Friday, September 28, 2012

Self care? Let’s Unload a Loaded Concept by Linda Maynard

Jesus said “Love your neighbor as yourselves”

So, does that infer that it is OK to love/care for ourselves?

Diving around this morning, a light bulb went off for me about self care. Love and care for others, as you do yourself…as you would want others to do for you.
Caring for oneself is an OK thing.

What do I do for self care? I’ve never had a massage…a pedicure…a spa vacation. If I received a gift certificate for one, I wouldn’t refuse it. (Hint-hint!)

Self care involves eating right…getting exercise…keeping up with medical and dental appointments…getting adequate rest.

To some, twisted as this thinking is, self care can be “having a drink or three”…going to hidden and dark places…eating to excess…buying “things”.

I wonder though, Do you think it is harder for a woman to practice self care and be OK with it? Women are givers/nurturers. Does being so, lay a foundation of probable guilt? I don’t think I see too many guys feeling guilty when they “do their thing”. I am not jumping up and down on an equal rights band wagon. Tell me, am I wrong?

 If I am not, then the Lord never mean for it to be, as there is no male or female in God.

The paramount way any believer can practice ultimate self care is by spending time with the Lord. Call it quiet time…alone time…a time set apart. No matter what, it is a place to not only disengage from the clamor, but more importantly to engage with the Lord. It should not be a ritual but a time of shared communication. A place to be loved and to give love.

Can we ignore the fact that Jesus Himself went away to a quiet plaace to commune with His Father. Can we do any less?

It is precisely in this place, I have chosen the very best self care I could ever have.

During my very early years with the Lord, a concept of loving the way the Lord loves took root, deep within my soul. It is this…

Give away the very thing I need at the moment.

I heard a testimony of a woman whose daughter had serious medical and emotional issues. Listening, you would agree and say “Yep, this woman needs some encouragement and support, BIG TIME!”

That is precisely what Susan thought that day. “Lord, I need some encouragement. I am drowning here!”

The phone rings soon after and she is thrilled for such a quick answer to prayer.

 “Thank you Lord…bless You Lord!” is all she could say. She was about to be loved on.

“Hello” she answered in her most expectant voice. She was sure it was Sally. Sally always lent a hand and had an encouraging word

“Susan? Susan can you hear me? It’s Millie. You are not going to believe what happened!”

Susan had often exclaimed that the Lord had the greatest sense of humor, but no …this was NOT funny! Not one bit!

The “answer” to her prayer for an encourager, was a woman who probably taught WHINING 101, some time in her life.

She was downright ticked. SHE (Susan herself) had REAL problems and this Millie lady’s cares just could not compare.

“Lord how COULD You?”

She dug in her heels more and said “I don’t think so!” No sooner did she say that did she realize that YES, she did need to encourage Millie. She was being entertained at her own pity party for too long.

Sometimes the Lord hits us on the head with a 2x4 and other times He gives us a revelation.

And this is like a tongue twister. The very thing she thought she needed. was the very thing she needed to give, because the very thing she thought she needed, Mille needed more.

I have taken this model of living since then.

Do I do it 100 per cent? Nah, but it is something I do more than not.

I have been working on sets of cards to give out. The Lord highlights people who need a boost. I draw and write personal messages for each person. There are 31 cards in each set.

Jesus never lied when He said “It is more blessed to give than to receive

The very act of doing these cards has been self care for me. As I focus on others, I can get off the table, at the pity party, that I have been dancing on.

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