Sunday, November 15, 2009

Self centered vs self care

You may have noticed that I’ve caught up on a bunch of blogs this weekend...well, it’s because I’ve been at a ladies retreat...all by myselfJ. This isn’t the kind of retreat with speakers & worship times & whatnot, although I enjoy those too. Most ladies bring scrapbooking & sewing, but the whole point is that you can do whatever you want. I came last year for the first time & it was soooooo good for me. I became a hermit & sat in my room nearly the whole weekend...but that was exactly what I needed. I’m back this year & have spent a bit more time with the other ladies, but still plenty of time alone. I have some thoughts about that if you’re interested...

A little while back I asked a question in one of my posts...about selfishness vs self care. I appreciated all your comments...thanks!! When I asked the question I was thinking about a marriage retreat we were at 4 years ago...but I couldn’t remember the details. Well, last night I pulled out my notes from the retreat. I’m still struggling with how to apply this to my life, but here are my thoughts.

To me, self care means valuing who I am to the point of taking care of myself. It’s not natural to care for ourselves. We are taught to always think of others’s selfish to think of ourselves. I’m not saying we shouldn’t think of others, but we do need to take care of ourselves. Another reason it’s not natural is that when we get married we often “give” our hearts to our spouse...thinking that they are meant to take care of our hearts. This is not the case. My heart is my deal. I need to stop thinking that I married the person who would take care of my heart. It’s my job to take care of my heart. The last reason that it’s not natural...and right now this is where I’m that we don’t know how to take care of ourselves. It’s very natural for me to give, give, give without thinking about where I’m at...and then all of a sudden I start to feel resentful because no one is giving back in the same way.

Mark 12:30 says, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.” God said that we are to love Him with all of our being: our heart (emotional), soul (spiritual), mind (mental) & strength (physical). Jesus modelled this in Luke 2:52, “And Jesus grew in wisdom & stature, and in favour with God & men.” He grew in wisdom (mental), stature (physical), favour with God (spiritual) & favour with men (emotional).

God said it.
Jesus modelled it.
The Holy Spirit empowered it.
So I am going to do it.

OK, so I need to take care of my whole being...physical, mental, emotional, & spiritual. How do I do that in the midst of a very busy life? Well, I’m coming to realize that this ladies retreat is one way I can achieve that. Now, once a year is not enough to take care of myself, but it’s a start. Here’s what I mean. Some of the things that renew me mentally are reading & hobbies...I’ve done both of those this weekend. It really helps me emotionally if I have time alone or or am able to listen to music...I’ve done both of those too. Getting enough sleep is one way to take care of myself physically...and I’ve been able to get some extra sleep this weekend. Lastly...spiritually...well, right now I’m sitting here pondering these things & what it means to me...I’ve also been listening to music as I do this. So you see, with one weekend away, I’m taking care of every aspect of me. Knowing that helps me not to feel guilty for asking Ben to stay home with the kids so I could come.

I know that by doing this, I will go home a better wife & mom. You see, the reason we need to “fill” ourselves is so that we can distribute it to the people around us. Romans 15:13, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy & peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” When I take care of myself I am much more able to be the wife that Ben needs & the mom that the kids need. If I neglect myself, I get frustrated more easily & it ends up getting taken out on them.

My challenge (to myself as much as anyone) is to find things...little things...that renew me. Yes, this weekend away is great, but what about the rest of the year? I need to look at each area of my life...mental, spiritual, emotional, & physical...and find little things I can do on a daily or weekly basis to take care of myself...and not feel guilty about it!!! I have a bit of a list going, now I just need to figure out how to apply it. I’d love to hear your thoughts!


Anonymous said...

Very insightful Heidi...I could not agree more. Thank-you for bring this important,yet often ignored topic out in the open. Love, Kyla

Jenni said...

Heidi, sister...
I love hearing this from you. I had lunch with a friend today, and we talked through many many questions that pertained to this. I admire your willingness to take on the tough challenge of living as wife, mother, friend, mentor and mentee, sister, daughter, teacher... and the list goes on. Ultimately, this could be summed up as "disciple"... thanks for modelling it.

Heidi said...

Thanks Kyla...and Jenni. Love you both!

Nathan said...

Heidi Bee- Wow...well said! It blesses me to hear how you give God opportunity in your life to shape you more and more into the beautiful godly woman that you desire to be...and are.
A few ideas for you and for your readers on how to actualize your thoughts into your daily life...
-Light a candle at mealtimes and pay attention to the measure of peace and calm it can bring to you.
-After the kids are in bed, just step outside for a moment and look at the moon through the pines. Allow it to go in deep.
-Visit a friend's flower garden.
-Hold a puppy at the pet store.
-Light a cinnamon candle at home to make it smell homey.
-Put your feet in a tub of hot water for a few minutes while you sit in the living room together.
-Sit on the porch and watch hummingbirds and geckos.
-Put up a bird feeder and keep binoculars near your chair.
-Play peaceful music at home.
-Stand on (or in front of) the vent where the heat comes out and enjoy how cozy it feels.
-Get a babysitter and have lunch with a friend.
-Turn on the tea kettle just because it's a comforting sound.
-Keep a night light on.

We love you and are proud of you, Heidi. And you can always call us Aunt Jane and Uncle Nathan. :)

Pressing on-
Aunt Jane