Do you have a good practice of self care? Or do think of this season in your life as a time to die to self so that you can serve others? What if I told you that you’re misunderstanding what it means to die to self? I am giving you permission to practice self-care, in fact I’m calling you to it. It is not selfish. It is essential so that you can love others well.
Listen to podcast here (or read down below)
In this episode, you will learn that Jesus didn’t intend that we not take care of ourselves in order to serve others.
00:32 Mistake of many Christian women
01:05 Importance of understanding body as God’s vessel
01:41 My own history of being a caretaker
04:35 Placing ourselves on the back burner
04:47 Effects of self-neglect
06:28 Biblical precedence for self-care
08:42 Our primary call as Christians
09:08 Serving from a place of abundance
10:34 Self-care makes serving others possible
Links mentioned in this episode:
Episode 016: Baby Steps: The Secret to a Healthy Lifestyle
“Don’t you think that it’s better to pour out to others from a place of abundance instead of a place of lack?” – Katrina
Sacrifice Self Care?
A big mistake I see Christians make, especially women, is not caring for themselves as they selflessly sacrifice their own health and life for the sake of caring for and serving others.
I get it. Well-meaning Christian teachers have told us to be selfless, to put others before ourselves, and to serve.
It’s easy to fall into the trap of never caring for you in the process.
But let me ask you,
“If we continue to care for others and not ourselves, how effective is our service?”
How effective is our ministry?
If we don’t care for this vessel that God has given us, if we don’t pour into ourselves on a daily basis, what would we have to pour out?
“Don’t you think that it’s better to pour out to others from a place of abundance instead of a place of lack?”
Self Care is Not Selfish
In fact, it is biblical and we need to make sure that we are caring for ourselves in order to be able to go and do and be all that God created us for. I’m giving you permission to practice self-care.
And listen, I’m preaching to the choir here.
I need to be reminded of this message just as much as you.
Maybe like me, you:
- have a caretaking heart or a caretaking personality.
- are a caretaker by nature.
- have taken your caretaking role to the point where you have put others’ care before yourself.
- put yourself on the back burner.
And maybe it’s been like this for a season, as the season of motherhood, or maybe worse, it’s been like this for several decades of your life.
Caretaking for Others
I am a caretaker through and through. I was raised by a mother who was a caretaker by nature. In her family, as a child, she was the overachiever and the caretaker of the family. And I was raised by her and I saw her demonstrate caretaking and all the roles that she took on as a wife, a mother, and a registered nurse (talk about a caretaking profession, right?!)
She worked hard and always took care of others, often at the expense of her own life. After watching my mom throughout my entire childhood, unbeknownst to me, I picked up the caretaking torch and carried it into my own life.
- In my early twenties, I, too, became a registered nurse.
- I would serve to the point where I would care for my patients and would rarely take a break in the middle of my 12 hour shift.
- I would literally go to the bathroom and be drinking a SlimFast at the same time, never stopping to care for myself.
- As I worked, I could never really understand how other nurses could just sit there at the nurses’ station, reading magazines, when there was so much work to be done.
- And so many people to care for.
I then became a mother at 30. And if you’re a mama y’all know what that’s like. We give out so much when we’re mothers, right.
It was around the time my first child was born that I started my own health journey. You can learn about my health journey in episode three. My journey to health took about five years.
Learning to Self Care
The reason it took so long is I didn’t have a coach giving me the step-by-steps of what to do. I didn’t have a Katrina in my life and I had to figure out everything on my own.
The second reason is I didn’t embrace caring for myself during the season of motherhood.
I spent the first several years of mothering not caring for myself fully.
It was towards the end of my five-year journey back to health when God called me to the ministry of teaching others how to become healthy and free.
So I went back to school and I studied at one of the top schools of nutrition and became a health coach.
I was taught there about the importance of self-care and giving myself permission to care for myself.
And boy was this perfect timing! I was actually pregnant with our second child while I was in school.
Teaching Self Care to Others
After graduation, I was teaching a local class. I was teaching a group of women how to eat and live healthy. I remember two of the women that were in my class. They were in their early to mid-fifties.
When I asked why they were there, they both told me that they had put themselves on the back burner for the last 20 years or so caring for their children and their children had just finally left the nest.
The problem was because they lacked self-care, they were left sick, diseased, overweight, anxious, and depressed, and they were there to get help to reverse all of that. They had poured out so much to the children, neglecting themselves along the way, and they came to me, diseased, overweight, and unwell.
They were probably great mothers,
but how much better mothers could they have been if they had taken time to care for themselves along the way?
- This was a huge wake-up call for me.
