Readers, I am so thrilled to be adding some contributors to AMH. Meet my dear friend Jennifer Hanley:
“If God be for us, who can be against us?”
Such comforting words for the Christian. And yet how often do us, Mamas, lack their comfort? I know it is true of me at times.
There is one person that often stands against us, judges us unfairly, and causes us to stumble. Do you know who this person is? Look in the mirror. Who do you see? Do you see a harsh taskmaster with endless to-do lists? Do you see a tired, worn out soul? Do you see someone in a stained sweat shirt and sweat pants with her hair in a ponytail because she hasn’t washed it all week? Do see someone who is always feeling badly because it just seems she is never enough? Do you see someone who is overweight, overwrought, overworked and overwhelmed? Do you see someone who is just plain tired?
Now just pretend for a moment that this person in the mirror is a good friend. What would you tell her? How would you treat her? Would you tell her the same thing and treat her the same way that you do to that poor woman in the mirror?
Being a wife and a mother is such a position of privilege and blessing. And we believe that and we want to honor this God given calling with all that we are. We want to do this right. We want to bring comfort, nurture and take care of our families. This is a big way we serve and bring glory to our Lord.
But often in our busy lives of giving and doing we lose sight of an important question. Who is taking care of us? Is it a sin to sometimes put ourselves first? To take care of ourselves? To spend time, energy, and maybe money on ourselves? To take some time to rest?
“If Momma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.” We all smile when we hear or read this saying. Why? Because we all know to some degree it’s true.
We, mommas are the tone setters for our families and our homes. If we are constantly feeling stressed, stretched, and/or sad, and/or tired it’s going to affect our entire household. We will be doing the opposite of our mission.
I understand that it is hard and even goes against the grain of our thinking. It seems wrong and yes, even sinful to make taking care of ourselves a priority. But you can’t get water from a dry well. We all need to find the time in our busy lives to renew and replenish. We need time to pray, read our Bibles, rest, exercise, eat well (not just the leftovers from the kid’s plates), and develop our talents. We need to do these things so we can be the women that God created us to be. So we can fulfill our calling.
How do we do this? Well, we need to ask for help when we need it. We need to learn to say “no” when we are stressed and overextended. We need to, at times, substitute doing a good thing (serving others) with doing a more needful thing (taking care of us) and therefore a better thing. We need to focus on ways to make us less stressed and happier. We need to be a good friend to the woman in the mirror. We need to be for her not against her.
Jennifer Hanley is a Christian stay at home wife to Brian and a mom. She has 3 daughters ages, 15, 20, and 25. She lives in NJ and currently has started a blog of her own at www.bloominginthetwilight.com