“Me Time” – Everyday Essentials (part 3)

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Parts in this series: Two “Me Time” Extremes (Part 1), “Me Time” (part 2).

After discussing the two extreme’s of “me time”, and what an effective time of solitude needs, I would like to discuss some everyday essentials for taking care of YOU.

It is very common for mom’s to naturally let themselves go as they care for their children. No doubt our hearts are in the right place! However, we need to caution ourselves to think through what we’re really sacrificing. Are we sacrificing our best efforts by not caring for our own, simple needs?

holding coffee by cassehn, on Pix-O-Sphere

I used to [and sometimes still struggle] with caring for my basic needs without feeling guilty simply because what I was doing focused on me. I needed to learn that it’s not selfish to take care of myself! God wants us to care for ourselves (1 Cor. 6:19). If he doesn’t want us abusing ourselves, would he want us neglecting ourselves?  Some may vary on what they consider “needs”. So let’s begin with the basics.

  1. A regular shower. Let’s face it, when you have kids, a shower tends to become a luxury. Sometimes we can’t squeeze it in when we’d like. I’ve come to find that I feel my best when I’ve showered [go figure]. This is something we need to make time for. I would even go so far as to say to make time for it daily. Some like this commodity every other day, but there are more benefits than cleanliness alone.
  2. Get fully dressed. Flylady makes an excellent point to why she highly suggests “getting dressed to shoes“. It is motivating–especially the shoes part. She highly recommends shoes that lace up because they are harder to take off and are snug on your feet. When I am wearing my shoes, I know I am in “work mode”. At the end of the night, when my shoes come off, [typically after the children are in bed], I instantly relax. If you don’t like to wear shoes in the house, buy a pair that are for the house only. Trust me on this. :)
  3. Style your hair and face. When you feel your best, you’ll do your best. Simple as that. You don’t have to wear make up. A simple wash will keep you feeling fresh. Brushing your teeth counts as well. Don’t feel guilty for taking 5-10 minutes to blow dry your hair if that’s how it looks best. Take care of yourself.
  4. Get with God daily. This is the most important need that we have. We need His strength, wisdom, and direction every single day. We cannot get that if we are not connecting with Him, through prayer and His word. We tend to hear this over and over again. There’s a reason. Make it a priority to get with God daily.
  5. Exercise. Yet another dreadful task we never want to take the time for. This one may require a bit more selflessness if you don’t like to exercise [like me...ahem]. A simple walk is sufficient. Something to get your blood moving and energy up a bit. It doesn’t have to be long; 5-15 minutes. If you can’t get out of the house, consider buying a workout DVD. You’d be amazed at what exercise can do for your energy and mentality.
  6. Eat! {edited to add}. I forgot to put in to eat! As a mother, I often forget this very important necessity! Take the time to eat.

These are simple, daily necessities that every mother needs. There is no reason we should feel guilty for doing these things. We need to take care of ourselves so that we can best care for others.

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What do you need to do that you are not doing because of guilt?

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Habitual Joy

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Joy.

That’s my word. It’s me. It’s what I want to be known as – a woman of joy. A joyful wife and mother. Not joy because of what I’m doing, or how things are going, but joy in the Lord. Joy in the fact that He dances over me. Dances. He delights in me. He cares enough about me to save me from eternal separation from Him.

But sometimes I forget. Often, I forget, because I’m tangled up in the everyday life of living. The very breath God gave me is reason for joy. Yet, in and out it goes, without a second thought. It’s a habit I don’t think about because I know it by heart. It’s automatic.

I don’t know if it will ever be like that with joy – but, I do know that with God, all things are possible.

Since joy originates in the heart, it is not merely an outward act. Three habits help me cultivate a life of joy:

1. Daily Prayer. I simply must ask God to change my heart and fill it with Him. Everyday. It’s really that simple. There are many ways to pray so that devotion does not fade and prayer is a shelter from the storms.

2. Scripture Memorization. Hiding his word in my heart helps me to live out His words.

3. Intentional Meditation. Thinking about joy will help me remember joy. Meditating on verses I’ve memorized. Meditating on the grace words I want to say before words leave my lips.

Joy begins inward before it’s visible. Real joy cannot be visible only and lack fruit in the heart. For me, I cannot show fruit that is not rooted in my heart. I’m no good at pretending.

Out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks. Matthew 12:34

I still have much to learn friends. Journey with me?