Do you ever get so run down that you can’t look after anyone else?

Every Friday I like to write a short, inspirational 400-word piece on marriage to leave you with one thought to mull on over the weekend. And today I want to talk about taking care of ourselves!

Sheila’s Marriage Moment: Put Your Own Oxygen Mask on First

Why It's Okay to take care of yourself first--and why you should!

It’s 8:35 a.m. and I’m just waking up. Usually I’ve been up for two hours by now, but I’m exhausted.

Yesterday I had to fly from Bill & Hilary Clinton National Airport in Little Rock (seriously, I didn’t know there was an airport named after them) back home, because I had the privilege of taping a series of FamilyLife Together radio shows. But I struggled to do that because I wasn’t sleeping from a combination of jetlag from another recent trip and a bad cold.

Little Rock Airport

I’ve simply let myself get worn down over the last few weeks.

And as I was listening to four different versions of the safety message on the planes over the last three days, that oxygen mask thing really hit me: if the oxygen masks drop, and you’re traveling with someone who needs assistance, put your own mask on first. You aren’t any help to anyone else if you pass out. You need to take care of yourself.

Looking back I don’t know what I could have done differently over the last six weeks–but I’ve been going at about 120 miles an hour. Sometimes you’ll look at your schedule on paper and you’ll say, “I can handle that”, but when it actually arrives, it’s overwhelming.

You say yes to something reluctantly, but you think, “I can do it.” You sign your child up for one more activity because they really want it, even though it means two nights a week of practices and occasional weekends away, but you figure, “It’s important.” You take on a coordinating role for something at church, thinking, “It’s only three busy weeks“–but by the time it arrives you’re so stressed you’re yelling at people and you’re not sleeping because you’re already overtired and everything spirals downhill.

My big problem over the last few weeks wasn’t actually my planning–it was the fact that a bunch of things came up at the last minute (like this radio interview opportunity) that I had to fit in.

Extra things will always come up. Always. If you don’t have room for them, they will crash you.

And when you’re crashed, you can’t be a good wife. You can’t be a good mom. You can’t do anything except take care of yourself.

How much better if we had just built some margins in to begin with?

We only have so much time. If you say yes to something, you’re automatically saying no to something else. Too often the thing we’re saying no to is our own health. Stop it, and put your own oxygen mask on first.

That’s what I’m going to do this weekend!

Friday Roundup on To Love, Honor and Vacuum

What’s #1 at To Love, Honor and Vacuum?

How can you boost your marriage connection?  Are you too concentrated on fixing problems that you miss the bigger picture?  Or maybe you need some tips on how to make time with your husband more intimate.  Check out this week’s Top Posts and more!

(And this week’s top post was really an eye-opener for me. If you missed the resolving conflict post, please read it!)

FB Stop Resolving Conflict

#1 NEW Post on the Blog: Why I’ve Stopped “Resolving Conflict”– And You Should, Too 
#1 on the Blog Overall: Top 10 Tips For Initiating Sex With Your Husband 
#1 from Facebook: If You Give Your Husband A Kiss…
#3 from Pinterest: 29 Days To Great Sex Day 15: What Is Foreplay?

So About That Interview at FamilyLife…

It was really fun to tour the FamilyLife offices and meet Dennis Rainey and a bunch of others there! Keith and I have been associated with FamilyLife Canada for over 10 years now, speaking at the weekend conferences, but we’ve never done anything with FamilyLife U.S. (which is really much bigger).

So Dennis and Bob (the co-host) grilled me on how we in Canada do marriage conferences differently, and why (In Canada we only have couples speak at conferences; in the U.S. they tend to have one couple and then one other guy. We also changed the curriculum to focus more on emotional connection). We talked about how conferences are evolving. And I taught them how to pronounce Toronto correctly (It’s only 2 syllables; drop the first O and the second T–Tronno).

The interview itself went really well. They wrapped up super quick, which apparently is a good sign (they think I said enough interesting stuff that they don’t need to keep talking). I wish I had brought up a few other issues more and steered the conversation a little differently, but to be honest, I was focusing so hard on appearing normal and not fainting or throwing up that getting through it was considered a huge success.

FamilyLife Radio

You’ve Got to See This

As my long-time readers know, my husband likes birdwatching. So do I, but my husband’s really obsessed with it. And while he was out this week with a friend when I was away, he got this picture of a woodcock and her baby, and I am so jealous. I love woodcocks because they are so darn funny looking. And when they walk they’re even funnier looking. But to see a baby? Wow.


What I Did for My Birthday

For my birthday last week my daughter and I flew out to British Columbia to be with my cousin (we have birthdays together) and her kids. And then Katie and I took a few days to do some sightseeing and hiking, praying that it wouldn’t rain too much.

It really did wear me out, especially when our flight coming home was delayed and we missed a whole night of sleep (that was the beginning of the Really Bad Cold).

But we did make some great memories!

Now I’m going to relax and get myself some tea and maybe not even get dressed today.

Have a great weekend!

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