Friday, November 05, 2010

Color Me Selfish

I’ve never been a big proponent of “me time”. It has always seemed selfish to me. In fact I think I’ve put it down on this blog before. Sometimes I try to be the martyr. My job is to serve my family. And just continue to give and give until one day I finally just drop dead…or crack and go wacko. Seriously, try as I might, a martyr I am not. Supermom, superwife and suzy-q-homemaker I am not either.

Lately, I am nearing the edge of my sanity. I am tired. My nerves are fried. There are six other people in this house that need food, clothes and help. They leave their messes behind. I am a slave to their schedules and constantly have to readjust my plans to meet theirs. I am always five steps behind where I should be. ( My Grandma says that everything takes longer when you are in a hurry and she’s totally right.)

Now don’t get me wrong, I love them. I love serving them. I do think that for the most part I am called to continue to give and pour myself out for others until I die. That is after all what Jesus did for us and calls us to do. That’s a big part of why I think God let me become a mom, so I could finally learn to put others first. For sure, there have been times when a break isn't possible and I need to keep giving or give more. God has always seen me through those and given me the strength that I need.

Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen. 1 Peter 4:9-11

So where does a break fit in without it being pure selfishness? Because I need a break. Maybe I could finally go do my errands that I have been trying to do all week. BY. MY. SELF. That is, if no one has anything else planned or needs anything. And I really don’t mind. I love serving them.

I’ve been thinking that there is a time and a place for some me time. God took a break during creation. He does not need rest, but He knew we would because we can’t work all the time.

By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done. Genesis2:2-3

Throughout the Old Testament, He continually expected his people to rest one day a week. For me to be able to function and love my family, I need some time. For me to not be a crazed, stressed out Mom, I need some time off. For me to not fall asleep on the couch at 8:00 p.m., I need a break. And so do you, my friends. That is not selfish.

Whether it’s shopping, errands, a nap or time with friends we all need to step out of our usual roles and relax. I think the selfish part comes in when the breaks and me time are the most important thing. It’s easy to let that become the focus rather than serving. I don’t need to be selfish about my me time. My husband is always willing to make something work. He wants me to do those things. I’ve got friends that are willing to help me out in that area too. Don’t be afraid to ask for and accept help. I’m finally learning that.

Sometimes I think it’s me that doesn’t want to go. Because it feels selfish. It feels unnecessary. It makes me feel guilty. Like I am not the martyr mother I should be. Maybe time away forces me to realize that I can’t do it all. That helps me be humble, another reason I think God let me become a mom.

So color me selfish, I don’t really mind. When I get home, I will be refreshed and ready for another go around. I can give baths, get snacks, do laundry all for the love of my family. I really don’t mind. I love serving them.


DWin said...

Once again, right when I needed to hear it! I feel the same way! The selfishness, the guilt... is there really a way to let those go and have a break?

Peter and Nancy said...

Jesus ate dinner with friends, had time with his closest companions, and took time away to pray -- and God commanded that there be a day of rest each week. So, no more mommy guilt! I'm done with the guilt -- it's more about actually *finding* the time to either be alone with God or do something fun & refreshing that's the hard part. :o)