Self-care is NOT selfish

A few weeks ago, in the middle of the night I woke up with chest pains.  I was scared out of my mind.

Thankfully, all the testing at the ER  showed my heart was fine.  BUT, the anxiety and stress I have allowed to control my life the past few years, wasn’t.

I quickly came to realize caring for other people is NOT more important than caring for yourself.  If you don’t take care of YOU, there won’t be a YOU to take care of others.

If you’ve reached a point in your life where your calendar is full, your “ministry” is booming and people are in awe of how “well” you are doing, can I ask you a question?

How is your body and your soul?

Mine?  They were both depleted.

I was pouring from an empty cup for longer than I would care to admit.  I had been running on empty for so long I didn’t know what running on full felt like.

I wondered why I was exhausted ALL the time.

I wondered why I woke up with stomach pain every day.

I wondered why doing for others sometimes felt like a burden more than a blessing.

I was running on empty.

I told a friend that I finally learned the “S” I thought was on my chest…doesn’t actually exist!

Now, my self-care is my TOP priority.

Extremely healthy eating. (Or, a VERY bland diet as I call it!)

Yoga every morning.

Walking every night.

I’ve had 2 massages in the past 2 weeks.  That’s more than I’ve had in the past 2 years!  (And, for someone who went to Massage Therapy school, that is uncalled for!)

5 minutes of solitude every day.

Journaling and Bible reading.  (Not because I SHOULD do it, but because I NEED it to survive.)

So…let me ask you…How’s your self care?

Self care is not selfish.

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 says “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.”

If we are called to be disciples for Jesus, we need to have be a vessel READY to be used when called.  The only way to make this happen is to ensure our “vessels” are well taken care of.

3 John 1:2 says, “Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, as it goes well with your soul.”

Soul-care is something many of us don’t talk about a lot.  We have engaged a culture of “doing” more than “being”.  We have allowed other people’s great gifts to force us into thinking we need to do more in order to be a better person.  But, when we do that we use the time we should be spending with God to add more to our to-do list.

You can’t give what you don’t have.

I can tell you from personal experience, I’ve asked God more times than I can count for more time in a day.  And, a dear friend recently reminded me that God created the entire world in 6 days and RESTED on the 7th day.

If God set aside time to REST, what makes us think we are excluded from resting?

And…by the way…WE ARE NOT GOD!

We were created to WORSHIP Him.  Not please people.  ( I may be preaching to myself here too…)

Galatians 1:10 says, “For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ. “

You can’t please God and man at the same time.  We have to choose.

And, our choice is what determines our self-care.  We can become people pleasers who want to do more to look like a better Christian, or we can be followers of Christ who actively care for the body and soul we have been given, so that when we’re called we are ready.

We decide.

So…let me ask you again…How’s your self-care?


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