Take care of yourself first.
You need it.
You deserve it.
You are human too.
You have to be number one in your life in order to take care of your family.
Does anyone else like the way this sounds, or is it just me? Do any other moms out there hear these phrases and tell themselves, “You know what, I do deserve it.”
I deserve quiet coffee time, and shopping time. I deserve hobby time and vacation time. I deserve my dishes washed and my toilet cleaned. I am a mom and I deserve to have “me time”.
Ah, “me time.”
It is wrapped up so nicely with it’s pretty bows and shiny packaging promising refreshing and rejuvenation. It’s like the newest skin care product or the perfect fitting pair of leggings you’ve been searching for. Everywhere you turn, someone is asking, “Have you tried me-time? You have to try it. It will change your life!”
So you try it.
And you like it.
And now you are convinced you need more.
Not only do you need more, you deserve more.
And the more you have, the more you want… because it actually works.
You do feel refreshed and rejuvenated.
You even feel a little thinner and younger.
But then the day goes on as usual at home and you feel your skin drying out, your perfect leggings stretching out, and that gray hair you thought must have disappeared has actually multiplied into five! You look in the mirror and those dark circles under your eyes are getting darker and your crows feet are getting deeper. You are in need of more “me time”.
So you reach for it. But’s it not there. You’ve used it all up.
Well, now you panic. You need it. You deserve it. It’s the only way to take care of your family. So you lose control. Become impatient. You knit pick your husband because he gets to live in the adult world and be alone in the car everyday.
You begin to rationalize the amount of shows your kids are watching or how much social media you are looking at. You can’t do this mom thing without the “me-time” magic pill.
You need it.
You deserve it.
It’s the only way.
Everyone else gets to have it, and so should you…
I know, I know, none of you have ever gotten this extreme about your me time. Me either (wink, wink). But if I was someone who has acted this way before and if I have ever felt like I deserved more “me time,” God would probably have something to teach me.
Ok, I know He would have something to teach me because I have emptied that magic “me time” bottle more than a few times.
Ladies, we live in a culture rapidly becoming consumed by self love. The phrase “me time” is a common topic of conversation where two or more women gather. Now, before you think I am against “me time” or needing some space to think or collect yourself or read or get your your hair did, or whatever you would choose to do in your down time, that is absolutely not where I am heading. Of course, everyone needs some space to breathe at their own pace and be an adult.
But is it as necessary as we want to believe it is? Do we really need it in such high doses? Do we actually deserve it?
Spoiler alert- no.
No, we don’t need as much time to ourselves as we think we do, and we most certainly don’t deserve it.
I know, it stings.
No one likes to be alone like I do. I am an introvert and I enjoy the art of silence. But God has given me a husband who works long hours, 5 kids who don’t understand the beauty of silence, dubbed me headmaster over homeschooling and a living space of 800 square feet. I don’t think this is all part of His plan to teach me how to fit more “me time” in this season or to feel bad for myself because I somehow deserve to be alone. He is stripping me of the lies that in order to function I need to be first in my way and my time. He is teaching me to pick up my cross and follow Him for a lifetime with joy, even if it feels like a desert at times.
I am learning that time with Him is the only, and I mean only time that will fill any need I have. Whether at 4 am or midnight. Whether on top of a mountain or on top of a pile of crumbs on my couch. He is the same God wherever I am and can fill however much time big or small that I have. Not only will He give me refreshing and rejuvenation, but He will give me a peace and a patience that lasts through another toddler tantrum or another missed nap time. He fills me with hope and laughter, and gives me eyes to see the beauty in what my flesh sees as ashes at times.
This is different than a bottle that will empty.
This is a well that never dries up.
”Whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.” (John 4:14)
When we become so focused on the amount of time or the when and where of meeting God, we become reliant on the “me time” magic pill, instead of the well of life. We begin to turn God time into me time.
Jesus never did this.
He met God. He prayed and pursued God as if He was the lifeline to all the abundance there ever could be. There was no “me time”, only God time. Jesus understood that His life was enjoyable because he was God’s child. He understood that though there were many things he could do and see and pursue, none of that could fill his spirit like time with his Father.
He lived abundantly.
He pursued the ways of God and served others with no complaint, no impatience and all while walking from dusty town to dusty town. He drank from the well, instead of taking a pill from the bottle.
This is the life.
To understand that that while we are each unique and talented and the earth is filled with so much to enjoy, it all exists because of Him and for Him. It all exists so that we may praise and serve Him and not ourselves. This is not to make us suffer, but to revive the very breath in our lungs that created us. The sweet breath of life.
Ladies this month your challenge is: Spend your time pursuing God in the way he is calling you to. Begin to change your focus from yourself to your Creator and Father. Have you trained yourself to only hear from God or feel refreshed if you get to choose when and where you meet him? Is the activity or scenery a bigger focus than the time spent with Him? Throughout your days allow Him to strip away even the most subtle of layers. Those layers that seem to not really matter until you just can’t control yourself anymore. Those little lies that begin to wear down your patience and prick your servant’s heart.
I know we might be in different seasons and our walks are all different, but our battles with the flesh are all the same. The enemy wants to tell us to put ourselves first. Our wants, our needs, our interests, however good they seem. But our Savior gives us a way very different than that. God first. His ways first. His interests first, and then all else will be added.
“Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.” (Matthew 6:33)
Did you catch that? He will give you everything you need. There are seasons for everything. There will be seasons that God gives you an overflow of time to pursue the interests he has put in you, and there will be seasons He stores them in your heart for another time- in His timing. But in all seasons, His goodness and faithfulness remains the same. He will always give you the rest you need. It is our hearts that need to learn to live in abundance no matter what our flesh tells us; and we can only learn how to live if we would drink from the well instead of taking a pill from the bottle.
We were created to serve with gladness.
To serve God and to serve others. When we shift our focus from “me” to Him, all will be accomplished. Let’s not find ourselves in our last days wishing we would have seen the abundance that was always there in front of us because we were so desperate for “me time.” Let us grab tight to the time we have been given and fill it with His glory. A culture can rapidly change by mothers who bend their knee and bow to the will of God. May your month be filled with the freedom and rest that the Lord desires to pour over you!
“I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:12-13)