Are YOU on your ‘To-Do’ List?

23
Mar
2015

Self-care-mom

I have been reminded lately of how much my self-care is needed – I must make time for me so I can be the best for others.

Seems that I was doing well on making decisions after going through The Best Yes study we did several months ago, but I truly lack self-care for myself.

I mean, I get up early to have quiet time, which is a BONUS and I just need that – so at leastI get that in.  But I had fallen off caring for myself physically with moving my body.  Exercise was placed on the back burner because there were seemingly other more important things.  In addition, gathering with friends and enjoying my family has fallen off.  I feel the need of completing my to-do list and checking on everyone else more and it is not a good road to be on.

Women are often so busy caring for everyone else’s needs; they don’t have time to care for themselves. They’re drained, sucked dry of emotional, physical and spiritual energy.” –   Kathy Peel

For years women have been fed a bunch of lies making us feel like we need to be sacrificing ourselves for the sake of our families. In fact, if we are not sacrificing ourselves, then we are selfish! I can tell you – if you are sacrificing yourself for your family, both you and your family will end up losing.  I have discovered that, my sense of peace has dwindled and I needed to refocus.

I know if I am struggling – there are others that are as well.  I think a misconception we have with the term self-care is that it needs to be a big grandiose, time consuming venture.

But I think we have it all wrong.

In order to be taking care of yourself in a way that is manageable, we moms need to find things that refresh us in small amounts of time too. It is not all about spending a day at the spa, (although very nice on occasion) the practicality of that is pretty slim that it can happen as often as we would like.

I would like you to take a look at ‘self-care’ from different perspective. Try figuring out what refreshes and refuels you in small time frames. Identify what re-energizes you and carve out time to make it happen, however that looks for you and your day.

Several years ago I started lists on note cards that I kept handy so that I wouldn’t have to think so hard on how to fit this into my day. I broke them down into 5, 15, 30 and even 60 minute time frames. This made it much easier to schedule these “breathers” throughout my day or if I had a spare 5 minutes that I could easily take advantage of that time for myself, rather than letting it slip by.

I encourage you to try it out. You may be surprised at how easy it can be to fit in things that lift you up and help you be better for yourself AND your family.

To get you started creating self-care habits, I have offered up some of my favorite ideas.

5 minutes

Make a cup tea
Light a candle in the area you are working
Sit quietly with your eyes closed
Lay down on the sofa and start the diffuser with some Peace and Calming
Play a favorite song on your IPOD
Read an encouraging verse

15 minutes

Walk around the block
Call a friend
Savor a nice long shower
Journal
Take a book break

30 minutes

Do an exercise DVD
Cut some fresh flowers and arrange them
Take an Epsom Salt Detox bath
Sit and read a book with your child
Do some stretching and deep breathing
Get out and walk the dog

If you need to schedule time in your day to make sure you fit some of these in, then do it.  I just began a hot yoga class and I have to put it on my calendar in order for it to get done the following day.  It is the best thing I have done for myself and my family!

Self-care will not happen by chance, you will need to be intentional and proactive to carve out the time needed to take a little time for you. I know if I put something on my ‘to-do’ list I have a much better chance of it happening. So, starting today…..put “YOU” on your ‘to-do’ list and make it happen. Your family will thank you for it!

Refreshing the Soul with Music

19
Mar
2015

Refreshing-Soul-Music

I need music – every single day!  There is something that just fills my soul with the words, the beat and instruments all put together.  We can often get so rushed that we forget to slow down and enjoy – the simple, the gifted and emotional connection with song.

Here are a few of my favorite finds lately that I wanted to share with you.  Most are worship songs, but there is one here by a favorite artist of mine that I will see in concert on Saturday night (date night!!) and it is certainly meant for that special someone in your life.

If you are viewing in your RSS feed, you will need to click through to view the videos and hear the music.  Make sure you give yourself a few minutes to truly sit down and enjoy the songs.  That is some good self-care!

Tyrone Wells – You’re The One  (from the Album:  Roll with It)

You will need to click here to hear a portion of the song…. it is so new there is no you tube video with the entire song yet – you can listen on amazon or iTunes – scroll down to the song!!  It is so upbeat and fresh – perfect for your honey!

