In our January Facebook party, Emily asked...
what are barriers to self-care?
Many of us said the same things: time, social media, cell phones, other's expectations and never- ending to-do lists. If I am totally honest, for me, the greatest barrier is myself. I am not good at self- care. I do not like to say no to others. My children are grown young women so why not work, especially since I love what I do.
In September, I went on leave from call for six months before starting my next call. It allowed me the opportunity to reflect on my time with my spiritual director instead of running from one appointment to another. It gave me a new start to ministry where I can set healthy boundaries. I worshipped in a loving congregation where I could sing in the choir, worship, and then leave. After 21 years of ministry, it allowed me to focus on simply being. I want to think I have developed new habits for self-care. I also know that there will be setbacks. Then I will have to begin again... and again... and again.
A pastor once demonstrated this during a sermon. Walking down the aisle away from the cross, he described repentance. Then he turned and walked back toward the cross. Then he turned again as he walked a bit before turning toward the cross once again. He repeated this process several times up and down the aisle. Repentance, returning to the Lord, is our theme for this Lenten season.
Self-care is not easy for most of us. But it is essential for us as leaders to keep returning to and growing our faith practices so we can live out our faith and our call to ministry. So I encourage you to give up something for Lent that will allow you to draw closer to the Lord.
May you find peace, rest and blessings.
Pastor Juli Lejman-Guy