When It Feels Selfish

I hear you, asking yourself if it's safe to go out now. Watching the numbers. Weighing the value of your mental health versus your physical health. Should you go back to your local gym or training center with Coronavirus still affecting us? Is it safe to eat out? To travel? Your family may be healthy enough, but what about your parents and at-risk loved ones? If you're anything like me, you're so tired of talking about it and feeling afraid that you just want to check out for a while. But dang it, we have to decide about going back to school and therapies, so we can't exactly check out. When will all this end? Will we ever get back to normal?


For so long, I struggled to get out of bed to do my Bible study and exercise before everyone else got up. Why? Because there was often a warm and snuggly little one cuddled up to me and getting out of bed felt like a betrayal. It felt like bad parenting. I set my alarm, but when it went off I felt guilty for leaving them. In our family, everyone has their own bed, but we tend to play musical beds all night long and it's often "fun" to get up in the morning and discover where everyone ended up.


One morning I prayed about it.


"Lord, I don't want to leave this precious child You gave me to get up and do my own thing. It feels selfish."


I didn't really expect an answer, or if anything, I expected God to pat me on the back for excellent mothering while I snuggled back down under the covers for some extra sleep. Instead, the answer jolted me awake.


"Get up. They will understand, and you will be a better mother for the rest of the day - and for the rest of their lives - because of it."


Stunned, I got up and sure enough, no one felt betrayed. I had ignored my own spiritual and physical health from some misguided sense that being available to my children while they were sleeping was more important than taking care of my own needs.


Since the beginning of June, I've been getting up early do do my Bible study and go to Fusion Fitness to hang out with some awesome ladies as I train my physical body back to health. I've noticed a number of results, but this week I went to the grocery store and noticed that one of the heavier items I usually dread putting in the cart was no problem to pick up. It shocked me to realize how easy it actually was to pick up.


Our family is currently awaiting the results of a Coronavirus test, even though we're perfectly healthy, so I had to do some of my classes virtually this week. It's not convenient. I miss the girls I've been working out with. But if I want to continue my journey to become fit and healthy in every way, I have to do my classes alone in my basement in front of a television screen with my little hand weights. (yay...)


But, my friends, I am going to do it virtually because IT WAS AWESOME to lift that "heavy" box without any struggle! I didn't even realize how ridiculous it was that I had to struggle to lift that box until I almost threw it over my shoulder because I used so much force. What other everyday things am I struggling to do?


Even if I have to do it virtually, even if it's a challenge to find a time when someone will watch my children, even if it feels kind of like I'm abandoning them when I excuse myself and don't let them distract me, MY ENTIRE FAMILY is blessed when I take care of myself.


I believed the lie that my family is better off with a mother who is weak, exhausted, and struggling with brain fog. I believed that I could continue to survive spiritually on reserves. Part of my false belief system had to do with the extreme stress I was under and the brain fog that came with it, and part of it was that I got into some bad habits and needed help to get out of them. Thank God for those who came along to give me the encouragement I needed to clear the brain fog, strengthen my body, reconnect with the Lord, and get going again!


That's why I share my journey with you, my friends. If you are like me and need that encouragement to get up and get moving again, I will do what I can to help you as I have been helped. How can I pray for you? Send me a private message or leave a comment. Let's do this together!

KW

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Based on a rural Midwestern farm

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