I noticed something about plants recently... they need consistent waterings to grow. Of course that sounds like common sense, something we have been taught in elementary school while learning plant cycles. But I went on a house plant buying spree over winter because I was desperate to see some green and upon bringing those thankfully hard to kill house plants home I started to forget to water them. It was hard to remember to add yet another task to my forever growing to-do list while trying to learn the reigns of motherhood and adjust to the demands of taking care of another human, one who can hardly tell you what they want by the way, and take care of yet one more living thing such as a plant. I didn't really need the plants or the responsibility that came with having house plants, but I loved them and wanted all the plants in the store but settle for just a few. They started to look a bit shabby and I knew I needed to start making them a priority around here, so I picked a day a week, Sunday, in which I would remember to water all my house plants which more have been consistently added around the house since.
I just noticed this morning how some of these plants are finally starting to show new leaves, you know, how plants are suppose to. But I am very fascinated with this finding, not just because it proves everything I know to be true about plants, but because I have been reminded that in order for the same thing to happen to people, we also need to be consistently watered. You know what I'm talking about, occasional church-goers. How often do we wake up on Sunday and feel like we really need to take the rest God wants for us on the Sabbath to heart. We'll stay home from church just this week, we could really use the extra rest! And then next week rolls around and we think, maybe just one more week of rest and then we're going to church every Sunday for the rest of the year! The missed church services start to add up and suddenly we are disconnected. This doesn't just have to be church, this is true for daily devotional time, time spent in bible study or a small group, or filling ourself with any outlet of the Word. When we miss the opportunity to be watered, we start to dry up and stop producing. We begin to focus our energy on just surviving everyday, taking scraps from the humidity in the air to keep us going to the next week until eventually we start to dry up. And then we begin to snap at our children and husband. Our patience dries up and we begin to feel resentment, frustration, and lack of inspiration. We, dare I say, become the type of mother we know we don't want to be for our children. A mother who is too tired, too busy, too stressed... We stop pursuing activities that use to make us happy because we just can't do one more thing.
I asked my mother-in-law last week how she managed to raise 5 boys with a husband who ran a farm and owned a used car business on the side. How did she not completely lose her mind when her husband was constantly out of the house working? She gave me two pieces of advice. 1. Don't take your kids to the grocery store and 2. stay connected to other women through bible studies, play dates, and church events. She's a wise woman and has taught me the skills of how to redecorate rooms on a dime and feed a large family on the cheap, so I knew she had to be going places with this idea of staying connected and taking time to fill your cup. You simply cannot produce new growth if you are not giving yourself water. And by giving yourself water, I'm not just talking about getting a pedicure or a hair cut from time to time. Even though those are nice and definitely deserved, I'm talking about watering yourself from the well of Christ, the well that never dries up. You need this and your family needs this from you. Below are a few of the ways you can water yourself this month:
- Become Active in a Women's Ministry
- Join a Bible Study or Small Group
- Attend a local Church Conference
- Pick up a good book from the religion section, I recommend You Are Free by Rebekah Lyons
- Crack open the ol' Bible and start studying and praying over a particular chapter
- Plan a playdate or coffee date with a friend from church who can encourage you (doesn't even have to be someone your age! Older women make great mentors, like my mother-in-law)
- Go to church (and talk to the people around you!)
- Listen to a religious Podcast or stream a sermon
- Play worship music in the background of your day, in the car, in the kitchen, while cleaning, etc.
A woman who is well-watered is a women who can can produce and give. A woman who has patience and grace for herself and her family. A woman who appears to have super powers because she can pursue a business doing what she loves AND have a thriving family. I use to think those women were the lucky ones who finally found balance, but really, they are just women who discovered that they must drink from the well to keep from shriveling up in the sun which is a logical concept and not a super power at all.