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I was feeling weird. I wasn’t sure why, but things just didn’t seem right. I stood next to my daughter’s high chair, feeding her some waffles. Suddenly dizziness, nausea and light stomach cramping all crept upon me. Something was happening and I couldn’t put my finger on it.

I decided to sit down and eat. I thought, maybe I was feeling weird because it’s been a long couple of days–deep cleaning, chasing kids, chasing our new dog Shadow–the usual. I had taken my blood pressure medicine–the pills prescribed to me since my pressure jumped up post-partum. I grabbed a box of Frosted Flakes and a carton of milk and made my morning breakfast. I sat down, let Karina feed herself the rest of her waffles and tried to eat. But, I couldn’t eat. After sitting still and taking deep breaths, I still felt strange.

Suddenly, I felt the need to call my husband. I dialed his number and he answered.

“Hey babe. I think you should come home. I’m not feeling so good.”

“What’s going on?” he asked.

“I just feel different. I don’t know why,” I said, my voice shaky.

“OK. I’ll let my supervisor know and I’ll be home.”

He came home 20 minutes later. I decided to check my blood pressure before sitting down to rest and just as I thought, it was sky high.

“But, I already took my meds this morning. Not sure why it’s so high,” I told Kellus.

I suddenly thought it was a good idea to just go to the emergency room. “Baby, let’s just get shoes on the kids and go to the ER. I don’t like it this high.”

We both collected shoes and drove 10 minutes to the hospital.

After a complete CBC, a round of other blood work, chest X-rays and EKGs, the doctor’s conclusion was “mild dehydration.” Turns out that dehydration can make your blood pressure rise. After they gave me a couple IV bags of fluid, I felt much better, my pressure dropped and I was discharged.

This entire experience was an eye-opener, even though this wasn’t my first time being admitted in the hospital for dehydration. The first was during my first pregnancy. I suffered with severe dehydration and spent the whole day in Labor and Delivery with many IV bags hooked to me. This recent revisit just reconfirmed the need for me (and moms) to be more intentional about our health.

As mom’s we seem to be intentional about everything else … but us.

We’re intentional about our kids.

Our husbands.

Our homes.

Our crafts.

Our looks.

But I’m learning that our “health” can easily slip into the “unintentional” pile.

As I was preparing to leave the ER, I kept wondering, “How in the world did I allow myself to become mildly dehydrated? How did that happen?” The answer is simple. Everyone and everything else became more important and I put my health to the side. I was eating late, not enough, hardly drinking water and not getting any sleep. It all contributed to my visit there. I had to pray and ask God to forgive me for the poor way I treated myself. He loves me and wants me to be healthy and strong for my family.

I’d like to encourage moms to be mindful of what you eat, how much you rest and your overall health. The truth is, as moms we need plenty of breaks. We need to be replenished with physical and spiritual water. Jesus promises that if we drink from His well, that we’ll never be thirsty again.

…but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.

John 4:14

God gave us our children for a reason. In fact, they are His children and it’s our responsibility to train them. We can’t love them, train them and nurture them if we aren’t taking care of ourselves. Today, consider your health. Take that break if you need it. Eat healthy and stay in the manifest presence of God to replenish your soul and de-stress.

Just like it’s important for us to consider our spiritual health, it’s also vitally important that we consider our physical bodies. We have to take care of our temples.

My experience was a wake-up call for me and I hope it encourages you too! I’m committing to taking better care of myself. Going forward, I will be intentional about that. Why don’t you join me?

{Editor’s Note: This article was first published on MomLife Today on September 26, 2012.}