• Mandy

a woman at the bar

“Take care of yourself!”


A woman sitting by herself at the Bartaco bar said these words to me with passion and conviction. She was an older-looking woman with short blonde hair that had been teased and dyed probably hundreds of times, but she pulled it together nicely.


She had blue-rimmed glasses resting on her nose and lipstick that was a bright shade of pink I can’t put a name to, somewhere between fuchsia and watermelon. She was also on her second glass of white wine before 1 pm.


Kyle and I were sitting at the bar eating lunch when we had our encounter with this woman. She overheard me telling our server that we were out on our first date since having our second baby, which is when she piped in like a horn:


“I have three daughters! The first and second girls are 17 months apart and the second and third are 21 months apart. I was an 8th-grade teacher for 14 years, but being a mother in those early years was the hardest thing I’ve done. Take care of yourself!”


She repeated those last four words several more times as she continued telling us about her family.


“Take naps when the kids take naps! Take care of yourself!”


She was convincing.


“You need your rest! This is the toughest role you’ll ever have. Take care of yourself!”


I typically listen to unsolicited advice with a half grin on my face to cover my cynical thoughts, but that day, I needed to hear her white wine-buzzed wisdom.


She was right. Motherhood is hard. It is the hardest thing I’ve ever done and I’m only 19 months into this gig. It was reaffirming to hear a perfect stranger, one with decades of experience on me, affirm the gifts and challenges of motherhood.


This woman continued to tell us that her girls are grown and they’re all best friends. They call each other for advice before they call her now, but she made sure to mention they do still call.


After a few more minutes, the vibrant woman at the bar paid her tab and walked out of the restaurant. I don’t know the rest of her story, but I left our interaction motivated to do what she kept repeating; to take care of myself in this season.


It was as if God knew the lesson I needed to learn that day, and He used the most unlikely person to teach the class.


So, my friend, if you’re like me and you’re in a crazy yet still beautiful season, I encourage you to listen to the lady at the bar, too.


Take care of yourself.


How can you better honor God with your mind and body today?


In what ways can you incorporate more rest into your routine this week?


Grateful for you!

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