As moms, our top priority is building a nest for our children. A safe space where they can be nurtured and raised to be the wonderful human beings we hope them to be.
But what about you? Who's taking care of you?
The latest trend seems to be focused on "self-care" these days. While it may seem like an overkill idea sometimes it's still so important, because how can we pour into others when we are empty and have nothing left to give?
I was doodling one day, a cup and bowl on a table, both of which were empty.
I stopped to ponder and asked myself "why am I drawing empty things?" and almost immediately the Lord answered "because you don't ask me to fill them up". (TEARS!)
It seems like such an obvious thing - our kids are hungry, we feed them. Our car is empty, we fill it with gas. But when we are empty - why do we ignore it? Somehow we hope for that magical something to keep us going but we are supposed to be intentional about filling the empty "gas tank" within us.
Here's where it gets tricky!
What do you fill yourself with?
Coffee and motherhood seem to go hand-in-hand. But is it really keeping you going? Or maybe that sugary treat you grab on the go - does it really satisfy? Maybe for just a moment. Filling ourselves doesn't just mean meeting our physical needs.
Side note: (Of course fueling your body with good nutrients is a major part of self-care! If you would like some help with fueling your body with good nutrition and fun exercise - go here
In a world that has gone from normal to --- undefined at the moment, our minds and spirits have been taking a toll more so than before. No matter where you are, you have felt the strain. And it looks different for everyone. So there can not be one simple solution that is a good fit for everyone. You have to do what works for you and for your family. But you must do something. Don't stay in the dumps, don't stay despaired, do not stay frustrated. Usually, the best we can do is to retreat from reality to a place away from the norm and use that time to rest and rejuvenate. That's easier said than done now with everything in lockdown and covid protocols in place. So we need to find another way.
Here's a quote I found in Karen Andreola's book Mother Culture:
"Make for yourself nests of pleasant thoughts, bright fancies, faithful sayings; treasure houses of precious and restful thoughts, which care cannot disturb nor poverty take away from you, houses built without hands for your souls to love in." - John Ruskin
Make yourself a nest
This can be a room or even small space that's meant just for you. Even if it's just a special chair that's just for you to curl up in and focus on you. I'm currently working on building my space. I have some positive words like "faith", "love" and "hope" stuck on my wall and I want to add some flower decals to make it pretty. I've got inspirational books on my table to read for encouragement or inspiration.
Here's something from scripture to help you tune in your thoughts:
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things. - Philippians 4:8
Whatever would bring you joyful thoughts, restful thoughts, put it in your space. Maybe that's where you go to enjoy that little treat or cup of coffee too. A journal or diary would be great to gather your thoughts as well.
Next, make time to rest! Make the time to be intentional to refill your cup. Believe me I know doing that once a day is a dream that doesn't seem like it will happen on most days, but you have to schedule it. For me I try to do it once a week. But maybe if you're lucky you can book an entire day maybe once a month, where hubby can watch the kids and you can retreat to your space undisturbed. But even if it's just for 20 minutes. It makes such a difference. SO don't give up on seeking out that time to pour into you!
We need to be in that space, to take the time to breath. To sit and reflect. To let go of the things that didn't work or aren't working and refocus. Read or pray to gain some encouragement to take the next steps going forward. Sounds like a lot for motherhood, but remember, motherhood is not something that is taken lightly. It's a job all on its own. We've got a job to do and we need to do all we can to prepare to give our best. Because your children deserve your best. And God deserves our best too.
Will you accept the challenge to build a nest for yourself? Will you dare to take care of yourself?
I would love to hear more about your nests. Let me know if you build one!