I Can’t Feed Myself

Well, I CAN, I just DON’T. When I published yesterday’s Instagram post with the theme, “be kind to yourself”, “forgive yourself for yesterday”, “take care of your soul”, “do something for yourself today” and all that jazz, I meant it. I really did. That pretty plate of healthy food was for real and made by me for me…the day prior. Today is a different matter. I am tired. Tired of chores…questions…duties…lists…material possessions lying around…questions…laundry…dirty dishes…unfulfilled plans…unwritten thank-you notes…sticky floors…unread articles and books…ungraded math sheets…overdue library books (and that one we lost)…my poor health…perpetual piano practice…and did I mention questions?? Mamas (and Daddies!) get tired. ALL parents do, except those with full-time nannies and maids. Maybe they get tired, too; I wouldn’t know. This little chat is for mamas, ladies, and, yes, men who are blessed with ladies in their lives. Men, you need to learn “how it is” in case you haven’t already figured it out.

Watch One of our “Don’t Stop” Days here

In the days of my government school teaching of grades 3 and 5 and then day care directing of 100 children and 25 employees, I grew tired. Working sixty-plus hours a week on top of homekeeping was rough (and family-damaging, I must admit)! Motherhood-weariness is not reserved for working-outside-the-home moms, single moms, self-employed moms, homeschool moms, large-family moms, or any particular group. It is not a respecter of mothers. It picks on all hard-working, hard-loving, non-stopping maternal folks who give their all for family, friends and even faith. If you can’t relate, it might be a good idea to go ahead and check out another of our pages on this site. But before you do, please let us know how you do it so we can enjoy the peace. Seriously, we need to share and walk life together. You may have mastered the art of balance. Some have. Many of us have not, however.

 

Back to that Instagram post…I hope it encouraged many folks, men and women, to take a break from craziness and breathe in a few minutes of self-love (I hate that term, let’s try “selfKINDness” instead). That’s what it did for me. You see, I don’t want to appear fake. I want to BE real and appear as such. This means, I wouldn’t say something that I don’t practice. With that post in the back of my brain today, I realized that I should prepare myself a nice breakfast (again) and perch myself in front of the window so I can evaluate a certain child who is clearing out his sister’s flower garden as a consequence of a poor decision, AKA punishment. Can you see how my multi-tasking brain canNOT stop?!

 

So, I sat to enjoy the healthy breakfast sandwich…plugged my ears with praise music while the perpetual piano practice proceeded…peered out at Working Child…glanced (again) at to-do list and day’s schedule…took a few bites of yummy sandwich…opened a book I picked up from the library’s give-away pile, “The Pursuit of Holiness” (‘cause I need to be pursuing HOLY instead of CRAZY, right?!?)…and attempted all of this at once. I read the first paragraph, which was awesome by the way, until my organic chicken breasts strips began to fall out of my sprouted bread slices. Holding a book open with one hand and a sandwich together with two hands is not an easy task, let me tell ya!

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“Multi-tasking Fail” by Mrs. Katie, one day in January 2018  (no clue what today’s date even is!)

Yep, you got it! When I lost my chicken slices–that’s when I suddenly realized, “For Pete’s sake, Katie, you can’t even FEED yourself because you can’t. stop. the. crazy. long enough to do so! Furthermore, this sandwich and book about holiness has you in an UNholy mess!” FEED myself…hmmm….and I ain’t just talkin’ about the organic chicken pieces.

 

My mind didn’t have to travel far to recall my good friend Kate’s text this past Saturday. “Hi there friend. I’ve taken a break to paint my nails tonight and was watching a couple of your [YouTube] videos. You’re doing such an incredible job but I want to check on your soul…I know what you’re doing is life-giving work but it takes time, so I wanted to check in on YOU. Love you friend!” (Used with permission) For starters, I recognized that Dear Friend Kate is modeling for me selfKINDness. She is a loving wife, busy mama and grandmother, and respected university professor. I recognize that she was giving herself some attention, feeding her soul. hmmm…. While I am not interested in painted nails at this season in life, I would drive very, VERY quickly to a massage appointment….if I had such an appointment!! SelfKINDness comes in as many forms as there are humans who need it. I am thankful that the Spirit of God had chosen to plant and develop Kate’s inquiry in my thoughts since Saturday. Her words have rested there, planted and taken root, growing fruit for me to chew on. And chew on them is what I did as I finished my breakfast sandwich. In her text, insightful Dear Friend Kate thoughtfully let me know that she would be praying that I would recognize the need for rest when I needed it.

