Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Motherhood: Putting On The Oxygen Mask

Likely you’ve heard the speech that is given aboard every air plane that ever takes off. Your flight attendant in the midst of giving directions about turning off electronics, bathroom locations, and emergency exits throws in the following:

In case there is a loss in cabin pressure, yellow oxygen masks will deploy from the ceiling compartment located above you. To secure, pull the mask towards you, secure the elastic strap to your head, and fasten it so it covers your mouth and nose. Breath normally. Even if the bag does not inflate, please keep in mind that oxygen is flowing. Please make sure to secure your own mask before assisting others

That final little sentence is the one that relates all too well to motherhood. “…MAKE SURE to secure your own [oxygen] mask before assisting others.” In other words, if you try to help everyone else before you take care of yourself you’re probably going to pass out and be useless anyways, SO breathe your oxygen first so that you can be the help to others that you need to be.

How often do we as moms forget to stop and put on our own oxygen mask? How often do we forget to stop and breathe for ourselves?

I don’t know if it’s the idea that we are afraid to ask for help, we feel like we don’t deserve it, or we fear becoming the opposite type of mom who never has time for her kids because she is always taking care of herself, but it needs to stop. Just like we as humans desperately need oxygen, we as moms also desperately need something. We need to fill ourselves. We need time to be refreshed. We need that opportunity to stop and breathe in the oxygen.

The truth is many of us are running on empty. We give and give, and help and help, and work, and work, and on it goes. But, eventually we run out of oxygen, and rather than truly being a help, truly being the mom that we desire to be, we eventually start to suffocate!

So, today I challenge you as a mom to start filling yourself first, so that you can truly be the blessing and help to others that you desire to be.

This will look different for every person. For me, an essential act of taking care of myself first is spending some time with my Savior each day. He is the one who refreshes my heart. He is the one who gives me rest. And, He can continue to fill you throughout the day through other things that give you joy. For me, sometimes it’s as simple as a piece of chocolate and a good book while my kids are napping, maybe it’s a kid free night out with friends, maybe it’s a short stop as your favorite coffee shop, a workout, or even a trip to the grocery store by yourself.

Figure out what fills you, what gives you joy and refreshes your heart… and then breathe it in. Breathe it in on a regular basis, so that in turn you can give life, and joy, and refreshment to those around you!

Jeremiah 31:25 “I will refresh the weary and satisfy the faint.”

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