I recently read a blog post by Shauna Niequist called ‘Burn the Candles’. In it she talks about how she’s focusing this year on burning the candles and using the gifts that she’s been given by well meaning, loving, generous family and friends. You know the ones…the ones that seem too good to use just for ourselves. The beautiful, extravagant ones that are too good for everyday or us to use for ourselves. This really struck a chord in me. Often, if I receive a beautiful gift, a candle, a lotion, a scarf, a gift card, whatever, I’ll think it’s too nice for me to use. I’ll think of who I could give it to that ‘deserves’ it more than me. I think that I’m not worthy to enjoy the gift just for myself. But that’s not kind to the giver. They gave the gift to me, because they wanted to bless me with that gift. Not cause me to think I’m undeserving. To help me think more of myself, not less.
So this year I’m going to burn the candle. Use the lotion. Wear the scarf. Spend the gift card on me.
And I’m going to learn to enjoy it…because I deserve it. Because I don’t want to rob the giver of the gift they intended for me. Maybe you struggle with the same feelings. Will you join me this year? Will you burn your candle, use the lotion, wear the scarf, the fancy earrings, open the jam, the bottle of wine…whatever it is that you have that you think is too good for you?
Enjoy them, because they were given to you for exactly that purpose.
And as we enjoy the beautiful things around us, I believe we will be better versions of ourselves. I’ll be a better me. A better wife. A better mom. A better friend. A better leader. A better writer. And I think the people in my life deserve that. In order to help me be accountable to this goal, I will be posting a list every Monday of my goals of burning the candle and taking care of me for the week. Each Monday, I’ll recap how I did the previous week, and lay out my goals for that week. Would you consider joining me with your own list? We can do this together. For many of us, who give and give of ourselves, this may be difficult. Difficult to ‘find’ the time, take the time, feel guilt-free to take time, to take care of ourselves. It might mean that the dishes don’t get washed, a load of laundry might sit in a basket waiting to be folded, a floor goes un-mopped.
And that’s ok.
Because one of two things will happen. Either it will still be there waiting to be done, or someone else will bless you by doing it.
And that, my friend, is ok too.
So please join me…