Life is often a series of “To Do” lists. Each day many things are added to the list and hopefully things come off the list because they have been completed. I recently picked up a magazine that had the title of this blog was emblazoned on the cover (yes, I stole it) The question made me stop and think.
My first reaction was, “That’s a pretty selfish question!” Then I wanted to substitute “God” for “You” – “Is God on your to do list?” The more I thought about the question, the more I concluded it’s actually a really good question, especially if you are a woman. Women tend to take care of everyone else before they take time for themselves and we wonder why we’re so tired that we fall asleep when we try to have a conversation with God.
When was the last time you scheduled time in your day for you – truly for you. What hobbies or interests have you set aside as you have been raising your kids, caring for elderly parents, trying to satisfy your boss so you can get that next promotion, or serving through ministries or other community activities? All of these things are important ways for us to use our time, but if we never take time to rest into the things that feed us, we are not able to do any of these things as well as we could.
I spend a lot of time on airplanes. I know the safety speech they give by heart. Remember the part where they say that if you are traveling with someone who may need assistance that you should put your oxygen mask on before you try to assist the other person. Think about it. If you try to help the other person first and you pass out because you aren’t wearing your mask, how helpful are you going to be? Same with life! If you never care for yourself, how are you going to continue to care for others?
So put yourself on your “To Do” list today. Write your name on your calendar and block off some time each week for you. Here are some ideas for how you might use that time if it’s been so long that you can’t even think about how you might care for yourself:
- Take a walk
- Read a book
- Get a massage
- Meet a friend for lunch and let them pamper you
- Revisit a hobby or interest that has been put on the back burner
- Call an old friend to catch up
- Go to a movie (yes, alone)
- Exercise (yes, some people like exercise)
- Take a class
- Take a nap
Did this stimulate your ideas? I’m sure you have tons of them.
Now, here’s the kicker. As you are caring for yourself, DO NOT LET SATAN (or anyone) TELL YOU THAT YOU SHOULD FEEL GUILTY FOR SPENDING TIME ON YOURSELF!!!! Can you hear me yelling? The best way to keep other people from making their comments is simply not to share with them what you are doing. Are you in the habit of reporting your whole schedule to others? Why would you report in that you are taking time for yourself?
There are seasons in life in which it is more difficult for us to invest in ourselves. Counter intuitively these are the exact seasons in which we need to schedule time for ourselves. If we don’t, it’s easy to lose track of the wonderful person God has made us to be and the interests He placed within us.