In this issue:
Learn why repurposing is just a way of appreciating the story in broken things, be inspired to make self-care a regular part of your life with no guilt, and learn more about a new book that's coming out that helps you discover God in the midst of everyday life.
This post marks the beginning of a new format for my blog! The new magazine-style format will include three elements in each issue: 1) a practical real-life article to inspire you to repurpose your own struggles or challenges into growth opportunities, 2) a fun repurposed or before-and-after idea, and 3) a reading recommendation for you to consider.
I love books, all things trash-to-treasure, and helping women discover hope - something I hopes you enjoy in every issue!
At the top of each issue, you'll find a summary of what's included in the content. That will also come to your inbox if you subscribe to the blog. Long-term, my goal is to turn this into a podcast, and the blog issues will become the show notes for the podcast. Stay tuned for more!
Inspired Life: Making Time for Self-Care
How often do you make time for yourself? And how often do you do that without feeling guilty about it? This past week, I made time for a massage. I hadn't had one in several years. On the way to the appointment, I passed the intersection of highways M and E. It made me ask myself, why have I trained myself to think me-time is selfish? I took a picture of the road sign just to remind myself to think about this question later.
It isn't that self-care is all about me, but more all about making sure I'm the best I can be. For you, that might be the best mom, or wife, or co-worker you can be. It might mean making sure you're rested enough to feel strong and healthy. It could mean taking a few minutes to clear your head in the hammock and process some throughs of gratitude. But it has to be guilt-free, and if you struggle with that, I'm right there with you! It feels indulgent, and necessary all at the same time.
I also include spiritual health in self-care, because the state of my soul matters. This means taking time to read Scripture in the morning, and doodling in my coloring Bible. It means a few extra minutes with the snooze alarm if I need it. I'm an empty nester and self-employed. My apologies if your reality can't include a snooze button!
The time spent doodling in my Bible allows me to meditate on - think about - what I just read and apply it to real life. It presses pause on the morning and says "slow down" before the rush even begins. What's your self-care possibility? Don't think about what everyone else can do, but consider what you can make real in your own life!
Some things to ask yourself:
What am I doing to make sure I take care of myself?
If I could make the time, what would I love to do more of?
What refreshes me and makes my soul feel nourished?
Do I feel guilty when I make time for self-care? How can I change the way I think?
What is one thing I could do this week that would help me to begin habits of self-care?
Life, Repurposed: Broken Things
In future issues of this online "magazine" I'll be sharing before-and-after projects, as well as trash-to-treasure ideas. This week, I'd like to begin with a deep breath. As we focus on self-care and making time to pause, I'd like to invite you into my living room. It isn't fancy. My house is old, with painted paneling, carpet that's outlived its luster, and plenty of problems. But it's also a place where I can pause and think - reflect and relax.
The living room is packed with items salvaged for five bucks at a garage sale, rescued from the trash, or inherited from family. It's where everything gets an opportunity to find a new purpose if I can think of one. If I can't, I wait for inspiration.
The point is that a repurposed life is one that appreciates the beauty it can see.
One of my favorite stories from childhood was Anne of Green Gables. In the new series, Anne with an E, Anne said something that stuck with me:
"I think broken things have such a sad beauty. After years of stories and triumph and tragedy infused into them they can be much more romantical than new things that haven’t lived at all."
Isn't that what it is? Broken things have a story - a meaningful one that something that hasn't been through real life just can't tell. That's why I love repurposing and upcycling so much!
Self-disclosure: I know that quote from Anne with an E because I was watching Netflix during my lunch break, and that stretched into a longer break. Hey, I'm self-employed. Did I mention that? Grin.
Recommended Reading: The Ministry of Ordinary Places
This past week, I finished an advance reading copy of The Ministry of Ordinary Places: Waking Up to God’s Goodness Around You by Shannan Martin. Reading the book was part of my hammock, self-care time. I loved it. Some reviewers have been harsh on the book and it hasn't even released yet! But I've noted they are mostly men. Enough said. I found Shannan's story to be real and transparent. I just felt connected to Shannan, and I can't explain it, except that she put into words what I sometimes think. And she lives out love in a way that we can't do if we're holed up in our churches and putting all of our effort into social events tailored for the church elite. The Martin family gets into the community and gets their hands dirty and hearts broken loving broken people.
I was sad to read that one reviewer thought of her as narcissistic. Huh? How can one be narcissistic when they live to sacrifice self for the needs of others? The book reads like a memoir, but it's important to note that when a book is about the reader, it doesn't mean the reader is in love with herself! It means her story can impact someone else, and inspire others to try a new way of loving people.
Another review said it was thin on theology. Again, huh? It is missing the preachy tone that many Christian books have. But theology, it's full of. The theology of loving God and loving people: the two commandments Jesus gave. It doesn't get more theological than that.
If you're looking for something for your fall reading list, the book is available now for pre-order on Amazon. You can read my review to learn more about why I gave it 5/5 stars, something I don't often do.
(Please note: books posted here on my blog are purely because I want to share them. Sometimes I receive free copies for review, and other times I purchase the books. Some I get from the library. Either way, any endorsement I offer here on the blog is simply because I want to talk about the book. )
Michelle Rayburn is the author of The Repurposed and Upcycled Life: When God Turns Trash to Treasure, as well as a small group Bible study to accompany the book. Learn more about these and her other books here.
All blog content copyright MichelleRayburn.com