I’ll be honest with you, most of my life is not Instagram worthy.
I can’t count how many times a week you would find me slouching over an office chair, or the dining table, or maybe even sitting in my bedroom, in pajama pants, messy hair, definitely not the picture of a successful entrepreneur. And I’m starting to learn that that’s OK, it’s just the season that we’re in.
Because here’s what God is revealing to me: Self care looks differently for every person during every season.
Let me give you an example: When my kids were young and I had infants and toddlers in the house, getting a shower was a luxury. Getting a shower was not just getting clean, but it was that 5, sometimes 12 minutes alone.
Nobody knocking on the door, nobody needing anything, it was sacred space.
That’s what self care looked like.
Sometimes self care looked like reading a bible study aloud to each other after the kids had gone to bed because we knew that the only way we could get through it without falling asleep from utter exhaustion was to read that way. Sometimes one of us would read and the other would fold laundry or catch up on other chores as we listened, but that time was such a guilty pleasure for us because everybody was in bed and nobody would come in,
Again, that was our sacred space.
What I’m learning about this season is that the sacred space looks very different.
Instead of emulating the Instagram worthy images by the pool or the beach, or working in the coffee shop with perfect hair and makeup, self care for me in this season looks like permission to not be perfect, and that’s hard to say knowing that you guys are reading this. Self care in this season means It’s OK for life to be a little messy.
We are going through a beautiful but incredibly difficult season of becoming foster parents, one of our children moved out of state for the first time, my role as social media agent, consultant, and six figure business owner is changing, and I’m having to let go of all of the success and all of the identity that I’ve built over the last few years.
Letting go of what worked in the past is the only way we can fully embrace what’s in front of us right now.
Guys, that many transitions at once takes a lot of work. I don’t say that as a request for sympathy, but I truly hope that recognizing how much energy is required for me to transition through all of these things will help you see that you may be exerting just as much energy in the transitions that you’re facing.
So sometimes self care means not going up to my office. It means not going to work at my favorite co-working space, and sometimes it means not spending the time to do my hair and makeup, not showing up on Facebook live, and allowing space for God to pour into me, allowing space for rest rather than constantly being driven by the things that I know I should be doing because I ran a social media agency.
I know how many times a day I should be posting, I know how many times a week I should be doing a Facebook live, I know all of these things. But I also know that God is calling me to a quieter season. This quieter season is going to require me to slow down A LOT, to become more aware of myself and where God is and isn’t in my life. So for me the messy hair, cheap coffee, fuzzy socks and pajama pants is the look of the successful entrepreneur on some days, because that’s what God has called me to in this season.
So I challenge you to forget what you think you should be doing and really explore:
What is it that God is calling you to right now?
What does success look like for you? Is it getting out more or staying home more? Is it more conversation or less? What does self care look like for you and where does it intersect with this current view of success? And how are you letting go of your old view of success so that you can grab onto the new with both hands?
Because it is really hard to cultivate something new that God has put in front of us when we are still holding onto the old.
Did this resonate with you? I’d love to hear what success looks like in your current season. Please let me know in the comments and don’t forget to join our free group of like-minded women, Christian Women Who Lead!
Angela J Herrington, MA, LSCC is a Life and Leadership Coach for Christian Women at AngelaJHerrington.com , founder of Broken Beautiful BOLD online women’s ministry, and Christian feminist activator at WildSacredHoly.com.
Angela is a spunky Gen Xer who creates sacred spaces for vulnerable exploration. Her specialty is helping Christian women untangle themselves from limiting beliefs, toxic religious culture, and all the ways the enemy tries to keep them small. She holds a BA from Indiana Wesleyan and a Masters in Leadership from Wesley Seminary. Her graduate research project focused on leadership development and opportunities for Gen X women in the US church.
Angela and her unique online ministry were featured in Lyz Lenz’s 2019 book God Land: Story of Faith, Loss, and Renewal in Middle America. She also has been published in Hope for Women and HOPE is Now magazines.
Angela is also a Lark’s Song Certified Life Coach who reaches hundreds of thousands of women in 40+ countries each month on Facebook, IG, Twitter, Pinterest, and two blogs. She is Director of Communications for Wesleyan Holiness Women Clergy, a women-led organization dedicated to engaging, empowering, and equipping women to lead in the church.
Angela is also a wife, mom to 6, and proud resident of Marion, Indiana with her family when they’re not traveling the US in their RV.