Nurture yourself so that you might nurture others

Deacon Dana Nearmyer is the lead consultant for the archdiocesan office of evangelization and Catholic formation of youth.

by Deacon Dana Nearmyer

“Shamar” is a Hebrew word that means “to protect, treasure, wait for and to nurture.”

Adam was instructed to shamar in Gn 2:15: “And the Lord God took the man and put him into the garden of Eden, to dress it and to shamar it.”

Adam was to shamar the garden, his own heart, and Eve’s heart and soul. We are both physical and spiritual beings. We are to shamar, or nurture, the interior life, heart and soul of those in our care.

Spouses must shamar, or nurture, each other’s heart and souls, or soon they will be strangers in the same house. Parents, your kids are hungry and thirsty for shamar.   Deep conversation, belly laughs, tender tears and creating memories are part of shamar.

In counseling many individuals and couples, this comment frequently is made: “How do I take care or nurture others, when I have never, or rarely, taken care of or nurtured my own heart and soul?” It takes practice; the time is now.

Camp Tekakwitha youth camps, family camps and our second annual women’s retreat are designed to give campers an environment in which they practice shamar.

Campers will explore the truth, beauty and goodness of the exterior world and of their interior lives with Jesus Christ.

While having a blast on water slides, horses, mountain bikes and climbing walls is an important part of Camp Tekakwitha, what campers rate most highly on exit surveys are the prayer times, including eucharistic adoration and the tight-knit caring community. Check out the archdiocesan website because registration is open.

Men Under Construction is a day for men to focus on shamar, especially in the 2 p.m. talk. It is important for all of us, men and women, to nurture our hearts and souls.

Men, check out Men Under Construction, and women, check out the Camp Tekakwitha women’s retreat. Bring someone and spend some time nurturing your eternal soul. You will be happier. Others will find you refreshed and more of your real self.

Men Under Construction is a place that guys can talk straight to each other about eternal matters. It is a place to recalibrate and focus. How will you care about and for others, if your tank is empty and your focus is lost? Jesus never abandons us; we can get lost in the fog of busy living. There is too much at stake to not see clearly.

Nurturing/shamar is fading out of the secular world; we as the body of Christ have to intentionally nurture our families and those we love.

Check out Camp Tekakwitha’s video channel and registration info online.

Find out more about Men Under Construction online.

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