*this is not medical advice, but rather a summarization of the research I have done…
For years the female cycle has been surrounded with words of put down, and negativity. Women are frequently told act the same all month and criticized for differences in mood and energy when connected with a period. I remember bragging as a teenager that my period didn’t affect my mood and feeling better about myself than friends that became moodier and easily frustrated during certain parts of the cycle. (we will talk about why that could be in a second)
I want to talk about these cycles in the context of the Christian woman since so many people begin the conversation with the connection to the earth and mysticism. As a believer, I see these fluctuations actually be a gift of the Creator, rather than the curse we have been lead to believe these are in many Christian circles. If I fully understand how they affect me and how to harness the strength I have been created with, I truly believe we can start to see our periods and female cycles as a gift from God rather than part of the curse!!
Importance of Seeing the Design of Cycles
I started seeing my need to respect these cycles after the birth of our second son. My period came back just 10 weeks after he was born, and my body was exhausted two weeks of the month. The exhaustion behaved in a way that looked a lot like depression. I started recognizing patterns of immobility and extreme exhaustion connecting to the weeks leading up to my period and started studying why this might be the case. Come to find out the hunch was correct. I was able to put patterns and schedules into place that allowed me to lower my
Isn’t “cycle” just a fancy name for Period?
First let’s talk about what these cycles are, (hint, it isn’t just your period). The period is just the beginning of the wonder that is your female body clock. The cycle kicks off with the middle of winter the same as the year. So let’s start with the first full season of spring. These are sliding guidelines and specific days vary woman to woman depending on cycle length.
The seasons of your cycle can be compared to the seasons of the year. So
Spring is the time from when the period ends until fertility starts to rise and ovulation occurs. The hormones give more energy and especially social energy. This is the time when creativity flourishes, social energy heightens, and you can expect to feel the most driven. This is a great time to paint, try your hand at photography, or any creative endeavors. Perhaps you should plan to invite that new couple over like you’ve been meaning to. You can also level up your workouts.
Summer runs from ovulation for about 5 days. This is the time a woman will feel most extroverted, sensual, and ready to go on an adventure. It is a time of giving to community and friends. If you’ve been meaning to check out some new places that have been on your bucket list this is your week
Autumn is a bit longer like the spring phase. It runs from the end of ovulation week until the period starts. Your hormones are trying to decide if there is a new baby to support. Your metabolism gets higher, so most people feel more hungry. It is the time a woman has the most desire for thought, introspection, stillness. If you’re still playing Martha, trying to do “all the things” it can end up wearing you out and making you “edgy”. This is a great time to write or plan work on a course you have purchased. It’s also a great time to read a deep book or do extended devotionals.
Winter is your period. It is a time to rest and reset for the next phase of your cycle. It is a time that a woman can be most in tune with thoughts and feelings. It’s a great time to analyze if you are on the right track with goals and recharge for the coming time with friends and family. Take that bath you’ve been meaning to, and analyze if you’re living life to meet up with your mission statement. (This may be a good time to enjoy these four Bible verses I love …)
How can this H
elp me Fulfill my Calling?
When we look at these cycles we see that each phase embodies an aspect that we feel called to do as Christian women and mothers. Not all at the same time, but in their proper time and season. I feel called to serve my community, create, host and have guests, read, and analyze/goal set. When we recognize our seasons we can schedule to maximize times the strength of each week. This can allow us to intentionally be better wives, mothers, and members of our churches!