Self-care is a very popular buzzword in the mom and mompreneur world right now. We moms have a bad habit of putting everyone first to our detriment. We never really focus on doing the most important things because we are too busy trying to do all the things. And so, we suffer.
We don’t take care of our bodies. We stop eating well. We have no energy. We start having health problems. And we begin to lose our identity in our children and all the commitments we make. Our self-worth becomes tied up in all these things and we’re just so tired. Right?
What’s the standard solution? More “me” time. You know, a bubble bath or a good steamy romance novel (you know who you are). It’s mom’s nights or wine before bed. It’s learning a new skill or picking up an old hobby. It’s running away from your spouse, children and all the responsibilities that come with them.
The problem is that these little bursts only satisfy for a short time. Because you still get burnt out and all the bubble baths and glasses of wine in the world aren’t going to help you get to the heart of the issue.
I’m about to say something very hard right here, so brace yourself. Are you ready?
If your self-care time doesn’t include Jesus, you’re doing it wrong.
I know, I told you you’re doing something wrong. I’m not supposed to do that, but I did and here’s why: I know that those activities, hobbies and time with friends only do the job for the moment.
The reality is that at the heart of every mom who needs a break is a mom who also needs more of Jesus. At the heart of every mom who is exhausted and overwhelmed is a mom who need to lay her burdens down at the feet of Jesus.
Jesus says in Matthew 11:28, “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Who will give you rest? Is it a bubble bath? Is it a girls’ night out? Is it avoiding your spouse and kids? No. It is Jesus alone who can give you the rest you need to refresh your soul.
This verse continues and Jesus says, “Take my yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”(v. 29) Jesus promises that when we take His yoke He will give us rest in our souls. The innermost core of our being will have what it needs most, and that is Jesus.
When we set our hearts back on Him and we lay down our challenges at His feet, He leaves us with a peace that passes all understanding. (Philippians 4:7) When we turn to His word for wisdom in our parenting, careers, businesses, and even the activities we do, we’ll find our lives filled with a calm even when the storms around us are raging.
We need to stop thinking that superficial things will help us. We need to stop thinking that our time alone must be wholly selfish. We need to stop trying to fill ourselves with something that’s fleeting.
Psalm 107:9 says, “For He satisfies the longing soul, and the hungry soul He fills with good things.”
Are you hungry? What is in your heart that feels lost, alone, scared, longing? Jesus is the answer.
There’s a story about a woman who comes every day to get a drink from a well. She comes at an hour that most of the women do not because she is an outcast due to her lifestyle (this is a post for another day). In this story she meets Jesus. He had sent His disciples to go buy food but stayed behind to interact with this woman. He asks her to give Him a drink from the well, and at first she questions Him about who He was and why He was asking her for a drink. And they talk about the water. Jesus says, “Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again.” (John 4:13)
My friends if you’re jumping into your self-care with the attitude of being refreshed from a day away, or reading a good book, you’re going to get thirsty again and again and again. Jesus continues and says, “but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall gives him will become in him a fountain of water springing into everlasting life.” (John 4:14)
Sign me up for that water, right? That was the response of this woman. She wanted this water so desperately. She wanted to never have to come to this well at this time of day because of her shame. She was talking to the one person in the whole world from the beginning of the universe that could satisfy her core need and help her in every way.
Do you take time in your day to do the same? Do you take time to share your struggles, dreams, heartaches, wins and losses with the one who can help you? Do you share your day with Jesus and ask for peace, wisdom, and satisfaction? I try to. And I say that in all honesty. There are days when I get up and open Facebook or Instagram first. I get lost in the endless stream of others. But then there are days when Jesus is first and my whole day looks completely different.
I love to paint, sing, hike, and I’m re-learning the piano right now. I love to spend time with my family but there are days where I absolutely need a break. There are days where I need just an hour or two when I don’t need to be responsible for anyone else. There are days when my 2-year-old is so overwhelming I want to cry (and I sometimes do). But more time painting or singing or hiking isn’t going to fix it. The only solution for my deepest need is to run to the feet of Jesus.
If your idea of self-care is about binge-watching your favorite show, that’s not self-care.
If your idea of self-care is about reading a hot romance novel, that’s not self-care.
If your idea of self-care is about partying with the girls, that’s not self-care.
If your idea of self-care is about drinking a glass of wine every night, that’s not self-care.
If your idea of self-care involves anything other than sitting at the feet of Jesus, it’s not self-care. Those things are entertainment, vanity, indulgences, lust, and they will satisfy for a moment, but the satisfaction will pass, and you’ll find that you’re still tired, worn out, and frustrated.
Don’t you want something different? Don’t you want a life filled with peace? Don’t you want confidence during any struggle that God is with you and will get you through it? That’s what happens when your self-care is about Jesus.
So, enjoy a TV show from time to time, read a good book, enjoy a glass of wine on occasion, and have some good clean fun with your women friends. Go on a date with your hubby. Please do them. They are absolutely important pieces of your life. But don’t mistake these entertaining things as self-care. Because if you do, you’ll find yourself feeling more empty and lost than when you started.