As my friends over at Selfie podcast would say, lately I’ve been on a self-care bender. In that way, I was so delighted to pick up a copy of April Yamasaki’s newest book, Four Gifts, which essentially provides a Christian perspective on self-care. I’ve only got a couple of chapters left to finish, but I’d love to get this book in YOUR hands. Check out the interview below and leave a comment at the end to win a copy of the book!
Tell us a bit about yourself, will you? I’m part homebody, part people person—I love to cook andeat out, to read by myself anddiscuss with friends, to keep a personal journal and write for a wider audience. I’m the lead pastor of a mid-size, multi-staff church which means no two days are ever alike, and I write blogs and books on Christian living which means I write on just about anything. I’m a third-generation Canadian of Chinese descent, my husband a third-generation Canadian of Japanese descent, and we’ve lived mainly in the increasingly multi-cultural Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley of British Columbia, Canada.
Let’s talk about your book: what, in a nutshell, is your book about anyway? My new book releasing September 4 is Four Gifts, which is subtitled Seeking Self-Care for Heart, Soul, Mind, and Strength. That’s really the nutshell—to explore self-care for our whole selves, emotionally, spiritually, mentally, physically. Is self-care different from being selfish or self-indulgent? Is it the same as caring for your soul? And how can we practice genuine self-care without isolating ourselves from the needs of others?
Do tell, what was the inspiration behind it? The book actually started as a blog post on self-care in the workplace, Is Self-Care Part of Your Paid Employment and Should It Be? I had always thought of self-care as something that I did on my own time, so I was rested and ready for work, but I started to realize how much setting priorities, taking time for lunch, and other workplace decisions were part of my self-care too. At the same time, I was turning to Scripture for what, if anything, it had to say about self-care, and mulling everything over in light of Jesus’ example—he took time to rest, pray, and take care of himself, yet gave his life to serve and save others. All of that helped me go beyond superficial definitions of self-care and move toward a deeper understanding and engagement with God.
How do you hope readers will be changed by your words? I’m excited that some of my advance readers say the book is helping them think through their own core values and commitments, prompting good conversations with their spouse and friends, giving them a bigger understanding of self-care–that doesn’t isolate them from the needs of others, but includes justice, community, and a sense of vocation while they also take care of themselves. I would love that for every reader, that the words on the page would come to life in their own thinking and experience, that they would expand upon the book for their own personal situation and context.
Lest we forget to ask, how have YOU been changed by writing the book? Writing Four Gifts led me to reflect more deeply on my own practice of self-care—what has sustained me during times of crisis and during the everyday moments of life and ministry, what kind of self-care sustains me now. And it’s made me more grounded—reminding me that even while I take care of myself, at those times when all of my self-care strategies don’t seem to be enough, I can rest in God’s care for me that never fails.
How and where can we find you on the internet?
I have two websites:
Well, there you have it! I’m not kidding when I say that April’s book has been exactly what I’ve needed in this season. So, if this sounds like your kind of reading, leave a comment below and tell April why YOU’D like to win a copy of Four Gifts. Also, visit Instagram on Thursday and Friday of this week for even more chances to win. Winner will be drawn EOD Friday, September 14th. Good luck!
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