Making Time for Me

IMG_6992

This past summer, I didn’t read any books. And it made me a little grumpy.

My husband semi-jokes that I am happier if I am reading. If I am having a rough week, he’ll often suggest that I leave the dishes ’til morning and go curl up with a good book. (I married a good man, eh?)

At the beginning of the year, I set a goal of reading 30 books because in 2012 I read hardly anything. That goal has been so rewarding not just because I have read so many fantastic books, but because I am investing in something that I enjoy.

As I’ve gotten older, I have come to recognize the importance of making time for me and what I’m passionate about. The catch-22 is that as I get older, I have more responsibilities that can make “me time” challenging.

But somehow I manage to carve out the time and I think I am a better wife, mom, co-worker and friend because of it. That sounds dramatic, I know, but its true. When I work in time for myself, I feel more balance and am able to better pour out into those around me.

Usually for me, that time is spent working on my Project Life album, reading a good book, crafting or baking something I pinned on Pinterest. But, that’s just me. You might chose to spend time on you doing yoga, collecting stamps, sewing or something else entirely.

It doesn’t matter what it is, what matters is that it fills you up.

God uniquely created each one of us with passions that invigorate us, yet we often push them aside for laundry, cleaning, errands and a host of other activities. I’m not saying those things aren’t important (clean underwear is a good thing), but rather that those things can’t rule your life. God delights in His creation using our gifts.

This month, what if you were to look at your schedule and find one extra hour a week for yourself? Do you think you could do it?

One extra hour is less than 10 minutes a day, but would add up to 52 hours for you! Think of all the things you could do with 52 hours. You could start that book you have been wanting to write, organize the photos on your hard drive or take a new class at that gym.

I believe this investment in ourselves could be the start of something big and meaningful. Will you join me in making time for what you love?

NOTE

This week I launched a short survey asking women to share how they spend their time for a book I am working on. Would you please take just a few minutes to share where you are in this journey? Your answers will be a cornerstone of the book’s research and I would be so, so grateful. Thank you.

Question:

What is something that you love to spend time on? More importantly, how do you make time for yourself and this passion?

comments:
share:

comments:

  1. 1
    phelisters M A says:

    thanks for the article which has a lot of encouraging message… thanks so much because i have been desiring to write a book,now i know i don’t need the whole day or a holiday to do it , i can do it little by little…..am an african woman who struggles to do everything manually but i try my best to get time after i have sent the children to bed and in the morning when they leave for school just to reflect, meditate and pray..i love praying because that is the only way i can lift issues of those i can not reach out to ,to God..thank you and God bless

  2. 2

    I break my time up. I get up an hour 30 minutes to do my devotions, meditate, and read a couple passages in my bible. I can’t live well without the gym. If I can’t go my earth feels off. I would love to dive back into my hobbies. Drawing and making things for my house. I actually drew last night but i was exhausted. Thank you for the reminder!!!! It is so nice!

  3. 3

    Jessica,
    I wake up early in order to spend time with God and in his word. The sacrifice is going to bed a little earlier (which as I get older is easier to do lol). I love to walk with my dog, Zoe, and talk with God about what I’ve read or what is on my heart. These are “musts” in my day to get it off to the right start and to equip myself for whatever may come that day. My passion is writing. I don’t carve out as much time as I would like, but I am getting better at doing that – realizing that God would want me to spend time using the gifts he has given me and bringing glory to Him. “Seek first the kingdom of God…” helps me to keep my priorities straight and to find a little “me” time for this child of God. Hope that helps?!
    Blessings,
    Bev

  4. 4

    Thanks Jessica for sharing this. It is wise to make some time for ourselves. We should treat ourselves like our BFF, because after all, we are His creation and the temple of the Holy Spirit. Taking some time for self is rejuvenating. Even more than that, we have to take time for Him. Be still, and know that I am God. Then, we are renewed.

