What comes to mind when I say self-care? Do you picture yourself in a bubble bath? Have a massage? Go out for dinner and dessert? Or maybe on a beach somewhere?
If you look on social media, there are tons of tips for you too! From facials to fillers. And a glass of wine to a full-blown party. You deserve it, right? But, unfortunately, that’s the thought process for most of us.
What does God tell about self-care? Are we not allowed to have any fun? Can we not celebrate with cake and coffee?
Let’s look deeper into what self-care in God’s economy is all about. What He calls us to do as Christian businesswomen and entrepreneurs and how we CAN have exactly what we need to bring us joy and fulfillment.
Click on the video to listen instead
Definitions of Self-Care
I want to look at this hyphenated word, self-care. It is popularized by meaning taking care of you first. Even my company name, Grow from your overflow, is derived from filling you up first so you can overflow in your life in a good way.
But how does God want us to look at this? Where should our focus be?
Let’s start with breaking down the word itself. You know me, I love a good word study.
Self is your essential being, your distinction from others. Words such as self-esteem, self-confidence, and self-focus come to mind. Self is used to reflect back to yourself. Such as selfish.
Is that what the Bible teaches?
Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too. –Philippians 2:3-4
As a verb, the definition is, ‘to look after and provide for the needs of, to feel concern or take an interest in.’ The Bible also tells us that we already know how to take care of ourselves.
No one hates his own body but feeds and cares for it, . . . –Ephesians 5:29a,
But if I include the context of this verse, we see something different.
In the same way, husbands ought to love their wives as they love their own bodies. For a man who loves his wife actually shows love for himself. No one hates his own body but feeds and cares for it, just as Christ cares for the church. And we are members of his body. -Ephesians 5:28=30
Now, I think this goes both ways, my Wise Woman. Swap out the wives and husbands. Point the finger back to you.
In the same way, WIVES ought to love their HUSBANDS as they love their own bodies. For a WOMAN who loves HER HUSBAND actually shows love for HERSELF. No one hates THEIR own body but feeds and cares for it, just as Christ cares for the church. And we are members of his body.
New Ideas for Self-Care In God’s Economy
CARE is an extension of SELF. In our natural human state, we already know how to take care of ourselves. It is in what God calls us to do that it takes on a new form, a new focus.
So, where do we go from here? We will shift from this self-focus of self-care to a God focus of self-care. Because let’s face it. As Christian women, we do toooooo much. We think we have to do all things for all people at all times. Not true.
What is TRUE is that we need to have self-care to overflow in our lives in a good way, but it is not about indulgence. It is about a lifestyle. Why? Because we are told in scripture that our bodies are temples (1 Corinthians 6). We want to take CARE of this temple because in this is what Paul says in Romans 12:1
...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. -Romans 12:1
God does not deserve your worn-out, over-worked, tired, burned-out self. He does not call you to that life. That is not self-care in God’s economy. What life does God call us to? Paul tells us in Corinthians the following:
Don’t you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win! All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize. So I run with purpose in every step. I am not just shadowboxing. I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. . . –1 Corinthians 9:24-27a
We are in a race. A race to WIN. But it is not a race designed to deplete you. Instead, it is a race designed to transform you.
A Deeper Look Into Self-care in God’s economy
We live in a culture that teaches we deserve rewards. We deserve to take some time for ourselves. We deserve to make sure we are ‘happy.’ Have you given in to this way of thinking?
Or have you gone to the other extreme? Are you are doing everything to CARE for others so much that you are burning yourself out and your body and brain shut down on you far too often?
Either one of these positions is not God’s design. God’s design is for you to live a life that is pleasing to Him, enjoy the fruits of your labor, and have joy (Colossians 1:9-11). But we need some practical steps, right?
Here’s the big word: DISCIPLINE
I know you don’t like it. You want to run. But hear me out. It is about taking CARE of you so you can take care of what He has called you to do.
Discipline starts with creating routines and habits that will give you a LIFESTYLE that shows you trust God for results and not just indulging in whatever feels good at the moment (aka, chocolate cake or Netflix). BUT, I guarantee this type of discipline will feel good because you are living in a way that is fulfilling and making an impact.
Let’s look at all your different parts and give you a God-focused self-care plan. You are made up of body, soul, spirit. You need to feed all of these parts to ‘take care’ of yourself.
For the body (your physical part)
Incorporate eating well, drinking water, getting enough sleep, taking breaks, and exercising goals in small steps throughout your day.
For the soul (your emotions and intellect)
Daily activities such as journaling, taking on new learning, and managing stress will help you with emotional intelligence.
For the spirit (your connection to God)
Form a daily connection to God through reading and studying the Bible, practicing your prayer life, and taking a Sabbath day to rest once a week.
These are daily activities that need to be incorporated into your life. Now, some of these are interconnected. There are things you do, like exercise, that also help reduce stress. Taking short breaks during your day to make sure you drink enough water is one way to recharge but also taking 24 hours off each week to rest is essential.
You Need Self-Care
I can hear you now. I don’t have time to all that. . . you don’t have time NOT to do what God has called you to do and to do it with excellence.
Case in point. I have many clients who consider themselves creatives. They have moved through most of their lives doing things that felt good, that inspired them. However, they also had trouble completing projects, sticking with anything for too long, and being reliable without costing them their sanity.
My clients find that discipline and routine were their answers. My client Lisa shared her experience and said this happened once she had created and been following her self-care plan,
“I have gotten off my routine and I feel lost, I didn’t realize how peaceful and more inspired I could be when I followed the plan I laid out. My mind is jumbled, and my creativity is depleted. When I am on track, I have more time, more space to do what God has called me to do.”
Self-care in God’s economy is about taking CARE of yourself so you can take CARE of what He has called you to do. It requires you to create a routine that gives you the best lifestyle for how God has created you.
Don’t Burn Out
I don’t want you to be stuck on that roller coaster of go-go-go to the point of crashing where you are yelling stop-stop-stop. Instead, create the routine and plan that will allow you to do what God calls you to do in your business and life without compromising your health, mentally and physically. Finally, make an impact for Him in all you do.
Clarity Around Your Calling
In the Calling Clarity program, I teach my clients how to create the routine and the plan to be their best to make an impact for Him. So let’s talk about it. Schedule a call with me and see if Calling Clarity is right for you. No obligation, just a call.
Here’s what I know, When you are in God’s will, you have joy and fulfillment. When you can create a plan that gives you what you need while meeting the needs of others, God has called you to serve, beautiful. Will you have fun? Yes. Can you eat cake? Of course.