"Let every heart prepare Him room."
In the excess of the holiday season in America, I've found that preparing room in my heart for Jesus' coming can look like clearing out clutter in lots of other areas of life. Here are 3 practical tools to equip you as you move through the last days of the Advent season.
A clear inbox doesn't equal a clear heart, but getting rid of the junk in my inbox reduces my stress and make it more likely for me to focus on what really matters. Unroll.Me is a service that lists all of the email lists you're on and allows you to unsubscribe to any of them with the click of a mouse. You may be shocked - I've unsubscribed from 200+(!!) email lists this way.
2) Paper Karma
Same idea, but for physical junk mail. We moved into a new house a few years ago and inherited DOZENS of catalogue mailings sent to the previous owners. Paper Karma is an app that lets you take a picture of the mailing address and request to be unsubscribed. Keeping unnecessary paper out of the house means less time dealing with it and more time for my priorities.
3) Customer Service Shalom
This single article on The Art of Simple has changed the way I interact with baristas, grocery checkout clerks, even the folks providing live chat support for my website. Author Osheta Moore writes about becoming fed up with the kind of consumer she was becoming, and the three commitments she made to remember that "people always matter more than things". A beautiful reminder as we queue up at the post office and wait in the checkout line for last-minute gifts.
Do these tips surprise you? Resonate?
What helps you prepare room in your heart for Jesus? I'd love to learn!
Hard not to smile around my niece!
After thinking about it for five-plus years, I finally bit the bullet and got braces at age 34. My bottom teeth had been crowding and pushing the top ones out of alignment. I love my smile, and thinking about my teeth getting further and futher out of line was really bugging me. I got braces right as I was launching Brave Self Care, and I realized that getting braces - for me - was an act of self care!
Here are 5 surprising things getting braces taught me about self care:
1) Self care looks different for everyone.
Do you know how crazy I'd look if I told every client they needed to get braces to care for themselves? Getting them was a personal choice to take care of something that mattered to me - my smile. As a self care coach, I help my clients think through what matters most to them, and how they can best care for those things. It's so cool to see how that looks different for each woman I work with.
2) At first, taking care of yourself might be uncomfortable.
Just like my teeth and mouth were super sensitive in the first week of braces, starting to take care of yourself might actually be uncomfortable at first. You might know you need to reconnect with God, but it feels scary to sit before Him. You might want to clear out a few minutes for yourself every evening, but it's tough to bring it up with your partner to get help. As a coach, I walk my clients step-by-step through what holds them back from taking better care of themselves.
3) It gets easier!
A week into having braces I felt way more normal. With time, it gets easier and easier to care for yourself. I've seen women move from discomfort to delight in spending regular time with God. And I've seen other clients speak up with their spouses to be able to get the time they need alone.
4) When you care for yourself you'll notice change for the better.
Though I've been in braces a short time, I can already see my teeth moving (yay!). Similarly, it is such a joy to witness my clients reaping the benefits of making time for themselves! Seeing concrete change is incredibly motivating for them and for me. One of my clients, after a single session, wrote saying, "I've taken lots of practical steps toward my goal!! So many steps that I've actually surprised myself :)"
5) Self care is a worthwhile investment.
It takes time, money, and commitment to care for yourself. One mom I spoke with told me, "I don't have the finances to work with you right now, but I can see that what you do is valuable. I know I will need more than one session to work on what I want to change in my life. I'm going to look at my budget and try to find a way to make it work."
I had delayed getting braces year after year, knowing it would be a financial investment. Finally, I got some quotes (wasn't as expensive as I thought!) and realized that it was TOTALLY worth it to me to take care of my smile, something that I intend to enjoy and share with others the rest of my life. There is a peace of mind that has come after making the investment, knowing I am caring well for a part of me that brings me a lot of joy.
What about you?
When you think of the time, money and commitment it takes to care for yourself well, which one is the biggest hangup?
What difference would it make to move past that and take care of yourself?
I offer a limited number of free coaching calls each week for women just like you. We'll talk through your biggest hangups to self care and what it would be like to take good care of what matters most to you.
Just click the button below.
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