Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Are You Neglecting Yourself?

That is the question I had to answer yesterday. Sadly, my honest answer was "Yes." As a very busy wife and mother of four, a new business owner, writer, speaker, volunteer, friend . . . the list goes on, I spend large quantities of my day investing in others.

Now, don't get me wrong. It's what I've been created to do. I LOVE talking to a friend on the phone for an hour just to help her get a sense of peace. I LOVE pouring into the lives of the young moms I work with in my local MOPS group. I LOVE kissing my kids' cheeks and watching them play with wild abandon. I LOVE massaging my husband's back because he's been working all day, and I LOVE when a new story line or chapter presses me so that I have to run to my computer to type it out.

Giving is what we were created to do. Give love. Give joy. Give our time. Give, give, give. Unfortunately,  in this getting, we sometimes neglect ourselves. Humans are complex beings. We are made up of body, soul and spirit. I love reading people's posts on Facebook about how they're running miles and miles in the early hours of the morning, or having "gym time." I enjoy reading how they've discovered a new, inspiring website or book. But what I don't see a lot of is a well-balanced approach in taking care of all three parts of ourselves.

For years, all I focused on was the spiritual. I was at every church event and prayer meeting and yelled at my kids when they would "interrupt my devotions . . ." I didn't exercise, had no career goals and didn't have much time for my friends. Now, I see how out of balance I was!

Today, I am making a concentrated effort to begin and end each day with God, but also in between to make sure I'm taking care of my physical, emotional, and yes vocational sides as well. If you're a household manager (because I hate the term "stay-at-home mom"), don't just run around chasing kids all day; contend to take care of your entire self. You owe it to yourself, and you'll be much happier for it.

So as you go throughout your day today, I pray you will, with me, focus on being a more balanced, peaceful you!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Keep Dreamin'

I dream just about every night. Some dreams are wild, crazy, unrealistic figments of my very active imagination that have me flying through outer space with sparkly wings eating a piece of banana cheesecake and squeezing my little son's cheeks with glee.

What? I know. I said "crazy . . . and active imagination."

But then there are other dreams that wake me up in a cold sweat, heart pounding, and I know . . . I've been in touch with destiny. Purpose has been born, and even if I don't always know the exact meaning of the dream, I know I'd better "wake up," be alert and pay attention . . . something's coming.

One of my favorite authors and speakers, Lisa Bevere, says, "God gives us visions (or dreams) to enlarge us." No one gets anything big by dreaming small!

Think back to when you were a child. What did you want to be? Do? Go? More importantly, WHO did you want to be? I'm not talking about singing to Mariah Carey in the mirror and wanting to be her. I'm asking you to close your eyes and think back to what type of person you wanted to be. Were you strong, courageous, funny, loving, nurturing? Did you have a small army of children nestled at your feet while you read them goodnight stories or were you taking the corporate world by storm? What did your husband look like? Act like? How did your wife treat you? One thing I'll bet---you were happy, weren't you?

So what has happened to us? When did we stop dreaming? Why did we allow the naysayers and the "Debbie Downers" (think SNL) to tell us who we would be or what we would become?  When did we believe the nonsense ourselves?

Today, I am asking God to reawaken the dreams in me. I believe He put them for a reason. And if I could look you in the eyes, I'd say the same to you, "Keep Dreamin.'" Because sometimes, dreams really do come true.