I am on vacation this week since my wife and boys are out of school the entire week for Thanksgiving. We drove to my in-laws house yesterday and I can honestly say I have been looking forward to this week for a while.
That is a really big statement for me to make since I normally do not enjoy going toYakima,WA. Don’t get me wrong, I love my wife’s family and enjoy time with them. But my idea of “relax” usually needs to include our boat, or my golf clubs, or riding something that goes really fast, or riding a chair lift over and over; Yakima has none of these things to offer in late November and not a lot of people to do it with.
This week, I can honestly say I am thankful that no plans include any of those things. My last several weeks have been completely insane. From all the stuff involved in buying a new house, and all the stuff involved in renting the old house, and moving our stuff from one house to the other. Then add on one of the most frustrating days of my life plus all of the regular stuff that goes with having a young family and being a youth pastor I can say that I have been running on empty.
Doug Fields wrote a book a few years back titled Refuel, and in that book he describes some signs he sees in his life when he is approaching empty. When those signs start to appear it is time to take a time out, go to God, and be refueled. Here are a few of the signs in my life that show I am on empty.
1. I get frustrated easily.
My personality thrives on success. I don’t like to do things that don’t matter or don’t make a difference, and I expect to succeed quickly. If I don’t, I get frustrated and want give up. When I am near empty I reach frustration a lot more quickly. I have been frustrated a lot lately.
2. I lack motivation.
When I get exhausted, whether physically or mentally or Spiritually, I just want to be lazy. I am not normally a lazy person, I love to go and do and talk and create. The only time I want to sit around and watch TV or waste a whole day doing nothing is when I am approaching empty.
3. I get hard on my boys.
My boys are 7, 5, and 3. They are typical boys; they are loud, do annoying things, make a lot of messes, fight with each other, have fun doing most anything, and turn everything into a weapon. I love the fact that our house is the way it is. But when I am empty I find myself more annoyed at their short attention spans, how slow they do stuff, and basically start disciplining them for being kids.
4. I cheat on relationships.
I love meeting new people and involving others in my life. I love talking through life issues and discussing things from someone else’s point of view. When I am empty I tend to lose the relating side of me and walk over people that get in the way or just use people to aid in my success. This is a weakness in my personality type that I am well aware of, and if I have ever done it to you I am sorry. When I am empty I catch myself doing it more and all my relationships turn strictly business.
There are probably more that I could add to my “empty list”, but these are definitely my top four. As you can see, each one feeds the others, so when I am near empty it effects everything I do. It is really hard for me to stop, even when I know I need to.
What things are on your empty list? If you haven’t ever thought about it you need to. If you don’t know then ask your spouse or kids or coworkers, they most likely do know what yours are…!
This week I am intentionally doing things to fill myself up. My next post will be my list of things that fill me up, I like this list a lot better!