“As often as possible Jesus withdrew to out-of-the-way places for prayer.” Luke 5:16 (MSG) 

How many times have you wanted to go to a lonely place to pray? Sometimes I go to my prayer closet, also known as my bathroom. The problem is that a toddler usually needs something every 0.5 seconds when I’m in the bathroom. What is that?

I have been hearing about this “self-care” concept for a while now. It’s all over the internets and especially in the blog world. I tend to breeze through these articles and think that one day, when the kids are older, I will do this again. But not now, not with two toddlers. They need me too much and I will set myself aside. But something I had to teach myself is that self-care is NOT selfish. It is necessary. How can we pour into our family if we are not filling ourselves up?

I don’t think self-care is something we can put on the back burner. I think as moms, it should be one of our highest priorities. The stresses that come from parenting fluctuate like the seasons, but one thing we can be consistent in is how we take care of ourselves.  I’ve missed those pedicure days, but what I’ve missed most is my “me time.” The time that left you feeling refreshed and like a better version of yourself. I wasn’t sure how to incorporate that into motherhood. But mamas, there is a way. There is a way to still have “me time” and do self-care even when you are parenting toddlers.

We’ve heard it over and over again. We cannot continue to pour into others if we are not filling ourselves up. But what does that really mean? How do we fill ourselves up? I think this looks different for everyone. The truth is that God wants us to rest. He talks about it all throughout scripture.

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“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” Matthew 11:28-30 (MSG) 

“Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well.” 3 John 1:2 (NIV) 

Jesus said, “Come off by yourselves; let’s take a break and get a little rest.” For there was constant coming and going. They didn’t even have time to eat. Mark 6:31 (MSG)

There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from their works, just as God did from hisLet us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will perish by following their example of disobedience.” Hebrews 4:9-11 (NIV) 

I am constantly asking the Lord to teach me to be more like Him, that my thoughts and actions would reflect His. God leads us in example by showing us how to rest, just as He did. Mamas, this is so important. We are commanded to rest.  I feel like we often miss it in the busy and sometimes chaotic seasons of parenting. But it’s a necessity. How and when we rest will be up to us. But here are a few quick examples that can help you get started:
  • Go to bed early
  • Read a new book (currently reading Whispers of Rest – a 40 day devotional)
  • Take a walk
  • Take an epson salt bath
  • Journal
  • Do yoga
  • Treat yourself to a cup of coffee… maybe even a donut 🙂
  • Turn off your phone for a few hours
  • Pray
  • Say no to something
  • Declutter (so refreshing!) Check out this post to see how it’s changed my life.
  • Watch a movie or your favorite show
  • Workout
  • Take a nap
  • Call someone you love

These are all easy things that can be added into your everyday. Of course a spa day would be nice, but let’s be honest. Ain’t nobody got time for that. So for now we can focus on what we can do. Let’s get more rest and fill up our cups. We are called to give of ourselves, but we are also responsible for being the best version of ourselves.

Let me know how your self-care journey is going. Are you filling yourself up so you can pour out?

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