As we welcome in a new year and take the time to reflect on another year gone by, most of us can easily find a lengthy list of things to improve upon and fresh goals for the coming days. I have never been a big fan of resolutions. Always felt like too much pressure. Or maybe just overdone. But this year is different. This year, I am on a journey to momma wellness. This journey began a few months ago when I began to realize something huge.
I have a Savior who came down from Heaven, chose to sacrifice Himself for me, and continues to love me with a lavishing and all-encompassing love – I am worthy of being well!
This isn’t some revelation that came all of a sudden for me. As a mom, there are so many things on the to-do list that come before going that extra mile to care for myself. Quite frankly, if I somehow manage to find the extra time AND energy (all in the same day) to pour into myself – it’s probably going to look a lot like a nap! I have a wonderful friend who asked me a tough question and started a big stirring in my heart.
Are You Worthy Of The Work?
If you are anything like me, you know all too well that mom life can be a bit of a whirlwind at times. Okay, most of the time. While the blessings of motherhood outweigh any struggles that can come, the reality is that it is often exhausting. We give of ourselves so that our families have all they could possibly need and want. It is an instinct. We do it without even considering the toll it takes on our bodies and our minds. And even though we know our reserves are running low, we choose to give anyway. It is a beautiful example of how Christ cares for us.
Somehow along the way, moms have begun to buy into the lie that to be a “good mom” requires being a mom that never takes time, energy, or even finances for herself. I have been that mom. The mom that didn’t feel she was worthy of the added requirement of energy to spoil herself with something just because it made her feel better. But not anymore.
Momma Wellness Starts With A Simple Question
2016 held many physical struggles for me. The short version – I was exhausted. In every way a person could be tired, I was tired. And my body was not happy about it. I suffered everything from extreme fatigue, headaches, pain, swelling, upset tummy, and so much more. To be honest, I was just miserable. I felt hopeless. The doctors didn’t know what to do to help me, they just prescribed more drugs and medicines to mask what was really going on. They keep telling me to rest, and take it easy. Seriously? Sure, I will tell my three kids that we just have to rest today because mommy’s doctor said so. I am sure that will go over well with the 3-year-old.
As I battled sliding down a slippery slope to depression, I reached out to a very wise friend. She asked me one simple question.
Do you think you are worthy of the work it takes to become well? And if so, are you willing to do the work it takes to find momma wellness?
At first I found this to be a rather blunt and almost obnoxious question. Of course I am worth it and of course I can work hard! But this wasn’t really what she was asking me. What she meant was do I really believe – like deep down in the depths of my soul – that I am worthy? When I began pondering this question I started to feel very uneasy.
Am I Really Worthy?
Why did this question make me feel so uncomfortable? Was I scared? Did I know the answer? What happened once I knew the answer? Here is one thing I did know,
Seeking God in His Word will always clarify your answers. His Word will never return void to you.
Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (NLT)
As I read this verse, I found myself wondering if my body was honoring to God. This exhausted, worn-out, overweight, unhealthy, and basically failing body . . . no way was it honoring God! This isn’t who He created me to be. His desire is not for me to battle depression or be too exhausted to play with my kids, too worn out to love on my husband.
Something changed in me that day. I made the decision that to remain living and treating my body the way I was would be nothing short of doing a favor for the devil. I am commanded to honor God, not just in my worship or my good deeds, but with my body! And as a worn down momma I had not been doing that at all.
I had fallen into the trap that many of us moms fall into. The trap of believing that we must give our everything to our children. The trap of believing that we are not worthy of momma wellness. My friends, we are not honoring God with our bodies.
That day I took my first small step out of the trap and into the life of momma wellness that would begin to honor my God.
What Does Momma Wellness Look Like?
Here’s the big thing. This is going to look different for each of us. I think this is where most of us get caught up in the latest trends and comparing ourselves to the supermom that lives next door. Wellness isn’t about being a size 2, working out 5 days a week, or eating like a bird. It is so much more than that. I can’t give you the answer. Sorry. This one is between you and the Big Man.
What I can do is tell you what it looks like for me. For me, momma wellness is about taking care of myself. It’s about taking the time and extra brain power to eat the foods that fuel my body, not my emotions (I stepped on your toes with that one didn’t I?). It’s about moving a little more each day, but not so much that I am sore for a week. It’s about taking that nap when my body is craving rest. It’s about letting the dishes sit in the sink for a little while, so I can play checkers in the floor with my boy. It’s about valuing myself as much as I do others – and not feeling guilty about that.
