Thursday, January 23, 2020

Bubble baths and pedicures can only take you so far..

Let's talk about Self-Care.  It's the new buzzword lately, but what is self-care and what should it really look like?  Obviously, that will be different for every person.  Some people enjoy walking miles on a long hike, some people enjoy running long distance, or doing Zumba.  Some people like putting air pods in listening to nostalgic music while shopping or watching Netflix on an iPad in the bath.  Whatever you do for your "me time" is now considered self-care.  Even drinking a bottle of wine is considered a normal way to unwind in the evenings in this day and age. People think of self-care as just doing something they consider fun or even just taking a break.  Some people do a lot of physical self-care like working out or getting massages and pedicures.  In my opinion, I think we are missing the point here of self-care.  We should be focusing on Soul and Spirit care.  Obviously, physical self-care is important.  We only are given ONE body and we should take care of it, it is where our Soul and Spirit lives after all.  To quote Rachel Hollis, "When you MOVE YOUR BODY, you CHANGE YOUR MIND!" and I 100% agree with that.  But if we are constantly feeding our bodies everything it needs with good nutrition, exercise and doing things that satisfy our flesh, and we neglect our souls and spirits, then what is the point?  We will be in a constant cycle of this "self-care" wheel without ever really taking care of ourselves.  We get frustrated or stressed, get to a boiling point and run out of the house for a bit of time by ourselves.  We do the thing that we think will fix our anxiety (shop, work out, go grab a drink at happy hour, get a sugary caffeine buzz, eat some yummy food... whatever) and we come home and the source of our anxiety hasn't left, making us feel like we need to go out and repeat said behavior.  Again, not all of these things are bad.  What's messing us up is getting into the cycle of thinking it will fix our anxiety without touching on our Soul or Spirit.

Let's look at what Jesus did when he was on earth.  What Jesus did to feed his Soul and Spirit is throughout the Gospels.  He took time away by himself to pray and he would do this often.  He would disappear for hours, sometimes days, to reconnect with God.  He would pray and fast and be still.  He would put away all distractions and just be with his Father.
Mark 1:35 - "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." This is just one example of Jesus taking time to feed his Spirit and his Soul.

He would spend time with his friends, breaking bread and fellowshipping. I can attest, spending time with the people closest to me definitely feeds my soul and spirit.  Sharing struggles and stories, encouraging one another towards the Lord, calling out sin patterns that need addressing, going through life changes together, talking about real things.  I'm not talking about  getting together with the ladies to have happy hour and vent about your husband or job or kids.  I'm talking about getting down to the nitty gritty.  Talk about your own faults, not your husbands.  Be real about your struggles and doubts and in turn you will find the people that will stick by you through thick and thin.

In his last 24 hours on the Earth, he didn't have a bucket list of things to do before he died, he got down on his knees and washed the disciples feet.  He was showing them the ultimate form of service.  It was unheard of for a leader, teacher or nobleman to serve the ones serving him.  John 13:1,  "It was just before the Passover Feast.  Jesus knew that the time had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father.  Having loved his own who were in the world, he now showed them the full extent of his love....Do you understand what I have done for you?  You call me 'Teacher' and 'Lord' and rightly so, for that is what I am.  Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another's feet.  I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.  I tell you the truth, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him.  Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them."  He was constantly serving, constantly pouring himself out.  The generosity he showed while on Earth flowed out of him constantly, up until his death when he gave, literally, it all.  He was the ultimate example of loving others and putting others first.

He sat at the feet of the people who had gone before him and listened to their wise counsel.
Luke 2:46 "After three days they found him in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions."
Find the ones who have gone before you.  Seek counsel from women or men who have experienced and come out on the other side of what you are going through or have gone through.  If you are in the trenches, find others just on the other side of those trenches to give you hope and help you see that there IS another side.

Jesus is called "the bread of life" for a reason.  Man cannot live on bread alone, we need to feed our soul and spirit, not just our body. In John 6:33, 35 "The bread of God is the One who came out of heaven to give his life to feed the world... I am the Bread of Life.  Come every day to me and you will never be hungry."
To feed your Spirit and Soul properly, we need to spend time with Jesus.  We need to let him fuel our passions and from there we will get the proper self-care we so crave.

Jesus was the perfect example to us of what love and sacrifice should look like.  He ministered to those who were otherwise unapproachable.  He told stories and fed crowds.  He held children on his lap and looked people in the eyes.  He gave and he prayed and he obeyed.

I hear people say all the time, "I'm just not in the season right now to do... {fill in the blank}"  Ya'll, we only have one season.  This life goes in a blink and if we are constantly waiting for the right time to do the thing we feel pulled in our gut to do, it will never come.  I challenge you to find the thing that makes your soul and spirit come alive and go do that thing.  If it is helping others get healthy through diet and exercise, go do it.  If it is helping others through teaching, go do it.  If it is homeschooling your children, pour into them.  If you have a heart for the needy, bring your kids and teach them about the less fortunate, go bring them food or volunteer somewhere.  If you have a longing to help young mothers, reach out to them.  There are things we can do today to help others.

We were not given our lives so we could get lost in our own needs, we are on this earth to reach others.  To help others.  If you have gone through an experience that changed you, talk about it.  Share your stories and your struggles.  Stop getting so caught up in what makes YOU feel good in this moment.  When we are feeding other people's souls, ours get fed in return.

Yes, take care of yourself.  Take that bubble bath or get that pedicure.  Take those breaks that make you feel a little less crazy.  While you're taking that break, take some time for silence and ask yourself what you wanted to be when you grew up when you were a kid.  Pray that God would reignite the fire that once burned in your spirit and soul.

One of my favorite quotes is
"Don't ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it.  Because what the world needs is people who have come alive."  - Howard Thurman


  1. Yes! πŸ‘πŸΌπŸ‘πŸΌπŸ‘πŸΌ I was very convicted of this starting about a year or so ago. When I’m exhausted and need to just “relax”, and vegging our in front of reality TV or social media is tempting, (and not always wrong like you were saying, but definitely not always the best), but is it REALLY giving my body and soul REST? He alone is our rest and in Him alone we receive more life than we could ever imagine- abundant, eternal life.

    1. I am the guiltiest of guilty in this area. I have been on a major journey to finding what brings me real peace in my life, and it's spending time with Jesus and following his call on my life. Using the gifts he gave me and finding contentment in my every day life.