Oh, how I’ve missed sharing these weekly posts with you, dear friends! How are you doing? Are you finding little ways to take care of you this week? This is something I’ve struggled with for most of my life. It’s only been in the last few years that I’ve made more of an effort to take better care of myself, and I wish I had started long ago. I feel so much better when I take a little time for myself. I’m a better wife, a better mom, a better friend – when I find little ways to take better care of me.
I can think of plenty of expensive things I’d love to do *wink*, but it’s difficult to think of things that would be simple and not break the bank. I brainstormed and came up with a list of FREE (or nearly free) ways that you can start taking care of yourself TODAY! Let’s look over the list and find something we can do! We can start right now!
Eat a healthy breakfast
Polish your nails
Light a scented candle
Fix yourself a cup of tea
Call a friend to chat and laugh
Turn peaceful music on to calm yourself
Turn upbeat music on and dance
Lie on the floor, close your eyes, and practice relaxing your body
Take a walk to take in the fresh air and sunshine
Get up earlier to enjoy a quiet time before the day gets crazy
Curl up in bed earlier than usual at night
Make a list of things you are grateful for
Put on real clothes and avoid only living in comfy sweats
Take a bubble bath or a hot shower
Say something NICE about yourself
Learn to say NO
Ask for help when you need it
Work on creating a routine
Eat less sugar
Stop comparing yourself to others
Take a break from social media
Relax and watch a TV show
Or watch less TV
Do something nice for someone else
Write an encouraging letter to someone
Watch your favorite movie – even if you’ve seen it 100 times already
Wear the perfume you’ve been saving for a special moment
Get a free makeover at a beauty counter at the mall
Put fresh, clean sheets on your bed
Peruse magazines at the library
Doodle or color like you did when you were little
Bake your favorite comfort food
Meet a friend for coffee
Buy yourself a new nail polish color
Grab a friend and go see a chick flick
Tackle a Pinterest craft you’ve wanted to try
Make an appointment to get your hair cut
Display special photos around you
Take multivitamins each day
Use essential oils
Get a massage
Sign up for a local art class
Go to a thrift store and buy yourself something that is new-to-you
Take 10 deep breaths
Organize your desk or workspace
Drink tea from a special mug
Cuddle with a loved one
Give yourself a scalp massage
Rub lotion into your cuticles
Play your favorite board game
Reread your favorite book from childhood
Try your hand at learning a new language
Treat yourself to a pretty potted plant or bouquet of flowers
Join a book club
Put on lipstick, even if you’re staying home
Go through your closet – organize, donate, and enjoy your new space
Make your own budget and health-friendly lotion
Clean out your purse
Save up for something you want
Host a Girls’ Night at your house
Drink more water
Learn about something you’ve always wanted to study
Use the fancy dishes
Rub lotion on your feet before bed
Make your own body scrub
Delete apps you don’t need from your phone
Visit an art museum
Sit outside and look up at the stars
Rearrange furniture in a room
Tackle an annoying thing that keeps getting put off
Grab a tennis ball and give yourself a foot massage
Put together a jigsaw puzzle
Memorize – Scripture, a poem, a famous quote or speech
Get a pedicure
Write down your thoughts in a journal
Buy yourself a new (well-fitting) bra
See your doctor for a yearly well-woman exam
Spend time with animals
Sit outside and look for shapes in the clouds
Practice not saying negative things about yourself
Drink a Nighty Night or Sleepytime tea before going to bed
Paint a room in your house a new color – or add color in other ways if you are unable to paint the walls.
Read Boundaries, by Cloud & Townsend to create healthy boundaries in your relationships and life
Use a foam roller or tennis ball to massage sore muscles.
Use a file to shape and care for your nails
Look up funny bloopers of your favorite TV comedies for a good laugh
Exercise by getting your heart pumping – The serotonin will follow!
Did you play a musical instrument when you were little? Take it up again!
Eat more vegetables
Make your bed
Treat yourself the way you treat the ones that you love.
AND… Embrace the wonderful person that is YOU! You are perfect, you are enough, and you are loved – just the way you are!
May I ask you to do something for me? Do you know anyone who would enjoy this post? Would you please share it with them? I would be so grateful! I’d love to spread the word and help other women find ways that they can start caring for themselves – even today!
I’d love to hear from YOU! What are a few ways that you’re going to better care of yourself this week?
If there is one thing that I want to leave you with – please know that you are worth it. You are seen. You are loved. And you are enough! Please don’t be afraid to reach out. You can find me on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. You can also email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Keep reaching forward, friend. I’m on this journey with you! Here’s to taking a little time for us!
