Simple Retreats for a Woman’s Soul is a simple reminder that it’s ok — even good! — to take care of yourself and do things that will help to keep you mentally, spiritually, and physically stable. Written by Sue Augustine and published by Harvest House Publishers, it makes “me” time seem like an extremely practical and beneficial thing to do.
Before I became a mom I thought that moms who declared that they needed “time for ME!” were a wee bit selfish. (Please don’t laugh or throw tomatoes at me just yet.) After all, I reasoned, women choose to become moms and didn’t they realize that that involved sacrifice? It meant giving up their lives for their children and saying goodbye to free time. That was part of the CALLING.
Then I became a mother.
Now I know that it’s really important to take time away for me.
If I didn’t set aside that time, I’d honestly lose my mind.
Enter this book. This book is mildly impractical for moms of small children because you really don’t have time for bubble baths and money for massages because, well, you really care about purchasing those disposable diapers and that eats a hole out of your budget like nobody’s business. However, Augustine does have some good tips and tricks for how to pamper yourself in easy ways. It’s all about taking the time to do so.
I know now that being a mom does mean giving up your life to someone else but it doesn’t mean that you have to give up your sanity. For me, my “guilty pleasure” involves reading (which is incredibly convenient when we’re talking about being a book reviewer). If I’m lucky, I will have a Starbucks-iced-chai-tea-latte-low-ice-please-and-thank-you in one hand and a book in the other. If I’m luckier, I’m sitting in Starbucks all by my lonesome when this is happening.
I’m also a night owl (but my husband isn’t) and so I tend to take the time when my son is asleep in bed to catch up on my Bible reading, correspondence, scrapbooking, etc. And it’s important to do those things! It’s important, as Augustine says, to take time out to be creative and lounge about. If staying calm means staying in your pj’s – hey – I won’t say otherwise. Sip some tea. Take a walk. Journal. Take time to reminisce about where you’ve been and dream about where you are going. It’s good for sanity’s sake. This book is good for encouragement.
Perhaps you can’t reasonably try all her suggestions, or even most of them! However, she might spark an idea or give you some advice that will spur you on in the right direction for you. I’ll join her in saying, “Take time out for YOU!” Not necessarily because “you deserve it” but because you NEED it! I get it now.
Carrie comes by her book obsession honestly, having descended from a long line of bibliophiles. She blogs about books regularly at Reading to Know.