Have you ever have one of those days? Running in every direction and getting nowhere fast? You have nothing left to give because you’re empty of everything you need to feel like you can rock this parenting thing. The only place you’re rockin’ it lately is shaking your head back and forth in discouragement or frustration. Parenting is hard work.
You’ve cleaned a hundred messes, kissed fifty boo boos, and refereed one too many arguments, and summer still looms large ahead of you. Schedules, lifestyle choices, and certain stages of life can drain the last ounce of energy from a body trying to stay in shape…or just stay awake.
It’s easy to wonder, how will we make it through?
You love your kids, but perhaps lately they’ve seemed to suck everything right out of you; strength and stamina, time and money; maybe even your joy. Running on empty is a tough way to parent. Meals need planned and prepared, bathrooms require cleaning, and diapers demand changing. Sports practice and games need attending, relatives want visiting, and incessant questions beg for answers. Life happens, whether we’re ready or not.
So how do we refuel when we’re running on empty?
The key to refueling for me has been to first acknowledge my need. I am not superwoman.
Can we say it together? “I am not superwoman.”
I cannot always complete my “to do” list, nor can I meet everyone’s needs, especially when my own needs have made a cavernous hole in my soul. Through prayer I can find the time to regroup and refocus, asking God to refresh my weary spirit by filling me with his Holy Spirit. Feeling refreshed creates awareness that I don’t have to know all the answers, and the freedom to stop living by the “tyranny of the urgent”.
For me, there are some very obvious signs that I am running on empty: harsh words, angry thoughts, jealousy, selfishness, bitterness, and resentment. Being filled with God’s spirit replaces those with “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control.” Galatians 5:22.
Through the years I’ve learned that I can press through the hard places of life because God is faithful. When I come to him in prayer, he is more than able to meet all of my needs “according to his riches in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19.
My six- and eight-year-old grandsons are spending the summer with us and I have a lot of needs. But I also have a new opportunity to apply this verse in fresh ways in this season of life.
Compared to when I was raising my own children, I am thirty years older, more tired, and less apt to rise without assistance from the floor after playing. As I count on God’s promises to supply my needs for this season, I find he’s answering in unique ways for my challenges. I have found that as I call to him in prayer, he really does answer me, just as he promises in Jeremiah 33:3: “Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.”
Are you running on empty this summer? Find a quiet place and call to the Lord in prayer. His power is made perfect in our weakness, and his grace really is sufficient to meet our every need.
“His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.” 2 Peter 1:3.
Raising kids stirs something deep in our souls — an innate knowing that our time is finite. Taking my kids outside in creation, I’m discovering how to stretch our time and pack it to the brim with meaning. God’s creativity provides the riches of resources for teaching the next generation who He is and how He loves us. Join our adventure and discover inspiration and resources for refusing rush, creating habits of rest, living intentionally, and making the most of this beautiful life!
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