Embracing Self-Care

by gidget on March 26, 2014

in community,contentment,motherhood

Soaking up the sun... Having some snacks... Watching Kershaw warm up... It's almost game time!

The season of life I’m in is an exhausting one.

I might have thought I was tired back in college when I was writing a research paper late into the night (I’ve always been a procrastinator), but over the last couple of months, I’ve experienced for the first time that I can remember the actual feeling of my eyes burning with exhaustion (by about 9:30pm) after just a normal day of mothering, homemaking, and community-ing.

I’m a night owl who loves the mornings. A morning person who can’t seem to get in bed before 11pm.

My kids are emotionally and physically draining.

I long to write but constantly either fight to find time or motivation to do so regularly.

My books are stacked, waiting ever so patiently to be cracked open, or to be read in more than two-page increments.

My toe nails have month-old chipped blue paint on them.

I haven’t picked up my guitar in weeks.

Moments of free time flit away as I eat the bread of idleness.

I love my family and this one wild and crazy life I’ve been given and the kids that refine my character every day. But I’m tired, in more ways than one. And it’s catching up to me.

ESC_GGH

Seeking community motivation for taking care of mama

Some friends and I recently found that we could relate well to each other on feeling burnt out in life and motherhood and blogging. We talked through the truths in the clichés like “if mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy” and “you have to take care of yourself to be able to take care of others.”

With the arrival of Spring, we all felt it was high time to come out of this wintery season fighting, and with fists pumping, seeking to make some changes in our lives together to embrace what we need to more effectively serve our families and communities.

Over the next few weeks, we’ll be tackling a few areas of our lives where we could stand to up the level of care we are giving ourselves. We hope you’ll be encouraged as you read along and that you’ll even consider joining us in this project.

living intentionally

Approaching self-care with intention

I recently read my friend Tsh’s book Notes From a Blue Bike, a memoir that chronicles one family’s journey to live a slower life amidst a fast-paced culture. The phrase that most succinctly sums up Tsh’s book, and way of life, is simply living intentionally.

Notes From a Blue Bike is written by Tsh Oxenreider, founder and main voice of The Art of Simple. It doesn’t always feel like it, but we DO have the freedom to creatively change the everyday little things in our lives so that our path better aligns with our values and passions. You can grab a copy of it here.

As I dive into this realm of self-care, the only way I can think of that I will be able to accomplish anything is to be intentional (and lean on the Lord’s strength and wisdom along the way, of course).

I’ve known for a while that I tend to be a type of renaissance woman– someone with many passions– but there’s an aspect to that characterization that I think I’ve missed. It’s not just liking many things that makes a renaissance person but being “skilled and well-versed in many of the arts and sciences” (according to the dictionary).

How can I be skilled and well-versed when I waste hours on social media and lack motivation to do what inspires and fulfills me? 

I need to be intentional about my time so that I can be the best renaissance mother that I can be for my family and the most effective ambassador for Christ that God wants me to be, while also embracing the God-given passions and gifts I have.

Self-care is not about sitting around and eating bon-bons every day because it makes me happy. That might be a nice treat, if we’re being honest, but self-care at its foundation is being the best that I can be so I can serve others better.

I want to welcome you to explore this theme over the next four weeks with my friends and me. 

Join us as we embrace self-care together

If you’d like to write a blog post, we’ll be hosting a synchronized linky– if you link up on one of our blogs, it will show up in the linky on all of them. This week, you can read a bit of why we’ve each decided to jump in on this project (a couple of these will be updated a bit later).

Beth at Red & Honey

Emily at Live Renewed

Erin at The Humbled Homemaker

Krissa at More Than Mundane

Mindy at This Crazy Wonderful Life

Stacy at The Delightful Home

Leigh Ann from Intentional Grace

Dear reader, the Lord made you with specific gifts, purposes and passions. Don’t hide those. Embrace who He made you to be. Let’s work on this together over the next month.

This post contains affiliate links. If you click them, you help support what I do here at GGH– thank you!

{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

Karen, aka mom and Yaya March 26, 2014 at 8:44 am

Wonderfully written post! Speaks to my heart! Love you!
Karen, aka mom and Yaya recently posted..Happy New Year!

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Karen, aka mom and Yaya March 26, 2014 at 8:46 am

Also meant to ask, “Did you read my mind?” I remember this time of life vividly as if it were yesterday and not many years ago.
Karen, aka mom and Yaya recently posted..Happy New Year!

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gidget April 1, 2014 at 6:23 am

Thanks, Mom!! xoxo

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Breanne March 26, 2014 at 10:17 am

Yes. Yes. And Amen. This has been the subject of many conversations lately between my husband and I – building margin and taking care of ourselves. Excited to follow along.
Breanne recently posted..12/52

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gidget April 1, 2014 at 6:25 am

building margin is something I need to do, too. Glad you’re on board with this series!

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Christine C March 26, 2014 at 11:07 am

Exactly what I’ve been needing! I was just talking to my prayer partner yesterday about how I need to find what fills me up the fastest and most efficiently. The irony of that statement and slow living is not lost on me, but with 2 toddlers, its the best I can do right now. Can’t wait to get brainstorming!!

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Erin@The Humbled Homemaker March 26, 2014 at 5:52 pm

Love this, Nicole!

I’m really excited about us partnering together on this series!
Erin@The Humbled Homemaker recently posted..Embracing Self-Care: A Community Blogging Project

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gidget April 1, 2014 at 6:25 am

Me too, Erin! :)

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Betsy March 27, 2014 at 5:18 am

Hi Nicole, thanks so much for linking to my post on being a Renaissance mother.

I loved Notes From a Blue Bike, and I’m looking forward to your series on self-care. You have some great ideas for the next four weeks.

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gidget April 1, 2014 at 6:26 am

You’re welcome! It really spoke to me.

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Jenn March 27, 2014 at 8:50 am

I so need this. My third baby just turned six months old. I’m exhausted, stressed and feeling like I can barely tread water. Intentionality is most definitely needing to be addressed in my life!
Jenn recently posted..Baby Face

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gidget April 1, 2014 at 6:26 am

Good to know we’re not alone, huh? <3

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Ginger - Just One of the Boys March 27, 2014 at 2:32 pm

What a wonderful message! I began a Healthier, Happier You series on my blog several weeks ago, and I am loving the accountability and encouragement that comes from tackling self-care in a community! :) I’ll be linking up for sure!
Ginger – Just One of the Boys recently posted..My Favorite Things… And Giveaway! (Spring 2014 Edition)

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gidget April 1, 2014 at 6:29 am

Oh, I Look forward to checking your series out!

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Joyce March 28, 2014 at 7:58 am

Looking forward to this. I need it! I just met Tsh on Tuesday, and even my girls are excited to read through her book…I read it already from my Kindle app, which is great for easy highlighting, but I got an actual copy now and I need to read it again and let her words marinate a bit more. Must. Slow. Down….

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gidget April 1, 2014 at 6:30 am

yeah, I feel the need to slow down, too, especially in this time of year (particularly busy for me). Very cool that your girls are going to read through her book!

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Michaela Harris April 16, 2014 at 7:59 am

Oh, I love this so much. Self care has been so heavy on my heart lately. It’s something that I’ve been working through during my college years but have reflected on it lately to realize how far I have come. I love to read about people who also feel it is important, because it seems so counter-cultural!

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