  5. 5

    After my surgery I had a very hard time coming back to me. There are times I still seem to drift off and wonder the why I lost my job I loved. Life got mixed up very fast when my husband almost died and family and everything else. I think I lost faith in god for a while until I held my husband in my arms and cried out as I looked to the sky and said please don’t take him I need him! So after a very hard road to travel and healing for the both of us, Together we’re rebuilding our lives after 40 years of marriage and bad breaks that just might have made us stronger then ever in faith. I know God gave me a gift to create and paint so I’m trying to take the time to paint my art creations and hope to one day sell some work. i also read good books and messages that inspire me to keep on keeping on. I love to decorate our home for my grandchildren when they visit on holidays, and work out in the flower garden pulling weeds. Oh there are still many things that need fixing in our lives but with faith and hope and I.m trying to leave it in Gods hands, because somehow I think its the best way to go. I love your messages Thank you for sharing…Rita

  6. 6

    For me, it can be the most simple things. I am actually one of those weirdos who enjoys cleaning…at least I enjoy how wonderful the house feels when it is done. One of my “me” things is to sit down with my cup of coffee in the morning when my daughter takes a nap. If I don’t have some quiet time with the windows open and coffee, I am just off the entire day. Taking pictures. Walking. Cooking. A good talk with a close friend. Bubble baths. All of these things are very nurturing to my spirit. I was just talking about how lately, as a new mommy, I am learning what it means to have “me” time, and it is wonderful.

  7. 7

    To quote CS Lewis, “You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.” That guy was a genius;)

  8. 8

    What do I love doing?

    Nothing really. I love, doing just nothing. Just sit and day dream the days away. If I could I would do it.

    This is why I have over six hundred hippos which I have been collecting since my early twenties. All hippos do, is sit in the river and bask and do nothing. So, I just wanted to be a hippo, but, unfortunately, my kids needed their mother. My friends needed their friend. And so, all I could do was dream and dream and dream about being a hippo. So, I decided to collect them, one by one by one. And then, my friends started giving me hippos non – stop. Even their children.

    And once I cried do hard cos one of my friend’s son who was not living in town, sent me a hippo with a mother and child which he had spent his own money on.

    My husband wants me to throw out my hippos but I do not want to. He asked me again today. I have stuffed hippos as well. Crystal ones. Ones from the Museum of Art in New York as well. An Egyptian one. I was so scared of that one as it resembles one that came from a pyramid. With the guarantee. I’ve got three in different styles. My friend gave them to me.

    If I could do anything at all. I would just like to do nothing. And daydream. Like Jacob.

    Could I just daydream for an hour a day?

    Does this sound so stupid and ridiculous as I’ve lived a completely full life to the brim and there’s no stopping it!

    • 9

      If my friend asked me. I have time. I would always have time for my friend.

    • 10

      I love this post. i think you ROCK. and don’t you EVER throw those hippos away!! they are your muse and delight! :)

      • 11

        I’m so glad you’ve just told me this as I don’t really want to throw them away as I really really want to bask in the river of Africa like a hippo. What a life!!!
        So, I’ll tell my husband, no way.
        I’ve got them in all sizes and in different styles. You see them, I’ve got it.
        :)
        Appreciate your concern. I was getting a wee bit worried myself. As I really have so many of them. All over my home.
        Just don’t want to idolize them.
        They are just for a good laugh.

    • 12

      my reply to you is below. i put it in the wrong place!

  9. 14

    My “me” time, aside from my early morning secret place time with the Lord, is Tuesday night from 6-8 at our local Artcrafters’ shop for Stitch at Night. A group of us get together to crochet. I’ve made things to sell, give as gifts, and donate to charities. My husband uses that time to do something with our kids and always makes sure I get there.

  10. 15

    I try to use time here and there to do things I enjoy … even leaving 15 minutes early to pick up the kids from school so I’ll have that time to read a book while I’m waiting for the school bell to ring.

  11. 16

    I love to sing and dance…I’ve been a stay at home mom almost exclusively for 10 years. There’s been many bumps in the road and a lot of figuring out what things are really important. For a long time I felt a gaping hole where the things I loved used to be, like singing and dancing and writing. Though I absolutely loved the children and husband that occupy my time now, I’m slowly realizing that for me to be truly at my best I can’t think that they replace the other things I loved too. I need to stop grieving what I thought was lost and look for the ways to enjoy these beloved hobbies in the now. Then I can really give myself unrestrained to those that need me, because I’m not holding back in fear and grief, I’m giving out of an overflow of joy and the peace it brings.

