This is self-care
“Women DO deserve to buy nice things for themselves, it’s called self-care.”
This is a message I received on Instagram after my “I don’t deserve it” post was picked up by a large media outlet. (Linked in comments).
I told my husband about the message and a couple comments similar to it. He said if someone is not walking with you spiritually they cannot understand your view. I thought about that last night and let it go.
But then I thought, I am not just here to tell other believers how Christ has impacted my life, I’m here to tell the non-believers the redemptive, saving, life changing grace of Christ.
And how it changed me from a down spiral of sin and destruction to a life of freedom, joy, and grace.
If you are not a follower of Jesus I can see how this concept is foreign to you, probably even a bit uncomfortable. I can say, without you knowing Jesus, there is probably not a way to fully explain myself.
Because apart from Jesus I DO feel entitled, apart from Jesus I DO feel urges of earthly desires, apart from Jesus I did believe that the stress of the day could be washed away with a mani/pedi or a spending spree at my favorite store.
Apart from Jesus I did believe I was deserving of all the things the world proclaims will provide fulfillment.
I agree—for a moment—I do feel some pleasure when I buy myself a little something nice, I do feel a little relaxed when I take an afternoon alone without my kids, but those bits and pieces of relief, those moments of happiness are fleeting (see my Pinned series on Philippians) they don’t sustain me, those things can not mold, shape, and condition my heart.
When I return from a shopping trip or afternoon out and the house is still a mess, my little one is still showing her best version of terrible two, and every ounce of energy I have is depleted—I still feel frustrated—even though I just spent time doing the things the world says I deserve, the things the world says will “fill my cup.”
But friends it doesn’t fill your cup with a lasting flow to quench your thirst.
My heart is still stressed even though I just did all “the things” that the world tells me is the self-care I need to “get back in the saddle again.”
Because the condition of my heart hasn’t changed because I took time to practice worldy “self-care”—
Because self-care can’t be bought from a shelf.
Self-care can’t be measured in time away from your stresses, they always exist when you return.
Self-care is not something that is material and supplied by the world.
Self-care is how you condition your heart to handle the hard that WILL—with certainty—be in your life.
The world will tell you that you can find happiness in things, but I promise you will only feel empty when the feeling wanes and you’ll be awaiting the next greater thing to fill you up.
Friends, self-care starts with Jesus.
Do I get my hair done and enjoy a day out shopping with my friends, yes I do.
Do those things prepare and condition my heart to take on life’s battles?
No, they don’t.
Does God OWE me those things because I faithfully follow Him?
Nope, He doesn’t.
We can participate in the world culture of self-care, but the only outcome that matters is our place in eternity. If we take a day to ourselves that’s awesome, does God OWE us that, absolutely not. That is the focus. What we do is our choice, but it’s not because we are owed a single thing.
I still often believe I am deserving, but walking with Jesus changes my perspective. It’s a freedom I can’t explain. The closer I walk with Christ the less I care about the feel good things this world has to offer, I find more and more the less I even want those things.