01 Nov Rest, Therapy and Chik-Fil-A
If you’ve been with me for a while now, then you know that I had been struggling to give up some extracurricular activities. Like, deciding which ones are important and which ones are not. Wondering… how would I look to others, if I just quit somethings? Who would I disappoint? Who would I affect? How many steps would I fall behind in my growth process or if I am just weak for giving up?
Women of Judah, I was having this conversation with myself because I found myself overextended like a thanksgiving plate. You know, when everything on the table looks good, but even if you take a little bit of everything – you will eventually run out of room on your plate (and in your belly). Afterwards, you’re (generally) miserable, having tummy aches and unbuttoning your pants because of your decisions.
Logically, I knew that I was giving them up because my body and (subconsciously) my God, we’re telling me that I had to let some things go. And that I needed to practice self-care. So, I did. I submitted a notice, like ripping off like a band-aid. I was so proud, I even texted a few friends to tell them.
Well, then I started to panic. Did I make the right decision? And what really is self-care? Do I have the time to perform it?
So, after a therapy session, some Chik-Fil-A and a few messages that saw online, something was confirmed to me.
Self -care isn’t what we always think it is. It isn’t pretty!
The term has gathered much pixie dust and led women to believe that we are doing it all wrong. Media tells us that acts of self- care are laced with expensive candles, naturopathic oils, luxury vacations, spa treatments and the swiping of your credit/debit cards for new shoes.
Well, as nice as those things are to experience, I don’t think they tackle self-care on a basic level.
We as women (and Christians), tend to struggle with the concept of self-care. We can feel guilty about it or feel like it’s selfish or push it aside with feelings of, “I’ll rest when I finish with this and that, and that too.”
During my walk with God, I’ve consistently made the BIG mistake of emphasizing self-denial and minimizing my self-care. Listen, self-care doesn’t have to be lavish, it is very ugly for some of us. It can be minimal, and it looks different for every person.
Self-care can be:
a bath or quiet time alone in your bathroom after three days of breastfeeding and caring for a newborn baby,
spending a few hours on your side-hustle or building that business, that will provide for you in ten years,
saying no to a party invitation or weekly obligation,
closing your door,
letting your family eat cereal for dinner,
standing in the sun,
having a good cry in your car, or
just taking a day or two off work.
My therapist compared the lack of self-care to an actual wound. She said, that when don’t care for us, we hurt ourselves and create wounds. That wound, like all must be tended to with self -care. In the beginning that wound is UGLY, open and exposed! Some of us even try to cover it with makeup after applying topical medicines. But, for the wound to heal, we have to tend to it. When the wound begins to heal, it will form a scab on top. The scab doesn’t look as bad as the wound and it signifies that you have cared for the wound, that you survived the wound and that it’s healing (healed).
In my mind, God always preferred that I said “yes” to every request and continued to push through my limitations. I wanted to believe that wearing myself out, meant that I was walking in faith and living up to my full potential or purpose.
Society has done such a great job at glamorizing the hustle mentality, that somewhere along the way I discounted that the fact that God is that he meets us where we are. He fills my needs and has compassion for the season I’m in. He understands because, he’s omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent.
1 John 3:19-20, says “By this we shall know that we are of the truth and reassure our heart before him; for whenever our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and he knows everything.”
When we refer to God as being omniscient, we’re describing the fact that He is all-knowing. He knows the season you’re in and He understands. It’s Him that called you to your passions and purposes. He knew you’d be busy, but he also knew that you’d need to practice self-care, that’s why he modeled it in His word.
“Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.” – Mark 1:35 NIV
Women of Judah, can you relate to the feeling of skepticism or guilt when it comes to rest and self-care? As we go into the holiday season, let us take some to time to ponder what sorts of things help us to renew ourselves?
Be encouraged, sis.
Psalm 139:1-4, says, “O Lord, you have searched me and known me! You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar. You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways. Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O Lord, you know it altogether.”