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Care for You too, Ladies!

I work with many women in my counseling practice: single, married, divorced, kids, no kids, women who work inside the home and women work outside the home. A running theme with the women I counsel is a lack of self care. They are stressed out, burnt out, anxious, depressed or just flat out tired and they haven't been caring for themselves well. Self care is taking steps to be good to yourself, care for yourself, soothe yourself, nurture yourself, grow yourself, reflect on yourself. It's a time when you are only taking care of you. Self care isn't being at dinner with a friend and helping them through their problem; that's caring for them. Self care might look like a leisurely walk, reading a book, sitting and resting with a cup of tea, taking a class on something that interests you, getting a massage or pedicure, exercise, getting counseling for yourself individually. There's no right or wrong self care as long as it's caring for you and not others. Women tend to pour out more naturally than they tend to pour into themselves. Pouring out might look like work, career, child-rearing, taking care of the house, errands, time spent helping friends, etc. Anything we do to give of ourselves, our time, is us pouring out. Pouring out is not a bad thing at all; it's a healthy part of a balanced life. Most women love it, even thrive on it. It becomes destructive when we are not pouring back into ourselves or allowing others to pour back into us. When was the last time that an hour of your day was all about you, no one else? I know, I know..."I don't have that kind of free time." Truth is you must create it, carve it out of your day or else it won't happen. The day will slip away and you will have cared for everyone else except yourself. Some women find this kind of self care time to be selfish. It feels wrong to spend a few minutes a day on themselves. If this is you, it could be time to slip into counseling and explore this negative self talk or beliefs that prevent you from pouring into yourself so that in turn you have more to pour out into others! Take some time today, even 15 minutes and do something that pours into you, that requires nothing of you but instead gives back to you!

Persistence & Sacrifice

Relationships are tough. Marriage can be more difficult than we ever imagined. In a great deal of my counseling work, I counsel worn out wives. They are trying their hardest to save and improve their marriages and I admire them so! Their persistence and sacrifice is more than admirable; it's inspiring! They get up each day and do their best to love their husbands even when they don't get emotional, mental, physical or spiritual love in return. They love anyways. Why? Because that is what love does. Love is not merely a feeling we feel and respond to; love calls us to action. And these women have entered into a covenant with their husbands. They've said that their marriages are different than the mere contracts that our society views marriage to be. These women have chosen to see their marriages Biblically; something that is broken by death, not unhappiness or inconvenience. They choose daily, sometimes 50 times per day, to love their husbands and choose their marriages over mere happiness. It's my honor to walk beside them as a Christian counselor and continue to encourage them towards their marriages and more importantly towards the Lord. They have persisted and sacrificed. They are a challenge to me in my own marriage to persist and sacrifice.