How am I sucking energy from myself you ask? By not refueling my tank with the only thing that can truly give me life when I am rundown.
I need me some Jesus time. Desperately. This isn't a radical revelation. If I'm being totally honest, a quiet voice has been whispering that to me for some time now--since October 12 to be exact--and I have all to easily pushed it aside with any and every excuse possible.
Eli needs to eat. Eli wants to play. Eli needs a diaper change. Eli needs a bath. Eli wants to be held.
I'm too tired. I need to shower. I need to call people, catch up on emails, hang out. (This was all done under the "righteous" guise of "investing" in others' lives of course). I need to eat. I need to make dinner. I need to clean. I
I had an arsenal of "I needs" and "I'd rathers" and I allowed the "noble" deed of taking care of my child to take priority over my greatest need of all.
I started paying the price for my excuses spiritually and emotionally and so, sadly enough, were my husband and son because they're the ones who had to put up with my increasingly bad attitude.
Thankfully my husband is the most patient man alive and my son is three months old and will have no recollection of any of these less than pretty moments.
I've concluded that God doesn't allow us to have memories of our first couple years of life out of sheer grace for mothers. Also, so that we aren't emotionally scarred the rest of our lives as our mamas adjust to and learn this incredibly beautiful, yet incredibly hard job called motherhood.
If you're a mom, you get what I mean. There are some ugly days when your selfishness and impatience are like two giant, smelly elephants sitting in your living room. It's not a pretty sight.
While on vacation though I got back into the routine of having a quiet time and, surprisingly enough, I feel a thousand times better mentally, emotionally and spiritually. I came back from Florida refreshed and refueled and I am a much better mama, wife, woman for it.
My latest devo addressed exactly what I'm talking about:
"Motherhood is like a pitcher with a hole in the bottom: a constant drain on our energy, patience, and tolerance....Our only hope to speak with kindness, to lead with patience, and to not threaten our children with homicide is to ensure our spiritual reserves are not bone-dry. Moms are the middle of the flow chart; the arrows of exertion flow constantly out from us, but when no arrows of strength, grace and peace are flowing in, the whole mechanism is in danger."
In other words: "Goodness in equals goodness out. No goodness in equals no goodness out."
It's so easy, no matter what your job is, to get caught up in the doing, especially when it comes to serving. We too easily allow serving to swallow up our quiet time because it counts as working unto the Lord.
"Under the banner of selflessness, we neglect our own spiritual health and sabotage the very service we want to render."
We can't fully serve if we aren't filled ourselves. I can't be the Mom Eli needs me to be if I'm not digging into the Word each and every day. The greatest lesson I can teach Him is that Jesus comes first and foremost and the best way I can teach Him that is by living it out each day.
I feel like we are starting to hit our stride with this whole mama-son thing, and it is no coincidence that it happened the same time that I realigned my priorities to put God back on top.
You may not be a mom, but most likely you can replace "motherhood" in that first quote with something that is draining your spiritual reserve. Whatever it may be, take the time to rest in the presence of the Lord and be refreshed. Trust me. You (and everyone around you!) will be so glad you did.