Have you ever flown in an airplane? If you have, I'm positive you know the drill. As everyone prepares for take-off, the flight attendants walk you through the safety precautions. They show you where the emergency exits are, how you can use your seat as a flotation device if necessary, and how to use the oxygen masks if the cabin’s air pressure drops. They are emphatic that you place your own oxygen mask on before helping others. You have seconds before oxygen saturation levels drop and you begin to lose the ability to see faces and shapes, and eventually you will pass out. You cannot help others if you haven't first helped yourself.
Most people by nature want to help and serve others. One of the greatest commandments in Mark 12:31 is "Love thy neighbor as thyself." A lot of people practice kindness towards others, but in order to sustain kindness towards our neighbor, it's time to learn self-kindness. Recently, I heard a pastor say that we cannot afford to have a thought in our mind that He doesn't have in His. The easiest way to know and discern His voice is to know His nature. He is kind. He is gentle. He is loving, patient, compassionate, and slow to anger. If the thoughts you have towards yourself are not kind, compassionate and patient, it's NOT God.
The fruits of the Spirit are love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Your life should be full of good fruit. But if your fruit is only feeding others, you become malnourished. The fruit of your life is first to feed you. In the beginning, I referenced a quote by Parker Palmer about self-care. Our life is a beautiful gift from the Lord and I want to see a generation of women who steward it well! We've become so used to our fast paced lives that slowing down feels wrong. Have you ever wondered if it took boldness for Mary to stop and sit at Jesus' feet? What if everyone else thought she was selfish or lazy? Jesus told Martha that Mary chose the greater thing. That doesn't mean what Martha was doing was wrong, but Mary chose to put everything else on hold to sit and soak in God's presence. Martha was anxious about many things. In the Passion translation it says that Jesus answered, saying "Why are you pulled away by all of these distractions? Are they really that important? Mary has discovered the one thing most important by choosing to sit at my feet. She is undistracted, and I won't take this privilege from her." What is distracting you from sitting at the feet of Jesus?
“Be still” is an action. In Psalm 46:10, we are instructed to be still and know that He is God. Sometimes it can be surprisingly hard to slow down. We feel like we are going to miss out or be viewed as lazy or insufficient. But I encourage you to take time for self-care. If we want to pour out His goodness on others, we need to first receive His goodness. Take time to care for your body, soul and spirit. Get rid of negative self talk. Slow down and go get that pedicure! Drop your kids off for a play date and go curl up on the couch with your coffee and a good book.
If the thought of slowing down makes you feel guilty or anxious, remember that's not a thought from God. He is never anxious. Second, read Luke 5:16. It says, "But Jesus often slipped away from them and went into the wilderness to pray." Sometimes, in order to be the best version of you, you need to be able to say no. Jesus knew that in order to be poured out, He had to first be refreshed. Find time to connect with the Father and prepare yourself for everything that lies ahead. Ask Him how you can care best for yourself right now. Sit at His feet and let Him tell you what He thinks about you. Rest in His presence and learn to practice loving yourself well.
About Kassidy Bezet
Kassidy is a Louisiana girl. She loves adventure, especially if it involves spicy food. She also enjoys her yogalates classes as well as any outdoor activities like volleyball or hiking local trails. She is passionate about serving in her church where she is the Media Director and a member of the worship team.