In Her Shoes is a series written by readers to give us a glimpse into their lives – to see what it is like to walk in their shoes. Today I’m excited to introduce you to my friend Karis Busenitz! My bubbly friend has heart for missions, Nigeria, and rescuing those trapped in human trafficking. Let’s listen to our friend while she shares with us what it is like to walk in her shoes. ~ Love, G
“I must go with Jesus anywhere –
No matter the roughness of the road.
I must go. I must go.”
I learned this song in both English and Hausa (Ni Zan Je) from my beautiful friends in Nigeria, West Africa. I had privilege of living there 2009 to 2011 as a missionary with SIM. Just this past January I got to go back and spend 3 weeks catching up with friends- missionaries and Nigerians that I had missed terribly.
Here’s our giant SIM family reunion! 120 individuals from all over the world, following God and serving in Nigeria!
They had been missing western style salons, so I set up shop and got the blessing of doing the hair of missionaries.
Oh yes! With a great friend enjoying a favorite meal at one of our favorite restaurants!
My friend Jacque and I got to enjoy the rich hospitality of the Camiola family. John and Missy Camiola are my heros! I got to be a part of the beginning of starting their ministry, Grace Gardens. It is a safe home for women coming out of prison or prostitution or rescued from human trafficking, and need a place where they can grow to become followers of Jesus Christ!
The ministry of Grace Gardens started with a weekly outreach – walking into the dark halls of brothels in our city, and sharing the Light, Hope, and Redemption found in Jesus Christ! ( feel free to check out their website http://servinginnigeria.com/grace-gardens/)
A lot of tears were sown getting this ministry started. But God has shown up in big ways, showing us that He can do the impossible! Three years ago, when we first opened our Grace Gardens house – God brought us 2 ladies and 3 children. When I visited in January, we had a birthday party there, and I just looked around with tears in my eyes in awe of how God had grown His garden!
This little boy enthusiastically taught me one of his favorite songs. Tears came to my eyes as he sang, “I’m singing rejoicing since Jesus set me free.” The last time I saw him, 2 and a half years before, before Grace Gardens opened, his home was one of the darkest and dirtiest brothels in our city. When I saw him in January, I kept thinking of how awesome God was for giving him a new beautiful home.
This little girl is now the daughter of my friends John and Missy! She came from the same place the little boy I just mentioned used to live. I thank God for her life and just cry thinking of all He rescued her from and the great family she now has! She has a crazy story to share one day!
My little orphans have grown up. They still remember me and all the songs I taught them when I used to disciple them in the village. I love hearing them all call me Aunty! How cool to be their crazy foreign Aunty!
The icing on the cake of this trip was getting to see my Nigerian Mom and Dad! Here they are with their daughter, and my driver. What a blessing to have dinner with them before I flew home, having Pastor pray for God’s clear direction for my life, and thanking Him for our friendship!
Instead of goodbye we said see ya later! Cause I don’t know when, but I know I’ll be back!
Three weeks went by so fast! So now I’m back in America reflecting on how God has richly blessed my walk of faith.
God’s heart for people to know His Hope, Light, Love, and Redemption is huge! And the devil’s plan to steal, kill, and destroy is affecting lives all over the world. I started getting involved in a work God is doing right here in Kansas, to reach women in the commercial sex industry. My friends in Nigeria are praying for the women here, and I want to invite you to pray for the women in Nigeria. Jesus came to set the captives free and He hears and answers prayer!
You can find me doing hair at the salon or helping brides find wedding dresses. But I willingly admit part of my heart is in Nigeria.
I just wanna be obedient to go wherever Jesus leads me, no matter the cost! And I’m so glad His presence is always with us! This alone brings security, peace, and joy!
I wonder what’s next!
I must go with Jesus anywhere!
To read more encouraging stories, or if you are interested in sharing your own story, please go to the In Her Shoes tab near the top of the page. I love learning about the people in this series. Connecting with others seems to make the world feel not quite as big and scary. We’re all in this together. I can’t wait to hear from you, to read your stories, and learn more of what it is like to walk in your shoes.
Happy Monday, Friends! How was your week? Did you find ways to take a little time for yourself over the last few days? I know that I’ve said it before, but I am really enjoying hearing about the ways that you are caring for yourself. This is still very new to me – caring for myself the way that I care for those that I love around me – but I am learning to set my goals and take a little time to mother myself so that I can be a better wife, mother, and friend.
