About the Author

Anna is the author of A Moment of Christmas and Pumpkin Spice for Your Soul. She's worked at (in)courage since 2012, and lives in Minnesota with her husband and their four kids. Anna encourages others to look for and embrace the extraordinary moments found in their ordinary days.

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  1. Anna,
    I will be the first to jump on your bandwagon! As women, we will take care of our children, aging parents, ailing spouses, the neighbor, children in Africa, the PTA, and the dog before we take care of ourselves. You’re right, this kind of “servant to an extreme” attitude is NOT biblical. God didn’t suggest resting; He commanded it because He loves us and knows we need it. I have several health issues that make it necessary for me to take naps. I hate to admit this because I believe that people will think I’m lazy. If we truly listened to our bodies, I believe we would do a lot of things differently. God cares about us just as much as He cares about all the other people and things we put before ourselves. Self care is not a luxury…it’s a NECESSITY. It’s only taken me 58 years to learn this, so Anna, you’re ahead of the curve 😉 At the very least, please consider self care as your gift to others and to God. I know that if we would all take just a little more care of ourselves, it would be a fragrant offering unto God.
    Blessings and awesome post,
    Bev xx

  2. Anna,

    Life gets so busy at times that women forget to care for themselves. We take care of others, work, run the household, etc. Before long we’re depleted. Bonnie Gray wrote a fabulous book “Whispers of Rest: 40 Days of God’s Love to Revitalize Your Soul”. She talks about soul care & why it is so important. Topics include: breathing, choosing rest, choosing comfort, & brokenness. She gives challenges to help you revitalize your soul & get back in tune with God. This was/is a much needed book. People, especially women, neglect themselves. We don’t feel we deserve or have time to rest, & other “frivolous” things like nice smelly candles, flowers or quiet walk alone. Women go ahead & pamper yourself. Go to the doctor or dentist, take some time off & just rest. Rest in God & refill your tired weary soul. Do some soul care. God created us & he wants us to care for this vessel. Thank you for shedding more light on a much needed topic.

    Blessings 🙂

  3. Hey Anna! Good for you working it girl!! Yes I went 8 years no cleaning.. I a single mom of 3 had a million excuses and a heavy workload… until one day in my salon I met a dentist, also single mom….my fears of her badly dyed hair she was committing on her self… was no match for my fear of dentists! I told her my toothbrush sat in clean peroxide every day for as long as I can remember… she assured me she would be gentle and low and behold.. I was a mess inside of my pearly whites! We started bartering services.. praying together and have been best friends since, both finding a relationship in Jesus early on in this 27 year old friendship
    We now live 5 states apart and have grandchildren., new husbands and God’s promises to always be with us .. everywhere, even at the dentist:) blessings to you and keep on keeping on \0/

  4. Thank you Anna!

    For starting my day in such a good way. My dentist’s office will be calling to remind me of my appointment for cleaning and my life is so filled with things to do and having my grown up kids closer to home and a history project I’m working on for the families to realize what our family consists of and where they fit into it that I’ve been planning for a while to put off the appointment.

    My teeth have been a problem since a horrific auto accident, way back in 1999. I had to stay with one son and daughter-in-love for five weeks before I could climb the steps into my own home. My DIL took me to this dentist. He had never seen me before. I had no insurance and no money; he used his drill and whatever else necessary and rounded the edges on the most damaged teeth so I could manage to eat without injuring my mouth. He said “no charge. Come and see me again when you need to.” And each time one of my teeth needed help he took care of it.

    When I got insurance he was able to rebuild and repair and at almost 86 years old my teeth are still my own, thanks to this kind man. He is a real blessing. And I am thankful. God has brought me through all the things that began to be a part of my life with that accident and He is faithful!

    You and the others who write these wonderful encouragements and make yourselves vulnerable in doing that are to be thanked as the blessings you are. This community is like fresh air in today’s culture. thank you for helping me start my day in His word and with yours!

    • Oh Molly, your story touched me. What a gift that dentist is, and what a gift is the compassion he showed. Thank you so much for sharing and encouraging me.

      And we’re so glad you’re a part of the (in)courage community! Thank you for your kind words.

  5. Way to go, Anna! I, too, neglected my teeth for many years. Lots of painful, shaming appointments later, I now floss every day and get my teeth cleaned every six months. It was a hard lesson, but I’m on the right track now. And so are you! (You look great, by the way!)

    Love,
    Irene B

  6. Thanks so much for writing this. I’m literally going through this right now. Nursing ruined my teeth and all the shame you describe has been going through my head lately. There is freedom in realizing I deserve self care and dental work qualifies as that. Thanks again!

