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I went to a yoga class at our church on Tuesday evening. I left Brooklyn and Tobin at home with Adam, turned off my phone, and unrolled the mat that I bought years ago but haven't ever used (I actually spent about 20 minutes frantically rummaging through a closet looking for it). And for the next hour, I followed the gentle voice of our instructor as she lead us through a series of gentle movements and prayers, while the sun set and the room slowly darkened.

It was glorious.

And it was a chance to spend a little time listening to my body - and not just the parts that are loudly and actively complaining. The muscles in my back that I hadn't noticed were tense. The good ache of stretching my shoulders and neck. The tiredness in my hips (they've carried two kids, after all - they deserve to be treated gently). Everything together, as a whole.

All of that got me thinking - thinking about the ways that I sacrifice for my family while sometimes actually harming myself. I was reminded of something Leeana Tankersley said in her book Brazen:

"I believe in the value of servanthood. I believe in self-sacrificing love. I believe in putting my own needs aside to take care of those I have vowed, before God, to take care of. However, I do not like any sentiment that reinforces the idea that my needs are less important than my husband's and my children's and my home's and my pet's and my boss's. I don't think this line of thinking helps anyone."

Our family can only walk as fast as the slowest one of us - and I don't want to unintentionally slow us down, wearing myself out in an attempt to help everyone else go faster. I'd like to move forward as a whole - all together, and complete, myself.

If you'd like a chance to win a copy of Brazen, check out Tuesday's post!

It's Five Minute Friday! Each week a flashmob of bloggers gather, internet-wide, to write for five minutes (no stopping, no editing) on a prompt provided by sweet Kate, then link up and share a little comment love. For more info, more posts, and/or to join in, head here!

Comments

Jeanne Takenaka said…
Sarah Jo, you're so right. When we pour out and pour out for our families without replenishing ourselves, pretty soon, there's nothing left. We're depleted. We need to give ourselves permission to refill ourselves, refresh our spirits and have time for us (and God . . . Always for God!).

I tore my ACL in January, had surgery in February, and I am by far the slowest member of my family whenever we walk anywhere right now. My kids are feet in front of me, and then they stop and say, "Sorry, Mom. I forgot how SLOW you walk." ;) Your word picture is a great reminder that when we have a good mix of pouring into our families but also being poured into through those things that refresh us, we all move forward together. LOVED this.

I'm your neighbor at FMF this week. So glad I am. THis was a great post.
You make me think I need to try yoga again...I have such terrible balance and flexibility that I would never do it in a class, but I remember the times I used to do it at home each morning, and the sense of centering it brought. Maybe that was just actually me paying attention to my body as a whole!!
Susan said…
The new phrase is "self care." This morning as I did my 20 minute workout and saw my fingernails manicured and polished (I did do them myself) - I thought to myself, "Lord, these are things that make me like myself better and when I like myself better I'm a better servant to YOU."

Great post. I am #20 @ FMF

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