A Long Way From Home – Day 5: Taking Care of Me

Total honesty right now: the thought of this trip honestly terrified me for the better part of a month. Ten days away from home, sans my husband, my partner, my helpmeet? But, while I miss him deeply and dearly, I have made a discovery this week. Well, a re-discovery.

Self-care feels amazing! I am a better me when I do it, when I take care of me.

I have taken time every day so far this week to do something just for me. Something that I want or feel called to do. Whether it’s to take a walk, sing, sleep, write, read, script emails or letters, whatever. And it feels just grand! It has been a long while since I cared for myself, despite the many, many, MANY admonitions and insistences of loved ones. It is not for lack of support or help but usually out of a stubborn inner-thought that I need to handle this by myself, pull my weight, that I need to take care of everyone. This became starkly apparent to me when, on a Sunday morning, as I rushed through combing my hair for church as my husband was putting our daughter into her car seat for us to leave, I had a brutally honest thought:

I take care of myself the least.

It has reverberated back through my mind over the past few weeks. I’m not saying it to brag or to make it a point of pride. It’s the way I am, for the most part. The way I have always been. But this week is reminding me of the importance of self-care and the lessons that I have learned from such women as Jessica Turner (The Fringe Hours), Lysa TerKeurst (Unglued), and Emily P. Freeman (Simply Tuesday) about embracing the small moments and giving myself time to recoup and replenish. After all, you cannot pour from an empty cup.

Self-care not only refreshes me physically and helps to balance me emotionally and mentally, but I also find myself more spiritually attuned, more ready to sit and listen for and hear and see God in the everyday, in the small moments, and the fringe hours hidden within each day. That is just amazing and uplifting and challenging all at the same time. I am hoping that and working to make this a habit for when I return home, to my everyday Tuesdays. That I will continue to take time for self-care and soul refreshing/replenishment. It really does do wonders!



NaBloPoMo Day 25: Opening the Doors of my Home and my Heart

I’m sitting on my couch at last. Tomorrow, the flurry will begin anew and, come early afternoon, my little home will be bustling with family and filled with the scents of home cooking and comfort. My house is tidy, the dishes are clean, the laundry (most of it) folded and put away, the table cleared and ready, and the ingredients set out to cook my own dishes for our Thanksgiving meal tomorrow. There is more, SO MUCH MORE, that I could do: tidying and sorting and cleaning and perfecting. But I keep reminding myself of something that I am trying to internalize deep down into my bones and write on the forefront of my brain this holiday season:


My home doesn’t need to be perfect to welcome other people into it, but my heart does need to be in the right place. If I focus on how stressed I am, how much work and trouble this is, etc., then the entire day will be a waste, people will leave my home and presence unhappy, and I will have missed the entire point of this holiday. I want to make sure that my heart is in the right condition — welcoming, loving, compassionate, and grace-giving — so that my family will leave my home tomorrow evening better and happier than when they arrived.

I will probably take tomorrow off from posting as I will be spending time with family. I hope and pray that you all have a good holiday and that you are able to spend time with people you like and love this Thanksgiving.