As I sit here coughing up a lung AND despising the germs that are inhabiting my body without permission...I am slowly realizing that I don't dote over myself like I use to. Lately, I have been thinking about my former life.
***fades to flashback***
Once upon a time, there was a young girl by the name of Brittany. She was an athletic girl who loved playing sports, while smelling like she jumped into a pool full of lotion, from the Vanilla Bean Noel collection at Bath and Body Works. Brittany would make sure to shower her beautiful, caramel frame with nothing but the best. From manicures to beauty treatments, she took care of the body that was given to her. However, without notice...life happened and Brittany soon realized that things wouldn't always be the same.
Can you believe this nonsense?! Adulting sucks! Like...truly sucks! The busy-ness of my life has definitely taken over. I have allowed adulting to get in the way of what truly matters the most (Well....second to Papa.☺️). What truly matters is ME! And you wouldn't know that by looking at my schedule in my planner, which so happens to be consumed with the day-to-day requirements of life.
I have allowed myself to delay the time needed to dote over myself because I thought I needed to focus on things that mattered but, could have waited. During those previous seasons of my life, I remember embracing the visible and hidden parts of myself. I took the time to care for my mental, physical, and spiritual being. I made my personal care an intentional deed. No matter what I needed to do for school or work, my personal time always came first. And now that I think about it....prioritizing my self-care made me more confident in who I was because I knew whose I was. Do you get what mean?! Maybe. A little bit.
But...As of lately, I have been letting myself go!
You probably think I am messing around, but I ain't! (Yeah...I know "ain't" ain't a word. Lol.) No, but...for real! I really have...If you were to look at me, you would see that my nails look horrible. You would discover that I barely finish a full week of journaling my prayers for cities, family, friends, influencers...in addition to the people, God tells me to cover in prayer or to send words of encouragement. For the past few days, I have felt God leading me to dote over myself again. And realizing that it is okay to devote time for myself. I use to think that spoiling myself was uncalled for and that I didn't need to do it. But I am learning that it is okay to love on yourself. You may think I am weird when I say this....but in my eyes, when you spend time taking care of the body you were given, look at it as a form of worship. Okay...I know. I sound crazy! But....give me a chance to explain.
Alright, ladies...can you go with me to the book of Romans? And turn to chapter 12? When you find it, write your "Whoop Whoop! 🙌🏾" down below in the comments, then come back. Lol.
Alright, now that we have found the book of Romans and turned to chapter 12, look at verse 1...
During the times you devote to yourself, you aren't just painting your nails or writing in your journal. You are usually unplugging from the world and the distractions around you. In those undistracted moments, you are shedding the unwanted, renewing your heart, and creating an atmosphere conducive to worship. Get it? Huh...huh? You probably don't realize you are even doing that, but you are! It's time to no longer just stumble in personal care. Let's be more intentional about caring for the vessel God has given us. In order to begin, we must first begin with:
Unplugging from the Distractions
Unplug means (in the Webster Dictionary) to "to refrain from using digital or electronic devices for a period of time". Yes, it will be a challenge. You need to get off of a Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, and whatever else you use that has you wrapped up in everyone's life besides your own. Yeah...I said it. But you know it's true. TV is included in that list too. I hope you know that. Sorry! No...I'm not sorry. I am saying this to you because I make it an intention daily to spend less and less time in front of a screen distracted by people and whatever else that stirs the weak spots of my flesh. You know can't deny, but your flesh is weak. Just try not feed into your weaknesses.
Write Daily Entries in a Journal
Before laying your head down to sleep for the evening, you need to dump all of the triumphs, problems, and emotions you have endured during the day into a journal. It's time to release the weight of what you carry around on a day to day basis. Release those burdens and embrace the lessons you have learned. Also, this is the time when God will definitely begin to quietly nudge at your heart and pull you closer to Him. I encourage you to allow those moments with Him to shape and evolve you.
Read a Self-Development Book or a Daily Devotional
For the past few weeks, I have been reading ABBA by Dr. Matthew Stevenson, III. When I tell you that I never knew I needed this book until I started reading it! This book has opened my eyes AND my heart tremendously on my identity! Learn from me...Don't knock reading books! There are many authors who have testimonies that portray life-changing stories and their stories help change the lives of those who read their novels. Also, I LOVE devotionals! They are more intentional at penetrating what's within you. Right now, I am working on a devotional with a group of ladies from my church called the Anna Anointing. We are only three days in on this devotional and it has already stirred up my heart, spirit, and mind. I am hungry for more! Like...Devotionals are a powerful tool! If you are looking for a devotional, check out Nearest to One's Heart.
These last few activities are just for fun...
Create a Fun Challenge
Yes, you have read that right. Challenges are fun, especially when it is something that you like doing. Currently, I am challenging myself to pamper myself on a weekly basis. And to hold myself accountable...*sigh* I have to record myself doing it, then post it on YouTube. *the inner introvert screams* My insides are screaming, but I know that it's something I need to push myself. If you want to check my videos, here is my YouTube channel. I will be posting on a weekly basis starting in February.
Listen to Inspirational Music
I don't know about you, but I love music. It has the ability to shift or change your mood for the rest of the day. Because of music's influence in my life, I create playlists of songs that inspire and instill joy or help stir my heart and welcomes a worshipful atmosphere. (I think I have said worship quite a few times in this post. Comment how many times I have used the word "worship" below. 😏)
That's all that needs to be said...Point➡️ Blank_ Period.
Have a Private Dance Party
I love these! They are embarrassing when you get caught, but fun none the less. Lol. I have had plenty of private dance parties in my day, especially when I am extremely happy and full of joy. So...don't be afraid to go get your dance on, girl!