  12. 17

    All I have is ‘me time’ since my husband died 9 months ago. It ain’t all it’ cracked up to be! :) To keep from spending all of my day on chores (or grieving), I have learned to ask God for 3 assignments each day–one for Him (Bible study/quiet time)–one for the house ( cleaning or grocery shopping, etc)–one for me (crafting, fishing or watching the hummers). And I journal what I’ve done so I won’t think the day was wasted. We are here to please God. So just ask Him what you can do today to make him smile.

    • 18

      I remember those days! I love your idea and wish I had thought of it when mine died. At that time I filled my life with people and doing ministry, and when I lost that I thought my world would end.
      Now I am happily remarried and ride in the semi with my hubby around the Midwest. I have more “me” time than I ever have had but sometimes I still can’t do what I really want, because we are moving and it is not always quiet so I can focus. But I have sure read a lot and together we listen to audio books! For a man who never liked to read he has listened to a variety of books in the last 18 months!
      I praise God for the time to finally focus on healing that needed to be done in my life as I read and study His Word and read books and blogs that have encouraged my heart and helped me grow in my journey in this season of my life.

  13. 19
    Marilyn says:

    Well, reading this has just made me want to take more time. I hardly take time for me with working full time, and 2 young kids. From the time I awake to the time a set my head on the pillow it is all about husband, kids, work and no time for me. So I rise up early in the wee hours of the morning 5 a.m. to exercise which I enjoy so much. That is my me time, to sweat everything out and get ready to tackle what comes my way the rest of the day. However, lately I have felt a tug to spend another portion of me time writing & reading. I need to work on that….

  14. 20

    Great question. My favorite thing in the world to do is to run. I enjoy lacing up my running shoes and running outside. It doesn’t matter if its raining, sunny, cold, warm, sun up or down I just enjoy a run. A close second is doing anything with art– painting, drawing, designing, creating and photography. Looking forward to your new book. Thank you for what you do.

  15. 21

    I have always struggled with making time for myself, even now that I am 64 years old!–because I felt like others were supposed to come before me. (Still pretty much feel that way.) But I do love to sew even though I do it sporadically, I find that when I have a project to do then my creative juices get going and I am all consumed in figuring it all out. Like right now–I am making some unusual curtains for a young friend of mine for her first apartment. Next–it’s a snake costume for my youngest grandson for Halloween! (There are no snake costume patterns!) But you are right–I do feel energized when I have done something for me!

    • 22

      Brenda, my sister has combined her love of sewing with doing for others. She has declared Tuesday afternoons as sewing open house time at her home. Any of her friends and aquaintances who want to sew or learn to sew are welcome to come over. She helps with projects and encourages, but she also learns from the others. It has become a sisterhood and support group.

  16. 23

    Lots of great ideas! But at 57 years old I’ll throw something else into the mix. I hear and observe so many mothers who are stressed out and whose time is totally taken up by the many MANY things their children participate in. It’s SO hard on families and particularily mothers. It teaches children an realistic expectation of life, finances and their future partners (who will definitely NOT give up their whole lives so they can follow many different interests). Seriously, people sit back and take a good hard look at things!!!
    We limited our children’s activites because I only had access to a car two days a week. They spent lots of time playing and creating. I admit I felt guilty at times because we couldnt afford or chose not to enroll them in all the common activites. Of all their young friends who were genius musicians, budding professional atheletes, promising dancer friends only one still plays her violin, another takes ballet for fitness, one plays beer league hockey now that they are in their early thirties…and they have terrible memories of their lives in the back seat of mini vans.

    So you are not only doing yourself a favor but your kids too when you simplify your schedule!

    • 24

      I agree. As a teacher, I often felt that some children grew up thinking that they were the center of the universe because the family’s schedule revolved around them. Helping the family and laughing with mom is valuable, too.

