It is unusual for me to do much ‘God talk’. Which is kind of funny and ironic considering I am a serving Elder and Becca is about to be Ordained (me, a ministers wife?!). But here I go with my ‘God talk’… (it is Sunday morning after all!)
I decided not to go to church this morning. I took Friday off work last week, to give myself a 3 day weekend. I understand this is me doing this thing known as ‘self care’…
||Emotional || Spiritual || Mental || Physical ||
“Self-care is not about self-indulgence, it’s about self-preservation.”
I’m not sure the term ‘self care’ really sits comfortably with me, although I nowadays find myself using it. Yes, when I decided to take Friday off work it was because I needed space and time to just ‘be’. I realised how exhausted I was and that a day off would be a good thing to do to combat that, even if in a very small way.
I have finished (at long last!) decorating my kitchen, I have read my book, I have seen a few friends, I have eaten, I have watched a little Grand Designs, I aim to get out for a walk/run this afternoon, I have listened to some music (old and new!), I have drank tea. Overall, I have managed to get a lot done in 3 days but it hasn’t felt like too much – it has felt balanced.
These 3 days have allowed me to switch off from work; from the daily rhythm of life. That is what I was aiming for, and thankfully that is what I found. And, honestly, I don’t think it would have happened without finishing off the decorating. I know I am someone who wants to be doing things most of the time. I don’t really enjoy just hanging around for days on end without a project or something to get me up and about. I enjoy being active – but there is certainly a balance to be had! And decorating gives me a bit of that balance. It forces me to sit back and be patient while the paint dries!
Now, what on earth does my thinking about ‘self care’ have to do with ‘God talk’ and being ‘fearfully and wonderfully made’?
“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbour as yourself.” [Luke 10:27]
If we are to follow this, in particular loving our neighbour, then surely we have to love ourselves first? If we are all ‘fearfully and wonderfully made’ do we have to accept and love that truth about ourselves, before we can truly accept and love other people the way they are wonderfully made?
I am pretty sure that I need to love myself before I can truly love others. I need to show myself this ‘self care’ to have enough of me available – emotionally, spiritually, mentally, physically – to be able to care for others. I need to trust and believe that God ‘created my inmost being’ to be exactly how it should be, so that I can see others exactly as they were created too. I have learnt very quickly over the years that I am naturally more concerned about the wellbeing of my friends and family than I am of my own self. Here I am now though, learning that I can only really give myself to supporting those important people in my life if I care for myself too.
Gods work is wonderful, and we need to open our eyes to see that.
In my recent times of pondering, I am becoming more sure that we need to be open to seeing our own wonderful self before we are able to see other people as being as wonderful as they are. It isn’t easy, and I don’t think it ever will be, but maybe we can learn to make it easier by caring for ourselves just a little bit better each day of our lives. Or at least, that’s what I am hoping for right now.