Last night I stayed up late working on self-care. Sounds kind of self-defeating (especially if you know HOW late I was up), but it was definitely THE THING I needed to do.

Then, I drew the last picture in my current homemade art journal (I generally have scads of art journals and writing notebooks going at the same time because it breaks my heart to come to the end of one).

journal girl — 3 Dec 2017 A.M.

I’m learning to have the courage to leave my original pencil marks (used to scrub out all the “uglies”). Eventually I hope to get braver about how I will finish a quick sketch. So far, I’m sort of stuck at adding a w/c pencil outline.

This morning I did my first “self-care” practice—the part where I cultivate a desire to do the things I need to do. I exercised. There were distractions, but I chose to stick with the thing I felt I needed most.

Yay me!

After church I didn’t have any particular plans for the day, so I said, “Self, what care would you like right now?” Quiet time.

So I laid down on my bed and had a three-hour nap. Uh, yeah. Self-care at its finest.

At church, during one of our lessons, the teacher talked about a formula for having joy in your life. (This isn’t scriptural and might not be doctrinal; it’s just meant as a helpful suggestion.) The idea is if you put Jesus first, then Others, then Yourself, you have a recipe for JOY.

This caused me to stop and think since I have just been implementing a (seemingly) slightly different practice. So, here are my thoughts on that:

  • I totally agree about putting Jesus first (I know there are others who won’t agree)
  • I totally agree that serving Others is a spot-on way of experiencing supreme happiness
  • I am not sure that putting myself LAST is required
  • I AM sure that putting myself in the equation is required. Without Yourself in there you just have JO, which doesn’t really mean anything to those of us who don’t have that name.

I really think that J+O+Y is more of a cyclical equation. There are times you have to attend to your needs first. The beauty of having Jesus as part of the equation is that He’s in both the O and the Y; you never have to leave Him out. It’s also a bit difficult to leave You out when you focus on Jesus or Others—you keep getting paid with peace and happiness.

You need to have Others or you just get JY. And obviously OY isn’t very meaningful either; it’s up to you to come to your own understanding of Who you need as your Center. “As for me and my house . . .”

Here is tonight’s Creative Self-Care Effort. (She’s in one of my larger homemade journals whose pages are too quicky getting used up. Wonder if my self-carer is interested in making books again???)

journal girl — 3 Dec 2017 P.M.


Had to add this photo of a gift I received Monday, 4 Dec 2017

needlework by Elaine Clark


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