A Portrait of Self-Care


Do you ever wonder what real, sustaining self-care looks like?

Last week I got to visit with a woman that I’ve known for most of my life, who is now in her 80’s and living alone after being widowed a few years ago. It was so nice to see her and hear about how she is getting along. But what has stuck with me since then is how she looked.

She looked cared for- and, even though she lives alone, she seems to be doing very well.

She said that she has people who come to help her around the house to keep things clean and in good repair.

But more important than her house being cared for, she looks well. Her hair is “done” {nicely tinted and has a lovely back-combed style}, she wore a little make-up and she was certainly wearing her trademark smile!

Since our visit, I’ve been thinking about what continuous habits she must have had throughout her years of young adulthood, raising a large family and now to being a grandma. In my memory, all through those years, she was having her hair done, I’d guess a weekly trip to a salon. As I think back, I don’t remember her being harried much or over-taxed. It seems that she tended to things and planned and worked and enjoyed her family. I’m sure she had her difficulties, but she seems to have fashioned and maintained a great outlook on life that has kept her going strong.

Part of what I’m describing, I’d say, was the fruits of an era when ladies were pretty much at home caring for their families, and when they were focused on the maintenance and care of their homes. But it seems that along with that mindset came caring for self in a way that might feel exorbitant to us today. Resting, getting to bed at a decent time. Eating regularly and well. Not being pulled {in a major way} in four directions at once, they just seemed to have a kind of contentedness that permeated their lives. {Wait, isn’t that what our computers and appliances and prepared foods are supposed to give us…less work / more time and contentedness and even connected-ness?}

I’d guess too that the ladies who lived on her street were doing much of the same thing and were a support to one another, as they were socializing and working together in the neighborhood.

Do you think that the wisdom of their era is lost? I have experienced something like it in some neighborhoods where we have lived and I loved it so much!

I wonder if it could be alive and well for those who seek to create it?

I hope that wherever you are today, that you have women who are your friends and neighbors with which you can build friendships and support systems. Particularly those who will support you in caring for yourself!

Be well.




What You Know


Isn’t it funny that we know so much about how to be well and  we could give ourselves “such very good advice” to slow down and be deliberate about our pace, to eat better and get more rest and yet…sometimes we stay stuck in indecision or in repeatedly doing things that we know aren’t good for us?

Well, chances are, we can do better.

Consider talking to someone about your goals and share some of your dilemmas or points of indecision. That way your challenges are out in front of you and you may be more likely to see them clearly!

And once your vision begins to clear, just by hearing yourself  talk and making some notes and or getting some feedback about what baby steps you can take to shift things up, things can really start moving and relief will be on the way!

I love all of the wonderful things you are doing with your God-given talents and the many opportunities He has given you to make the world better!

Just don’t forget that being here and contributing your unique gifts requires your health! So whatever you need to do to support your own well-being and contribute to your own sense of peace is a wonderful investment!

Love you!




Forward and Back


Pushing my granddaughter on a swing, seeing her laughing and loving the wind in her hair, her little legs running through the air and her joy in going higher, I was struck by my own sheer enjoyment! My face hurt from smiling so hard! I loved being there in the sleepy little town we were passing through, watching her face light up when she saw the one yellow swing waiting for her.

I realized that the backdrop of a crisp blue sky, the white, billowy clouds blowing by and bright colored playground equipment were so vivid to me because I was really there and present in the moment.

And, as I considered the reason for the intensity of my feelings, it occured to me that the grandma I am today was born from being the mother I was. The mother I was understands that the expectant mother waiting for us in the car, was once the little girl I was pushing on the swing, only now I know that time doesn’t wait for us! It marches on and doesn’t stop. Even when we are busy. Even when we are overcommitted. Even when, for whatever reason,we are preoccupied and unthinking or unseeing.

And whether we have heard and seen and enjoyed and delighted…or not…the moments are gone. And our children are grown.

So, if it is at all possible for you to take my word for it, know as I know, that life is made of moments that are not here to stay.

Love those little faces and truly hear those little voices. Oh, it just all happens way too fast!

I wish you the ability to wring every ounce of joy out of your mothering days as you possibly can!

All my love,



A Hundred Ways


Your love is given in so many ways, it’s hard to count! But it may be worth asking the question, of your spouse and children, “what helps you to feel loved?”

Is it felt mostly during playtime or also when Mama holds the line?

Is it cooking together or sitting around the table talking?

Is it knowing that you’ll be there when they return home or the lunch you may have made for them to take?

Is it when you honor the budget or when you verbalize your contentment with how things are now?

Is it when you answer their call with “I’m happy it’s you” in your voice or the times you have welcomed their friends for a meal?

Whatever their response, and surely it will be different for everyone, you will be armed with knowing how to succor, or serve them best in future days.

You are making such a meaningful difference {in your unique style} for those you love!

Be well.



Getting Away


It never ceases to amaze me how a change of perspective changes everything.

Whether it’s the new perspective someone gives you when you’ve had a misunderstanding, “Yes, I said that because you said such and such and then you weren’t listening to me!” Oh. I did? And I wasn’t? I can see why you responded that way then. I’m sorry.

Or when you look back over shared history and see that a situation that might have been freedom to one person, was at the same time a tragedy to another.

And most always, when you get a little distance between you and home, you can look across the miles and gain insights into the circumstances, people and relationships that are waiting for you there. But at least for a moment, you can think and pray and ponder without being in the middle of the thick of it all!

I wish you many perspective-shifting, relationship-building, health-renewing experiences this year!

Much love,