Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Put Your Own Mask On First

I used to have a hard time on airplanes as I would listen to the flight attendants go through the in-flight rules before take-off.  Let me rephrase that.  There was really only ONE rule that would catch me off guard every time.

It's the one where they talk about the oxygen mask that gets released from above if there is an emergency.  The flight attendant is always quick to share a quick warning and word of advice for the adult to put their oxygen mask on first...and THEN their child's mask.

I used to think, "well how selfish is that?!".

But after thinking about this some more (I'm a quick reactor to a fault sometimes.  Hey, I'm working on it ok;) I realized just how important this little piece of advice is.

In fact, I'd venture to say that it can carry on into normal day life as well.

What if I try to put the "physical mask" on my kids first, making sure that they are involved in every seasonal sport.  Meanwhile I am slowly getting more and more out of shape because I lack the discipline to be physically active myself.

What if I try to put the "relational mask" on my kids first, making sure they make it to every social event, birthday party and play date they are invited to.  Meanwhile I am drowning in loneliness and lack of community and accountability.

What if I am so worried about getting in every food group at every meal, while avoiding all the chemicals, additives, dyes and whatever else, yet skipping my own meals throughout the day.

What if I am so focused on my kids "character mask" that I am more worried about how my kids are acting and neglecting to realize that they are just mimicking my own reactions to life.

What if I try to put the "spiritual mask" on my kids first (dropping them off at church, praying with them before bed, sending them to a Christian school), desperate for them to get some "spirituality" in their lives.  Meanwhile I am slowly suffocating from lack of fresh oxygen which comes from my own personal relationship with Christ, a community to surround and support me, and the growing fruit of the Spirit that overflows from this kind of "oxygen" that would naturally surround my kids and fill them with life-giving oxygen as well.

Women, we have to take care of ourselves first!

Now I know, there is a balance.

I'm not saying that you need to cancel your kids soccer practice in order to spend a day at the spa(okay, maybe that wouldn't be too bad would it?), but what if we made it a point to stay physically active ourselves!  Our bodies would thank us for it (well, maybe not at first, ha!) and our kids would grow up seeing the importance of taking care of the bodies that God gave us.

What if we slowed down a little and had actual conversations with human beings, outside of the computer or phone screen.  That's how it used to be!  Isn't relationship what we were created for?

What if we made sure we ate our own three meals a day.  I've found that if I get all 3 meals in, I am a MUCH happier mama, and patience abounds (most of the time;)!

What if we realized that the way we talk to our kids and treat our kids is actually how our kids are learning to talk and treat their siblings and peers...and us.  We can yell and scream at them all day about the way they are acting, but if we don't show them self-control in this area, it's going to be an uphill battle I'm afraid.

Most importantly, if we are not taking the time to grow in our relationship with Christ we aren't going to value our body as "not our own" to help us respect it and take care of it, we are going to struggle in relationships because of selfishness, greed and laziness, and we most certainly are not going to have the overflow for our family that comes from this relationship.

So, as much it makes me cringe to say it, I would have to agree with the flight attendant...

"Adults, put your own mask on first".
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