 

I think I just did. Prayer answered…at least for today.

 

Took a breath. With the book set aside, shoulders less tense, I used both hands to enjoy my breakfast while glancing out at Working Son and breathing in Peace, still chewing on Friend Kate’s kind admonition.

 

Here’s the (NOT) secret…I am not alone. While this fact doesn’t do anything to help my personal situation, admitting it can help us to walk life together. Isn’t that the idea of our living together on this planet?

Recently Sharing my Overwhelm-ness

Mr. Patient has been suggesting, asking, begging me to take care of myself for years. He’s a smart fellow and I would have avoided a lot of hullabaloo through the years if I had yielded to his request that I take time for me. Isn’t this selfish, though? Isn’t this a prideful thing? Folks, I have mentioned before that I am a slow learner. No sir and no ma’am, it is actually NOT prideful to care for oneself, offering selfKINDness to yourself. How so? Considering that one does not need or require self-care, a time-out, a little self-imposed gentleness, is the epitome of PRIDE (footnote 1). Yes, people, oh my word! So. Much. PRIDE. Goodness, my sin of pride is enough to write a book so we won’t go on with that here, but, I do wonder….do you have the same problem as I? Is PRIDE causing you to feel you don’t need care?? I used to jokingly (but meant it!) call myself Wonder Woman and ‘pride’ myself on the fact that I could run circles around so-and-so with my goings-on. [embarrassment inserted here] Oh my, did I miss that Bible verse about thinking of oneself more “highly than we ought to”? Busted! Guilty! Turns out there’s more to this business of not taking care of ourselves, our souls, than met the eye.

 

Here’s my background, my “excuse”, if you will. The idea of kind, gentle attention to my needs just isn’t there, in my thought-processes, I mean. Doing so is just not something I learned while I was growing up. It wasn’t modeled. While I love my mother and grandmothers dearly and owe them the highest respect, I just did not learn the art of selfKINDness from them. At least in my young girl’s view and perspective, I observed my mama never taking a break, never “doing something for herself”, always serving family and church non-stop. I observed my southern grandmother graciously entertaining friends, family, church people and always, always eating the neck (!) of the fried chicken so as to leave the other pieces for everyone else. I personally observed my northern grandmother and her sisters (and even their mother!) working as hard as their DNA pioneer stock would allow them, until they fell into a wooden heirloom rocking chair at day’s end, exhausted. [Please note: I am NOT against hard work and that topic will be in another post.] Both grandmothers enjoyed family and laughter but not what I would consider doing something to “take care of themselves”. Perhaps laughter was their peace, their secret. I’m sure my young-girl perspective was not exact reality but my mommy-brain was being trained to go-go-go; give it all ya got and then some; don’t be idle; push-push-push; and for the love of Mike, I am worthless if I can’t chop firewood and I certainly don’t deserve to eat a fried chicken thigh!

 

Geez, bless him, Mr. Patient didn’t earn that name for no reason.

 

I am now 50-years-old and I am learning lessons that should have been learned way yonder long ago. It’s no one’s fault. Well, maybe it is. The Lord put a sweet, gentle-natured man in my life. He tried and tried but I was stubborn. Who am I kidding? I AM stubborn…nicer word than “prideful”. That one hurts. Ugh!

 

While I know these truths to be self-evident, I revisit them here in the hopes that we tired mamas (and daddies) can put down the book, sandwich, earbuds, and to-do lists and consider a small amount of selfKINDness today. Perhaps you’ll allow me, a wife of almost 29 years and a mommy for 25+ years, to encourage, gently admonish you. Take some time to consider the damage you could be doing to your family members by giving so much that giving just one more ounce of effort could send you reeling. If one more person asks one more question, you will pull your hair out, one-by-one! Or, maybe one more demand from your employer will send you out in the street screaming like a crazy person! Perhaps that church committee member has made everyone else’s business her own and being around her is becoming absolutely too much to bear! (How did I know that’s how you feel? Refer to number of years I have mothered.)