  7. Dear Anna
    I was just on a plane heading south from New England this spring. All one has to do is really listen and pay attention to what the flight attendant says. As your mask drops down please cover your own face and breathe before you give the mask to your children. Hummmm……sounds like airline policy is right on regarding self care. Let’s all remember that when we self care, we are better able to care for those who need us most. BTW, the dentist is still my scariest place to be and I’m 63 years old. I pray Holy Spirit power each time I go. I’ve also had an enormous amount of work done. Keep up the good work Anna the finish line is closer than you think. Praying for you.

    • YES — I’m a big fan of that analogy too!! Thank you so much for your encouragement; it means the world, as I know you truly understand this process too. Blessings, Dee.

  8. Thank you for being so honest about yourself. I no very few people like going to the Dentist. As they are not cheep. I have no kids. But a few years ago because of health problems I took seizures to do with my periods. There is a name for it. I took a seizure don’t remember how I done it. But I knocked my front three teeth out. Because of seizure. Ended up in Hospital. Had to get inplants in my mouth to replace the teeth I badly damaged that couldn’t be fixed. So my front top three teeth are inplants. They where not cheep. I never up until then looked after my health. All because of a seizure. I never liked going to the Dentist. My health took a downward spiral. My periods where getting heavier. My pain all thoes years ago was getting worse so bad I couldn’t sleep at night I run to toilet. I never liked even a Doctor pocking at me I was loosing weight. I was taking seizures before my periods during my periods and after my periods every month. My period pain was offal. The bed was soaking. Even my clothes. I pray God take this away rather than go to the Doctors. My Husband and my late Mother would cry for me. I was not well all thoes years ago. Then I heard Father God say in my ear Dawn please go the Doctors. I went they sent me for a scan. It showed the cause of my problem. I had Fibrobs. Big ones. So I had in Gods perfect timing I had a hysterecmony. I knew I never wanted kids. I had so many people praying for me. I went down to the Operation with out any thought got through it not bother. Because I knew God was with me the whole way throughout the Operation. Guiding the people doing the Operation. Plus I have got over it ever since. Only I had one small tiny sizure since. I only started taking seizures when my periods got heavy. Age 40 now 48. I have never had any more sizures since I had the Operation only that we small one and I am glad I listened to God and went and seen the Doctors about my health. God has been good to me. I am so glad I listen to God and looked after my health. Sometimes we don’t like doing what God tells us. But God only tells us for our own good because he loves us and cares for us and wants the best for us. You have to look after your health and listen to God. I glad now I did. As if I didn’t I would not be where I am today seizure free. Excellent reading thank you for it. Dawn Ferguson-Little

    • Dawn, thank you for sharing your story! I’m so grateful you listened to the Spirit’s nudging and went to the doctor. Praise Him for your health today!

  9. You just told my story! Someone said to me once “pregnancy does not ruin your teeth”. And, the shame came back. I am still embarrassed that I have dentures. Thank you so much for sharing your story. I have tears

    • Argh, I’ve heard that before too. My reply was simply, “Just sharing my experience and what my dentist told me.” Even if the decay, etc. isn’t a directly caused by pregnancy, an absence from the dentist sure was and contributed to the problems. Either way. We know it’s not great and we don’t need the extra shame, that’s for sure!

      I’m so sorry for the shame you feel, and will be praying for freedom in your beautiful smile.

  10. Please let me add one more important piece of information.
    If you or someone you know is going to have chemotherapy. Before beginning chemo, go to your dentist. Get a deep cleaning done. Stay vigilent about your teeth and gums. Return for cleanings. Chemo can wreak havoc in your teeth and gums.
    I read about the need for dental care by a blogger who was not told to take good care of her mouth during chemo.
    Thank you. Self care is not always exciting. It is very important.

    • YES. And pregnant women really should also care of her teeth during pregnancy. I just… didn’t, which was obviously the wrong choice. Thank you for this important reminder!

  11. I am going through this exact scenario right now. Just had my first dental consult in years (after birthing and feeding 5 kids) and not taking care of my teeth, the amount of work that needs to be done and the cost is ridiculous. And the funny thing is, I was positive and up beat about spending thousands of dollars to get my child COSMETIC invisalign for her very slightly misaligned teeth but when it comes to spending half that amount on my painful cavities, I second guess doing the work. Mom life. Thanks for sharing this. I needed to know that I’m not the only one dealing with it.