My preference is red mulch. I say this as if I know something about gardening. I don’t…but I think red mulch is prettier than black mulch and because my flowers are often dead, my mulch color matters to me.
If you know nothing about gardening, good old Webster says mulch is “a material (such as small pieces of wood, leaves, or straw) that is spread over the ground in a garden to protect the plants or help them grow and to stop weeds from growing.”
Some Instagram lady I don’t know made mulch seem a bit more beautiful when considered as a verb. “Mulch (a verb): To lay yourself down for the nourishment of others.” -Claire Fryer
The purpose of mulch is to protect plants by keeping the good stuff in and keeping the bad stuff from taking over. Sometimes I feel like mulch. Spreading myself all over for my kids and hoping to keep the good (be respectful, be responsible, be loving, and kind…and good…and learn to do some chores…and do your homework and eat vegetables sometimes and take a bath somewhat regularly, etc.) in and the bad (meanness, back-talking, disrespect, laziness, eating junk food 98% of the time, watching the dumb YouTube shows that lead to dummer YouTube shows, etc.) out.
As mommas and friends and wives or just human beings in general, we often aim to provide those around us with the substances needed for growth. We spread ourselves thin as we provide the nourishment others need to do well and chase after their dreams and grow, but it may come at the expense of neglecting ourselves. While we are often thrilled at the growth of those we love, this doesn’t change the reality that this may leave us feeling depleted…and if prolonged, maybe even a level of depletion that is not remedied by a pedicure.
What are some little things that bring you joy? Not the whole…go-out-and-drop-lots-of-money-on-something or a weekend getaway type of things, but the little things.
Here are mine:
- Wearing socks. Not fancy or fuzzy socks or anything special, just having socks on my feet.
- Cozy pants. Sweatpants, the just right type of yoga pants, pajama pants.
- Chocolate milk. Highlands, of course.
- My designated peace place. Every house I’ve lived in, I have specifically chosen a spot that I deem my peace place. Other people are welcome to it. I mean, I’m a mom, I don’t even get the bathroom to myself why would I assume I get a peace place to myself. Sometimes it’s simply sitting in that place in my house reading or writing that brings me all the joy.
- Writing. You may think I write to encourage you, and I absolutely love when I hear that some of you find these encouraging and gives you relatability…it’s one of my favorite things, but oftentimes I write for me. It’s a way to process my thoughts, my frustration, my joy, my good, my bad, to learn about myself, to try and grow from my weakness.
- Exercise. Something I desperately wish I got more of, but I accept the reality that I’m still a couple years away from getting to leave all my kids to go workout in peace.
- Reading the Word. Resting in His presence.
- My favorite coffee mug. I rarely drink coffee – almost to the point where those who know me think this one should not make the list. I mean maybe once a month. Maybe. And when I do it’s so fancied up so drastically that it does not taste like coffee. And when I do it’s no earlier than 10:00PM. But holding a warm piece of pottery from my favorite earthly potter brings me joy!
- Rest. Something I neglected for years, but am quickly learning to soak up.
Rest in His Presence
As you probably know, wellness consists of so much more than our physical health. It’s made up of the emotional, psychological, spiritual, and social (for some). So when we’ve spent days upon days that lead to months or years upon years of being mulch for others…when we come from a place of feeling absolutely depleted as we lay ourselves out to nourish others, maybe we need to recognize that refilling is going to take much more than a day trip to the spa or a night out. It’s a good start and it may work for some, but maybe you need more. Maybe we need to focus on weaving some of our little joys into our day-to-day lives. Even in the small pockets of time when you can sneak away and get a brief moment of relief or extra joy, I think that does us some good when mothers of little ones recognize that night out or day trip is not going to happen as often as we might like.
Matthew 11:28-29 says “Then Jesus said, ‘Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.'”
When you come into His presence, He gives rest. The burdens of the world that weigh you down, may seem to melt away. When you need to be refreshed, refilled, rejuvenated…go to the Creator. Linger in His presence. He was the one who laid down His entire life so that you may get the goodness of a life with Him.
Turn your eyes upon Jesus. Look full in His wonderful face. And the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace.
Love you. Bye friends. 🙂