Empty Tank?

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 Your tank is empty because you drained it.

While driving my car I tend to forget all about my gas tank UNTIL the red light goes on and alerts me to the fact that I am running low on gasoline. I respond according to my personality by waiting a day or two “certain” that I’m not that low and the car can run a little longer.

Unfortunately, so many of us run ourselves that same way with the exception that the  warning that we are “getting low” on fuel may look like exhaustion, challenged relationships, a health crisis,  or even depression.

Just like in my car I am the one responsible to fill up my own gas tank.

Emails, phone calls, to-do lists, and texts force us to continually engage in on-going information 24-7.  When are we done with work?  When will we walk away from all the “screens” in our lives and take a walk or engage in a hobby that re-fuels us? Perhaps today we need to declare out-loud ” I give myself permission to rest.”

As a Coach I often use the example given on the airplane by the stewardess: ” in a crisis place the oxygen mask on yourself before attempting to help anyone else!”  Have you made yourself a priority on your calendar? Do you have weekly practices that keep your “tank” above the EMPTY line? What are the activities that drain your “tank”?  Is there anything you need to stop or start in order to maintain a healthier balance?

Take a moment today consider your energy level.  Is there a RED LIGHT on that you are ignoring?   Remember, you are responsible to manage your own “gas tank” so “Fill’er up!”  🙂

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Sweet mama~~Love thyself!!

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Young mothers; they are so precious.  Recently I have had the joy of observing and spending time with some incredible young mothers who inspire & amaze me!  These gals want to be the best mothers; having meaningful impact on the precious little lives they’ve been gifted.   However, along with loving these sweet little ones; these women try to keep a clean house, love their husbands, and put healthy meals on the table.  Some work full-time outside the home.  Again, I am amazed.

I am also concerned. When do these sweet mothers allow themselves to take personal time?  When is it ok to have dinner out with a friend, get a message, or go for a run?  I am concerned that most mothers put themselves at the bottom of the list of “to do’s”. I am concerned that mothers pour themselves out to the point of exhaustion; unable or unwilling to make time to “love themselves”.

At 55, with many years of hindsight I would love to send a challenge out to you sweet mothers!!  Love yourselves, take time for yourselves, find ways to fill your cup!!  This is a gift you give your little ones!!

Here are some tips I’ve gleaned from my life and the lives of other successful mothers:

1.  Get up early enough to connect with your Saviour. Jesus Calling is a devotional book that will encourage you.  Take 20 minutes to be encouraged and to pour your heart out to the One who loves you the most!

2.  Eat Breakfast. Ladies, a cup of coffee is not breakfast.  A good breakfast with protein and grains will sustain you.  You must eat!!!

3.  When the babies/ children rest~~ YOU REST!!  seriously, dishes can wait!!  Take 30 minutes to unplug.  Zzzzzzz……..

4.  Laugh~ with your children, with your husband, with a friend.  Laughter makes a heart lighter. 🙂

5.  Extend grace!! In the season of babies, toddlers…and well, frankly even teens, you need to be gracious with yourself and others…. the house may not be perfect.  Your hair may have been in a pigtail way too long.  The laundry pile may be bigger than you want.  Extend grace!!  Snuggling with your little ones, reading a book to them, singing silly songs; these things are the riches of life.

6. Be careful what you say “YES” to. Your time is precious, don’t give it away unless it really, really matters to you!  There are seasons and assignments in all our lives. There will be a day when those little “ponies” will ride away. I know, trust me!!

Ladies!  Have you ever been on an airplane and listened to the instructions about using the oxygen mask in an emergency?  The flight attendants always give special instructions to those traveling with children:  Put your own oxygen mask on before you place the mask on your child. ”  Hmmmmm…..see the irony?

Sweet mommies~~ Love Thyself!! 🙂

How did you find the energy, Mom
To do all the things you did,
To be teacher, nurse and counselor
To me, when I was a kid.How did you do it all, Mom,
Be a chauffeur, cook and friend,
Yet find time to be a playmate,
I just can’t comprehend.I see now it was love, Mom
That made you come whenever I’d call,
Your inexhaustible love, Mom
And I thank you for it all.

Could It Be Time For A Needed Break?

 

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More often than not, we finally take a break long after the need for it began to arise!  However, what would it look like if we would give ourselves permission to take a break BEFORE we needed it!  Well, perhaps it would be helpful to list some of the telling signs that show us that we are “spent”:

1.  Even upon rising in the morning we feel a sense of dread rather than hope and anticipation. We dread the tasks of the day;we just feel tired.

2.  We find ourselves having a shorter fuse than we normally have. We will react strongly to situations that we would have navigated better when we had greater life balance.

3.  We start to sabotage the “good systems” we have had in place~ excercise, rest, quiet time with the Lord, and “screen free” time. We make excuses saying that we just don’t feel like taking the time.

4.  Often our food choices start to waver.  We start eating foods we know make us feel bad. We tell ourselves “We’ll start eating better on Monday”.

5.  We can begin to feel apathetic.  We can waste our time surfing the web, watching mindless television, ignoring  phone calls, and even turning down invitations from friends.

These are just a few of the signs that we are in need of a break!

Now sometimes we need a break at a time when we cannot take a vacation; cannot disengage from our responsibilities. So, how can we find ways to re-group and catch our breath?  Here’s a few:

1.  Get offline.  If we are overwhelmed the last thing we need is to burden ourselves with media information, mindless games, and even an over-dose of Facebook.  We need to give ourself a chance to breathe!

2.  Take a “staycation”.  Use local attractions to your benefit; live music, picnic in a park, go to a Museum, take a hike, rent a Kayak, take a cooking class, simply take the opportunity to make a refreshing memory.  It’s amazing how activities like these lift our spirits and give us a fresh attitude.

3.  Read or watch something light-hearted~ something that causes rich laughter.

4.  Take a spiritual retreat.  Set aside a full day – somewhere private or peaceful where there would be time to rest, read inspirational thoughts, pray, journal, eat chocolate, a dream again.

5.  Grant permission to say “No.”    We are often exhausted by maintaining activities that have served their time.  Allowing yourself to re-think the activities that fill your weeks and to say “No” to create greater bandwidth is a gift you give yourself!

For all of us; learning when enough is enough will be key. Learning to recognize when our energy is expiring will help us to take that needed break BEFORE we need that break!!  🙂