So far, in this Planning with Priorities series, we've talked about First Love, Loving our Husbands, The Gift of Family, and Making a Home. There's no question that these are priorities for us as wives and moms. In fact, the First Love priority is a focus that wraps arms around all the other focuses of life. And the loving our husbands, caring for our children, and creating a home for our family all blend together each day. But we must guard our time for each, as the busyness of life and the call and pull of so many things can take over our days, forcing us to neglect these most important priorities.
But, this next priority ... Time for Me? Is there really a place for this priority? Taking time for ourselves may sound selfish, or self-centered. Sometimes we find ourselves slipping into believing that we must be busy every single moment, and that there is no time for our personal interests. I know that I have often fallen into this trap. And then we find ourselves feeling depleted as moms, unable to give to even those we love the most.
"Love your neighbor as yourself."
(Matt. 19:19b NLT)
These words have always intrigued me - for the loving our neighbor is connected with loving ourselves. How can we love and care for others if we do not love and care for ourselves?
We must care for ourselves, develop our interests, and feed our souls - not for selfish motives, but so we can have rest, and so that we are equipped to love others. Loving ourselves is okay. And good. After all, we are His workmanship, His masterpiece. We are loved by God, and we are neglecting His unique work if we do not love what He has created.
Taking time to pursue some of our interests and hobbies gives us an outlet, and encourages us to be creative amidst all the busyness of life. We are made in the image of our Creator. And as we use our gifts and creativity, we are living out who we were created to be.
So as we express ourselves for who we are, as we take time to pursue the interests we were born with and we have acquired (cooking creatively, exercising, creating with a sewing machine or a laptop, scrapbooking, writing, taking part in classes, reading, training as a runner, learning new skills, developing ourselves artistically or musically, spending time with friends, taking time for alone time, and on and on) - as we do these things, we become more fully alive. And we are better equipped to love and serve others.
"Happy isn't selfish.
Happy people are actually more likely to help people."
It will be difficult to find time for personal pursuits at various seasons of our lives. We will need to lay our desires at His feet, and ask Him for help. Maybe help will come through a friend who we can trade off caring for each other's children so that we can have time for ourselves and our personal pursuits. Or maybe help will come through our husband, as he covers for us an evening a week (as mine did for many years), so that we can have time for "just me". And maybe we will find as He holds us together during the busiest of years while mothering young children, when our days are filled so full 24/7 ... that He will meet us right where we are, giving us little breaks through a good book, or a phone call from a friend - refreshing us and filling us up.
Links to all the posts in this Planning with Priorities series:Planning with Priorities
Loving Our Husbands
The Gift of Family
Making a Home
Time for Me
Beyond Our Homes
Linking up with:
Faith Barista Jam
Hearts for Home
Thrive at Home