I check my watch. No wonder my boobs hurt. My newborns are probably starving by now. But I'm having too much fun shopping and I really don't want to pick them up from their grandparents'. Being a mom is too stressful. So I open the door to the women's restroom, lean over the sink and squirt breast milk down the drain. Much better. A couple more hours won't kill them.
Don't worry, I didn't really do this.
But having twins really forced me to focus outside of myself in a way I never had before. You can ignore the needs of a spouse, a roommate, a family member, a co-worker, and while the relationship will drift, hopefully the offended party won't experience a complete "failure to thrive." At least...not at first.
This isn't the case with a child.
Self-care is such a buzzy phrase right now, and yes. It is important. You cannot pour from an empty cup. Being healthy - physically, emotionally, spiritually - should be a top priority.
God showed me in my first year with twins, that I can trust Him with my self care. And the weeks that I relinquished my anxiety over self-care were the weeks that He came through, knowing exactly what I needed at just the right time. A hot meal from a neighbor. A chance to go to the store for a coffee and groceries...alone. An extra long nap for both babies at the same time. Adult conversation. 5-6 hours of sleep in a row. Time for a massage (my shoulder was on fire the first month from constantly holding/nursing one baby or the other).
The Cheerful Giver
Lately, I've been studying 2 Corinthians 9:6-15, about cheerful giving. Now that my twins are no longer babies, it's up to me how I balance our days. Balance what I want and love to do with what things cause my husband and children to thrive. (Yes, I'm aware I pitted those things against each other - this is an honest blog. Ha!) Bu that requires intentionally rising above my default mode of...shall we say...placating others. So they are happy and leave me alone. (I know I'm not the only one, here)
Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly. (verse 6)
Yeesh, this is convicting. How often do we do this, and then take on a victim mentality, blaming the resulting scarcity on the other person? *raises hand*
And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work. (verse 8)
I understand this to mean that God wants us energetically doing all the good things we want to do! Be a good spouse, friend, parent, employee, be healthy and balanced, etc. And He is able to supply what we need in all the areas of our lives in order to make that possible.
You will be enriched in every way to be generous in every way. (verse 11)
As an American, I am taught to clutch to my time, my energy, my money, my health. It's perfectly acceptable to only be generous if it's convenient and comfortable for me. And of course, it only counts if I brag of my good deeds to the people around me.
I find it a hard reminder that the reason I have plenty in many areas of life is so I can be generous. Not just comfortable. Not just because I worked hard and deserve it. But to be generous.
Being generous, being a cheerful giver, is an act of trust in God. Trusting that I don't need to hoard my precious time, energy, schedule, money, what have you. It's a real cultural-shift to try and adopt practically, I think. But in my experience, the effort is well worth it, as God is much better at Balance than I am.
And really, if I can't trust my own Creator, who can I trust?