"If there is a drop in cabin pressure, panels above your seat will open,
revealing oxygen masks. If this happens, pull a mask toward you until the tube
is fully extended, place the mask over your nose and mouth, slip the elastic strap
over your head, and adjust the mask if necessary. Breathe normally and note that
oxygen is flowing, even if the bag doesn't inflate. Be sure to adjust your own mask,
before helping others."
You may have heard this before reading it today. It is part of a pre-flight speech you will hear on every airplane before take-off. I'm sure you've heard it even if you've never flown.
It is something I have honestly never really thought about...until today. You see, my family and I have all been suffering for a few weeks with something sinus and respiratory. It has hit all five of us, and has traveled....meaning it started as a respiratory thing, then became a sinus thing, and then it repeated that process again. I have not slept more than a few hours a night for a few weeks. I've heard everyone coughing all night and all day, and I. am. exhausted.
Like most mothers, I put off caring for myself in order to care for the rest of my family when they need it. Many times, it is to my own detriment, which then becomes to the detriment of my family, as well.
Today, though, at the recommendation of Delta, I'm putting my mask on. Today, I am ignoring all of the housework, letting the children have another day free of schoolwork and full of play, and I'm resting.
I have literally given myself orders to sit in bed all day.
I can blog. I can be on Facebook. I can read. Or I can rest my eyes. My children are playing just across the hall from where I sit, and can hear me when I call. But I must "breathe" today.
My ability to continue to care for them when they need me is fully dependent on taking care of myself today. Today, I need me.
I used to fight this mantra, because too many times, I've heard moms say "I need a break" out of pure selfishness. I've said it myself out of selfishness before, too. So then I would punish myself by never taking a break--ever.
But we must rest, mamas. We must care for ourselves so that we are well enough to care for our family. We must not neglect the fact that if we are no longer breathing, we cannot help someone else to breathe. Rest is a gift from the Lord!
"Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest."
We also know that the Lord, Himself, rested after working for a time.
"And He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done."
So whether flying high on a commercial airline, or in your daily comings and goings, pay attention. When you see that a need to breathe falls from above your head, grab the closest mask and apply it to your face. Then, look around, see who needs it next, and love your family through serving them with the strength it takes do to the job well.