As I sat down to write this first post in the Embracing Self-Care series about truly knowing yourself, I found it just a little ironic that that I am in a season where I’m being forced to slow down and listen to myself, to know myself.
It’s been a little quiet around here lately – not too many new posts. And honestly, it’s not just because I’m busy in other areas of life (although that is true), but mostly it’s just because I’ve been feeling really dry, worn-out, unmotivated, and just kinda blah about life in general the past few weeks.
As I’ve been thinking about this and talking it through with some close blogging friends recently, I’ve realized that for me, this time of year life just starts to slow down around me and I find myself in a really hard place.
For me, and my family, April marks the anniversary of my dad’s passing and the last time that my family was all together when he could still carry on a conversation. Two years ago, two weeks after we had been together for Easter, my dad passed away. As this is only the second time I have marked this anniversary, and last year was extremely hard for me, I need to understand myself and know that this year is going to be difficult too.
In many ways, this past year has been so much better than the first year. I have experienced healing and my faith has been strengthened through the process. I’ve been able to work through a lot of my grief, but I know it’s still there, simmering not too far below the surface.
As we start out this self-care series, I’m making a commitment to take care of myself. I’m recognizing that much of my mental, emotional, and physical energy will need to be used on taking care of myself and my family, and I realize there won’t be much left over to give to this space.
So, in order to do that, I’m going to take the month of April off from blogging, except for this self-care series on Wednesdays. I just know I need to give myself grace and space over the next month to continue to work through my grief. I need to lean into Jesus and my family for my strength and support during this time.
I’m actually incredibly thankful for this series and the way it has forced me to stop and evaluate how I’m doing. Through that I recognized that I need to give myself this break.
And I hope I can help you to recognize for yourself when you need a break from the regular responsibilities of life. I want to encourage you to give yourself grace and space during that time. I think too often as mamas, and wives, and just women – we feel this pressure to “do it all” and not just do it all, but do it well.
While I do believe there is a time and place for pushing yourself through when you’re struggling with lack of motivation and inspiration, I have also been forced to learn over the past few years, that there are other times when we have to be okay with letting go.
We need to know ourselves well enough to recognize those times when we shouldn’t try to push through a hard season. Because pushing ourselves through a rough season when we are overwhelmed, stressed, and just plain worn-out, we miss out on the grace and rest that Jesus offers us. And we miss out on what He might want to be teaching us during that time because we don’t stop for long enough to rest and listen for His voice.
I believe, that in these hard seasons we really we need to stop, pull back, and lavish the same grace onto ourselves that Jesus lavishes onto us. We can trust and believe that He is going to get us through, that this is only for a season, and that His grace is enough.
Be sure to check out all the other posts this week in the Embracing Self-Care Series!
- Beth from Red and Honey
- Diana at My Humble Kitchen
- Erin from The Humbled Homemaker
- Leigh Ann from Intentional By Grace
- Krissa from More than Mundane
- Mindy from This Crazy Wonderful Life
- Nicole from Gidget Goes Home
- Stacy from A Delightful Home
Can you tell us about a hard season in your life when you should have probably stepped back and gave yourself grace, but instead tried too hard to push through it? You can link up your Knowing Yourself: Embraing Self-Care posts with us, or leave your experience in the comments!
Becky Noviello says
That Matt Redman song had me crying while receiving from the Lord on the way home from work the other day. Very timely post. My husband and I currently live with a family as we just really enjoy communcal living, though, sometimes like you shared, you just need the grace and space. A few weeks ago, I feeling run down as I probably hadn’t had a moment just to myself in I couldn’t even remember, but also because I was carrying the weight of “trying to do it all well.” I decided to take a mental health day and just let go. I slept in, read, took a really long, un-timed walk with my dog, sat in the sun, prayed and talk with the Lord. It was fantastic to reflect, think, and just be. Then yesterday I was praying to the Lord at work because I wanted to try a couple new recipes, just because, just for me, to see if I could do it, to see if I’d like it, and then later share them, but I needed time which meant all the other responsibilities to people, their kiddos, chores, etc. needed to take a chill pill for a few hours. When I came home from work, no one was around and my husband was running late at work. I had the place all to myself. On went the worship music and off I went prancing around the kitchen. May you find this time off refreshing, healing and freeing. Just be in His Presence.
Emily McClements says
That song makes me cry to Becky! Thanks so much for sharing your story!
just HAD to comment — congratulations on taking time for healing and re-charging !!! It is so interesting to see how the same word or concept ( in this case, Embracing Self-Care) can mean so many things to so many different people. A former co-worker once said you can be a victim or a volunteer, but once you realize you are a victim, and you don’t make any changes, you become a volunteer. Through many of my own pivotal life moments, I realized that nagging, complaining, whining, etc. etc, accomplishes nothing, makes others not want to be around you, and never uplifts you. ACTION is the only thing that matters. And sometimes, choosing ‘non-action’ IS the ‘action’. You are taking ‘action’ that the non-action of your blog is YOUR healing and re-charging “self-care” for this month. Congratulations !!!
Emily McClements says
I’m so glad you did Kathy! Thanks for the encouragement!
[email protected] says
I think this is so, so brave and wise, Em. I’m proud of you for making the tough call to get intentional about doing what you need to take care of yourself. Love you! (Can’t wait to see you #owntheawesome again here in this space in May.)
Heather Cloudt says
I wanted to be the family who lived in the same house the entire kids lives. I wanted all the kids to finish the same schools. I, i, i. But he had different plans and god has now given us an opportunity to move to another state. Opportunity but I’m mad. Did he not hear my demands ?!?!? Care during the next six weeks of moving four kids 600 miles is following my husbands lead. Having faith in him as a leader. Taking a time out when he directs. Because it will get done ugly or not.
These words definitely ring true! While I promote relaxing, taking time out for yourself, enjoying the small things in life…I find that I often underestimate the effects certain things will have on me. I am dealing with the loss of my Grandma, who I was helping to care for just a few months ago. I’m also in London for a few months for work and while there are definitely blessings in both of these situations I forget that they also take a toll on myself and that I need to allow some time to recoup, relax, and allow myself to enjoy the small things and not just try to plod ahead “Business as usual!” Thank you for the gentle reminder and encouragement to do just that! I have started photographing the wildflowers I find here as a way to reconnect with nature and to encourage myself to stop and look around and all the beautiful things that surround us!