... Not to mention write my first book. I already feel like a different person, totally filled up, ready to
give it all I've got to those in my world here at Green Pastures Church, my Liberty Family back at home, the endeavors we've been called to lead and partner with and the most significant relationships in my life - my husband and our 4 key disciples (seriously), Ezekiel, Jesse, Finley and Samuel. I become a better woman, wife, mom, daughter, friend and pastor when I make sure I'm a part of my list of priorities.
Tomorrow the conference begins, another chapter is written in my book, I am refreshed, and ready to give out. And the best part is, my little buddy arrives in the morning with my momma! I'll be ready for all the extrovert activities as soon as they arrive, but not before one last meal in solitude, some more writing, a trip to the sauna, just one more episode (or two) of Downton Abbey and a good nights rest!
Whatever you take from this, however you need to be refreshed, just remember - you matter and you're worth it. Busy is not a badge of honor.
Matthew 11:28-30 Message
“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”