Sweet friends, “Me-Time” ain’t a myth! It must be a discipline. It can make or break you.
I was just peeking in at Facebook–I know, I know! I am SUPPOSED to be writing! Well, NOW I am! ha!
I ran across a link to an article that is STILL circulating on the web about the “Me-Time Myth” for moms.
Nice rhetoric. But, interestingly written by a YOUNG mom. I have written many, many things as a young mother. I have NO problem with youth. Just a problem with short-sighted youth. I just wonder what she will think about her ideas as she grows older? I wonder if her children will embrace her teaching on this one–or resent her for this commitment? I wonder how many young mothers will be led astray into the pit of depression or despair because they have embraced this teaching?
This week, my son got married. Of course, this year, I have moved into the “empty nest” years. There is something about this season of motherhood that is strangely more retrospective than ever before. I have evaluated my decisions through the years even more than ever. I think that is why I am SO alarmed by this article. It goes against everything that God has taught me through some very hard, hard times. It goes against everything that I have learned to regret through the years of motherhood.
Want to know what I think looking back?
It is “essential” for young mothers to take time to take good care of themselves. Fail in this area and regardless of your great work, you will fail in all other areas.
Mothers have to be ALL THERE ALL OF THE TIME. No mother can fully be what God has called her to be if she does not take good care of herself all along the journey. She will crash under the load. Everyone will suffer.
Recently, I was at the gym talking with some of the older ladies that were there. (Actually, it is interesting and quite bothersome how few ladies my age or younger are at the gym–perhaps because of those who “slam” the idea of taking care of yourself as being “selfish” or “ungodly” or “worldly” perhaps??? I know that I have heard it A LOT through the years.)
These Titus 2 woman are different from many of the ladies that I see in our culture. They radiate God. They have a peace that I have not seen in a long, long time. They are truly alluring. They are a glory to God. They draw me into biblical womanhood.
When I go to work out, they are usually there cheering me on, noticing my hard, hard work, and sharing wisdom that I need more than ever. They are truly worth far more than rubies! 🙂
The other day, they stopped me and commended me for being there, taking good care of myself. I got teary, remembering how much I have changed through the years. Actually, I see things much, much different now than just a year ago. I remember thinking that I just did not have time for ME. I remember thinking that it was just selfish to take so much time to workout. Oh, I was constantly turned inside-out over whether or whether not it was selfish to want to finish my daily quiet time or have a bubble bath ALL TO MYSELF! Now, get an idea of why I teared up?
They began talking about their concerns for the younger women who put themselves on the back-burner and end up very burned out in the midst of the heavy demands of mothering. These precious ladies were talking about how much they wish they had only known how to balance taking care of themselves better while they were on the front lines as young moms. That is my wish for all of you. Where were they when I was young? Oh! To have more godly OLDER woman rise up and teach us how to be godly women!
We need to hear this wisdom more now than ever. Talk to the older women (Titus 2). Learn from them. Really listen to their regrets. They are key to your life today. They are key to your life many years to come.
Your calling as a godly woman is not a little thing. You have to be ALL THERE. That means that you MUST take good care of yourself–spirit, soul, and body. It is not a selfish thing. It is not as worldly thing. It is an essential. It is a command (see Deuteronomy 6). It is modeled and commanded all throughout Scripture. Even Jesus modeled it in His very busy, hectic, and demanding life.
It is NOT good enough to take care of your spirituality ONLY. God created us in His image–spirit, soul, and body. Yes, He has paid the price for our freedom spiritually, but that is not where He left it. He also paid the price for our freedom mentally, emotionally, and physically. It is not just an extra to take care of ourselves. It is an essential if we are being a good steward of what God has entrusted us to.
I KNOW it is hard. I know that it is a battle to even make time for “Me-Time” in the midst of the heavy demands of managing the godly home. I know that you can feel that it is never quite enough. That is not because it is WRONG, but rather it is because this must be a daily discipline–we all need a daily quiet time (nothing is more important to train your children in than to respect your daily quiet time)…daily time to exercise and take care of yourself physically…daily time to pow-wow with your spouse…a regular investment in relationships with other godly women…on and on! Yes. DAILY.
It must be a priority each and every day before you begin anything else. You MUST have your “daily manna” to feed your spirit, soul, and body. Don’t you think it is interesting that God told His people in Scripture that they were to gather enough manna FIRST for themselves, then for their households, and then for those who came into their tent. Strange how easy we get this all backwards–give to the world (maybe even our churches), then give leftovers to our families and usually leave ourselves anorexic and starving to death in the background. And, manna is not just about “spiritual things.” It was LITERAL FOOD that God provided. A daily food.
I think this teaching on the woes of “Me-Time” just “punches my buttons” because I failed in this area of my life when the kids were very young. I denied myself to the point that I did crash. I sacrificed for everyone else, thinking that it was the “godly thing” to do. It took the ramifications from this lifestyle to get my attention: depression and sickness.
I bought the “lie” that it was “godly” and “dying to myself” to take care of everyone else but ME. I did not believe that “ME-TIME” was important until I was in the pit. My biggest lesson from the pit was that if I do not set aside time for MOM, there is a very weak mom up against a “strongman” and that is not God’s best. That is not God’s will. Our Heavenly Father has called us to be “Virtuous” women. That means that we will be “armed and ready for battle.” No one is armed and ready for the battle when they push their limits and refuse to invest anything into themselves. A good soldier must be fully prepared and strong at all times– Army strong: spirit, soul, and body.
I can certainly understand the reasoning behind the “Me-Time Myth.” However, the secret is not in becoming a mommy martyr, denying the needs that we all have and must be honest about. The secret is learning how to balance the huge demands that we face as a godly women–learning what to let go of anything that hinders us from running the race and pressing toward the mark (Those extra activities for the kids, perhaps? Running on empty? Doing “the stuff” instead of the most important things?) and learning how to really soak in and enjoy the precious gifts we have–whether that time is ALONE or surrounded by all of our treasures.
It IS tough! But, it is essential if we are going to become the godly women that God created us to be.
So, sweet friends, I come to you as an older woman (eek!). I challenge you to look beyond the rhetoric and learn from God and the teachers He is sending into your lives–Titus 2 teachers. Be balanced. Let the stuff go that keeps you from being able to “BIBLICALLY” take good care of yourself. Don’t fall for either lie–the selfish lie that it is all about you OR the “Pharisee’s” lie that you are called to be a mommy martyr during this season. Really think about what your children are learning at this time–do you want for THEM to live like YOU? I want for my children to live an abundant life and have ALL Christ died to give them. That begins with loving themselves–otherwise they can never love others…or God. I am their greatest teacher. I pray that I teach this lesson well!
A different perspective…
“She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks…” Proverbs 31: 17
PS…Any comments older women (or younger women–looking on our lives?)???? 🙂