Monday, October 20, 2008

Checking My Tank....

What I haven't been doing lately:
~ Blogging

What I have been doing lately:
~ Going to the gym regularly for strength training
~ Running Outside for cardio
~ Saving money by making my own protein shakes (peanut butter/banana, yum!)
~ Writing and delivering my first teaching lecture at CBS (Genesis 14)
~ Traveling to St. Louis for a weekend Leadership Conference
~ Climbing mountains of laundry
~ Being a chef for picky eaters
~ Disciplining my teenage son who decided to "entertain" a few friends while his parents were out of the house
~ Advising my oldest daughter in her new relationship and how to deal with the old boyfriend who now wants her back (isn't that always the way it works?)
~ Encouraging the college daughter who feels stupid because she doesn't understand her Actuary class (??)
~ Mothering my teen daughter through a broken heart
~ Helping that same daughter find a job
~ Taking the 11 yr. old to get a leg X-ray just to find it's a "deep contusion"
~ Watching soccer games (two kids), cheerleading, basketball...
~ Driving carpools
~ Spending a girls weekend at the lake with women from my small group

I heard a great speaker at the conference I went to recently in St. Louis. His name is Wayne Cordeiro and one of the things he talked about was how we need to know 2 things about ourselves:
1) who & what fills us (relaxes us, brings peace and joy, inspires us....)
2) who & what drains us (causes us stress and anxiety).

Once we know this, and then find ourselves facing the drain of a stressful situation, we need to be especially intentional about "filling" ourselves back up. We do that by being with the people, and participating in the activities, that fill us.

Unfortunately, most of the time we do just the opposite and cut back on the things that bring us pleasure in order to concentrate on the stressful situation. The danger in that is, eventually we become so drained that we have an anxiety attack or nervous breakdown.

Here are a few conclusions I came to about myself...

~Writing and doing bible study!! (blogging, journaling, lectures, devotions....)
~Reading!! (both fiction and non fiction)
~"Down time" (blocks of time with nothing scheduled)
~"Working out" and running on a regular basis!
~Snuggling one on one with my kids!
~Time alone with my husband!
~Visiting different places!
~Talking with Girlfriends!

~Over taxed schedules!!
~Worrying about my kids
~Financial concerns (bills, college cost, large item expenses...)
~A messy or cluttered house!
~Unfinished business!
~ Friction in relationships/confrontation!
~Intense competition!

As I look back at my recent activity I can see that I have a lot of drain in my life right now (worries about my kids, an overtaxed schedule, a cluttered home, lots of competition, living under deadlines...)

Fortunately, at the same time I have been forcing myself to do some things that fill me back up (bible study, working out, going to the lake with girlfriends....).

It isn't easy because my inclination is to focus my time and energy on "fixing the drain" instead of "filling the tank" but that is a dangerous philosophy. The fact is, the drain will never be completely fixed. It may change over time and it may vary in size but it will always be there.

SO I am challenged to keep pouring into my life those things that "fill me up" and hopefully will keep me sane (or at least allow me to type on my blog a little more often, lol)!

How is your tank doing???


luvmy4sons said...

You know lately my tank has been getting lots of messages from God about how He can fill me up in the midst of being drained. Hard lessons learned. I love that you are working on learning what drains you and how to fill up. I so get all of your draining issues...GREAT big hug to you!

Anonymous said...

So you haven't been up to much lately then, huh? Oh, you HAVE to know I'm just having a little fun with you! What an AWESOME entry today. It was well worth the wait. I wonder if I might use bits and pieces for our homeschool newsletter. Would you mind if I quoted you?

Amy said...

Nicely put....My tank has been drained a bit lately as well...."Running on empty," I think is what the old song calls it.;)

Your list of things that fills you is almost exactly like mine would be (with the exception of running). *sigh*

"Fixing the drain" is exhausting business...Thanks for this great reminder that we need to stop and "fill our tanks."

God Bless,

Susan said...

Hey Kelly,

So good to hear from you! You've been missed.

I "kinda figured" you've been super busy.

I'm blessed in the midst of it all you took some time away to get refreshed and refueled.

Pray that I will start exercising, I need it so badly.

Anyhow, welcome back♥

"And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." Phil. 4:7

Laurie Ann said...

I figured you had been busy but I had no idea you were *that* busy! Wow! I love the post on the different things that drain us or fill us up. Time alone with God definitely fills my tank. Crises with elderly parents drain it. Time spent with grandchildren fills my tank. Not being able to see them because I have been sick drains it. Love the verse Susan posted above. Think I'm going to go meditate on it for a while...

Welcome back! Good to see you! Praying for your kids, especially the ones in the midst of teenage angst.

Cindy said...

Great, great post. You have been a busy lady.

My tank has been so empty for way too long.

This past weekend my husband and boys and I went to the Grand Canyon to just bask in God's greatness. It helped to replenish some of the depletion I have experienced.

It sounds like you are allowing God to show you ways to keep your tank full. I like writing the list ~ I may need to do that too.

Blessings, Cindy

Amydeanne said...

wow! you're a busy lady! lol I was wondering where you've been!
I need to blog less and live more too! :P

Judy @ In His Grip said...