  17. 25

    i have had a crazy passion for horses since i was very very young. i have never let it go and ALWAYS found time for it. It’s looked different at different stages of my life but while i was crazy busy with kids, foster kids, a ranch, running a couple businesses i always kept it going in some fashion. studying, reading, going to clinics, an endless pursuit of knowledge that i patiently, persistently pursued! i always dreamed of a day when i could make it my career and mostly all i do. i can remember times when i was so RESENTFUL that i had to sit at a desk doing books for our biz when all i wanted to do was be outside with my horses. but i would cling to the verse in Psalms…37;4 delight your self in the Lord and HE WILL GIVE YOU THE DESIRES OF YOUR HEART! now, at 52 thru a crazy turn of events, the loss of 2 businesses due to the economy, huge forced changes that were SO scary…BOOM. God has given me the desires of my heart and more. we moved out of our huge home and now rent it to vacationers from all over the world. i offer Natural Horsemanship lessons and get to play pony with these guests, work with kids, older folks, people with great fear of horses all with horses i have rehabbed (off the track, abused, psycho!) I am living my dream and being able to share my love of Christ thru my passion. hang in there. NEVER give up your dream. pursue it in the tiniest ways you can, baby steps add up over the years. all those years i spent have paid off BIG time. i am so grateful to God i thank Him everyday, all day!

    • 26

      I love horses as well. I used to read books on horses since I was five and would dream about having my own horse right outside my doorstep.

      I’m so glad the LORD has finally given you your dream as a reward and you are living your dream for JESUS.

      Awesome life you’ve lived. Thanks for sharing your dreams with us all as well.

      Karen the hippo

  18. 27

    In this season of my life, my 4 year old is in school and I am in school myself so I have a good period of time during the day while she is in class to get house work done and manage time for myself. I usually break it up, doing some chores then a short break to read a few encouraging blogs or journal. Spending time with The Lord in quitness or reading my book. I have really developed a love for reading :)

  19. 28

    What is something that you love to spend time on?
    I love spending time doing my hand stitching. It is a creative process for me. I love to crazy quilt photo covers and embellish them with buttons, beads, laces and jewelery
    pieces.
    More importantly, how do you make time for yourself and this passion?
    I try real hard to keep my evenings open for this. I am my moms caretaker …..she is 91 and has dementia and so if she rests that I can too. I find during this season of my life this is a must for e if I am going to be able to sleep when she does. My husband makes sure I can do this.

  20. 29

    Yes, yes, yes… Agree with everything you say. I just woke up to the fact that I’ve pushed myself aside for three years now in order to ‘serve’ everyone else around me. But in the process, I’ve become less of myself and less of a blessing to those people in my life. My favorite way to spend me time is reading, writing, blogging. I LOVE quiet time with God and this is something I’ve missed for too long now. Love this call to set aside our to do lists and use those skills that bring us joy, and sometimes I think even setting aside the temptation to be productive all the time is a form of dying to self. Recognizing we can’t do it all, and that it’s OK to rest in the arms of our Father. :)

  21. 30

    Jessica, I just had to make this for you….I loved this post!
    http://ramblingandstitching.blogspot.com/2013/09/making-time-for-me.html

  22. 31

    Great Topic! Its one that I truly ignored until recently. It dawned on me that I am doing everything for everyone @ home…..it started ever so slightly when my child was young. I realized just a couple of years ago that I am the one that is vaccuuming and getting a glass of water for my 17 year old, who is watching TV, still! What in the world am I doing?! He’s grown and should be vaccuuming and getting ME a glass of water!!! or at least getting water himself!
    So…I called my “Family Meeting”, which to the kids means “oh oh! Mom is on the warpath”!
    So I announced I am now “me” and “you are adults and can take care of yourselves”. I now have them schedule their appointments, open their mail, balance their own accounts by themselves, etc. etc. If they need help, I help only when asked. NEVER offer anymore.
    I now run a Ragdoll Cattery for autistic children and folks for special needs.
    I also have an Suri Alpaca Business, selling herdsires, agistment services and run a fiber business from the alpacas! I make yarn and products from the Alpacas and other people’s alpaca fiber!
    I do NOT know how I got here, I know the Lord had a hand in it!! I have the busiest, self-filled, loving animals that I nurture and offer back to society. The selfish side of me has taken away my “baby-fever” and my kids and husband are SO proud of me and that makes me SO happy!!! Ive shown that a bit of me time and perservance can go a loooong way! Alleluiah and Amen. So ladies, put down the vaccuum and go for it!!!

