Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Little old me

"He counts the stars
and calls them all by name."
Psalm 147:4

I've come to realize that I don't place value in taking care of myself. This is not an easy thing to admit... I like to think I have a lot of independence and strength, which I do, but somewhere along the line I began to place everyone else and everything above my needs (needs, not wants, including things like clothes). Sometimes this is a good thing... it allows me to put others first and serve the Lord. But it does have it's downside.

I was talking to my mom tonight and was listing my priorities in life, and it went something like this:


This explains why I will budget in a pitchfork to turn the compost but I am still using eyeshadow from our wedding almost 4 years ago. I will budget $20 for Eliot to have coffee with colleagues but survive on one pair of pants that fit for months on end. Eliot has a haircut every month, I have one once a year(ish). I don't own a pair of comfortable shoes that don't have holes forming, and I haven't bought a new purse in at least 3 years (I have made a few, but that didn't cost us money). I just can't seem to justify spending money on something for just ME.

Eliot said the other day that he feels like an adult, partly because he only asks for gifts that will make his work easier, no toys. I thought about what I asked for for Christmas... baby stuff, a carpet cleaner, a hand vac and functional items like gift cards to Target so we can buy stuff we need for the house. Luckily my family knows to get me some things that are just for me (lotion, books, food dehydrator, etc) because I won't ask for them... I feel guilty asking for them.

The book I am reading by Jane Kirkpatrick is about a woman named Marie Dorion who came across the US in the Astor fur expedition after Lewis and Clark. She was the only woman in the group, and later she became famous by being one of the few who survived a winter in the mountains after her husband was brutally murdered by natives. She also saved her two children from starvation and the cold. She became a legend, written about in the book Astoria, and people came asking to meet her for years. She could never understand it, why they would want to meet her. She always just claimed she did what she had to for her children, to survive. She never saw her value either.

I'm not saying I've done anything so terrific as avoid starvation in a tundra, but it does make me think about how little I value myself when I won't spend money on something so necessary as clothing for myself (even before I became pregnant and needed them I still felt I couldn't do this). It isn't that I don't like to buy nice clothes or look good... I just can't see myself as worth the expense.

I'm working on this. The Lord sees all the stars in the sky and he calls them all by name... if He can remember all those, He remembers me. And I need to remember me too. I was created with value.

This is a hard lesson to learn, but I am going to try to spend more time and *gasp* money on taking care of me. I need to learn this before I lose myself completely in my children and my husband, whom I love dearly and wish to serve.

So, here I am, enjoying my last few days of being 25, and coming to realize that I, too, deserve new things once in awhile when needed. And occasionally even just plain desired. I need to take care of myself so I can take care of my family.

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