One of my goals from last week was to clean out and organize the junk drawers in the kitchen. I’m really embarrassed to show you how bad it actually was, but here goes…
Yikes! This drawer was my catch-all. It had become a place for anything without a place, and it had been driving me nuts for way too long. I emptied out the drawers, gave it a good dusting, and vowed to not put anything back without putting some thought into our storage needs. This kitchen desk is where I keep our family calendar and where we get our school supplies when we’re studying upstairs.
I searched and searched, but I finally found something shallow enough that would work as a drawer organizer – shadow boxes! I found these on clearance at Target, and at less than 1.5″ tall, they were the perfect size!
I began to put go through the pile of junk drawer, well…junk, and only put back what we need too keep in the desk drawer.
This small drawer is where we used to keep our pencils and pens, but it was too much of a mess. We decided to designate this drawer for the gamers in the house. When our boys get home from the weekend, we’ll be adding the other DS systems and games. The kiddos can only get these out after school, homework, and chores are finished, so keeping them in the kitchen will be a great way to make sure that they don’t go wandering off without permission!
*Happy sigh* I love an organized space. After putting off this chore for months, this area is making me feel so much better already!
I keep a bell on my desk that I ring when I need all three boys to come running. School, dinner, chore instructions, dance break – when I ring the bell, it sounds like a herd of elephants coming up the stairs. I love my little elephants!
I found a cup to solve our pencil storage problem. Nate Berkus office supplies on clearance – score! And an office area isn’t complete without a red Swingline stapler.
“Excuse me, I believe you have my stapler…” ~ Name that movie!
Organizing my junk drawers inspired me to start working on the rest of our kitchen. Between the two of us, my Beloved and I have a “yours, mine, and ours” collection of household goods. Every once in a while it’s good to do a State of the Kitchen meeting to see what we have, what we don’t need, and what we’ll keep. We did a little purging, a little reorganizing, and a little shuffling. I think our kitchen is going to work even better from now on! *Another happy sigh*
By being in bed earlier, I had time to watch a little Mad Men and read a wonderful little story this week!
If you want to keep in touch during the week, or if you want to follow my progress, you can find me on Facebook and Instagram. I also recently started a Pinterest group board – Taking Care of Ourselves – where we can share ideas, stories, and inspiration.
Today I’m honored to be guest posting at my lovely friend Brenda’s blog, Recovered Identity. I’m sharing how I came out came out of a time of darkness and pain, faced the ghosts of my past, and allowed my heart to dance once again.
Here’s how it starts:
“I remember twirling in my fancy dress as a little girl. Time seemed to pause just for me as I spun around and around on my tip-toes. My ruffled dress and I whirled about the room so fast that everything around me simply faded away. That dress transported me to my own little world where I could be a ballerina, a fairy princess, or Cinderella at the Ball. I wanted to dance in my special little place forever…
But what happened to the imaginative little girl that I used to be? Her heart had been bursting with endless hopes. The dreams that she held so dearly knew nothing of limits. Her little world was full of light – a beautifully magical place where good always prevailed over evil, no real harm could befall her, and where Prince Charming was coming to rescue her, dressed in his shining armor…”
I would love it if you joined me here to read more!
~ Photo credit – Top photo is by NZ Portraits by Joanne, bottom photo is by John Zimmerman
Whoa! Has this little blog really been up and running for a whole month? Crazy! I have enjoyed every minute of it – and I am so happy to be linking up again with Leigh and sharing a few things that I have been into over the last month!
Threads ~ I found this cute cowgirl hat, on clearance – of course – and I’ve enjoyed sporting it several times this month! It goes well with a couple of cute sundresses that have made this summer heat a bit more bearable. I love that the hat gives me shade, keeps me cool, and adds a little spunk to my outfit!
Clearly, I have always had a thing for stylish hats – so I’m wondering why I had never made the leap into this genre before? Never too late to try a new bonnet!
Beauty ~ I’m all about Burt’s Bees tinted lip balm. I like a bright red lip just as much as the next girl, but most days I’m sporting BBs Red Dahlia lip balm. I’m even wearing it in my profile picture! My lips feel smooth and soft when I wear it, plus I don’t have to worry about leaving goopy or sticky smooch marks on my Beloved when he dips me for a kiss!
Reading ~ Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand, by Helen Simonson was a delightful book! The pace was so peaceful and enjoyable, and I eagerly looked forward to curling up with a cup of tea and seeing what the charming Major Pettigrew and Mrs. Ali were up to each evening.
