Relax, Refocus, Refresh

Mom Relaxing

“Don’t just do something, stand there.” I recently read this quote in a book about realizing and doing God’s will. The author {Blackaby} was arguing that much of the time we busy ourselves with things that may not be bad, per say, but really are not God’s will for us at the moment.

As a mom, I always feel busy. And much of my busyness is good and necessary. Things like doctor and dentist appointments, small group with lovely friends, date nights with my sweet husband, serving at church, packing {seemingly} endless school lunches, volunteering at my son’s school, taking my daughter to dance class…the list goes on and on and on. But some of my busyness is self-imposed and at the end of the day really not all that important in God’s unique plan for my life.

Lately I have been discovering the goodness that comes in quieter, less-busy moments where I not only do less, but focus more. Chunks of time I carefully carve out of my day {yes, most times I plan them} when I can play with my children without anything in my hand {especially a phone} or read some fiction for a few {very few} minutes from a book that has nothing to do with self-improvement or parenting – because I read plenty of those.

Doing less is how I am now caring for myself more. Doing less affords me the time to press into God and really ask him each day what He would have me do instead of just being busy because it makes me feel accomplished. I am learning that self-care must be cultivated and the space for it created, consecrated even. I am also realizing that self-care, for me, changes from day-to-day and even from one life season to the next. Sometimes self-care looks like a date night with the hubs and sometimes, like I spoke of earlier, it is simply playing with my kids without a noticeable care in the world – letting everything else fall away and concentrating solely on them.

I still struggle with slowing down, but when I am intentional about making space to care for myself I have found that three main things happen.

First, I relax. I think only about the “task” at hand and how lovely, enjoyable it is. I dig into a book. I sit on the back porch with my husband at dusk and notice the pretty purple of sunset. I listen to my son read to me, my arm around his tiny neck as he sounds out new words. In these moments I relax by making myself stay in the “here-and-now” and this is huge, because I have {as I know you do} a dozen lists going in my head at all times of what needs to be bought, done, ordered, etc.

Second, when I slow down, I refocus. I think as moms we spend much of our lives in “survival/schedule mode.” We are just trying to get everything done and make it through the day. But, when I really step back and refocus, I am reminded of God’s love for me and His purpose in making me a wife {to this particular man} and a mother {to these certain children}. When I refocus, I quit trying to just get through the day because I remember how short my days really are and all that I can do {with God’s grace} for my husband and children besides just survive or make it to bedtime.

Third, when I care for myself I am refreshed. Years ago I heard a dad of three boys say that he loves for his wife to attend “girls’ night out” because his wife returns a totally different person – happier, lighter and refreshed. However you choose to care for yourself, the end result is the same – you feel better.

Jesus wants us to be refreshed. He does not think busyness is a badge of honor or exhaustion somehow proof of our worthiness. God created women as the ultimate caregivers and he wants us as moms to care for ourselves too. David writes in Psalm 23:

The Lord is my shepherd; I have all that I need.  He lets me rest in green meadows; he leads me beside peaceful streams.  He renews my strength.  He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to his name.

God longs to be with us, refresh us and lead us in the paths He wants for our lives. Mother’s Day has come and gone. As the month of May is generally about moms, use this time to reflect on how you can engage in better self-care.

How can you regularly care for yourself so that you might relax, refocus and refresh? 

{Psst…You may have to ask for help, turn down an opportunity or even give something up to get some valuable self-care time. BUT, it will be totally worth it because you are worth it.}

Jenevieve Sig

{Photo Credit}

About Jenevieve Wardell

Jenevieve lives in Charlotte with her husband Randy and two children, Isaac and Hope. She is a licensed mental health counselor who practiced for five years, and now writes for a monthly psychotherapy blog. She is currently a stay-at-home mom who is learning to embrace grace in a whole new way.

Comments

  1. I love the point you make about creating space but also consecrating that time as well for self-care. It is so necessary.

    • Jenevieve Wardell says:

      Lindsay, thanks so much for reading and responding. I so believe that we must create space 1) to truly focus on parenting our children, AND 2) to engage in self-care. I hope that you have been able to “consecrate some space” lately :).
      Blessings!!!

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