…about self-care.

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God’s refrain in my life has always echoed the same truth: It’s just about love.

How best can we love one another? Sometimes, loving one another is about having the hard conversations, about challenging each other’s views, about asking questions that you don’t want to ask but you do it anyway.

What’s on your heart today?

How can I lift you up today?

But lately, in the midst of my anxiety, the love that God calls me to is not merely for others, but for ourselves as well.

Many times in my life since becoming a mama, I’ve let my focus slip from what I need {which is to be intentional about the way that I live my life} in favor of what my family needs {which, while not an unworthy mindset, can leave a person feeling like the leftovers that are shoved in the back of the fridge: once enjoyed, but since forgotten}.

It’s only now, six-and-a-half years into motherhood, that I understand that in order to love others well, I must first love and care for myself.

So here are my answers to how I love and care for myself:

Hot bubble baths. Coloring with colored pencils. Holding Jordan’s hand. Candles flickering. Writing. Listening to memoirs written by inspiring women. The crackle of a fire in my fireplace. Long, tight-gripped hugs from Quincy. Walking my dog. Asking for help. The feeling of Lionel’s fingers rubbing my back. Reading fiction. Making plans. DIY projects with my brother.

But the larger task for me is to finally free myself from comparison, to relinquish control of life’s happenings to God’s sovereignty, to embrace this story I’ve been given and to share my truth with others. Like bricks can be demolished and rebuilt into beautiful, strong structures, I work hard each day to craft a love for myself that’s much more kind than my inner voice sometimes feels.

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