Have you ever considered the need to take care of yourself spiritually? For many years, I ignored spiritual self care. I didn’t like the person I became.
Greenhouse Gardening Before the Internet
“I love your greenhouse!” I told my friend as she gave me a tour of their new property. “What do you have growing in there?”
“Tomatoes, lettuce, squash, herbs, corn, and green beans,” she told me.
“Will you leave everything in there during the summer?” I asked. “Or will you transplant a bunch of it to your outside garden?”
“We haven’t had time to really prepare the soil for a big outdoor garden,” she said, “so we’ll leave it all in the greenhouse this year. Next year, we’ll start more and transplant it all after it warms up.”
By the end of the summer, we finally met up again at her house. “Your plants have taken over your greenhouse!” I said when I glanced out the window at her backyard.
“Right? We had to remove some of the glass panels, so the plants didn’t overheat. Or break the glass,” she joked.
“Did everything grow as you expected?”
“Everything but the corn,” she said.
The Tricky Part About Roots and Wind
“What happened to it? I was hoping I could buy a few ears from you. I didn’t plant any this summer.”
“Once it got a few feet tall, it sort of flopped over. Most of the ears never matured, either,” she lamented.
“Why do you think that happened?”
“I finally went to the library to see if I could find any information on growing corn in a greenhouse,” she said. “Evidently, corn has a shallow root system and when it’s grown in a greenhouse the roots are even shallower because they don’t get blown about by the wind.”
“That’s crazy,” I said. “You’d think it would grow better when it’s sheltered.”
“That’s what we thought, too. The book I found also said it needed to be planted in blocks, not just a row down the side of the greenhouse.”
“Evidently you have to plant a block of it so it can pollinate. No wind and a single row won’t allow for much pollination to happen—unless you hand pollinate it.”
“Wow. Who knew growing corn in a greenhouse would turn into such an adventure? At least the tomatoes and squash look like they thrived!”
Thirty years ago, we didn’t have the answers to everything at our fingertips. We had to learn our lessons through trial and error. Admittedly, we still learn lessons through trial and error, but a quick look on the internet will explain how to grow thriving corn inside your (giant) greenhouse.
Adversity and Taking Care of Yourself Spiritually
I think we’re a lot like corn. God didn’t intend for us to thrive inside a climate-controlled greenhouse in a single row. He wants us to experience the winds of adversity that challenge us and force our roots deeper into his truths.We're a lot like corn. God didn't intend for us to thrive inside a climate-controlled greenhouse in a single row. #spiritualgrowth #selfcare Click To Tweet
He doesn’t want us to stay safe in our little row of comfort with people who look, act, and think, just like us. We must get out and mingle with people of other faiths, cultures, races, and religions.
But if you don’t have a basic awareness of your need to take care of yourself spiritually, you may miss the blessings of the windy, pollinated way of life. While I find it easy to go with the flow and never ask questions, God didn’t put me here on earth to live in comfort. He put me here to give comfort.
Unless I take time to care for myself spiritually, I won’t even recognize when my roots get shallow or my faith withers.
Five Reasons Why You Deserve to Take Care of Yourself Spiritually
1. You Deserve to be at Peace with God
God wants to have a relationship with you. He promises to keep our minds at peace if we fix our thoughts on him. Isaiah 26:3
You will keep in perfect peaceIsaiah 26:3 NLT
all who trust in you,
all whose thoughts are fixed on you!
A feeling of calm and peace can help us through life’s worst trials (even those winds of adversity that come screaming out of nowhere). I’ve felt this peace many times in my life—during my husband’s near-death from cancer, job upheavals, choices our daughters made, and conflicts in our marriage. When I focus on God and not my problems, I find peace.
2. You Deserve to be at Peace with Yourself
I don’t know about you, but I can easily fall into the self-disgust, self-recrimination, and self-hate traps satan likes to set out for me. I need a steady stream of affirmations from God to avoid those traps. When I take time to take care of myself spiritually, I have the right input. I know who I am in Christ and feel at peace with myself. No need to listen to the liar.
3. You Deserve to be at Peace with Your Fellowmen
I suffer from a bad case of the Judgey McJudgertons. I call my alter ego (the not very nice me) who insists everyone follow all. the. rules. Judgey McJudgerton. She’s not very pleasant to spend time around.
I hurt people’s feelings. Sometimes, I speak without thinking through how my words might impact my listener. I end up acting like the jerk at work. When I take care of myself spiritually, my filter falls firmly into place. I find it easier to have good thoughts towards others when I filter their actions and my responses through God’s vision of people (John 3:16).
4. You Deserve to Have a Non-Judgmental Spirit
Nurturing your spirituality helps you understand the importance of not judging. Matthew 7:1-2 reminds us if we judge others harshly, God will judge us harshly. I have a lot of growth to do in this area. As I let go of former prejudices, judgments, and misconceptions, I find it easier to get along with more people and feel at peace with my actions.
We often judge others to move the spotlight off our own insecurities, failings, or foibles. But having an open, accepting mindset prepares the soil of my heart for new friendships, ideas, revelations, and experiences.
5. You Deserve to Experience Grace
The more time I spend taking care of myself spiritually, the more grace I have for myself and others. Grace, like love, works best when freely given. If you take care of yourself spiritually, you’ll have a steady reserve of love and grace to offer others. And yourself.
Jesus tells us to love our neighbor as we love ourselves (Mark 12:30-31). Unless we experience God’s grace and love in our lives, we’ll find it difficult to love ourselves—or anyone else. I used to think I was a pretty good person. After all, I’d never committed horrible crimes, mistreated people, or done any of the ‘bad’ things in life. All that netted me was a self-righteous, judgmental attitude.
And judging others stinks just like any other sin. Even murder. Understanding God’s grace in loving me anyway has changed the way I see myself and others. One day at a time I learn to die to myself and accept grace. And once accepted, I have something to give.
Taking Care of Yourself Spiritually isn’t Just Attending Church
Spiritual self-care involves more than just attending church. Church has its place, but to take care of yourself spiritually you’ll want to commit to a daily routine of some sort. These ideas might inspire you.
- Read the YouVersion app verse of the day each day.
- Follow a Bible reading plan.
- Listen to your favorite Christian artists while exercising or driving.
- Journal each morning or evening.
- Keep a prayer journal.
- Read spiritual books (one of my favorites is Growing Slow by Jennifer Dukes Lee).
- Meditate on the attributes of God.
How do you find time to take care of yourself spiritually?