Here we meet again, gearing up for another year. In the middle of making resolutions and setting goals, I want to encourage you to make 2 simple things your top 2 priorities in 2019: self care and self examination.
Together, let’s break down both of our new priorities for this new year. Palms up, open and receptive.
Self care is more than turning off your phone and jumping into a warm bubble bath. True self care is feeding your soul, having an inward focus on your inward spirit. And what does this look like practically? I am so glad you asked!
When you put your personal care first, you are saying yes to your worth and wellness. One way I have been able to do this is through the gift of Arbonne. This amazing company has given me the simple tools I need to change my relationship with food and rid my body of excess. And this is what self care is all about, ridding yourself of the extra weight that is hindering your ability to walk out your calling.
In Proverbs 4:26, the Bible says to, “Give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways.” Steadfast. Firm. Unwavering. Committed. Devoted. Steady. Constant. True. Wouldn’t you love these words to be your anthem in 2019? These could be the very words that come to mind when your people think of you.
We have a CHOICE! Our life does NOT have to be characterized by busy. I can be steady, constant, and committed in all I do, and so can you! The careful thought we give to the paths for our feet will result in standing on solid ground, whole and full of purpose. And when we are firm and committed, steady and constant, we are able to show up for others to share the Love that has been so freely given to us.
What would it look like for you to show up for others rested and well? For me, I have been able to use the margin I have created in my life to purposefully seek next steps in the assignments God has placed on my heart. I have given careful thought to how I spend my soul. This is why I leave my job at 3:30 every day so I can recharge, embrace solitude, and increase my input of Truth. Another special gift God has given me is to spend time with my new friends who are walking through recovery, getting clean, and understanding their worth for the very first time in their lives. It’s breathtaking and beautiful. I am receiving gifts I would have rushed past if I didn’t give careful thought to my path. These very presents are right here in the present for you as well. Dream and believe.
And maybe the most important outcome that results from making self care a priority this new year? A deep understanding of compassion because you took the time and taught yourself first. We cannot lead others to places we ourselves are not willing to go. To be able to teach is to have a testimony, a personal wrestling and revelation. This is why compassion starts with our very own self. It is in this sweet spot that understanding, love, and tenderness flow. Show yourself some love. Be easy and kind. Carve out the time, ask God for the right path, and compassionately show up for others so they too can experience the worth and wellness you have found by caring for yourself.
Reflection. Something I have had the opportunity to do a lot this year. But I didn’t understand the art and importance of gut-honest, grace-infused examination until I put my nose in books my friends walking through recovery are reading. Can I just say, those who put up a fight for their sober life are oozing with so much wisdom. They know what it means to wrestle and walk with a limp. Just like Jacob in the 32nd chapter of Genesis, they too have wrestled with God. And the most incredible thing? Their limp from the wrestling has turned into their greatest blessing. The more they have surrendered, the more freedom they have received.
But what does this self examination mean exactly? Since this is a space for grace, I am going to be honest with you. Self examination can be tricky. I like to think of it as a double-sided coin. Ridding yourself of one side could very well affect what is on the other side. Heads and tails, it’s what makes you, you.
My friends I keep talking about use this concept of self examination as part of their daily inventory. A daily inventory consists of prayer, meditation, and self examination. The three objectives of a daily inventory can go in any order, but to examine and reflect with a filter of truth, we must invite God into the process. And we can do this through prayer and meditation. Asking God to show us our rough spots and meditating on exactly who He is and what He promises for us. Even in the darkness there is light, and in death there is life. He will help you find it.
When examining and reflecting, don’t hold yourself or your people to a level of perfection that God himself doesn't even expect. This is a big one for me. I am my toughest critic, and I like restoration. I want to fix things even when they are not on my job description to fix. And I am sure I’m not the only one.
Open your heart, and open your mind. There is purpose in pain and the acknowledgement of mistakes. God wants us to live well and choose well. And the only way to stay refreshed in this process is to conduct a daily inventory. Examine what you are proud of and what can improve. God is upholding you with His righteous right hand, take a step and go into the depths of your being with Him.
I have learned much moving away from comfort, walking through grief, and embracing opportunities to serve. I can’t wait to share more on that last one, but that’s another story for another time. Anyway, you are worthy because He is worthy. The very thing you hate about yourself is the port God will use to infuse His power, righteousness, and compassion into you. The sour spot He will make sweet. He brought the blood through Jesus Christ, now we must bring our word of testimony. And what a word we will have when we carve out the time to care for God’s most precious creation, us and others.
When we clean out the clutter in our mind, body, and spirit, we are an open vessel, palms up, open and receptive. We can be more and do less. What a crazy, backwards grace.
The gift is on the table, ready to be unwrapped. Set down the worry, take captive the racing thoughts, snatch up the habits that make you feel unworthy. And simply pause. Meditate on the miracle that there is even a Gift. Jesus and His blessings are awaiting our acknowledgement every. single. day. Palms up, eyes open. Hope is alive.