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Saturday, January 3, 2015

The Year of ME

Happy 2015, dear friends! 

I hope your year is off to a rad-tastic start. If you're anything like me, you're probably up to your eyeballs in trying to keep up with your new year's I right?

I'm not actually up to my eyeballs in my resolutions. I'm more, how do you say, fully immersed. I don't normally make resolutions; doing so seems like an opportunity to add my lack of follow through to my #momfail list (I know you know what I mean, you moms-with-great-intentions-but-no-time-for-the-execution-of-those-great-intentions). However, this year is going to be different. Very different. 

As I approached the end of 2014 and did some self evaluation, I found myself depleted. Spiritually, physically, emotionally, and even financially depleted. I'm sure I'm not alone when I say that, as a mom, I give all day, every day, until I'm bled dry. I'm too frazzled for quality time with God. I'm too busy to exercise. I'm short with my kids and not so much fun to be around. I have even given until it hurts, financially, leaving our savings account pretty lean.

And I refuse to be this person again in 2015. I simply refuse. 

And so, in the least-narcissistic way possible, I have officially declared 2015 to be The Year of ME!

Yes, I know, this flow sheet might be a little over the top, and it's probably teetering on the edge of self-absorption in a non-funny way. However, I do think it's a little funny, mainly because I'm a little bit sick in the head.

I've realized that in an effort to nurture and protect my family, I have totally, completely put myself on the back burner. Ironically, in doing so, I have actually done more harm than good in my home. I'm impatient and frustrated. I start most of my days with my tank half-empty because I haven't been refueled by my Father. I'm tired and overweight, largely due to the fact that I don't make it a priority to take care of myself. 

My grandiose plan to be completely selfless has royally backfired.

The question I started asking myself toward the end of 2014 was simply this: 
What am I going to do about it?
Do I maintain life as it has been, because it's normal and it's easy? Do I hope and pray for things to be better while changing nothing in my routine? Do I sink into a depression because things just seem too far gone?

Or do I change directions?

I don't know about you, moms, but I am not willing to settle for mediocrity. I am not ready to become that mom who loses herself and in turn loses her influence in her family.

I refuse.

That's what The Year of ME is all about. It's not about neglecting the needs of my husband or my children. It's not about appearances, growing spiritually or losing weight or saving money in order to show the world that I have it all together. 'Cause I definitely don't have it all together! It's not about being happy, even. 

Instead, it's about a change in mindset, a change in daily operations. It's about understanding that when I am filled up spiritually and emotionally, when I am physically healthier, when I care for ME, I then have something to give away.

When I'm spiritually filled up, my wisdom, insight, and fruit can be poured out into the lives and hearts of my husband and children.

When I'm physically filled up, my body feels better, and my stress level is majorly reduced.

When I'm emotionally filled up, the way I deal with my husband and children is drastically improved. I can empathize instead of being self-consumed. I can choose kindness instead of frustration. 

When I'm financially contributing to our household, I feel like I am able to supplementally help my husband, and to give more without it breaking the bank.

When I'm healthy, I set an example of health for my children, which is a gift that paves the way for them to grow into healthy adults.

You might be wondering how I am going to accomplish all of this goodness. Well, for me it's fairly simple.

I am clearing my morning calendar. Literally clearing it. After I take my boys to preschool at 9am, I am giving myself four hours to take care of ME, Monday through Friday. I will go to the gym and not feel guilty, like I should be doing something more important. I will spend time curled up on my favorite chair with my Bible and a cup of coffee. I will make dinner, or as much of it as is possible, because I love to cook, and I don't allow enough time to enjoy it anymore. 

I might even take a nap.

God has given me such freedom in this that I'm not ashamed to admit it (even the nap part)! I think He is, dare I say, proud of me for refusing to settle.

My challenge to you, fellow moms and friends, is this: what do you need to do to make 2015 The Year of YOU? What areas of your life are suffering because you're not carving out time to care for yourselves? In what ways do you need to become a little more (gasp!) selfish? If something came to your mind immediately, I beg you to take it to the Lord and to ask Him what He would have you do to better care for YOU.

I also want to encourage you to read Proverbs 31:10-31 through the lens of a woman who makes caring for herself a priority. I did this recently and I was amazed at how my understanding of who this woman was changed (for the better, I think). I always read this passage through the eyes of a woman who gives until she has nothing left, pouring all of herself into her family. However, I think I was wrong. The woman outlined here doesn't neglect her family (she most definitely understands that they are important and a priority), but neither does she neglect herself. She cares for herself well. She even dresses herself in fine linen and cares about looking her best, which I happened to like!

I leave you with one promise, a commitment that comes from the depths of my heart:
I hereby promise to never, never, not ever, post selfies at the gym. Never. Even I am not that narcissistic. You're welcome.

Feel free to laugh!