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The Self Care Movement

Volunteering at our Church

As a Christian I’ve often felt like what the world deems true and good is actually opposite of what the Word says.

The latest phenomenon is the self care movement. Everywhere I go on social media I see hashtags, memes and posts on how important self care is and it never sat right with me.

While I do think caring for oneself is important...I see our culture pushing to put self first before others in an unhealthy, confusing way.

I mean of course we need to take care of our health, basic needs, emotional health, and truly this post could spiderweb in several directions.

When I open my Bible every morning, I am taught to put others before myself.

So what is a 21st century Christian mama to do with that opposite declaration?

I put others first. Why? Because this life is temporary.

Volunteering at Church

I love the way Tim Keller writes about this, as an Art of Self-Forgetfulness. I think we have a conundrum these days about just thinking of ourselves entirely too much. Which then spins into our universal issue of insecurity, vanity, and lack of self-worth.

When you read the Bible you can clearly see that there is a war waging, it is not among us humans, it is evil forces. And those evil forces are trying to do anything and everything they can to keep us from what Christ radically fought for and ultimately died for.

If the darkness can get us to be so self-absorbed that we forget about others, then their job is done. That absorption will morph into greed, pride, selfishness, isolation, which then bubbles into anger, loneliness, and emptiness.

Have you ever had a bad day and then saw a little girl drop her lovey and hand it to her, then with that childlike rainbow smile you suddenly smile back and a stirring inside you actually changes your bad day into feeling pretty good?

This is the answer for those that feel like they need to do more to feel better. When we do more for ourselves it ends up falling on an empty shelf. But if we do more for others, it fills our cup more than we ever imagined.

I recently watched a documentary about a woman in Dallas who wanted more after her husband had an affair. Instead of pouring into herself, she had a dream about helping homeless people. She started small by serving in their kitchen delivering meals happily to those less fortunate, but this dream turned into an incredible story of befriending a homeless man and building a homeless shelter that was beyond what walls could provide.

This is what I am talking about.

Can we take back the "self care movement" and make it the care movement. Who do you see around you that needs care?

When we help others, we help ourselves y'all.

Here are some tangible ways to help others:

  1. Bake bread for a neighbor

  2. Donate sweaters, blankets & socks to a homeless shelter

  3. Text your friends on how you can specifically pray for them

  4. Rake someone's leaves in your neighborhood

  5. Pick up diapers for the mama who has a baby at home

  6. Walk the dog for the older neighbor

  7. Make double the dinner and drop one off at the local fire station

  8. Offer to take your mama friend with multiple kids to the park, so she can rest

  9. Make "Just because" cards and hand deliver them to lift spirits

  10. Drop off a bag of dog food to a local animal shelter

The girls and I sing this song about how God loves a cheerful giver. I love this mantra. I don't want to be one who takes and wallows in self pity about how hard my life is.

We all face difficulties.

And friends, the secret is Christ in me (in all of us) not me (each of us) in a different set of circumstances.

I hope this has resonated with some of you as it has healed a huge part of me.

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