Tyrone Wells – And The Birds Sing   (from the Album:  Metal and Wood)

This will pick up any blue day for sure – just try it!

Matt Maher is one of my ALL TIME favorite worship singers – so powerful in his words and his style just resonates with me.   This is a brand new album and I just got it last night – listened to it while driving my son to school and had to sit parked in the garage to finish it all – so good!

Matt Maher – Because He Lives (Amen)  (from the Album:  Saints and Sinners) 

This song is amazing…. truly…. the words, the voice, the feeling of renewal….. it is more than I could ever say.  Close your eyes and let it sink in.

It Is Well – Kristene DiMarco & Bethel Music  (from the Album:  You Make Me Brave) 

  

Come As You Are – David Crowder  (from the Album:  Neon Steeple)

Enjoy!

If you are looking to find new music, I love my Pandora – it plays constantly in our house, I pick an artist I like and it creates a station and then other similar artists play – this is how I find new music.  Love it!

Together in Hard Places

25
Nov
2014

Making the Best Yes Decisions 

I am in love with Chapter Seventeen, “The Very Best Yes,” in The Best Yes.

There have been so many great pieces to this book, really – so many, but as we close out the book study this week I am almost in dumbfounded awe of how this chapter is speaking to my worn out heart.

I am in a season where I am having to make some big decisions, decisions that may really make me sad, make others disappointed and honestly be life changing, but not necessarily positive.  It is a hard place to be in.

But as I read about Lysa and her sharing the experience with her daughter and the big heartbreak, it really brought me back to those times when I could barely function because of so much angst. I haven’t been in that place for a long time, but there are many times I get close to that place.  Do you know what I mean?

I shared a while back about a period of time when I struggled with hopelessness to a big degree and it was debilitating.  Those are hard times.  I’ve struggled with losing a parent, an in-law, putting one through alcohol rehabilitation treatment and a few other big events that can knock you down.  Life is hard, but I have to remember this, and I shared it yesterday:

“Together is a really good word.  Together is what we need when we hit tough patches in life.  Making decisions when life is making you cry shouldn’t be done alone.”

I am the first to admit, I am a loner and I like to do this myself.  I hate to ask for help.  This really struck me as well the other day on the Facebook page as one of the other moderators shared this definition of herself:

“As someone who can be a reclusive, overwhelmed introvert.”

I almost spit out my coffee – that is me!!!  Seriously!

And it’s not really all that great of a thing.  I try to do this thing called life on my own, even to the point of not letting my husband know a lot of those things that are bothering me.  It’s easier to just take care of it myself.  Wrong, I know.

So if there is one thing, ONE BIG THING I have learned in this book, it is this:

“In those moments when we feel swept away in a current of fast-moving feelings, we need to pause.  Wait.  Let someone else be there as a voice of clarity.”

And then this:

“Smart enough to know to pause and take extra time when life takes on extenuating circumstances that are hard.”

I want to tattoo that on my palms.

“When we can rise up on the wisdom of others and get a new view of our situations, our next steps seem a little clearer.”

I need relationships that are deeper, more frequent and more meaningful.  Period.  I honestly feel having those will help me with my Best Yes decisions.  Does that resonate with you too?

So as I wrap up this study and our time together, I want you to know how much I value you – those of you I may meet in person and many of you who I never will.  You make my life sweet and rich in ways that no one else can understand who does not have an online community.

I feel your presence as I write on the page of my blog and even when I am admitting things I would rather tuck away deep in my heart…. I do it anyhow, because I know you won’t make assumptions or accusations.  You are sweet and appreciative of me bearing myself with you and hoping that it may help another mom, somewhere out there who feels alone and hurt.

Please join us tonight for the LIVE Facebook chat at 6:15 PM Pacific time/ 9:15 PM Eastern time.  We will share, have some worship music and celebrate this journey together.  Thank you so much for coming along!

Are You Choosing to See?

18
Nov
2014

Week-Five-Best-Yes

I think I often miss my Best Yes because I am too busy; not open to His whisper and do not allow Him to open my mind to new experiences or to stretch myself.  It is a shame now that I can evaluate it and see.