- I was only five or six years into motherhood at this point.
- I took note and decided caring for me was going to be vitally important.
I didn’t want to wait to start caring for myself once the kids left.
Self Care is Part of My Mission
It became my mission as a health coach to teach this, but also as a mother to try to live this way as well.
I did not do it perfectly and I still don’t do it perfectly.
It’s been over a decade since I taught that first class. And there have been many seasons in my motherhood in the last 10 years when I have not taken care of myself.
If you struggle with making time for yourself and putting yourself on the priority list, I need this to be your wake-up call.
No matter your age, no matter the season of your life, no matter if you have young children at home, no children, or your 10th grandchild is on the way, you must realize that taking care of you is not selfish.
Self Care is Self Love
It is self-love and it is biblical to practice. Sometimes I think that we can misunderstand what the Bible says about caring for others, believing we must put others completely before ourselves all the time.
I know that this was a biblical teaching that was taught to me in Sunday school don’t be selfish, right?
I want to shed a new perspective on one of the greatest commandments of the Bible. It’s in Mark 12, where a teacher of the law asks Jesus this question, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?”
And Jesus answers in verse 30 and says, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.”
But then he adds this to the old Testament commandment and says,
“The second is this, love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these.”
Listen, the commandment is not “Love others. Not yourself.” The commandment is to love others as yourself.
I believe for us to truly be able to love our neighbors well, and to fulfill our calling, we need to love ourselves.
We need to love our bodies enough to care for them because we need a healthy body, a healthy mind, and a healthy spirit in order to fully live out our purpose.
In fact, did you know that your body is the primary resource for your spiritual life?
We’ve got good work to do, dear one. We need healthy hands and feet in order to do it. We must have a healthy body in order to go and do and be all that God has called us to be.
Self Care Helps Us Be God’s Light
What has God called us to be?
In Matthew 5: 13-16, Jesus calls us to be salt and light. In verses 14 and 15, Jesus declares that we are the light of the world.
He says no one lights a lamp and puts it under a basket, but rather on a lampstand. And it gives light for all those who are in the room.
I can’t help but wonder if so many of us live with baskets over our light. Baskets of
- past abuse
- excess weight
The list goes on.
These baskets are holding us back from letting our light shine before others so that they may see our good works and give glory to God, our father in heaven.
Dear brothers and sisters, these baskets must be removed.
Caring for ourselves must be a top priority because when we care for our body, we care for the temple that God has given us.
- eat glorious foods,
- move our bodies,
- sleep well,
- exercise to grow stronger,
- are in the word and are worshiping the Lord,
then what happens is, as we’re pouring these things in ourselves on a daily basis, God is pouring into us as well. From there we’re able to pour out from a place of abundance, a place of health, instead of a place of lack and disease.
Self Care Fills Our Vessel
I see so many good Christians operating as empty vessels.
When you pour out, yes, there’s still good work that you’re doing, but it could be so much more.
When I work with students, so often and they’re limited by their physical ability and can’t do things like volunteer, work at church, or do ministry in their community, or run and play with their grandchildren.
They’re not able to go on a mission field or on a mission trip, or do some of these things they feel in their heart God is calling them to.
Imagine with me, “What will you be able to do when you have a healthy, strong body, free from disease, excess weight, cravings and food fixation?”
What will being healthy and free make possible for you?
Self Care Offers Freedom
Freedom is only found by taking care of you and focusing on your health, because listen, no, one’s going to do it for you. No one’s going to take care of you.
You cannot wait until tomorrow.
You can not wait until this busy season passes because before you know it, a year has passed or worse a whole decade, and you are worse off than you are today.
You’ve got to start caring for you today.
It’s time to put yourself on your priority list and take care of yourself, body, mind, and spirit.
And remember it is not selfish. It is self love and I give you permission to do so. In fact, I’m calling you to do so.
What is Self Care?
If this has hit home for you, you might be wondering, “Okay, Katrina. I don’t know how to care for me. I don’t have time to care for me.”
Well, remember from episode 16, I’m all about helping you take baby steps to health. We don’t have to have it all figured out or do it all at once.
We can start super small, especially if we are not used to caring for ourselves. This is why I created the Healthy Free Life Way Starter Kit just for you.
This starter kit outlines the first five steps to get started on your health journey. It includes prayers, a devotional, my glorious food lists, and so much more.
I will leave you with this reminder from Paul of how important it is to care for your body. It’s found in 1 Corinthians 6:19-21. Paul urges us and says,
“Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit within you whom you have from God. You are not your own for you were bought with a price, so glorify God in your body.”
Until next time. Bye for now.