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As women in this busy world that we live in, we do not often think about ourselves – what we need. We think about others. Many of us are wives, mothers, heads of households, employers, employees, students, and servants in the Lord's house; as such, our focus is generally on meeting the needs of others and not on ourselves. While all of that is commendable and good, we cannot forget to attend to our needs. We need to learn to take time to administer some self-care to ourselves so that we can be even better at the various roles we play in other people's lives.

Self-care is a "meaningful gift of self-love and appreciation." In other words, it is a gift we bestow on ourselves because we value whom God has made us and are worthy of this expression of love. Every person on the face of the earth needs to receive love and care, but women often need to improve in this area because they are waiting for someone else to express appreciation. And their self-esteem and self-worth are affected when they don't receive it. This, in turn, affects how they perceive the wonderful gift of life that God has given them. We must remind ourselves that we have been fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14) and periodically take some time to express gratitude to God by taking care of ourselves.

Even Jesus recognized the importance of self-care. In Mark 6: 31, Jesus told his disciples, "Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while: for there were many coming and going, and they had no leisure so much as to eat." So you see, ladies, sometimes we need to unplug, less life becomes too overwhelming.

We need to unplug so God can help us maintain balance and remind us of what is important. Therefore, we can say self-care is necessary; it will help us be healthier – spirit, soul, and body. It will help eliminate the toxins that come with stress in our bodies and free our minds from unnecessary clutter. A clear mind and peaceful spirit are crucial to living a long and satisfying life.

So in 2023, remember yourself as you show love to others. Take some "me time" to get a needed massage, read a book, take a bubble bath, or take a long walk in the park. Do whatever will make you feel like the valuable person you are because without you being your best, you can't give your best.

- Minister Linda Burdette

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