I don’t know about you, but self-care for me is TOUGH.
It always comes last–after everything else–the dishes, the exercise (is that even a thing anymore?!), the cleaning, the cooking, the dishes again, the laundry (so much laundry!).
If we mean to take up our crosses daily and follow Jesus, I think sometimes we get lost in the idea that we don’t need to actually take care of ourselves.
Here’s the thing: Jesus took time to reset and refuel. If it was good enough for Jesus, shouldn’t it be good enough for us?
Here are three ways I’ve created a self-care routine that isn’t selfish, but refuels my SOUL so that I can be more like Jesus.
TIME IN PRAYER
Jesus wants to talk to us. He wants to be IN THE THICK OF IT with us. He already knows our thoughts, but when we invite Him in through prayer, we open up our hearts to believing that He will move.
The key here is our faith must surpass our unbelief.
I pray daily that God will grant me the faith to believe He is working for the good in all things, to believe that He is moving. Praying in faith means believing that He is moving, even when we can’t see it.
Prayer can happen in the morning, at night, or if you’re me, throughout every moment of the day when my fleshly tendencies arise. I talk to God about the good, the bad, and the ugly, and as the saying goes, and I truly believe this “prayer changes everything.”
Jesus prayed to God when he needed time to reset.
Prayer recharges our soul so that we can lay down our fears and anxieties before Jesus, TRUST HIM to move mountains, and be more like Him.
TIME IN COMMUNITY
In Beautiful Resistance, Jon Tyson refers to a group that was abiding in their faith to share the true Gospel of Jesus during World War II. The community created a beautiful resistance of believers that went against the ways of the world to show the love, hospitality, hope, and love of Jesus.
They knew they must be firm in their faith so that the ways of the world wouldn’t sway them. Without a community of believers, this would’ve been difficult, but because of the community, these men were able to affirm each other and build each other up so they could continue their mission.
God didn’t intend for us to walk this journey alone. He wanted us to be with a community. He wanted us to love each other, share our lives together, and pray for each other.
When we abide in Jesus, part of abiding in Jesus is having a community of believers to abide in Jesus WITH. (I know–don’t get me for the preposition at the end of the sentence–I know it’s not correct but it’s there for emphasis).
Get yourself a community–even if it’s a small community of 1 or 2. Share your life with them, share your soul with them. I’m eternally grateful for the women God brought into my life and how, by the Holy Spirit, they’ve brought me closer to Jesus. God created us in His image, and when held together by the Holy Spirit, our communities create a great way to care for ourselves and others and enable us to live more like Jesus.
“Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.”
TIME IN CREATION
“God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day.” Genesis 1:31
I was playing Duck Duck Goose with my kids–the birds were chirping, the crisp wind was blowing, and as I closed my eyes (briefly–because kid games need attention) I could feel the goodness of Jesus around us.
The sounds of nature, the rhythms of His creation bustling and moving are evidence that God is with us. By God’s grace he created the world, by God’s grace He created everything in it, and by God’s GRACE He created mankind in His own image.
When I pause and look around at all God has done, I’m overcome with awe.
He spoke, and things came into being.
Getting out in creation reminds us how awesome God is, and how there’s nothing He can’t do, nothing He can’t handle, and how God is working for the good of those who love Him.
Time in creation recharges our spirit by helping us remember how GREAT God is.
He knows all things–nothing is surprising to Him. When I remember that, I remember that I can let him hold onto all my fears and angst–He can handle it since I most definitely can’t.
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28
INVITING HIM IN
For so long I thought of self-care as selfish, and if I’m truly honest, part of it was jealousy.
I don’t have time for spa days, I don’t have daily childcare to spend a whole day or two away from my children, and we don’t have the money for me to mindlessly shop at Target or get all the Starbucks Nonfat Mistos I want… and while sometimes I wish we did, I’ve found that there is so much more to a gospel-centered self-care routine.
Putting my faith in Jesus, my arms around my community, and my eyes on His creation helps us see God’s moving, never changing, never giving up unconditional love for us, and in turn helps us to love others well and be more like Jesus.
Comment below what has been good self-care for your soul! I would LOVE to hear from you.
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