The season of life I'm in is an exhausting one.
I might have thought I was tired back in college when I was writing a research paper late into the night (I've always been a procrastinator), but over the last couple of months, I've experienced for the first time that I can remember the actual feeling of my eyes burning with exhaustion (by about 9:30pm) after just a normal day of mothering, homemaking, and community-ing.
I'm a night owl who loves the mornings. A morning person who can't seem to get in bed before 11pm.
My kids are emotionally and physically draining.
I long to write but constantly either fight to find time or motivation to do so regularly.
My books are stacked, waiting ever so patiently to be cracked open, or to be read in more than two-page increments.
My toe nails have month-old chipped blue paint on them.
I haven't picked up my guitar in weeks.
Moments of free time flit away as I eat the bread of idleness.
I love my family and this one wild and crazy life I've been given and the kids that refine my character every day. But I'm tired, in more ways than one. And it's catching up to me.
Seeking community motivation for taking care of mama
Some friends and I recently found that we could relate well to each other on feeling burnt out in life and motherhood and blogging. We talked through the truths in the clichés like "if mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy" and "you have to take care of yourself to be able to take care of others."
With the arrival of Spring, we all felt it was high time to come out of this wintery season fighting, and with fists pumping, seeking to make some changes in our lives together to embrace what we need to more effectively serve our families and communities.
Over the next few weeks, we'll be tackling a few areas of our lives where we could stand to up the level of care we are giving ourselves. We hope you'll be encouraged as you read along and that you'll even consider joining us in this project.
Approaching self-care with intention
I recently read my friend Tsh's book Notes From a Blue Bike, a memoir that chronicles one family's journey to live a slower life amidst a fast-paced culture. The phrase that most succinctly sums up Tsh's book, and way of life, is simply living intentionally.
Notes From a Blue Bike is written by Tsh Oxenreider, founder and main voice of The Art of Simple. It doesn’t always feel like it, but we DO have the freedom to creatively change the everyday little things in our lives so that our path better aligns with our values and passions. You can grab a copy of it here.
As I dive into this realm of self-care, the only way I can think of that I will be able to accomplish anything is to be intentional (and lean on the Lord's strength and wisdom along the way, of course).
I've known for a while that I tend to be a type of renaissance woman-- someone with many passions-- but there's an aspect to that characterization that I think I've missed. It's not just liking many things that makes a renaissance person but being "skilled and well-versed in many of the arts and sciences" (according to the dictionary).
How can I be skilled and well-versed when I waste hours on social media and lack motivation to do what inspires and fulfills me?
I need to be intentional about my time so that I can be the best renaissance mother that I can be for my family and the most effective ambassador for Christ that God wants me to be, while also embracing the God-given passions and gifts I have.
Self-care is not about sitting around and eating bon-bons every day because it makes me happy. That might be a nice treat, if we're being honest, but self-care at its foundation is being the best that I can be so I can serve others better.
I want to welcome you to explore this theme over the next four weeks with my friends and me.
Wednesday, April 2: Know Thyself (assessing your needs and your personality and getting a handle on what kind of self-care needs to happen in your life)
Wednesday, April 9: Health & Spirituality(to me these are the most obvious needs that need to be addressed, directly related to our well-being)
Wednesday, April 16: Peace in the Home (home decor, fashion, organizing and decluttering, schedule and routine, etc-- think: whatever needs to happen in your life in order to restore peace and equilibrium.)
Tuesday, April 22: Taking Some R&R (pampering, time to fully relax, putting aside the to-do list-- finding healthy ways to treat ourselves so that we aren't tempted to resort to bad habits that ultimately harm us)
Join us as we embrace self-care together
If you'd like to write a blog post, we'll be hosting a synchronized linky-- if you link up on one of our blogs, it will show up in the linky on all of them. This week, you can read a bit of why we've each decided to jump in on this project (a couple of these will be updated a bit later).
Dear reader, the Lord made you with specific gifts, purposes and passions. Don't hide those. Embrace who He made you to be. Let's work on this together over the next month.
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