We can’t pour from an empty cup

It’s no secret that I love to help other people and to take care of them. Nothing makes me feel as close to God as the blessing of helping one of His children. It is such a gift. But, the only way I can recognize the gift is if my own cup if full. We’ve all heard the statement that you can’t pour from an empty cup. My friends this is so true.
 
When I’m emotionally and spiritually exhausted and empty, then I don’t have anything to give anyone else. Therefore, I feel angry, everything hurts my feelings, and I feel resentful in taking care of others. Instead of feeling the joy for caring for someone else, I feel taken advantage of. In that state of mind, I become hateful. Why? Because my cup is empty and I am trying to give others what I don’t even have for myself.
 
Then, I become angry at myself for being hateful. Instead of dealing with my feelings, and trying to find a solution to my problem, I just stuff all of the things down inside of me. I continue to stuff down my anger, heartaches, disappointments, fears, etc. day after day. Until I come unglued.
 
Life, however, doesn’t have to be this way. If I learn to live intentionally, then I can set aside time every single day—just for me. When I have my coffee with God, then my whole day goes better. God pours into me so that I can pour into others. When my cup is overflowing, then I have plenty to give others.
 
I made this mistake a few years ago when my book first came out. My schedule was crazy. I was always going from even to event without any time for me. I would speak at events and then cry on the way home because I felt so drained. Going at that pace burned me out. Some days, I left before my kids went to school and got home when they were already in the bed. Even though my career felt successful, my family was suffering because of my schedule. When I was working I felt guilty for not being with my family. And when I was with my family I felt guilty for not working.
 
As a working mom, I don’t know if there is a way to balance it all. But I am learning to be present in whatever moment I am in. If I am working, then I want to focus on my work. Then, when I’m with my family I can focus on spending time with them and loving them.
 
I’ve also learned to prioritize my time. So often the enemy throws everything at us because he wants us to feel overwhelmed. When I can write it all on paper and then look at it, usually I can see that it is not as bad as it seems. While I may have lots of things to do, each one might not take me long. Once I can see what needs to be done, then I can create a plan to do it.
 
God doesn’t want us to live our lives stressed out and hateful. He wants us to spend time with Him so He can help us. Spending just a few minutes each day with God can give us clarity in our lives and help us to look at things differently. Sometimes all we need is just a little talk with Jesus.
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