  23. 32

    I feel for you, Candy, and love your perspective, and it changes how I word my comment. I don’t get much time to myself, and am never alone, unless I stay up late, late to enjoy a quiet house, but at the expense of a good night’s sleep. Not a good trade. But I also wouldn’t trade it for the kind of “me time” Candy now has.

    This is all such a challenge for me. I am blessed to have 8 children and to have homeschooled for the last 20 years. I still have 2 who are homeschooling, and 6 of our children at home, including our daughter who has a husband and newborn, bringing our household total to 10. Most of the kids are teens with busy sports and activity schedules, and I care for my parents one day each week (giving my overtaxed sister a break), and our house reflects the whirlwind that our life is… So my days whizz by without much of a spare moment. I’m tired and spent.

    I bake and love to sew, which are passions that can double as service to my family. Sewing gives me a creative outlet, as well as a chance to accomplish something tangible that won’t be undone. I go weeks, though, without getting to sit at my machine, which I’m trying to remedy by giving my days more structure.

    I make myself a ‘coffee drink’ (Moka pot type espresso in soy milk with a bit of hazelnut creamer) most days at mid-morning. My day feels ‘off’ without it. I allow myself to SIT with it, even if I need to be at the computer, pay bills, or help with schoolwork. Maybe I should limit myself to Bible reading or other quiet pursuit at that time. I enjoy the occasional ‘mom-kid date’ to connect, one-on-one, with one of my children. Time is precious, so special (focused) moments shared with my husband and family are the best “me” time.

  24. 33
    Veronica says:

    Dear Jessica:
    Thanks for our brief story on making “me-time”. I too, find myself with the same problem. We have two grand-daughters and rarely get to see them. Our first granddaughter, well we saw her pretty often (once a month) and our second granddaughter was born July 2nd. My husband was in Switzerland on a business trip and was unable to be there when she was born. Our son, daughter-in-law and both granddaughters we very seldom see. They live about 45 minutes from us; but somehow through all the rumble…we don’t get to see them at all. So, I find myself adding time to my not so busy schedule writing “love letters” to my oldest granddaughter who is now 3 years old. I find real enjoyment in knowing just because we don’t see them, I want her to know “grandma will always love her and her sweet baby sister who is ow 2 months old”. What a real joy to be able to put my thoughts down on paper and called it…”love letters to my granddaughters”.

  25. 34

    I am 62 and on my 3rd marriage. I have been through many seasons of life already. By far this is the best one yet!
    God has given me a wonderful husband and the opportunity to see America with him in the semi. I have always longed to travel and see God’s creation. This past week we were in Pocono, PA. A dream of a teenage girl looking at wedding magazines. It was slightly different than what they advertised however. We slept in our semi sleeper parked in a big box parking lot! But the scenery was awesome! God was so near. Something I doubt I would have experienced years ago.
    I have always enjoyed reading and get to do much more of it now. Both books that help me grow spiritually and fun ones. We also listen to audio books together.
    After years of being a caregiver to my late husband and a licensed lay pastor to two small congregations I have time to heal from many losses that have impacted me through the years.
    I enjoy reading blogs and am working toward writing and blogging myself. I enjoy photography, and when we are home I enjoy cooking. That is usually only weekends and my hubby is not a big eater, so I do miss that some. When I am home alone I cook up a storm and share with everybody!
    Each season has its own blessings and challenges!
    I believe women today can easily get caught up in doing good, in trying to be the best, taking on more than God intends, and because of that they loose time for what is truly important.

