Body & Soul Wellness in Seasons of Transition
This post falls under the category of inner beauty or soul wellness rather than my per usual DIY’s for skin care geeks. By the end of the year, my family and I will have moved three times. Now for some that may not sound like too many times, but for someone who was born and raised and married all under one roof, three times in one year is a stretch. I‘m not even sure at this point where our third move this year will be. But one thing this year has taught me is that every season, no matter how short or long, requires flexibility and trust in God. And making the most of the present moments, because you never know what unexpected rabbit trail or complete change of direction might come your way.
In all of the change and unknowns and flexibility, I find I need consistencies in my life to keep me grounded. Simple routines and precious daily rhythms, like reading to my children and praying to my Heavenly Father throughout the day. Morning rituals like having coffee with my husband and evening rituals like taking a little time to myself to care for my skin. We need some measure of order and little habits in our lives to keep us balanced, especially during times of stress or hardship or transition.
Here’s where I‘d like to share with you what I’ve been doing for my body and soul health over the past few months. I’ve really had to take some time over the last couple weeks to determine between what has been simply helpful and what is vital.
CASTING A VISION FOR THIS SEASON
What is my focus for this season? What is my assignment? “Without vision, discipline will fail,” a wise pastor has said. Meaning this: applying a new discipline or habit will only be effective if you have a goal. Discipline for discipline’s sake will simply not work. Budgeting and becoming more frugal will only work if you first sit down with paper and pen and determine why you want to budget in the first place. Maybe you want to be a better steward of your finances and you have the goal of saving up for a down payment so you can buy a house. Maybe you want to eat healthier, but its not going to happen by just thinking about it. And its not going to be a consistent habit unless you have a goal for eating healthy. The same I think is true when we enter different seasons of life, like changing jobs or moving to a new state or starting a family or becoming empty nesters. Each new season requires us to take a step back and re-adjust our ideals and cast a new vision appropriate to our new season. Some seasons of life are harder than others, and some are so drastic in change they demand a certain flexibility from us if we are to grow. While my husband is going to school and I’m mama to our small children, I‘ve needed to take up journal and pen and ask myself, what is my vision for this season? And what is my assignment?” Our vision as a family right now encompasses my husband completing his training in aviation. My assignment is to support and nurture on the home front. My personal vision is to enjoy and make the most of every moment we have in this location before our adventures take us elsewhere. And that mindset helps me get through the tough moments.
THE WORD OF GOD AS ANCHOR
If you are a believer in Jesus Christ, than perhaps you can relate to me. Sometimes my spiritual eyes get hazy in the midst of unknowns. My flesh muddies its feet in fear of what may or may not happen. Dread of what may come. If I’m not careful, worry can become my first response instead of prayer. An attitude of gratitude is vital it seems, to my outlook on life. How I need the Word of God as the anchor for my soul! This is the ultimate food for soul wellness. I notice that when I’m immersing myself in His Word daily, albeit a few verses, a few minutes or an entire half hour, it always produces good in me. Often I am challenged and renewed in truth, corrected in my lack of trust yet again. I find hope for tomorrow, strength for the next moment, purpose reborn. Reflection tells me that each new season of life is another invitation to trust Him in a new way. It seems a lesson that needs reteaching over and over, to grow deeper and deeper in trust. For those who are His precious children, Jesus Christ holds the future. Like Paul in Philippians, no matter if our plans don’t pan out, one way or the other God will use our circumstances for our good and to make the Name of Messiah known. So we can let go of thinking there is only one way our life is supposed to look. Let go of worrying about the future. He already knows what‘s ahead. So we can trust Him and continue walking out each day in the light of His presence.
