There was once was a busy woman. She had so many tasks to accomplish every day, she often felt like a taxi driver. Driving from place to place, day after day. She drove her kids to soccer practice, music lessons, and club meetings. Then there was grocery shopping, checking in on her parents, and her volunteer work. And don’t forget the numerous trips to the church throughout the week. One of these busy days she noticed the gas gauge was nearing the E for empty. She knew this meant adding another stop to her already busy day, a stop at the gas station to fill the gas tank. She had so many stops to make today, and the gas station wasn’t really on the list. “Just a few more errands and then the gas station,” she told herself. A few minutes later a red light on the dash lit up. The indication that the gas tank was getting low. “Just one more errand,” she thought. Next thing she knew, the engine stopped and she found herself slowly pulling the car over to the side of the road. What happened? Why did the engine stop? She looked down at the dashboard and there it was…the red light was still lit indicating the car was out of gas. How could this happen? Did her car fail her? Was it an unreliable automobile? No, the problem was not with the car, the problem was with the operator of the car. The needle on the gas gauge had indicated that the level of gas was getting low. The light on the dash lit up to give a warning that the gas level was nearing empty. This busy woman, who had so much to do, simply did not heed the warnings that indicated an empty tank. Now she was stopped on the side of the road, unable to move.
We as human beings, creations of God the Father, have a tank of our own that holds our energy and emotions. Think of it as a bucket full of water. Each of the responsibilities we carry figuratively pokes a hole in our bucket. Some holes are small and only a dribble flows out, some holes are large and can quickly drain the bucket. Think about it for a minute, you can probably name some activities that drain you the most. The important thing to know, that many of us don’t think about, is how to re-fill our bucket.
God created us as humans with three distinct parts. We are physical, spiritual, and emotional beings. Our health and well-being depend on us having a balanced life. Being in balance is important for reducing stress in our lives. When we are stressed, the reactions occur in physical, spiritual, and emotional responses.
As busy women, with so many responsibilities, we often do not take the time to care for ourselves. You’ve heard the saying, “You can’t give what you don’t have.” Well, it’s true. If the gas tank is empty, the car won’t go anywhere. If your bucket is empty you can’t give to others. Filling our tank is our responsibility. There may be things that others in our life can to do help fill our tank, but each of us decides what exactly fills our tank.
What brings you joy? Take some time to think about the things that you enjoy and help refresh your soul. Is it being outside? Going to a special place? Being with others or being alone? Reading, journaling, listening to music, sewing, or doing crafts? Talking with a friend? Please hear me say this, it is not selfish to fill your bucket, it is required!
During this time of COVID19 some of our options may not be available. It might require some creativity to accomplish those activities that fill your tank. If you don’t know what fills your tank, spend some time in prayer asking the Lord to show you. He loves you and knows you better than anyone else. He wants what’s best for you. Don’t run out of gas, fill your tank!
Gay Williams is a chaplain and licensed professional counselor who has served women through the North American Mission Board and Southern Baptist Disaster Relief. Her heart is to support women in ministry and pastoral spouses. She is a doctoral candidate at Gateway Seminary, married to her high school sweetheart, and calls Hawaii home since January 2019.
Gay looks forward to coming alongside HPBC Wives in Ministry to support them in any way possible. You can reach Gay at firstname.lastname@example.org.