“Taking care of yourself isn’t selfish. It’s selfless.”
Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today –May 14, 2023
And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed. Mark 1:35
I recently read a quote from Elizabeth Stone that said that once you become a mother, it’s like having your heart “go walking outside your body.”
Whether you’re a biological mom, bonus mom, stepmom, adoptive mom, or mentor mom, having your heart “walk outside your body” means that you love deeply which also means that you may worry about your children, no matter their age.
Your heart “goes walking” with them when they are with the babysitter, start school, spend time with friends, play sports, graduate, start working, develop relationships, and experience many life challenges throughout adulthood.
Your children may be at home or grown and out of the house, but your heart is with them wherever they go. God created you to love deeply and because you love deeply, it may mean that you fail to care for yourself while you’re caring for your kids.
So, in honor of all types of moms everywhere, today I’d like to share some thoughts from my bonus daughter, Allie, who is the wonderful mother of my two grandsons, about how to care for yourself well while you’re loving others well.
The first step of self-care is to know yourself. “It’s important to be aware of how you are feeling. Ask yourself, ‘What is in my control and what is out of my control? What is the narrative I’m telling myself? Am I thinking godly, good thoughts about being a mom? Or am I being negative? What’s God’s truth that I need to cling to? Guarding your mind will guard your heart when things are tough as a mom.’”
Self-care means admitting how difficult it can be to be a mom, no matter what type of mom you are. “It was helpful for me when my counselor named how difficult it is being a mom. Women can’t compartmentalize as much as men. Even when moms do take care of themselves, they are thinking about how to care for others. When you validate your feelings and name that being a mom can be difficult, you’ll see how important it is to slip away so that you can be filled up.”
Taking care of yourself isn’t selfish, it’s selfless. “Self-care is a mentality and it’s more than getting your nails done. It’s valuing the position the Lord has given you as a mom. It’s ‘putting on your oxygen mask’ before trying to place it on others. When I practice self-care, it’s so I can renew my mind and body and continue to care for my family.”
When you care for yourself, you’re following Christ’s example. “I am not the Savior of my kids. The Lord is. Scripture shows how the Lord spent time away from the disciples (who were His children!) to spend intimate time with His Father. On some occasions, this built the disciples’ faith (like when He left them in a boat in the middle of a storm!) I am not the Savior. I need to remind myself to let go and entrust my kids to God and to my husband or others who are caring for them while I am away.”
God loves your kids more than you love them. “No matter if you are a mom of young children or a mom with children who have grown and moved away, letting go and realizing the Lord loves your kids more than you do is a way to care for yourself. He has your children in His hands. He is with them when you are away at the nail salon, spending intimate time in Bible study, or getting away with a good friend. Your kids are not your own. They are His. He loves your kids more than you. You have permission to care for yourself.”
Is it time to renew your heart, mind, and emotions with a little time away for yourself? Finally, know that you are treasured, valued, and loved this Mother’s Day.
“She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future” (Proverbs 31:25, NLT).
Lord, help me to remember that you love my kids more than I love them. They are held firmly in your hand every day. Help me to know that as I care for myself, I can care for others in a more life-giving way. Amen.
No matter if you are a mom, stepmom, bonus mom, adoptive mom, or mentor mom, set some time aside this week to care for yourself and let go of worries about others—including your kids. Entrust them to God.
Eastside Christian Church: A Mother Like You
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