Working through things with the Lord can be exhausting. I find myself avoiding it because I don’t have the energy to sit down and write all the things I need to pray for. When I think about it, it sounds lovely. Sitting down in a coffee shop to discuss my heart with my Father sounds like a joy. But it also can be extremely difficult. I have to drag up feelings from the week before because I don’t do it consistently enough to keep things from piling up. The hardest to deal with are the failures.
The times I have spoken out of anger, which can be numerous, or when I have judged others. These are my weaknesses and they drag me away from God in my shame.
I am embarrassed at my lack of self-control. I speak before I think, more often than I care to admit. I hurt my friends, my husband, the people I love most.
I listened to a wonderful sermon by Mark Malin today. You can listen to it here: Refuel sermon
He discusses the importance of “soul care”.
“When we speak of the human soul, we are speaking of the deepest level of life and power in the human being…it is the deepest level of who we are as human beings.”
That’s quite a statement. If our souls are this meaningful, we have to spend time nurturing them or as Mark calls it “refueling”. We have got to, each of us in our own way, spend time doing things that fill our souls. And the beginning of this is finding out what fills our “bucket” so to speak, and what drains it.
I enjoy this introspection. What fills me?
To name a few:
Serenity. I love sitting outside listening to nature move.
Alone time with Jesus definitely fills me most.
Writing – the cathartic expression of experience is very freeing.
Vulnerable conversations with my husband. I love those.
Mark said something about himself that I’ve found to be true about me as well.
I am a bit of an introvert. Spending too much time with people can be draining for me. I often push myself too far in this because I want my friends to know I love them, especially the ones that are most loved by quality time.
In no way am I saying my friends are draining. They give me life, teach me things and have been a huge part of me becoming a woman of God.
But I need to know my limits. At a certain point, I am empty and I need refueled. This limit is reached much quicker when I have not been filled with grace that day. Unfortunately, my friends can attest to this.
I say things I regret when I’m not caring for my soul. I notice emptiness in these moments and I feel it physically. Sometimes, I literally need to take a nap. I believe these signs are the grace of God, warning me that I am running on empty, like the gas light on a car. If you don’t refuel soon, you will burn out.
By the grace of God, He is teaching me that I can’t handle what the world throws at me every day without Him. It can be discouraging, living a cyclical life. But He is so good that He brings me back to one thing: I need Him. That’s a huge piece of grace I experience just about every other day.
I struggle with so much. I think my tank is closer to empty more than it is close to full. Doesn’t our world pressure us to live this way? Constantly busy and draining ourselves. Do more do more do more.
I like this life of busy-ness. It helps me forget that I am broken.
But I want to rest more in His presence, allowing myself to be broken before Him that He might lift me up.
What fills you?
What drains you?
Are you caring for your soul that you might love others more?