This post was brought to you by J Women’s Network and Genworth. All opinions are my own.
“A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.”
I’ve often thought this must be my Mom’s life verse. When I was growing up, the joke in our household was that instead of bringing home stray animals we brought home stray people for Mom to take care of. No joke. From friends whose parents had kicked them out, to friends who were trying to get away from abusive situations, to the random guy my brother Joe found living in the junk yard at the edge of town…
He brought that man home to use our shower, then gave him some food and my Mom’s brand new shoes, then sent him on his way. Mom happened to be at the grocery store, and when she came home it was to a dirty tub and missing shoes. She quickly realized what my brother had done and immediately sent him back to the junk yard to get the man and bring him back again. Not because she wanted her shoes back, but because she was calling her Dad to see if he could put the guy to work on his little farm.
Mom always said, “There but for the grace of God, go I” when asked why she did the things she did for people. To this day, Mom volunteers in a local food pantry, serving those less fortunate than she. It’s no surprise, then, that I’m a nurturer. Whether my proclivity to nurture is innate, or is a product of the environment in which I was raised, is really a moot point. I’ve always found joy and fulfillment in providing care for others. I spent quite a few years doing just that within the nursing field, first as a nursing assistant, then as a Licensed Practical Nurse, and finally as a Registered Nurse. After our oldest was born with special needs, we made the decision for me to stay home and nurture our family instead.
I know that the time may one day come when I, the nurturer, need to to be nurtured and I, the caregiver, need to be cared for. As a career care provider, as a Mom, and as a minister, I know that it is important to take care of myself, and be refreshed, if I wish to care for others properly. I am personally rejuvenated by time spent reading and in meditation and try to carve time into my schedule for both. I feel better, mentally and physically, when I allow myself that time. What’s more, I definitely notice the difference when I do not.
Make sure that you are taking time for you, especially if you are a caregiver in any way!
What do you do to refresh and rejuvenate?