Sheila Spencer

“Step out of the traffic! Take a long, loving look at me, your High God, above politics, above everything.” Psalm 46:10

Earlier this year, I scheduled several events that would happen in one week’s time. It involved travel between a few states. However, as I looked at the dates, the days did not overlap. It was perfectly planned and doable. As the date grew closer, I realized that this itinerary was perfectly planned and doable … several months ago.  

As I reviewed the schedule again, my expression was … well, I’m sure you can guess as I asked myself, "What in the world was I thinking!"

It dawned on me that it would be too much. I could fulfill the obligations, but my body would pay for it. Even though the days didn’t overlap, all I would need is one delayed flight to throw everything off kilter. I would have to cancel one of the three events. During my seven years at my position, I had never canceled an event where I was facilitating. The good thing was that this was team collaboration, so not being able to attend would not mean that the training would be canceled. I contacted my colleague and as soon as I shared that I would not be able to attend, I felt an immediate sense of release and relief.  My colleague completely understood.

One of my self-care practices has been taking the time to read for pleasure. My latest treasure to myself has been, “The Fringe Hours: Secrets for Making Time For You” by Jessica N. Turner.  This book is giving me life. The actual journey of reading the book has been life changing. One of the author’s quotes has become a daily mantra for me. “Self care needs to be included in what you should be doing. It is not a privilege. It is a necessity.” My plan was to read the book over a free weekend (I’m a voracious reader), but it has been a couple of months. This is unusual for me, but taking time to read, pause and reflect after each chapter has been renewing my spirit and mind. I had just finished reading the “Permission and Grace” section and it confirmed that I needed to make the decision about canceling my participation in the training.

The book reminded me that I need to become acquainted with the two sisters — permission and grace. Permission allows us to release ourselves to practicing self care. Along with permission, the author shares that grace affirms by reminding us to be kind to ourselves as children of God. Grace propels us to live and love life the way God intended for us. Permission allows us to practice self care. Grace guides us on how to do it. When I was in the midst of making my decision about my travel schedule, this chapter was affirmation and confirmation about the decision that I had to make. I completed my own permission slip, and signed it with grace. I made the decision to love myself enough to take care of myself.

The author shares in her book that we cannot be everything for everyone. If we don’t make time for ourselves, we will flatline. Pursue a life of joy and contentment and it will allow us to happier, healthier and more at peace. When we make time for ourselves, it is both necessary and fulfilling.

Loving myself enough to sign my permission slip for a self-care journey with grace.

Grace signed,

Sheila

Minister Sheila P. Spencer is an author, educator, poet and speaker. She can be contacted at CustomMadeInspiration@gmail.com, and her website is sheilapspencer.com.

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