February

I’m not a big fan of Valentine’s Day. Its cheesy, materialistic, and just seems to force this singular idea of romantic love on everyone. No thanks.

But for the sake of theme based content, let’s talk about love baby. I think the idea of love has gotten lost in a world of pink hearts and chocolate. Love can be such a grand and vague thought sometimes, but CARE brings it back down to earth for me. The idea of caring and tending is how we show our love on a regular old Tuesday.

I come from a long line of farmers, on both sides of my family. I, however, did not inherit a green thumb. Despite my lack of gardening skills, the Lord has been revealing himself to me in very plant-based ways. The last few years have been marked with seasons of painful pruning and fruit-filled abundance, all pointing to the work of the Gardener. The One who cares and tends to us. Every time I get to the other side of one of these seasons, I realize that I had nothing to do with either the pruning or the fruitfulness. It was all Him.

So what do we do with this idea of “self-care” we are bombarded with daily? Doing a quick #selfcare search on Instagram brought up posts on manicures, workout selfies, “setting boundaries”, buying yourself flowers or a journal with a motivational quote, and words of “wisdom”. I have never rolled my eyes quite so hard. Oh, and for good measure, let’s just throw in some #momguilt so that any time we have a free moment when we could partake in #selfcare, we feel so bad putting ourselves first we just freeze in place. Because the truth is, as a mom human in relationship with others, self-care doesn’t really exist in isolation. If my attempts at #selfcare aren’t good for my people, they aren’t good for me either.

Is it just me or is all this feel super overwhelming? “Make time for yourself, its not selfish! But also make time for your family! Get a manicure and buy some flowers! You deserve it! Oh and then after that go do some yoga, but get home fast and snuggle on the couch with your babies! OH and don’t forget that healthy meal on the table! Then after the kids are in bed and it hits you that you can’t do it all, just pour yourself some wine! Mommy need a glass of wine, AM I RIGHT?!? And don’t forget to take a photo and post it, because if you didn’t hashtag it, did it even happen?!? #selfcare #blessed”

How do we stop this self-care hustle? I believe its a shift of focus, a change in mindset. Looking to the Gardner instead of the tasks of the garden. What if instead of feeling like we “deserve” a glass of wine after a hard week, we sought real rest that didn’t just numb us to the hard stuff? A rest that revived us so that we could continue with the work that is in front of us. What if instead of feeling like we needed to “fix” or “prove” ourselves with our jobs/workouts/dinner tables (ooh, that one stung a bit), we move in the freedom of knowing we don’t have to earn anything? How would it change our picture of “self-care” to truly know that He cares for us? Because the truth is, we are WORTHY of care. We are WORTHY, not because of how we choose to rest or work, but because we have been MADE WORTHY. We love, we take care, because He did it first.

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