Take Care of Yourself First

In June, after a busy year of publishing my book, recording the Men’s Edition, teaching classes and speaking to many groups, I knew that it was imperative for me to purposefully spend time restoring my soul. I needed to take a break from ministry and take care of myself.  So, I sat down and made a list of what it meant to take care of myself for the summer. As I dive back into ministry, I thought I would give you a little glimpse of what it means to take care of myself, and encourage you to do the same.

Fishing One Day Every Week

Almost every week I packed a lunch, slipped on my swimsuit, grabbed my fishing pole and headed out to fish on my friend’s dock. Sometimes I caught fish for dinner, other times I tried to keep the Sunnies off my hook. Once in a while a friend met me there, but other times I just sat in the quietness and enjoyed a beautiful day. Sometime I even took a nap and just felt the warmth of the sun on my back. Fishing kept me from my phone, my emails, Facebook – even my lists. It was a slower pace, where I could enjoy God’s creation and the beauty of another day.

Digging in the Dirt

I love to dig in the dirt. I always have. As a child, I remember using a magnet in the sand to collect metal filings. When my dad needed a giant trench dug for the septic system, I quickly accepted the summer job. For me, digging is therapeutic and grounding. This summer I installed several different paver sidewalks at our rental house.The soil at our rental house is black and loamy. I call the soil black gold because it grows the biggest marigolds you’ve ever seen. Moving dirt gives me pleasure as I feel the sweat run down my back and I realize the potential of hard work.

Fresh Meat and Vegetables

Summer brings different meals to our table. Grilled meat laid across a colorful salad creates a beautiful meal. Nothing beats a meal that goes straight from our garden to our mouths. Daily picking of the raspberries, cucumbers, zucchini, tomatoes and peppers. But this year I kind of went for it and planted some new treasures. God thrilled me with juicy cantaloupe and sweet spaghetti squash that gently wound down my garden wall. I feel like a proud mama birthing the fruit of a summer of love.

Lots of Sex

It might sound odd for a Sex teacher to make “Lots of Sex” a goal for the summer. But we go through the same challenges as everyone else – insecurities, lapses in confidence, pushing too hard, too many expectations, and aging bodies. I just wanted to take off the pressure and enjoy things again. So, I vowed to not put expectations on my husband or me. I took responsibility for myself and planning what I desired. To combat my aging body, I started a routine of pelvic floor stretches and exercises.

We had fun this summer. I mean lots of fun. Lazy days, new positions, sexy music, hiding under the sheets, dressing up. I feel like I am back to loving sex and looking forward to it, and it feels good.

Take Care of Yourself

Sometimes the best way to do ministry well is to spend time restoring your soul. I know God is a big part of restoration, but so is enjoying His creation, and who He created you to be. You cannot love your spouse unless you love yourself.

So how have you cared for yourself?