I am at the very beginning of my journey. It is a daily decision to take one tiny little step in the right direction. I can’t overwhelm myself with thoughts of overhauling my pantry or losing 100lbs tomorrow . . . it’s just the very next step. What step do I need to take today? And then tomorrow, what step do I need to take then? One day at a time.
One healthy decision fuels the next until one day I wake up and I realize I don’t hurt as much. I don’t need that nap this afternoon. I am a happy mom. I am well. God is honored by the way I am living today.
I cannot tell you how honored I would be for you to join me on this journey! We are so much stronger together. I will be sharing lots of info over the month of January regarding my personal steps. If you would like to know some more specific details about what I am doing, please leave a comment or shoot me a message and let me know. No matter what, know that you are beautiful and strong and you are worthy of finding momma wellness in your life!
Carolina Hinojosa-Cisneros says
Do you think you are worthy of the work it takes to become well? Powerful question! I pray over you many of God’s blessings on your journey.
Thank you Caroline. It is a big question 🙂
Yes, you are worth it and so am I! Let’s encourage one another!
Thank you Susan! I am so blessed by our friendship!
Tracy Dougherty says
So important!! We have people watching how we care for ourselves. The ones watching the closest are our children. We’re modeling what self-care looks like!
Exactly Tracy! They see so much more than we realize.
Andy Lee says
Jen!!!! I have been praying about you! I never helped with your Christmas book as I intended too, and I’ve been praying for the Lord to redeem it! LOL! I promise to get a review in soon. Your site is beautiful and your post was so needed for so many mommies. I came across your post on the Planting Roots link-up! I didn’t realize that you are a military family. We are retired military, but it will always hold a special place in my heart. So, the Lord has connected us in yet another way. I’m sharing your post. It’s a must read for moms. ~ Andy
Thank you Andy! And no worries at all, I didn’t really launch the book as I had hoped either. There is always next year right? 🙂 I am on staff at PR and it is such a beautiful ministry. I am so glad you found the linkup and I love how He keeps crossing our paths!
Kori Yates says
Great post and great question!! I think guilt sometimes keeps us struggling to keep going but grace and the love of a Father remind us that it’s hard to serve Him if we are exhausted and broken. Remind me to tell you a story about when I learned that. 🙂
Guilt is such a stronghold for many of us moms. And I sure will remind you about a story…. <3 Love a good story!
Some powerful words here! I love your main question, but this one also got me… Do I value myself as much as I do others? And if not, why? And why on earth would I feel guilty for doing so? Excited to see what God has in store for your journey!
Thank you Liz. This is a journey for sure. It has been a season of asking myself some of those tough questions. Hope you will come back and visit again!
Ginger Harrington says
A needed and relevant question to ponder and pursue. I’m looking forward to seeing where God is going to take this in your life and the lives of others. You are worth it for sure. It is so easy to over-give and under-self-care in this busy life. Blessings!
Thank you Ginger! Blessings to you as well
I’m jaded from the ups and downs of each year resolving to get better… I’ve gotten better and lost the weight and became fit and slowly got back to depressed and stressed about my physical wellbeing. Since then it’s 15 pounds up and down after gaining it all back. It can’t be about the number anymore. I’m praying that’s a God will remove my all or nothing attitude and focus on small changes. Thanks for the encouragement Jen. I want to share something that I have posted on my fridge, I need to take a picture of it though. I will add it to your Facebook page as a comment.
THanks Jessica I would love that!
This post reminds me of the story when Jesus healed the man at the pool of Bethesda. Before he healed him, he asked him, “Do you want to get well?” It seems like a question with such an obvious answer, but it sure is one that is hard to live out! I love your encouragement here. I am so excited to see what 2017 holds for you!
Becky I had not thought of that story but that is SOOOO good! I may be stealing it for another post. LOL Thanks so much friend!
Wow Jennifer! So profound and thought provoking! Loved your honesty and allowing us in your thought processing as God challenges your norm into examination. You shared such truth and it hits all of us where we need to change some priorities and habits. Wonderful!
Thank you Gretchen 🙂
Jen, I love your honesty and vulnerability here! My kids are older, but I remember wrestling with this very question, and it is a much easier question to answer than it is to live out. This is what our mother hearts need to be challenged toward because it will leave a legacy for our own children in how they parent. So happy to have you sharing at Fresh Market Friday, and your blog is simply beautiful!
Thank you so much Crystal! And you are so right, much easier said than done. Leaving a legacy for them is about the best thing I could do for my kids. Blessing to you!