About the Author

Lisa Leonard is mom to two boys, David, 13 and Matthias, 12 and wife to Steve. In between school and work they spend their time playing outdoors on the central coast of California, eating chocolate chip pancakes, tapping tunes on the piano (David) and choreographing elaborate light saber duels (Matthias)....

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  1. Lisa,
    I love your wording of “finding the sweet spot between sacrifice and self-care”. Now that my children are grown ( but even still, they need a mom), I look back and see how my pendulum swung way too far toward the sacrifice side. I equated sacrifice with being a good mom and felt guilty if I indulged myself with a little self-care. All I can say now is that’s a lie. I believe that if I had done a better job of taking care of myself I would have been able to show more fruits of the Spirit: patience, gentleness, kindness, love…in order to pour forth living water, we need to take it in ourselves. Just an encouragement to you and other moms to take God-intended time for self-care and relationship with Him. Great post Lisa!
    Bev
    Bev

    • Bev,
      Amen!! Women need to indulge themselves a little and then they will have the patience, gentleness, Etc. we need to bestow on others!

    • Wow! Thanks for posting. As a mother of two, going back to school myslef, being a teacher with 30 kids during the day and a husband I have been praying for more patience and tolerance when I get home. But I do not do any self care at all. But you are absolutely correct, to have more of the Fruit of the Spirit (gentleness, patience, love, etc) I need to have a balance. I have never thought about it like that before.

  2. What an awesome and encouraging reminder! I really needed this this morning as I am a teacher approaching the end of the school year and feeling the hope of soon-to-be some relief but at the same time the pressure of a challenging schedule.

    • Summer always feels like a relief but brings a different kind of stress. Sending a hug your way! xx

  3. Love this! I can relate so much to tending to run on the sacrifice side.

    I am actually on a work trip right now, I have relaxed each of the last two nights in a wonderful hot tub. I try to take care of myself with little things like manicures and reading when I can. Even Hagen Daas (sp?) on Mother’s Day, lol.

    Thank you for this. Blessings from another special needs kid. Mine is midly so and working for the summer at a Christian camp hours away from home. It is such a blessing, and Mom won’t worry too much. 😉

  4. Just nurtured myself Right here…thank you! When I can’t find extended time slots, I pray for guidance and encouragement, and it pops up just when I need it most. As a mom AND a nurse, self sacrifice seems to tilt the scales way too far some days. 😉

  5. A must read and thank you for the reminder. Self Care for me is reading blog posts that nurture my soul.

  6. It’s so true that balance is elusive! Life is always tilted a bit! Whenever I’m doing really well with a clean house or errands run or homeschooled well or lots of writing. . . other things are left undone. I think the one thing that nutures my soul is my time in the Word. That is my not-to-be-missed if nothing else gets done. But I have to fight for it! Thank you for a good reminder that none of us has it all balance well. 🙂

  7. As someone already said, the words “finding the sweet spot between sacrifice and self-care” really ring true to moms. I’m a mother, a teacher, and volunteer at church, sometimes it seems all I do is pour into other people and give up my wants for others. Thanks for this reminder to take care of ourselves 🙂

    • I agree, we pour out ourselves and end up empty. Sending you a hug today! xx

  8. Oh wow, I’m definitely motivated and inspired by reading this article. People often tell me I need to find a balance as I try to do Ministry work, but I agree with you, im happy and if I’m scarficing and doing the work of God, why do I need a balance. You have such an amazing spirit, I’m looking forward to reading more of your blog posts. God bless!

  9. “…the sweet spot between sacrifice and self-care.” I think this statement describes how most moms want to view their roles. And, like most moms, I have maybe spent too much time on the sacrifice side of things. It’s hard, when you have a child with Special Needs. We have a 29 year old son with Down Syndrome, and he lives at home with us. And we love it. Even tho 2 of our other children have left our nest for homes of their own…and our baby is leaving for college in the Fall…having one who is dependent on the care of others takes a lot of sacrifice and mental energy. It is such a blessing to parent him, but you are so right about the importance of self-care. I am recharged by laughter, time with family and friends, time in God’s word and prayer, and sometimes by time alone. Not necessarily in that order!

  10. I have one child out of the house (for now) and a teenage daughter at home that has a pretty crazy schedule at time and I am in full time ministry at our church. Sometimes its all about ministry and housework. Spending time on dates with my husband and spending time with friends talking and laughing over coffee or food is the best self care I can think of. Along with a little bit of coffee and a whole lot of Jesus and I can take a deep breath and going back to conquering my little piece of the world.

  11. Lisa,
    Wonderful truth spoke here friend. Last year I finally gave myself permission for self care. As a busy mom of 5, whose husband works around the clock, a ministry leader and wearing many other hats, I can get depleted. While it is difficult to literally find the time for self care I listen to the voice of Jesus and obey him. He makes me lie down in green pasture and leads me beside still waters. Even if I steal away for 5 minutes of deep breathing, I relish the time. I pray all reading will see that self care is CRITICAL and they’ll nurture themselves on purpose.

  12. Thank you so much, Lisa. The same verse was also our guiding truth in our mini-couple retreat-slash-babymoon. I am a soon-to-be first-time mom and though the baby has not popped yet, the husband and I felt we needed to bond with the Lord and with each other before we become three. And I am just so glad he decided for it! 🙂 Lately, also, self-care for me means that I wake up minutes earlier than usual so I can spend time reading His Word and journalling my thoughts.

  13. Bless you as He helps you to find that ‘sweet spot’ more and more often.
    Thanks for this!

  14. Lisa,
    I’m not a mother, but find myself mothering my aging dad. Last year was full of moving to assisted living, doctor’s visits, ER trips, falls, psych issues, and the list goes on. I found it super hard to balance life-(I finally felt in tune with busy moms)~ My work suffered greatly, dad got the best of me & for a month I felt ill and out of sorts. Just couldn’t take it anymore–too much busyness and not enough “me” time! Adding to my stress was hubby about to lose his job.
    This year Praise God my dad is doing much better!! I am still having hard time at work, but I know that will end soon. I am taking a little more me time and doing just for me! I have a little more to give people!
    Prayers for you and your family! May God bless you and give you the strength you need to carry on!!

  15. I too find it hard to find balance. I’m not married nor have children but I have an elderly father to check in on every day. I work full time, have a 3 bedroom house and 2 cats. My job is about 10 miles away and my dad 9 miles. It’s exhausting to keep up with everything. The mere nature of my job in a medical lab and checking in on my dad to see what he needs means I come last, even behind my 2 cats. So how do I find balance, what I have always called my “center”? prayer, walking and associating with friends, excursions to museums and parks, started taking a water color painting class, gardening, enjoying what I can when I find time.. But the house is a mess of unorganized piles of papers and magazines and projects that I always mean to do when I don’t have anything else to do, That makes me feel guilty, But I know I can’s do it all. I find it important to do those things that fill me with spiritual guidance and bring me closer to the Lord, So a messy house just has to lose to a trip to a museum or a evening painting somehow in order to keep my balance or “center”

  16. Thanks..Only Rest in God’s Presence will lead our soul at peace! Exodus14:14- Be still The Lord will fight for you! Psalm 23