The Ultimate Self-Care

A few weeks ago, I was standing in line at Target. After loading my things onto the belt and containing my kids by offering them free stickers, I noticed a photo of Jennifer Lopez on the cover of a magazine with the caption: “J Lo, Better than ever at 49! All her secrets and her self care routine that has made her virtually ageless.”

I rarely stop and flip through magazines, but due to the lack of success in my current self care routine, I got curious.

As I flipped through the article, a few things stuck out to me. Yes, Jennifer Lopez looks amazing. She has prioritized 9-10 hrs of rest daily and “clean eating”. (Good for her.) But what stuck out the most was the quote from her trainer:She never misses a workout; rain or shine, midnight or 3am, she’s here everyday.”

Later that evening as I was doing laundry, I felt a nudge from the Holy Spirit to examine my current self care routine. Of course, having Jennifer Lopez stamped on my mind, I started with my physical appearance. I quickly made lists, expectations, and diet goals. An image of a “new me” started to form, one that was toned, light, and strong. But then I heard a whisper:

Daughter, the word of God is the ultimate self care. Is this image you’re creating going to have the biggest eternal impact?

I paused.

All motivation to continue vanished. The new and “better” image of myself started to fade, and my mind opened to listen to another word:

  • What would happen if I showed up to meet with God, rain or shine, midnight or at 3 am everyday?
  • How would my life be different? How would my life change?
  • What would my goals look like then?

God continued to lead me to the source of my lack of self-care through his loving desire to draw me closer, while revealing a deeper level of neglect that I wasn’t aware of. I had unintentionally lost my discipline, desire, and my truest form of self care:

I realized that my soul’s care, my relationship with the one who made me, was distant, and therefore I had been looking into external motivation to soothe the longing I was having to be whole.

But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid (John 14:26).

Does J Lo look unbelievable? Yes. Would anyone love to be that fit? Absolutely. However, at the end of the day — or rather at the end of our lives — our Father, the one who made us, dwells within us, who speaks through us, isn’t going to ask us about our waist size or how many times we worked out. Our creator is going to ask us if we really knew him, if we allowed him to shine through us and to love us, so we could, in turn, love his creation.

Journal / Reflection Questions

  1. What does your current self care routine look like?
  2. Is there anything in your routine that you need to surrender or replace?
  3. What do you think would happen if you took your time with Jesus just a little deeper?

Esther “Annie” Rhoades is a mom to three, wild and free kids and has been happily married to her best friend, Jon, for over 10 years. Annie values experience over things and loves yoga with worship music, diving into the word, hosting, thrifting, making healthy goodies, and traveling.

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