Imagine yourself sitting at a table on the patio of a restaurant in Italy. You are sitting by yourself, with only a cup of your favorite tea or coffee and your Bible. This is day 3 of your 7-day expedition through Europe, and you find yourself worrying about your family and work back home. Your mind storms with to-do’s and concerns, so you pick up the phone to check in. Every person you reach out to is doing well, and they are glad you are enjoying your trip. Still, you feel guilty you are not there to help. You sip your beverage, watch the sun set and open your Bible.
What a glorious destination to have arrived at! God has placed opportunity into your life and you have trusted Him as your ultimate tour guide. Yet, you still feel as though you have disappointed Him.
Why do you think that is?
Believe me; I have done it, too. The world of the flesh has implanted expectations into our hearts that we should be and do everything to satisfy the needs of others. Service to others is the primary principle of being a Created Woman. This thought pattern, though, might have altered the way in which you spend your time.
When we look at Mark 6:31-32, we learn that Jesus called his brethren away from the busy city to find solitude in a deserted place. This allowed them to eat and pray, which had been put off all day tending to the numbers of people coming and going. Jesus liked to get away! He needed to get away! That became the only way he could take care of himself and connect with His Father. Can we all take that as a hint? We are allowed, and encouraged, to care for ourselves and spend time with our God. We would never do this at the expense of others, and all too frequently, we do not do this at all!
I would like to encourage you to change that, starting today. Each day of the week, before you head to bed, think about your schedule for the next day. Amidst the to-do’s, find a time when you can block 30 minutes (at least) out of the day for you alone. Even when you cannot find a 30 minute block, try to break it up into 15 minutes twice a day; whatever works for you. This time is yours. You can read your Bible with a charcoal face mask on, listen to a podcast while you prepare your lunch, or even work through a devotional while you get a pedicure at your favorite salon. Self-care looks different for each woman.
From Jesus’ example, eating and praying should be high on your priority list. In fact, Luke 5:16 tells us that “He often withdrew into the wilderness and prayed.” You have heard it before, and sometimes, we all need a reminder that you cannot care for others until you have cared for yourself.
1. Reflect on today, the past week, and the past month. How much time did you spend each day alone or with God?
2. Look through your schedule for the next few days. What activities can you fill your 30-minute blocks with that will best serve you?
3. What benefits do you think will come from this time alone daily? How will this affect your faith, career, relationships, and any other aspect of your life?
Goal setting and sharing:
List 3 goals that you would like to accomplish (at home, at work, with family, etc) that will allow you to live out your purpose in regards to self-care: