Finding Rest In New Seasons

For many households this month means 'back to school' and it brings a mixed bag of emotions as well as demands. On Thursday I shared some tips on self care for women on Nashville's Channel 4, Today In Nashville News. You can watch it here.

We can't pour out in our daily demands if we aren't being filled up - with the Word and allowing ourselves to find rest and balance the way God intended (Matthew 11:28-30). 

As a Mom of three, I remember the first days of school oh so well. The excitement, concerns, laughter, and tears. Now, as an empty nester, all three of our children are married and they each have babies - but I still remember what those school year days were like. 

Here are a few things I have learned that help us as women practice healthy self care:

TIME MANAGEMENT -  This one is so basic but so critical. I'm not a time management guru but I did learn when my children were still at home in school that putting the backpack (Bonus tip: Double check for all the homework. You're welcome;) in a consistent spot by the door, making lunches the night before, laying out clothes the night before (socks and shoes too!) made the mornings more doable. 

Also, learning to yes to the right things is a game changer. To keep the most important things the most important things, you have to know when to say no. Two of my favorite resources around boundaries are: The Best Yes by Lysa TerKeurst and Present Over Perfect by Shauna Niequist. 

DON'T COMPARE - There is so much pressure in social media to measure up. Comparison is destructive to your soul, robs joy, distorts identity, and make you miss the purposes God has for you.

Don't compare your children to other children or yourself as a woman or mom to other women. Just don't. God has created you to be uniquely beautiful YOU (Psalm 139). Don't miss the life you were meant to live.

TOXIC FREE LIVING - This is a hot topic and I feel like I'm late to the party, but better late than never. Did you know the average woman applies over 300 chemicals a day to her body just through soaps, makeup, shampoos, and hair care products? I've been on the chemical free journey for a bit now using essential oils and products from Young Living and can't imagine ever going back. At 49, I feel amazing and ready to take on the next half. Join me here for more education on this topic. 

MAKE TIME FOR YOURSELF AND CONNECT WITH GOD - This is a must, ladies. Make time every day for yourself to breathe. When our kids were still home I would get up before them to have coffee and some quiet time with God. If you can't do that, then do it at night or any time during the day. I learned to have ongoing conversations with God throughout the day. He's always there, always speaking, always present - and He cares for every detail of your life.

Get rest, feed your body good stuff, and get some physical activity. Even a walk around the block on the busiest days can help clear our minds and it's great for our body, soul, and minds.

Make time to connect meaningfully with other women no matter what stage of life you're in. Learning from and encouraging each other is a gift. We are not competitors. The more you see yourself as God does, the more free you will be to love and encourage others as well as learn from. 

Are you ready for a weekend to catch your breath and exhale?

Exhale Women has created Exhale Weekend - a retreat for women to rest, receive, and to be encouraged and inspired no matter where they are on their journey. See Our Story. This year Exhale Weekend will take place September 29 - September 30 and you're invited. We're almost full, so don't miss out! Details here and register here with 20% promo code: backtoschool through August 15th. 

This year's theme is A Full Life In The Emptiest Of Places - Isaiah 58:11-12 (The MSG)

I will always show you where to go.
    I’ll give you a full life in the emptiest of places—
    firm muscles, strong bones.
You’ll be like a well-watered garden,
    a gurgling spring that never runs dry.
You’ll use the old rubble of past lives to build anew,
    rebuild the foundations from out of your past.
You’ll be known as those who can fix anything,
    restore old ruins, rebuild and renovate,
    make the community livable again.

Holly Newton is the Exhale Women Visionary. You can read her story here and connect with her on Instagram here.