This is such a strange time, self care is both encouraged by society but not so much that it becomes the only thing on your mind. It’s emotional, physical, and spiritual. Some Christians downright don’t like it as it comes across to them as selfish and indulgent. In case you haven’t heard, my husband suffers from depression and anxiety. It’s caused A LOT of changes in the last year. I have spent a lot of my personal time and thoughts thinking about him, worrying how changes will affect him and caring for his well-being. I’m a fairly well balanced person myself, I know when to step back for the most part and I know when to have a good cry and move on.
Rocky Mountain Mennonite Camp is not far from Colorado Springs and was hosting their first annual Women’s Retreat this spring, while the announcement went out a while ago I kept putting it off to register. The reasons to go were numerous, the reasons not to go were not. A week before the retreat, I was encouraged to go. And really it was all I needed to tell myself I should.
While going to a weekend retreat in the mountains is fun, the mattresses always remind me how much I love my bed at home. Besides that our cabin was awesome, I roomed with 2 gals I knew but not really well. I went into this weekend bunking with a co-worker and an acquaintance and I left with 2 friends. While I love sleeping in, I didn’t all weekend long. Saturday started with a snowshoeing hike, I’ve never been snowshoeing in my life and I’ve always wanted to try it! The blizzard that came through a few days before left 14” of fresh powder behind for us to enjoy that weekend. My Saturday morning snowshoeing hike was fun and so tiring! It’s a lot of work but the end result at Elk Meadow was a welcome sight with plenty of sun to warm us before heading back towards camp.
The theme for the weekend was Sabbath Soul Tenders, and honestly choosing to be there that weekend was a sign that I was on the right path to tending to my soul and creating sabbath in my life. This last year has been a journey in me learning how to care for others, and myself effectively.
Emily Ley says, “You can’t draw from an empty well.”
And that’s exactly the message I received this weekend as well. I can’t take care of those around me without taking care of myself.
One of the questions asked this weekend was, “What makes your soul sing?”
After a lot of thinking about this and contemplating what brought me joy as a child I realized what makes my soul sing, is encouraging and empowering others. And those are things I do regularly through my work and my personal life. It’s what I’ve been helping my husband to do for the last year as he treats his mental health in a way that works for him. Now while that makes my soul sing, there are other things, like bacon, snuggling with my puppy, and writing in my journal all which I do and enjoy on weekends at home.
My weekend away was about me taking care of me, relaxing, and remembering in a very healthy way that I cannot do it all and I can take care of myself without feeling guilty. God rested after 6 days of work, we ought to rest too.