The myths, the obstacles, and the good news

The myths and obstacles to self-care when you’re a busy mom. Learn to manage your time well!
The myths and obstacles to self-care when you’re a busy mom. Learn to manage your time well!
Photo by Anthony Tran on Unsplash

There’s a dangerous myth in Christian culture that can effect our health and well-being. Maybe you’ve seen it floating around in one of its many disguises, but it boils down to this:

Self-care is selfish.

Moms are especially prone to believing this lie. We are supposed to be masters at setting aside our own needs to care for the needs of our children. We give our time and energy to those we love, day in and day out. But the reality is that we can empty ourselves — no one is designed to be an endless wellspring of energy.


Our time is a God-given resource

How Christians can be wise with their time as a God-given resource
How Christians can be wise with their time as a God-given resource
Photo by Rachael Crowe on Unsplash

My six-year-old son recently stumbled upon a miniature notebook. He was delighted to discover that it was brand new, and even more thrilled when I told him he could keep it. He grabbed a red marker and wrote “Henry” on the front.

“What are you going to use it for?” I asked him, noting that we share the same enthusiasm for blank notebooks.

“I’m going to start my bucket list!” He found a pencil and sat down at the table.

“Do you even know what a bucket list is?” I asked, skeptical.

“It’s all the things I want to do before I die!” …


A blessing over all the words to come

A writer’s prayer for the new year, that our words may be a blessing
A writer’s prayer for the new year, that our words may be a blessing
Photo by John Jennings on Unsplash

Dear Lord,

Thank you for this new day, for this new year, for all the possibilities and opportunities it may bring. Thank you for the gift of writing, for my desire and calling to write.

May the blank page before me feel like invitation rather than intimidation. May you guide my words as they leave my pen and use them to bless, inspire, and bring hope to a hurting world. May you use my words to bring about fruit in others, even if I never get to see it. …


Stretch your enjoyment of everyday moments

Two tips to help you savor your life. Stretch out your enjoyment of pleasurable moments
Two tips to help you savor your life. Stretch out your enjoyment of pleasurable moments
Photo by Louis Hansel @shotsoflouis on Unsplash

A quick internet search will give you lots of tips and tricks for more efficient morning and evening routines. We are all busy, and we all want to make time for what matters to us, or at least automate those daily tasks that need to be accomplished so that we are free to do other things.

Much of this advice is centered around building certain habits into your day. I’ve found the power of habits has helped me to exercise more and to read more consistently. …


We don’t pack away God’s presence with the tree

We keep the miracle of Christmas in our hearts when recognize God’s presence in our everyday lives
We keep the miracle of Christmas in our hearts when recognize God’s presence in our everyday lives
Photo by Ryan Graybill on Unsplash

This morning, I sneaked downstairs twenty minutes before my alarm, sat with my coffee in the living room, and listened to the rain on the windowpane. I stared at our Christmas tree, admiring the twinkling lights and the ornaments, even the silly ones.

In just a few days, our tree will be gone, stowed away in our garage, the ornaments packed up in newspaper. In a week, I’ll be back to packing lunches and water bottles. Life will go back to normal, the Christmas magic gone, the days returning to their very ordinary rhythms.

How to keep the miracle of Christmas in our hearts

There’s always some sense of disappointment when it’s all over. We go back to our regular routines and our ordinary lives, perhaps armed with our new year’s resolutions to Do Better, Eat Better, and Be Better. The empty spot where the Christmas Tree stood mirrors the emptiness we feel inside. …


Jesus is in the business of do-overs

How to push the reset button this Christmas. Jesus is in the business of grace, forgiveness and second chances
How to push the reset button this Christmas. Jesus is in the business of grace, forgiveness and second chances
Photo by Andreea Radu on Unsplash

One of my favorite parts of this season is waking up before anyone else and coming downstairs to be greeted by the glow of the Christmas tree. I sit across from it in my darkened living room and admire the halo of colored lights as I sip my coffee. The morning is new. The day is fresh. Every sunrise brings a chance to reset.

I remember one morning when my boys — then five and six years old — woke up fighting. It’s unclear how they pulled this off, but something must have happened as soon as they opened their eyes for the day, and they came down the stairs yelling and crying. I didn’t let them get past the bottom step. …


Every note counts, big or small

Playing your note in the kingdom of God. Every note matters when we act out of love for God and love for others.
Playing your note in the kingdom of God. Every note matters when we act out of love for God and love for others.
Photo by Manuel Nägeli on Unsplash

I took my boys to the Christmas concert at church one Sunday afternoon two years ago, our first time going. At four and six years old, I hoped they could sit through an hour of beautiful musical performances.

They burned off some extra energy at the reception beforehand, running around the tables with their little friends and sneaking more sugar cookies while they thought I wasn’t looking. When it was time for the concert, we filed into the main sanctuary, past poinsettias and wreaths and white tinkle lights. Henry pointed at the giant harp onstage, past the musicians warming up, “Look Mommy, a harp! …


When your internal noise level is too loud to hear God

How to revive your soul with silence and solitude so you can hear God above the noisy distractions of life
How to revive your soul with silence and solitude so you can hear God above the noisy distractions of life
Photo by Maria Shanina on Unsplash

In our family, the day after Thanksgiving officially marks the day we start decorating for and preparing for the Christmas season.

After a cup of strongly brewed coffee, I set about the task of digging out the Christmas boxes from our garage. I unfolded our tree from its resting place. My husband helped me string the lights, and the boys hung the ornaments with glee, exclaiming with delight over their favorite ones. In the late afternoon, in the twinkling lights of the Christmas tree, we watched our first holiday movie of the season: Home Alone.

Every parent’s fantasy

Other than the part when Kevin outsmarts two thieves by booby-trapping his house, my favorite part of the movie is when he wakes up to an empty house and realizes for the first time that he is home alone. A charming sequence of scenes shows Kevin jumping on the bed while eating popcorn, playing with his brother’s BB gun, watching a movie while eating from a giant bowl of ice cream, and even sledding gleefully down the stairs. …


There is both beauty and pain in the letting go

When you need resurrection and hope in the here and now, when it’s hard to let go
When you need resurrection and hope in the here and now, when it’s hard to let go
Photo by Dan Freeman on Unsplash

We walked single file, careful not to trip over any rocks as we made our way up the hill. Our two boys ran ahead, then stopped at a fork in the path. We made a right, past a patch of wild buckwheat and up onto a ledge. From there, we looked out over the valley below us: green rolling hills dotted with boulders. We continued on our hike, my husband and I now walking side by side, past fallen trees with hollow trunks, past long-burnt tree skeletons reaching toward the blue sky. …


There is loss in letting go, but hope in rebirth

The four other kinds of death to blame on COVID-19. There is loss in letting go, but hope for rebirth.
The four other kinds of death to blame on COVID-19. There is loss in letting go, but hope for rebirth.
Photo by Simeon Muller on Unsplash

When the global pandemic first made its appearance in the United States, I knew it would take lives. What I didn’t expect was the many little deaths in my own life that were to follow over the course of several months. COVID has been responsible for the loss I’ve experienced in these four areas:

Casual friendships

People I once would have called friends have dropped off the radar during this pandemic. I used to interact with so many people throughout my day: School drop-off and pick up, my part-time job, and being out and about in my community provided so many opportunities for chit chat. But now, if I ran into Dylan’s mom, would I even remember her name? The only friends that have remained are the ones I have intentionally sought out via text, phone call, or Zoom. …

About

Sarah K. Butterfield

Writer, speaker, and ministry leader. Always seeking to empower others at http://sarahkbutterfield.com

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