There is a term I wish I knew more about in my life called “white space” or “margin“.  I am sure you know exactly what I am talking about, that time that is unscheduled.

I think I have some of it but often time my ‘time’ is structured to the point that I cannot allow anything to go outside the schedule.  I wonder how many chances I end up wasting that I may have been able to say YES to?

I loved this line:

“Don’t waste it.  Let it make you aware.  Be an extension of God’s love right now.”

To be honest, as I write here, I am almost tearing up because I feel there are many opportunities I have missed.  So many times I have been too busy to see.

I am thankful I am being made aware now – some areas of my life need to change and what does that look like?

It may mean saying no to more things so I can have time to hear from Him.

It may mean saying Yes to some things that really matter or that I know are my Best Yes.

I am not entirely sure yet, but I am open to change, even though it can be one of the hardest things to do.  Change…. we all say we want it but when it comes down to it, we fight against it.  This line really resonated with me:

“Saying no isn’t an unnecessary rejection.  It’s actually a necessary protection of our Best Yes answers.  We will have a very hard time paying attention to those Best Yes answers if we live lives that are completely spent.”

Oh, how I feel this line was written just for me!  I am in a season where I am feeling spent…. and I know God has me right here to get my attention so that I may be FORCED to make some changes.  He does that sometimes, do you know what I mean?

Being Present

I am often not very present with my family, my friends or even myself.  I am task orientated and can get so focused on completing things that I miss the community and relationship.  I have made improvements, but still have a long way to go.

I think a Best Yes for me might be to read Bob Goff’s  Love Does – I am putting it on my list!  There were many tid-bits that Lysa shared from that book that really resonated with my soul…..I love how God uses people to help us grow!

Do you find yourself looking for big directional signs?

Expectations, Disappointment and Reality

11
Nov
2014

4tuesday2 copy

I think this week’s reading will really open your eyes to the reality of where we are as moms and women.  At least for me, it has been pivotal in my understanding how I feel I get “trapped” into saying yes so many times, when I know I should say no.

Disappointment is very real in my life and this quote really hit my heart:

“The space between our expectations and our realities is a fertile field, and it’s the perfect place to grow a bumper crop of disappointment.”

To be perfectly authentic and vulnerable to you all…. I struggle with this constant feeling of disappointment because my expectations are not truly understood by me, or I get visions of what something ‘could’ be like and then it is not.  I can see how this all plays out now in my desire to say yes to even those things that are not my Best Yes.

To be even more honest, I feel that in the past six to eight months, I have lived in that space where constant disappointment drains me dry.  I don’t want to be in this place….. I am not a nice person in this place and certainly am not the best me.  Isn’t that what we all truly desire, to be the best ‘us’?

To be the best me, I have to understand what makes me tick, what is missing and where I need to change.  I have realized that using Lysa’s guidelines when determining new opportunities will help me.

What makes an expectation unrealistic? When an opportunity stretches me to a breaking point, it becomes unrealistic.  Usually for me the areas I have to consider are:

*My time.  The schedule required to meet all the demands of this opportunity isn’t in line with the time I have to invest.

*My ability.  I’m not equipped with the necessary skills to carry out the functions of this opportunity.

*My money.  I can’t afford the financial responsibilities that comes along with this opportunity.

*My passion.  The responsibilities of this opportunity evoke a sense of dread instead of fulfillment in my heart.

*My season.  There is something that must take a higher priority during this season of my life, therefore the timing is off for me to take this opportunity.

The Best Yes, pg 243

The one that I identify with the most is My Passion.  I have to say there are several things in my life now that are not fitting in with the passion I once felt, thus draining me and giving me a sense of dread.

How do I fix this?  Prayer and determining how to decline even more opportunities that come my way, which in fact need to be given those small no’s.

“Give the best of who you are to what you’re already committed to.”  pg 123

This little gem is what I am keeping near.  Is that not the type of whisper we all need to hear?  I want to give my best to what I am already committed to, which will mean saying no to many other things that tantalize my interest.

What caught your eye the most in this week’s reading so far?  I would love to hear from you.

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