THE BEAUTY OF ROUTINE
Incorporating daily routines with my kiddos helps things run more smoothly and bring even just a little bit of order in our chaos. I find comfort and security in routine, and especially as a stay-at-home mama, I find I need structure to make my day more purposeful and effective. For me this looks like making myself a cup of coffee first thing when I roll out of bed and opening up my Bible. Most of the time my early-riser toddlers are already up looking at books or snuggling with daddy. But many times it’s no so quiet and my busy beavers are asking me to make breakfast. I’m not as consistent at reading God’s Word daily as I was before I had children, but when I make it a habit—wow!— do I notice a difference in my day. When my spirit is fed, I’m more challenged to walk in His grace and truth towards my family and myself. I like to read Scripture out loud to my kids too. Even though they are small and do not understand everything being read to them, their spirits are still being fed the life of the Word.
Besides morning coffee and Scripture, I have routines with the kids. We have reading time, inside play, outdoor play, quiet/nap time, and bedtime routines (their favorite being bedtime story time with daddy.) When my eldest is ready we will start to have some morning ”school” routines too.
My husband and I like to spend time together in the evening, when the kids are in bed. Whether it’s just chatting on the couch or watching a favorite tv show, these little routines not only build our relationship but bring a measure of comfort while we are adjusting to a new city and lifestyle.
I’m inserting self-care in here as well. Just a few minutes to myself in the morning to moisturize my face and add a touch of mascara and fill in my brows. A minute to do something with my hair and pick out an outfit for the day. Jennifer L Scott is so right—looking presentable make you feel better and you are more productive in your day. My self care is more leisurely in the evening, since caring for my skin is something I truly enjoy. I take my time cleansing my face, sometimes applying a honey or yogurt mask. For you it may be something different like doing your nails, journaling or reading a good book. Learning to be present and enjoy each routine throughout the day can be a beautiful thing.
Now I think as self-sufficient creatures we can tell ourselves we don’t need anyone or we don’t have time to build new relationships. As I’ve slowly been learning over the past several years, community is vital to growing and thriving. No question about it! Obviously what kind of crowd you hang around will show you the direction you are headed. But I think you get my point. Isolation is not a healthy way to live. We’ve been so blessed to live near my husbands extended family since our move across the states. Their fellowship has been a huge encouragement! Finding a church challenged us to meet new people and grow spiritually. In times of transition or hardship, seek out people who care about you! If you’ve moved to a new place, plug yourself in a Bible study or check out what groups are in your community.
Almost right away we met our neighbors in our new apartment. And I began inviting them over. Often our schedules collided or it didn’t work out often, but over the following months offering our hearts, food and home to the people around us, became a ministry of sorts. The ministry of hospitality. We didn’t have expensive meals or fancy furniture, but we did have open hands and very excited children. In the midst of adjusting to drastically different weather than we were used to and my husband‘s new schedule, by reaching out to others I found such joy. How can loneliness or depression grow if we are surrounding by healthy community?
Lastly, I want to mention the importance of not compromising on health. I’m not talking about taking up a new diet and sticking to it religiously. I find that the little things we do to keep our bodies healthy and feeling good, they really add up. I like to start and end my day with a tall glass of water. When I consistently take my supplements and omega 3’s, I have really noticed the benefits over the years. Specifically taking the supplements my body actually needs as prescribed by my naturopathic doctor, not just anything that seems like a good idea In the latest health article.
I’ve also been using essential oils more recently for emotional health, besides just in skin care or when some one in my family isn’t feeling well. Frankincense is my go to for when I’m feeling overwhelmed and emotional. I notice immediately it helps me feel more grounded and balanced.
Listening to your body and taking care of yourself is SO important in times of transition. Even when and especially when life is crazy hectic. Do what you can to give your body the support it needs. It works hard to keep you going. It might mean saying ”no” for awhile and choosing to rest, or eating more fruits and veggies, or using essential oils for whole body support. Just one little change implemented consistency will over time make a big impact.
Well, that wraps up my thoughts for today. I hope you found my story an encouragement for you. That you can press through in seasons of change. You can weed out the non essentials and find the things that keep you stable. You can find beauty even in chaos. Peace even in transition. My prayer is that even just one nugget wells up hope in your soul. If not for now, then for a later time.
Until next time.