What do you think God eats for breakfast? Eggs & sausage, fruit, and milk? A veggie omelet?
Or maybe a big, delicious jelly donut?
I also wonder, how does God take care of Himself?
Yes, I’m being silly! But, I do think this would be a fascinating discussion to have with the Lord. Because, somewhere in that exciting conversation, God would probably turn the tables by asking a question.
A life-changing question. Maybe something like:
- “What do you think I want YOU to eat for breakfast?”
- “How do you think I want YOU to take care of yourself?”
Maybe like me, you would stand there a little stunned and just a tad bit remorseful thinking about your recent personal self-care decisions.
But I think we both would be amazed if God went further and said something like, “I want you to worship Me, Your Lord, simply by the way you take care of yourself. Not only will it deepen your faith and make you well, but your obedience pleases me. Your obedience will also impact the growth of My Kingdom. Your self-care matters to Me.”
What if that conversation happened?
Well, it did in a way. God put it in His Word and He tells us there is a connection between our spirituality and self-care, and His Great Commission and Kingdom growth.
The connection? God’s love and grace.
You see, that’s the message I found when I dug into Roman’s 12:1-5.
But wait, I’m getting ahead of myself here. For those of you who do not know me, I’m Lisa Kimrey, and I blog at this
Because when your calling is to serve or take care of others, good self-care is essential!
The idea for my website came out of my story of not taking care of myself. I thought I was the only person who struggled, but as I was willing to open up and talk to people, I found there are indeed three common thought barriers to maintaining self-care!
The 3 Common Thought Barriers to Maintaining Self-care
1 Self-care is a Sign of Weakness or Vanity Measure
A few years ago, I had a job as a nurse educator, helping people make lifestyle changes.
I had A LOT of lifestyle improvement knowledge, but behind the scenes, I was living off of diet cola and Peanut M&M’s.
You’ve heard of the ‘Can-Do-Kid?’, I was the ‘Can’t Stop Kid.’ No time to slow down and take care of myself because I’d miss out on the fun. Plus, I thought self-care was a sign of weakness or a sign of vanity. And quite frankly, completely unnecessary.
TRUTH: Self-care is not a sign of weakness or a vanity measure. It’s a necessity based on how God creates us.
2 Self-care Takes Too Much Time
Fast forward a few years, and I have an
I was very happy! But, I was still not taking good care of myself.
When she was finally born, she had colic for nine, long months. Everybody told me to hire a nanny or focus on getting rest. Instead, I was working over 50 hours a week at what turned out to be
Yes, I was still that ‘can’t stop
I was miserable – I didn’t feel well, I had zero energy, no creativity, and as desperate as I was ‘to try to stop’ and take care of myself, there was never time.
3 YOU are Worthy of Self-care!
Fast forward just a few months, and I’m a stay-at-home mom. A mom expecting life at home with her baby girl to be joyful, peaceful, restful and quiet. But, who learned that ‘doing life’ all day at home alone with a cranky baby who didn’t sleep, wasn’t a bed of roses.
I was lonely, secretly grieving and angry over leaving my lucrative job to stay home ‘for this’, and I felt horrible. At least 15 pounds heavier, I was getting more depressed every day, and way under-stimulated. I try to reach out only to realize all of my friends are at work.
I was still the ’ca
TRUTH: You are worthy, no matter how you feel. And, there is a source of motivation just waiting for you.
Conquering the Thought Barriers to Maintaining Self-care
So, out of sheer loneliness, and the need to see other faces, I started going to the fitness center. I started running around the indoor track for something to do. I didn’t know how to use the machines, and I felt too uncoordinated for the treadmills. So, I ran.
And, I started praying while I ran.
I prayed that the Lord would give me a passion. Any passion. Just something!
I ran, and ran and I ran. Often times crying while I ran. I ran like this for months. What a site I must have been!
One day I was led to Romans 12:1, which reads, “And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice-the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him.” (NLT)
I spent about a year and a half studying Romans 12:1-5 and this website’s message was born (feel free to take a look around!).
But my goal today is that by the time you finish reading this post you fully believe that:
- Self-care is not a sign of weakness or a vanity measure. It is a necessity based on how God creates us.
- You do have time for self-care, but you need to make your self-care a
priority,and for the right reasons.
- And finally, you are worthy, no matter how you feel. And, there is a source of motivation just waiting for you!
Why Scripture Removes Barriers to Maintaining Self-care
The cliff notes of version of my discoveries during my study of Romans is this: Paul tells us through the Book of Romans that we are to take care of our bodies in a way that is pleasing and honoring to God.
We should do this simply because we are in awe, or due to our overwhelming gratitude because God has not punished us for our sins.
We are all sinners, but instead of punishing us, God loved us so much that He sent Jesus, his one and only son, who lived as a man, died sinless on a cross, was buried, and rose from the dead and ascended into heaven.
The blood of Jesus covered our sins. And when we claim him as our savior, we are spared from God’s wrath, or punishment for our sins and can be with God in heaven when we die, instead of going to hell as we deserve.
This is the grace – the ‘all He has done for you’ part of Romans 12:1.
But the thing is, most of us do not think of our self-care as a method to honor the Lord or deepen our faith.
And I bet the majority of us have never considered that the everyday minutiae, like how we take care of our bodies in the morning or evening, can be used as a way to worship or to be obedient to God.
This is so intriguing to me as a nurse because so many of us struggle with our self-care-with or without illness. And yet, it pleases God when we offer our bodies or take care of our bodies with the intent to glorify Him!
You may already know that scripture has promises of wellness if we are obedient. And that God explains why our obedience to Him brings us wellness.
But, did you know that He also uses Romans 12:2 to teaches us how to use our self-care as a form of worship to Him?
Now You Can Conquer Your Barriers to Maintaining Self-care
He does. Because He wants you to succeed. He doesn’t want you to succumb to the three common thought barriers to maintaining self-care. He tells us not to conform to the world.
bedience (and His promises) free us from the stress of the worldly expectations, pressures and the unnecessary busywork we’ve been conditioned to think we need to do to take care of ourselves.
Even more, something vital occurs when we worship God with our self-care. It prepares and strengthen us to carry out the Great Commission.
Worshiping with our self-care makes us well, honors the Lord and prepares us to grow the Lord’s Kingdom.
He creates to do this very thing. So to make sure I meet my goal, here are the points one more time.
- The Lord creates us to do the very thing I just described. Self-care is not a sign of weakness or a vanity measure.
- Because you have to do it, there’s no way out of it. You will suffer (by design) if you don’t take care of yourself. But, when you live out God’s request and offer your body as a living sacrifice, you find motivation for self-care. Living as a Holy Sacrifice helps you grow closer to God. It gives you a deeper understanding of the power of His love and grace in your life. This experience is so motivating! Self-care doesn’t feel like a chore. It’s a way of worship. It’s a way to honor Him. You will make the time. Sometimes it’s just a few minutes, but you find it.
- Finally, you see you are worthy. You know in your soul that God loved you so much He sent His only son, Jesus, to die on the cross for YOU.
In closing, I like to say something to you as parents, ministry servants, and caregivers, yes there are days when you’re tired and worn-out. But please remember one last thing to overcome barriers to maintaining self-care. Don’t hold your self-worth and self-care at your standard. Hold them both to God’s.