The Blessing of a Skinned Knee: Using Jewish Teachings to Raise Self-Reliant Children, by Wendy Mogel was an incredibly interesting parenting book! Filled with common sense ideas on raising children by a clinical psychologist, she uses Jewish teachings to show parents how to avoid raising “little attorneys,” honoring parents, and respecting others. One of my favorite quotes: “Your most lasting legacy, the only one that really matters, is how your children will treat their fellow creatures and the world you’re leaving them. It begins and ends with honor.” Even though I borrowed this is book from the library, I most definitely want to purchase it for my collection!
Bird by Bird, by Anne Lamott has to be my favorite book that I’ve ever read on the subject of writing. As with her other works, this book made me laugh and cry all in the same sitting. Anne tells it to you straight – all about bad first drafts, getting to know your characters, dealing with criticism, being published, and everything in between. Even if you never consider a career in writing, her stories resonate with so many people. I loved this book so much that I wanted to underline pretty much the whole thing – but since it was from the library, I refrained. I’ll be adding this to my own personal library very soon – count on it!
Decoded, by Jay-Z is the most surprising book on my list this month. This book was fascinating! After getting it home from the library, I realized by flipping through it that I couldn’t leave it out on the coffee table with my other library books. Let’s just say that there are quite a few new vocabulary words that I don’t feel quite up to explaining to our little guys just yet. I grew up about as far away from the Hip-hop genre as you can get – out in rural Kansas with milo fields, combines, tumbleweeds, and Mennonite churches. The mean streets of Brooklyn, it was not. Jay-Z is an amazing storyteller. He begins by taking us back to his childhood in New York, where he was first introduced to rap as a kid. He began writing his rhymes in a notebook, and studying the dictionary – building his vocabulary for rap battles. He goes on to explain of many of his songs. I had no idea about all the work, double-meanings, and stories that go into this style of music. I enjoy a little Hip-hop every now and then, but now I have a greater understanding of the stories behind the music. Fascinating, I tell you!
On my nightstand for August ~ It’s All Good, by Gwyneth Paltrow
The Girl You Left Behind, by Jojo Moyes – The author is coming to do a signing in our town this month! Woohoo! I absolutely loved, (curled up in the fetal position and bawled my way through), her book Me Before You.
Someday, Someday, Maybe, by Lauren Graham – Yes, THAT Lauren Graham from Gilmore Girls! I can’t wait to experience her as an author!
Screen time ~ We went to see the movie The Heat recently. Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy made for a hilarious team! I also watched Freakonomics on Netflix during July. I found the short film on Sumo wrestlers very interesting! During August I also discovered that one of my favorite actresses (Chummy!) from Call the Midwife has her very own BBC show – Miranda! Hysterical, witty, charming – I can’t wait to watch more on Hulu!
Music ~ Am I the only one playing the new Civil Wars album on a constant loop? J’adore. I love their growth, their haunting melodies, the incredible harmonies…Such good stuff! I’m also loving my favorite movie scores that I recently put on my phone – Mask of Zorro, Chocolat, and Meet Joe Black are all serenading us at home and in the car!
In the blogging world~ My friend Emily shared a wonderful post about loving on teachers. She was so inspiring that I went right out that afternoon and took Camden’s 4th grade teacher a Route 44 Sonic drink! I hope to make this a regular event – we can’t love on them enough! Whether it’s your child’s teacher, a homeschooling mom (I guarantee you that she doesn’t have lots of people bringing her a cherry limeade!), a hardworking nurse, your pharmacist, a mailman (or lady), or your trash guys – I hope that we can all find a way to pay it forward. Love on someone this month!
Another dear friend wrote a beautiful post on exchanging our beauty standards for standards of grace. I printed them out for myself as a daily reminder to look at myself through the eyes of grace.
The chic gals at Trailer Trash Glam gave 20 awesome date ideas for under $20! Way to go! I can’t wait to try these out with my Beloved! Date night, here we come!
On my little blog this month ~ The most viewed post was Chapter Two of Our Story ~ A Letter to the Other Woman. I can’t wait to share Chapter Six of Our Story with y’all very soon! I also wrote about painting our living room black. I poured out my heart and shared about the time that I yelled at God – co-parenting and interacting with exes after the divorce.
A big thank you to everyone who stopped by this month, “liked,” or took a second to tell me that they enjoyed reading something here in my little corner of the world! What a great first month of blogging that this has been! I’m very excited about the coming month – more of Our Story, before and afters, and reviews! I hope that you’ll stay tuned! Have a great weekend!
For more “What I’m Into” goodness, please check out Leigh Kramer’s fabulous site – I’m off to check them out myself!