3 Self Care Lessons I Learned From Marmee March

July 24, 2017

Marmee March is, without a doubt, my favorite literary character of all time.  And not only that, but I kind of want to be her.  She is full of kindness, goodness, wisdom, and grace.  She is loving, just, and sweet.  I doubt she ever had a #momfail.  Well, actually she admitted to Jo that her […]

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Marmee March is, without a doubt, my favorite literary character of all time.  And not only that, but I kind of want to be her.  She is full of kindness, goodness, wisdom, and grace.  She is loving, just, and sweet.  I doubt she ever had a #momfail.  Well, actually she admitted to Jo that her temper needed some work back when she had four extremely little women running around the house (and who amongst us can say otherwise?) So add humility to her list of honorable traits.  Like Mary Poppins, Marmee is, in my opinion, practically perfect in every way.  
I’m currently re-reading Little Women for, like, the 5th time and I just never get tired of it.  I love the character development, the emphasis on the March family’s bond, and how the relatability of the book has stood the test of time.  But most of all, I love Marmee.  God bless her.
Upon my current reading, I’m noticing yet again the sage wisdom Marmee offers, but also how she was wise beyond her years when it came to self care.  If you will allow me to be just a bit liberal with Louisa May Alcott’s beloved text, I would like to share three self care lessons straight from the immortal Marmee March.
Lesson 1:  Be grateful.  

Once upon a time there were four girls, who had enough to eat, and drink, and wear, a good many comforts and pleasures, kind friends and parents, who loved them dearly, and yet they were not contented.  (Here the listeners stole sly looks at one another, and began to sew diligently).  

These girls were anxious to be good, and made many excellent resolutions, but they did not keep them very well, and were constantly saying “If we only had this,” or “If we could only do that,” quite forgetting how much they already had, and how many pleasant things they actually could do; so they asked an old woman what spell they could use to make them happy, and she said, “When you feel discontented, think over your blessings and be grateful.”  (Here Jo looked up quickly, as if to speak, but changed her mind, seeing that the story was not done yet.)

Being sensible girls, they decided to try her advice, and soon were surprised to see how well off they were.  One discovered that money couldn’t keep shame and sorrow out of rich people’s houses, another that though she was poor, she was a great deal happier with her youth, health, and good spirits, then a certain fretful, feeble old lady, who couldn’t enjoy her comforts; a third that, disagreeable as it was to help get dinner, it was harder still to go begging for it.  And the fourth, that even carnelian rings were not so valuable as good behavior.  So they agreed to stop complaining, to enjoy the blessings they already possessed, and try to deserve them, lest they should be taken away entirely, instead of increased; and I believe they were never disappointed, or sorry that they took the old woman’s advice.  
I mean…come on.  Does it get any better than that?  If you’ve been following me for any length of time, you know I’m a big fan of gratitude.  Everything gets better when we count our blessings.  It’s impossible to be anxious or depressed and thankful at the same time.  Rather than complaining about what we don’t have, let’s fix our eyes on what we do have.  And remember, money has never, in the history of the world, EVER bought anyone true joy.  
Lesson 2:  Use your time wisely

Have regular hours for work and play; make each day both useful and pleasant, and prove that you understand the worth of time.  Then youth will bring few regrets, and life will become a beautiful success.

The worth of time.  Wow.  Most of us live our daily lives unaware of the worth of time, that life is fleeting and tomorrow is not guaranteed.  It’s important to do what we have to do, but ALSO TO MAKE TIME FOR SELF CARE.  We are not too busy for taking care of ourselves.  It’s not selfish.  It’s what will reduce our regrets and make our lives a beautiful success.  Marmee said so.  So schedule in some self care today, ya hear?
Lesson 3:  Take your troubles to God

My child, the troubles and temptations of your life are beginning, and may be many; but you can overcome and outlive them all if you learn to feel the strength and tenderness of your Heavenly Father as you do that of your earthly one. the more you love and trust Him, and the less you depend on human power and wisdom.  His love and care never tire or change, can never be taken from you, but may become the source of lifelong peace, happiness, and strength.  Believe this heartily, and go to God with all your little cares, and hopes, and sins, and sorrows, as freely and confidingly as you come to your Mother.

Mic drop.  I want to steal these words and put them in a card for my boys.  If I could give them one piece of wisdom, it would be this.  Exactly this.  God loves you and is always there for you. Depend on Him and not your own strength.  Trust His plan for your life and know that He is always working for your good.  This has been true for me, even when I couldn’t see it, since I was 10 years old.  

Whether you believe it or not, God loves you, my Besties.  And  there is no love like His.    

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