 

Now what? Well, I have been preaching to myself so why stop now.  The saying has been heard time and time again, “You can’t pour from an empty pitcher.” So true… we need, no must, refill and refuel before the pitcher runs dry. We are needed!

 

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Our 25th Anniversary Wedding Vow Rededication that Mr. Patient PLANNED & SURPRISED ME WITH!! July 2014

What can we do to walk in the path of daily selfKINDness, Friends??

–Generally-Speaking–

  • Pray about our day. Ask the Lord to show us what HE wants done (5). Ask Him to provide a keen listening to the Spirit. Make it a practice before feet hit the floor… “Show me today, Lord, direct my paths.”
  • Ask Him to show us balance–how can we fulfill our responsibilities and end the day in peace (2).
  • Prioritize. This looks different for each person. Set limits. (Might be a good time to pray for self-control and clarity) (3)
  • Use the “power” all around you. More on that below.
  • Focus on breathing for a few minutes each day. Do this while in a chair; taking a slow walk; or standing still, eyes closed, in the middle of a pile of laundry.
  • Accept the counsel and gentle admonition of friends whether it is face-to-face or via digital or phone communication. Knock down that Pride Wall so counsel can be received (that part is written for me by me to me) (6)
  • Spend intentional time in God’s Word, more than you think you need. If walking in His Ways is “not your thing”, okay then meditate (4).
  • Write down blessings, joys, thankfulness. (For me, doing this once saved our marriage!)
  • Focus on what will leave a LEGACY, your HERITAGE WAYS.

 

–Specifically-Speaking–

{This list could be endless}

 

  • Drink plenty of filtered water. Keep up with it somehow and drink at least half of your body weight in clean water daily.
  • Get dressed with shoes on (unless today’s selfKINDness means staying in pajamas and watching funny movies with your grandkids)
  • Do something for your body like shower, wash hair, dab make-up, stretch…
  • Utilize the “power” around you, be it Teachers’ Assistants, Employees, Children, Appliances. Delegate in a fair and honest way. Remember the children’s story, “The Little Red Hen”?
  • If working at home/from home, try to keep regular and wise bedtime and rising hours.
  • Decide how social media can be intentional for you. We’re not going to make a general statement, “Limit social media,” because that’s like saying, “I’ll just eat less and lose weight.” Consider, even pray about, how social media can be used for you and not against you. It should be a tool not a master.
  • For one day a week, heck, even one meal a week, take note of what you are consuming. Make a conscience effort to consume food and drink that only benefits your physical body. This is different for everyone.

 

What do you think? Can we agree to make a conscious effort toward a bit of selfKINDness today? Do you have suggestions to do so? What can you add? Have you found a key that unlocks doors of peacefulness in your home? Please share and let’s walk life together.

Thanks for stopping by and sharing this little chat.

I think I now have the mental and emotional energy needed to carry-on and fulfill today’s duties. I might even be ready for more laundry loads while I munch on a fried chicken thigh of my very own.

Be Encouraged, Ya’ll….Love, Katie

 

(1)PRIDE “For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith.” Romans 12:3 NKJV

(2)STRENGTH “Now all glory to God, who is able, through His mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.” Ephesians 3:20 NLT

(3)CLARITY “Lead me in the right path, O Lord, or my enemies will conquer me. Make your way plain for me to follow.” Psalm 5:8 NLT

(4)STUDY “I will study your commandments and reflect on your ways.” Psalm 119: 15 NLT

(5)DIRECTION “In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps.” Proverbs 16:9 NIV

(6)LISTEN “Listen to advice and accept discipline, and at the end you will be counted among the wise.” Proverbs 19:20 NIV

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“Thanks for the PIONEER SPIRIT, Grandma!” Taken in 2006 when Grandma Morgan was 91 years-old, a year before she passed on.

2 thoughts on “I Can’t Feed Myself

Add yours

    1. You are very welcome here! 😃 I am so happy you found us. Our site was just launched this month but we have been on Instagram quite a while and YouTube since last summer. This site is meant to be more than a blog. In fact, I don’t consider myself a blogger. You might begin with the older posts or at the “Home” tab. 😉 So happy you are here! Welcome ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

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