Archive for August 2008

What a gift

So, I just got back from a trip with the Senior High Youth at my church.  I can’t begin to tell you what that did for my soul.  First there was the amazing music–that I say half in gest and half truth!!  Then there was allll the food–can’t even quote the grocery bill.  And the hike that will go down in history with the bones that we saw. 

And then there was GOD!  In the midst of all of the silliness, the fun, the food fights, the sweat, the tubing, and yapping, God showed up and was so present!  The first count I’ll recall was just in the ride there when with 12 high school girls in one bus, I heard no bickering (maybe b/c the music was so loud!?!?).  The second was the most profound–initially… we were on this glorious hike UP the side of a mountain in the middle of the afternoon in August in the South (i.e. 100+ degrees), and we had reached the end of our rope, we were sweaty, exhausted, the trail had ended (nowhere), we had passed the bones of a large animal, and one of the buys informed me he had asthma (which set a little panic into my heart).  So, someone says they just wish we had a breeze, so I told them to ask God with faith and that it would come–and can I just tell you that it came instantaneously, and it was more glorious than words can describe!  Thanks for showing off there God! 

The most beautiful way that God showed up on our trip was through these children, and I use that term loosely because they are so strong and wonderful.  We did devotion type things each night and the comments and feelings and thoughts that were shared were more profound that many sermons I’ve heard from a pulpit (no offense to my friends who deliver our messages–they are good!).  The world is violently scared of the future of mankind because of these young people.  They see weird hair, strange choices for music, random hobbies, and don’t see the people that are behind those things.  To see what I saw, we can count ourselves lucky to leave the world in the hands of the hearts that I encountered this week.  Their real concerns are not revolving around what outfit to wear, or who is cooler than whom, or what party to go to, though those things may matter on some level, these young people are concerned about each other, about their futures, and about how to make a positive imprint on this world.  In my opinion they are each already wildly successful, for they have given a person who doesn’t yet have children and was very leary about bringing them into this world a newfound hope for our future!

Thank you for letting me experience this week with y’all, you have truly touched my heart and I look forward to more fun times and seeing what God does in each of your lives!


Add comment August 9, 2008

Selfishness vs. Self Care

I am in reflection about the need for self care…

Our society is so DRIVEN,  money driven, success driven, career driven, family driven, esteem driven, praise driven, recognition driven and with all of this driving, I’m wondering where we end up?  When is it okay to stop driving for a moment and look inward, and give time to ourselves?  So many people suffer from burnout and exhaustion, that the effort that they are giving can’t possibly be 100% or even close, yet we press on.  We work, we volunteer, we help friends/family, we go back to school, we shop, we read, we study, we move, move, move–where is that breaking point?  And how did we get to be a society that is so driven that we aren’t even allowed to yeild, much less stop for a moment?

When many of us try to stop we can’t enjoy the rest.  We ‘plan’ activities for our entire vacation.  We schedule appointments, meetings, and social gatherings during every waking moment.  But what about me?  What about taking care of myself so that I have something to offer someone else?  Well now, that is just selfish!  You don’t need a day off, or a Sunday nap, or an uneventful vacation–that is time that you could be productive!  When did self care become selfishness?  How is it that taking some time to rest and rejuvinate leaves so many of us feeling guilty or beating ourselves up?

In doing some of my soul searching I’ve noticed many things, but the main one is that we all push ourselves too hard and we all struggle with the balance of ‘me time’ vs. all of our commitments.  For me to take a day off and spend time reading, relaxing, pampering myself should be a gift, the way that I would treat others, but instead I feel ashamed and sense judgement in the voice of others that I tell about my plans.  Think about all that you do for other people.  I’ll name things that I see my loved ones doing…caring for their elderly parents, taking care of neighbors homes/animals, feeding those who have just had a baby/lost a loved one, throwing showers for friends, taking late night calls from someone sad, keeping friends children, washing laundry, cooking dinner, cleaning house, mowing yards, fixing broken toys, sending cards, visiting the hospitalized, volunteering for organizations, helping motivate people, giving hugs, buying gifts, sharing food/clothes, traveling to visit friends in need, and the list goes on and on and on.  Why then should the great things that we do for others be ‘wrong’ for us to do for ourselves? 

I don’t see it as selfishness to take time for one’s own sanity, but as being caring to youself.  If you don’t care for yourself, no one else will.  So, take time to love yourself and get back to the you that is comfortable and feels secure because you are being treated well.  I can tell you with absolute resolve that I know I am a better wife, friend, daugther, sister, leader, volunteer, sounding board, support system, etc when I have taken some time out for myself.  When I feel rejuvenated the first thing I want to do is give to others and I do so with SO much more joy than when I feel beat down, exhausted, or taken advantage of.

You ponder it…see if a little self care isn’t necessary in your life.  Take a bubble bath with a good book and a glass of wine.  Get a massage.  Go swing on a swingset with children.  Have a water balloon fight.  Take an afternoon nap.  Buy yourself fresh flowers.  Have lunch or coffee at your favorite place.  Get a pedicure or manicure.  Buy some really indulgent shampoo that awakes your senses.  Whatever you do, by all means be loving to yourself, so that you have something to give others!

Add comment August 2, 2008

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