Oh how I appreciate your honesty of how life really is. Good for you, that you are able to continue to fill youreslf as well do what life requires. I tend to put out the fires and forget the filling up part ending in total stress. I pray that you have an awesome day and one that will lift you up into His presence.

Joyful said...

Kelley - this is sooooo good!!!

By all your observations and what you're learning, you may feel like you're running on empty, but it is evident in this writing that God is filling you up!

He puts things in our life to help us monitor our 'tank' and we have to keep our eye on that 'needle' and come to Him for His filling when life gets to be a challenge - which truly is EVERY DAY! No matter what our schedule holds, that needle is going to go down a little every day, and we have to daily come to His "service station" (quiet time of prayer and in His Word) to be "topped up" so that our motor (heart) is running as best as it can at the start of each new day.

Thanks for reminding me to 'check my tank' and encouraging us to say, "Fill it up please". (So thankful the cost of this 'fill up' doesn't keep rising and demanding more like gas for our cars. God only asks us to come - He has already paid the price.)

Love & prayers,

Runner Mom said... tank was getting pretty low a few weeks ago!!! I truly understand where you're coming from, girlfriend. I am so glad that you were able to have a weekend away (mine's in 4 weeks!!!) to reconnect. The things that fill your tank are similar to the ones that fill me. Drain me...too much on my plate, the plate of my children and the plate of my hubby!

Thank you for sharing about the retreat in St. Louis. Those things really are good to focus on. I want to hear about your Gen. 14 that you're working on!! Woohoo! Way to say yes to God.

Love ya,

RefreshMom said...

Thanks for sharing how simply Wayne Cordeiro boils it down to "what/who fills you" and "What/who drains you."

Today, my tank is pretty darn close to 'E.' I was supposed to have some "filling" time to myself yesterday, but kiddo #1 wanted me to stay at the birthday party with him and Kiddo #2 pulled out all the misbehavior stops while DH was at an evening meeting last night, and even the fumes were all but depleted by this morning. It shows in my general attitude, but worse, it shows in how I speak/respond to the people I live with.

Thankfully, #2 slept in late this morning, so I had nearly an hour with no one to take care of/respond to. I got to drink my freshly made cup of tea while it was still originally hot (rather than reheating it throughout the day). I'm still not recovered, but I am in better shape than I was when I woke up.

I'll have to share this with DH so we can work together better at helping each other get filled up when we've been drained.

Glad you're back!

Chatty Kelly said...

This was an EXCELLENT post!! I could relate so much to everything you said. Thank you for sharing it.

You are a gifted writer, and must be a good speaker too, so continue to grow your ministry as God would have you!

Thanks for sharing.

Ang baylis said...

See why we miss you??? Because you really know how to write, girlfriend and apparently filling the tank involves reading my girlfriends' blogs! I need to write this... "Instead of fixing the drain... filling the tank"! Thank you, Kelley and I LOVE hearing about what's going on in your kids' lives. This will be so much fun to look back at one day!
Love you,
Angie xoxo

Rhonda said...

Wow...Kelley - I can't believe you even had time to do this post!

Sometimes our obligations and life schedules can become so overwhelming. Such a busy time of life.

It's so not fun to 'run on empty'. Been there more often than I'd like to admit.

Jennifer said...

Awww great post!

Jamie @ Purposeful Pursuit said...

Such a great post! My tank is currently running on fumes...this post was a real encouragement for me.

And tell that girl of yours, I think she is super smart...I don't even know what an Actuary class is about. She is definitely smarter than this grown woman:)

Pamela (MrsJoeB) said...

Oh how I know about those draining things. It's not going to change nytime soon I'm afraid. So we press on, right? Good to have you back!

In His Graces~Pamela

Christy said...

Great post. These last couple of months have been a time that God has ever so gently pushed me to keep balance in my life. it's really hard and it takes a lot of discipline on my part to be able to say no to things that I need to give up or set aside for a little while.

It was great to read a post from you, I always enjoy what you have to say!

Jami @ livelaughlove5 said...

You are a busy mama! It's always good to take a look at our lives and check our tanks. Thanks!

Lelia Chealey said...

Well,let me help you fill up week no school for the kiddos. Call me about a time I can come hang with "my girl". ;)

Loved talking with you & hearing about what God showed you. You are an incredible woman of God and I'm so blessed we're friends. Who knew but God we'd meet each other in one of the biggest "no-no's"...cyberspace of all places. Now if you are really some kind of weirdo I got to be honest with this point, I don't care! You're worth the're too much fun! ;) Anyone you can belly laugh with after only knowing for a few hours is a life long friend.
Okay call me.
Love you,
Tell Sophie & Cece, Miss Alivia is coming their way!

Krista said...

Girl! I know what you mean. With a new full-time job (going from 20 hours a week to a full 40) and still having to do all the household chores and running errands, my blog time has been scarce too. Like you, it brings me joy and helps to refill me when my spiritual cup is empty. Glad I took time to read awhile tonight!

Slow down, read awhile and be blessed!


Jerralea said...

Thanks for sharing this. I see I need to be more intentional about what fills my tank! I know I've been focusing on what drains it ...

Blessings to you and I love visiting your blog!

Lisa said...

What a good idea to make a list like that. Its easier to recognize those things when they are in black and white.