  26. 35

    Thank you, Thank you, thank you for sharing this message…..aaahhh…..it’s so refreshing to my soul. It’s speaks to me in such a loud way. Just reading the title made my toes curl. God is so good……it’s such a blessing to be able to take time for myself. It’s beautiful how you pointed out that your husband picked up on your need to do something you enjoy due to your grumpiness. That’s cute….that’s beautiful. Thanks for sharing that. Making time has been such a great need for me. One of the things that I enjoy, is journaling. It’s therapeutic; it’s like breathing to me. Aaahhh…..it’s so me. I’ve been blessed with time to be able to do this.
    Something else I enjoy for “me time” is pampering appointments like massages, facials, mani/pedis….it has helped to set up the appointment each time ahead of time for the next appointment while I’m there like for massages to kind of help me follow through. I do admit it’s a work in progress to get out there to those pampering appointments…..to accept that I am worth getting pampered….. This is where your challenge to join you in making time for what I enjoy comes in…. Basically to look at just how dedicated am I to follow through.
    I enjoy reading writing pieces like this one for example and going through Facebook reading posts/verses/encouraging affirmations/ watching vids that are motivational/encouraging. I’ve been taking time each day to scroll through them if not during the day then I eventually get to it at night.
    Listening to praise and worship/gospel music or instrumentals also is enjoyable. Listening to some as I type. Sometimes I take the time to listening specifically or have it playing in the background like now which soothes me.
    I’m thankful to have read this because it’s bringing up things that I need to look at and journal about… ;) things that need attention. I was definitely sizzled by reading this. (hm)
    This is all I can share for now.

  27. 36
    Clyda Carter says:

    You have made me stop and think……I do very little for my self…….I am a caregiver to my son….but I have learned today thru all the replys that I would be a better caregiver……if only I take a few minutes for my self. I spend many hours in prayer, as life is very challenging right now……but thank you for making me realize that I also need to care for myself. I am new to the site and I so love Holly and all that you do……I have been richly blessed thru you and your words. God Bless you

  28. 37
    Elizabeth says:

    I really need quiet uninterrupted “putter around” time to recharge me on a consistent basis. I am a much more centered mom and woman if I have do this. At this season in my life I get this time by waking up before my family.

  29. 38

    Your reflection is so encouraging for me. I often feel guilty about spending me-time although my husband is always encouraging me to do so. I live in busy and hectic Singapore with four children, three of whom are sitting for important national exams. The youngest is almost 5 years old. For the past few months, I’ve had to put aside almost all the things I love to do – scrapbooking, crafting even major cleaning – to help my number 3 to be more ready for her exams. doing all those things just saps my energy to be able to help her (esp with the hot, humid weather). So I feel that while I love to do those crafting stuff, I also feel that being a mum, making the sacrifice is necessary for a short while to help a child and be more attentive to her needs. I’m glad to be able to spend my morning in prayer while they are all at school. Well, we are the tail-end of her preparation and her exams end on Oct 1. Thank you for your sharing.

  30. 39

    I took the survey and Thank you for this article. Regarding the survey, your “Classification” question regarding who lives with me did not have the opp to say anything regarding “kids” over 18 living with me. I have 2 twentysomethings living with me, ie a recent college grad working and taking post grad courses, as well as a college student. I don’t think I’m the only one with college kids who live either fulltime or part-time at home…and believe me that is something Worth considering in regards to time, money, energy and yes, blessings too.
    Thanks.

  31. 40

    I’m with you, Jessica. Reading is my best “me time.” When I was working, I found that if I could go in my room after work and read for 15 minutes (any longer than that and I might fall asleep!), it seemed to drain the tension from me and I could definitely come out and be a calmer, more pleasant mother and wife. Now that I’m retired, but have the opportunity to serve a small church as lay pastor, I spend a lot of time reading in preparation for each Sunday’s service. I get up before everybody else, so that’s usually my reading/study/devotional time. Your article has made me realize, though, that I need to spend some time on just pleasure reading, sitting out in my yard and just reading for relaxation. If I don’t have a good novel handy, home decorating magazines help me to relax, also.

  32. 41
    Beth Williams says:

    I feel as women we need to carve out time for ourselves. We all need alone time to vegetate and be drawn closer to Him.

    I get up early and read/listen to the Bible and pray. Also try to work out a little In there as it makes me feel good and gets me revved up for a busy day at the office. When there is plenty of spare time I enjoy cooking. I watch Food Network and try out some of their recipes. It thrills me to have a home cooked dinner once in a while.

    Women need to ask their spouses or friends to help them make time for themselves. Get someone to watch kids now and then and Yes it is ok to say “NO” to extra activities that would put a stressor on you.

leave a comment:

*