Sometimes we have to be “selfish” in order to be “selfless”.

Let me explain, with a couple of examples.

Last night, Jeremy and I were praying together. After, he said he felt like it was a selfish prayer because he didn’t stray away from praying for our family. But I think that’s okay sometimes. Our children are important and part of our job as their parents is to lead them and pray over them. His prayer might have felt selfish because he didn’t pray for anyone besides our kids, and us as their parents, but through that prayer is the potential to make the world around us better because we are striving to help our kids grow up to be God-loving souls who follow His will. Maybe we didn’t specifically mention anyone else in that particular prayer. However, it’s possible someone who needed it will be blessed indirectly through that prayer.

Then this morning, I was thinking about all of the things that need doing. A couple of years ago, I wrote this post on Facebook about all the “hats” I wear…

When there’s a lot going on, I get easily overwhelmed and don’t know where to start. Then I tend to just ignore it and do something familiar and easy. So this morning, as I was picking up clothes to start the laundry, I started piping Philippians 4:13 – “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”Whenever I think about that verse in the context of something that feels mundane or trivial, I feel guilty. Paul used that statement as a prisoner, uncertain about his future. I always feel like, “How dare I use that verse on something as simple as laundry? There are things that are so much more important to worry about. It’s a simple task – just do it and go on.” But this morning as that thought started up, I remembered God is with me in everything I do. And, as I tell my kids, “When I see mess, my brain can’t rest.” For me to be in a place mentally to take care of the things that need taking care of, I need the “little” things done. While I may look at it and feel totally overwhelmed, He is with me even through those mundane things. And if I keep focused on that, step by step I can work through it all. It feels like I’m being selfish, but if I take the time to get those things done, I can do more of what feel like the big things.

A friend and I were just sitting here talking about this all as well. About how certain decisions we make may feel selfish, or look selfish from the outside. But if we aren’t in a good place, how can we help others? If we haven’t felt the love, grace, and mercy of God, how can we show it to the people around us? If we haven’t learned how to take care of ourselves, how can we take care of those God has sent to us? It’s not self-ish. It’s self-care. And when we take care of ourselves, and allow God to heal us and fill us, we can be more like Him and be self-less. 

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