Four ways moms can self-care by attending first to soul-care

Written by Sara B. Anderson
Published on February 25, 2022

“Mom guilt.” We all deal with it. The dishes don’t wash themselves. You just finished cleaning when your child brought the mud pie inside. Let’s face it—even the bathroom loses its allure with a toddler staring you down. 

How can we even think of self-care with so many tasks vying for our attention? 

God provides

We all need a break. When my first three were little (I have five), my husband traveled all week. My respite was attending a Bible study with childcare. Except, even that got to be a lot. I prayed for a responsible, Christian babysitter. Since we had moved to the Northeast without a support network, I was literally on my own. 

On the day of the weekly Bible study, I decided to show God how frustrated I really was. I would not go. Humph. 

My spirit didn’t like that decision, but I tried to brush it off as mom guilt. 

Then it hit me why I was so unsettled. This was my week to volunteer for childcare. Even in my “mood” I felt convicted to follow through on my commitment. 

“Fine,” I thought, “I’ll go, as long as they don’t put me in the infant room. I need a break from diapers.” 

As soon as we arrived I heard, “Sara, we are so glad you’re here! We desperately need you in the infant room!” 

“Noooooo,” I thought as my attitude continued to crumble. 

Long story short, I found out the permanent caregiver was a 20-something nurse who was unemployed (by choice). She was looking for supplemental income babysitting and, did I mention, her mom was the lead teacher of the Bible study? 

For the next few years she watched my children on a regular basis. We are friends to this day. 

The lesson: God provided for my self-care when I attended to my soul-care. 

God’s greatest blessings

There’s a difference between self-care and soul-care. We moms are desperate for self-care. And who can blame us? We can have self-care. But seeking self-care first is like putting the cart before the horse. 

Self-care is a worldly concept that focuses on feelings, which are fickle and can lead us down the wrong road since they’re prone to misinterpretation and other variables that affect our mood. 

Soul-care, however, is grounded on the sure foundation of God’s unchanging truth. 

Self-care is fleeting. It rarely satisfies for long. Before we know it, we will be depleted once again. 

Soul-care is long lasting, enduring, and resilient. It enables us to let go and receive God’s greatest blessings (including the best of self-care). 

Don’t get me wrong, there’s a place for self-care. With our affections properly ordered, we can have all the self-care we can handle. 

4 ways to attend to soul-care

1. Seek first the kingdom of heaven.

Jesus teaches us in Matthew 6:33 that if we seek his wisdom first we will order our affections according to his will. That’s good news because by abiding in Christ we will have the emotional, physical, and spiritual reserves to pay goodness forward to our children and spouses, as well as into our other commitments. 

What is even better is that Jesus promises that if we attend to kingdom matters first, all these other things will be added unto us! That means in due order, our self-care needs will be taken care of too. 

2. Steward your slice.

You’re a woman of many talents with many opportunities. Likely, you have your eyes set on most if not all of them. If you’re like many women, you want to do it all. 

But, contrary to popular belief, God is not calling us to do it all. To care for our souls, we need to steward our slice. Just like a body has many parts that work interdependently, God says we are part of the body of Christ called to do our part, not the whole thing (1 Cor. 12:27). 

Your slice is important. It was made for you in this season. If you steward your slice well, God will give you more or other slices to steward, as well as opportunities for pampering along the way.

3. Be OK saying no.

If you really want to make time for quality soul-care, you’ll have to be OK saying no. You don’t want to give up God’s best for something that’s just “good enough.” 

Many of us women are people pleasers. There is a fine line between considering others more important than ourselves and saying no. 

Galatians 1:10 warns us against seeking the approval of people over God. Filtering out the rest of the pie so you can steward the slice that God gave you will enable you to offer an anointed “no.” 

4. Submit to the preparation.

Jesus lived approximately 33 years on earth in the flesh. Of those 33 years, 30 were spent attending to the needs of his family, while only 3 were spent in ministry. 

If Jesus spent 90% of his earthly life in the “preparation” stage, then how much more will we need? The road may seem long, but not all of the exhaustion can be satisfied with self-care. 

We may find an itch that can’t be scratched by focusing on self in that moment. Since all good gifts come from God, we prioritize the One who can truly satisfy. God is not slow to fulfill his promises. 

Rather, this is an opportunity to renew your heart and mind for Christ. You will enjoy the self-care activities so much more once your soul is at peace in the will of God. 

You have permission to choose the good portion first. Sit at the feet of Jesus—he will give you the rest and relaxation you desire. Delight in self-care from the solid foundation of soul-care. Believe Jesus when he says that if you seek him first, all these things will be added unto you!


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Sara B. Anderson

Sara B. Anderson is a wife, mother of five, ministry leader, author, speaker, attorney, and Christian apologist with her Masters of Divinity in Christian Apologetics. Sara uses her education and experience to empower parents to raise the next generation of faith on the firm foundation of God’s truth. She provides the necessary tools and knowledge to help mothers reach their goals by supporting four pillars of a strong biblical family: Bible Literacy, Biblical Marriage, Parental Authority, and Early Child Training. With her uniquely practical and straightforward approach, participants can begin applying their new skills after just one course session.

Sara offers Mom-2-Mom Mentoring covering on all things motherhood, especially early child training as well as Marriage Mentoring using the Prepare/Enrich Objective Assessment and Relationship Tools.

You can reach Sara at sarabanderson.com or admin@sarabroyhillanderson.com. You can follow Sara’s ministry at https://facebook.com/fruitsoffaithministries.

Read more about Sara B.

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