Cultivating Care for Christians

Recently, I read a blog post condemning “self-care” for Christians, as though self-care is negative thing for believers. Someone even went so far as to comment that she cringes when she hears Christians talk about self-care. It’s been weighing on me because I disagree, believing it to be not only beneficial, but vital to our health.

Self-care is a three-pronged approach. It includes nourishing the body, mind, and soul. Creating a daily routine that helps us to nurture each aspect is key. And when self-care is approached in the right manner, with intention, there is absolutely nothing wrong with it. Our physical, mental, and spiritual selves need to be tended to.

So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. – 1 Corinthians 10:31

When it comes to our physical bodies, taking time out to exercise our temples and keep them healthy is essential. For those with chronic health conditions such as myself, even five or ten minutes of walking or light stretching can be have positive benefits. And, cooking a meal with fresh whole foods that provide nutrients for our bodies is another way to care for ourselves physically. We can honor God with the choices we make when it comes to caring for our bodies, as well as our minds.

Pausing to feed our minds and souls daily with God’s Word is also critical, as is sitting with Jesus and meditating on His word. We need His food on a daily basis to not only sustain us, but to thrive. This is how he prunes us and allows fruit to grow in our lives, helping us to blossom into healthier selves.

Then Jesus declared, ‘I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. -John 6:35

Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” -Matthew 4:4

In order to flourish, we need balance, which means we need to take time to enjoy life and not just work. God wants us to delight in our lives. This means we can take time out of our day to partake in a hobby that is fun and that we find enjoyable, without letting all the “should’s” take over. I should be doing __________________ (fill in the blank) instead. That hobby may be gardening, fishing, or it may be something artistic.

So I recommend having fun, because there is nothing better for people in this world than to eat, drink, and enjoy life. That way they will experience some happiness along with all the hard work God gives them under the sun. -Ecclesiastes 8:15

For some, creativity as self-care can be a challenge. It can get pushed aside or blocked for a number of reasons. This is something I personally struggle with. If being creative lights your fire, making time to create without guilt is crucial. Our God is a creative God who created the universe, and we are made in His image. Creativity is an excellent form of self-care and self-expression that can be used to rejuvenate and incite passion that can then be used to glorify God. The word “created” is used three times just in this one Bible verse alone:

So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. -Genesis 1:27

It seems that maybe it’s the “self” part of self-care that is the concern of some, however, self-care doesn’t need to be all about us. In fact, it should include God because He desires a relationship with us and for us to us to dwell in His presence. We can take care of ourselves, while being in tune with God as we engage in those activities. And if we are intentional, sharing space with God while doing self-care, we can grow in our relationship with Him at the same time! So, let’s find ways to nurture each part of us, while making sure to include God each step of the way. Taking care of and loving ourselves, not only refreshes us, but it helps us to love and better serve others.

And because I’m a lover of lists, I’ve provided you with a free printable so you can start a daily self-care routine with God.

Sockfuls of Christmas Kindness

Kind words are like honey—sweet to the soul and healthy for the body. -Proverbs 16:24

If you’re looking for a new Christmas tradition that’s simple, keeps Christ in Christmas, yet makes a big impact in your family’s life, checkout this free download of Christmas Kindness Notes below that I posted last year, in Our Christmas Eve Rundown. While not my original idea, (I got the idea for these notes on Pinterest) the notes below were created by me. You can get your free download here and start making memories:

This new tradition begins in our family as soon as we hang our stockings. The first week of December, we begin writing short messages of kindness, words of encouragement, short personal prayers, or snippets about what we love about each family member. Then, we slip the notes into our stockings. On Christmas Eve, we open our sockfuls of kindness and take turns reading the notes to each other.

Last year, this was a hit in our family. It was so uplifting to hear all the loving words we had written to each other. And when I told our girls we were going to do it this again this year, one of them replied (air pump and all), “yesssss!! I love doing those!” Not only is this a wonderful memory maker, the notes can be treasured for years to come! So, why not add this free stocking stuffer tradition and give the gift of kindness to your family this Christmas!

Kindness is a gift everyone can afford to give. -Unknown

A Way to Praise, Pray, and Ponder

Sometimes it helps to switch up our prayer and praise routine in order to keep us growing and disciplined in our prayer time with God. Click on the links below to download and print my free daily “Praise, Pray, and Ponder Page”. I’ve created two different styles-one for men and one for women. Enjoy!

*These are for personal use only. Permission is not granted to sell my “Praise, Pray, and Ponder Page” printables.

My Quiet Time With God – Free Printables

Need help being consistent with counting your blessings and getting quiet with the Lord? Use one of “My Quiet Time with God” printables below. One of my goals this year was to teach our girls to spend time daily with God in order to begin growing their relationship with Him, so I have been creating “My Quiet Time With God” printables that will help them do just this. I’ve had so much fun making them that I decided to create a men’s version, women’s version, boy’s version, and girl’s version that the whole family can use. Just click on the links below to download and print each free pdf. Then, start each day in His presence by digging into His Word!

*These are for personal use only. Permission is not granted to sell the “My Quiet Time With God” printables.