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Sacrifice, Self-Care, and the Sabbath

I often wonder when the concept of “self-care” began. It’s only been the past several years that everyone (ok, mostly women!) made it such a big deal.

I don’t remember hearing my Grandmother Kuhn talk about self-care. And if anyone needed some serious self care intervention, it would have been her.

My grandmother raised 11 children. I’ll let that settle in for just a minute. Yep!  Eleven children! (That ultimately produced a sizable number of  grandchildren and great-grandchildren.) She tended to both vegetable and flower gardens, canned and froze vegetables all Summer long, sewed and repaired her own clothing as well as her children’s. She quilted, cooked, baked, cleaned. In other words, she did all the things!!!

I don’t remember her “taking time out for a bubble bath/manicure/facial,” or “enjoying a glass of wine with girlfriends” (she was a non-drinker) or any of the activities we contemporary women long for when we are feeling stretched, pulled, and stressed to the max! She just continued her routine of sacrifice, constantly putting everyone else’s needs before her own.

But my grandma knew self-care.

She observed the Sabbath!

Not because it was cool or trendy to take the day off but because it was written!

“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work. For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.”  Exodus 20:8-11

Sunday was the day family came to visit. Whatever was eaten Sunday had to have been prepared and stored the day before. There were no clothes hanging on the clothes line. No lawn needing mowing. No-anything-that-resembled-work at ALL! Just a priority placed on keeping it simple and connecting- – with God. With family. And with yourself. Putting fuel back in the tank.

You know….. self care.

Yesterday I posted a quote on my Facebook page that said, “Self-care is giving the world the best of you, instead of what’s left of you.”

As we enter Holy Week, what a perfect time to reflect on the thought that maybe self-care isn’t even about us after all. Maybe it’s really about honoring the One who made it possible for us to continue giving the world the best of what we have to offer.