A Different Kind of Beauty

Susan Narjala   |   March 5, 2019 

  • Buy chart paper for Science project.
  • Make sure shoes are washed for sports day.
  • Plan menu for dinner guests. Buy ingredients. Send reminders.
  • Get volunteers for Sunday School.

These, and a hundred little thoughts, swarm around my mind every single day. And that’s not even counting work-related assignments.

Women’s minds have been aptly described as “spaghetti” – there’s a tangle of thoughts and to-dos which can’t always be neatly compartmentalised. Even if you have a Type A personality, your mind hold too many bits, bytes and bobs to neatly tuck away in folders.

We tend to carry the mental weight of everything from making sure our family eats healthy to ensuring that everyone has clean underwear for the next day to meeting impossible work deadlines.

The last person to get any attention in this whole rigmarole of responsibilities is – you.

You simply don’t have the time to take care of you.

In fact, we may feel like it may be selfish to actually put our needs on the list. Even if it’s at the bottom of the list.

But, perhaps we could use another perspective.

The Word of God tells us that the greatest commandments are these: To love God and to love others as ourselves. (Matthew 22: 36-40)

To love ourselves, therefore, is clearly Biblical. In fact, God commands it.

How do we do that? How do we indulge in self-care when we barely have time to breathe?

First, perhaps, we can reconsider what loving ourselves is really about.

We have been conditioned to believe that self-care comes down to spa days, dark chocolate indulgences, more time to exercise, retail therapy, and lighted candles around bathtubs.

Hands down, those are good things. But do they really nourish the deepest parts of our souls?

As women who have been bought at such a high price, our needs cannot be satisfied with mere baubles and distractions in fancy packaging.

We need more than anything to be refreshed and replenished – and that happens only in the presence of God.

Spending time with God is not something we check off the list because that’s what Christian women are supposed to do.

Neither is it something we do for God, as if He needs our time.

No, we carve out (fight for, plan for, rearrange our schedules, do whatever it takes) time with God because we desperately need Him.

When we meet with God, we have the chance to look into the face of our Creator and reflect His beauty to the world. That beauty, that grace, is something a spa day can’t ever give us.

When we meet with God, we get to lavish in His love. We let it seep into our souls till we are convinced that absolutely nothing can separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus. No soak in a bathtub full of relaxing salts can ever ease our burdens like His unconditional love.

When we meet with God, He tends to our hearts. He is the Bread who nourishes us and the Living Water who quenches our parched spirit. Healthy eating may be good for you, but it won’t ever deeply satisfy your soul like His Word does.

Pedicures, dark chocolate covered caramels and reading a good book on a hammock are all excellent ways to unwind. You won’t find me giving those things up soon. But let’s also learn to unwind in the presence of our Creator who urges us to hand over our burdens to Him so He can give us rest.

Don’t get off your knees till  you’ve heard Him whisper in your heart, till you know that you’re held, till you’re convinced that He is rejoicing over you with singing.

In that love song, in that whisper, in that embrace, you’ll find yourself filled to overflowing. And ready to pour out.

 

Photo by Alex Blajan on Unsplash

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When she's not smuggling chocolate past her kids or drinking gallons of coffee, Susan Narjala can be found writing, baking and (thinking about) working out. She grew up in Chennai, lived in Portland, Oregon, for the last ten years and is now back in India with her family. She finds nuggets of humour in the everyday, and writes about it on on her blog, www.susannarjala.com

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