It isn’t wrong to make time for yourself – it’s essential
I have heard it said (by a well known and respected pastor – Bill Hybels) that we have four tanks or gauges that we need
to monitor in order to live life to the full. The theory behind this is that every time we give of ourselves or neglect certain areas of life, we are emptying a tank. There comes a point when there is nothing left and our life can go out of balance. So, by assessing these 4 tanks, you can determine at what level you are currently sitting, and actively seek to replenish them. I can safely say that if any one of these tanks is not at an optimum level, then not only do I suffer the consequences, but so do those around me. So I thought that I would point these out today, so that you can assess what levels your tanks are currently sitting at. The four tanks or gauges include:
1. Our Physical tank
Making sure we remain fit and healthy so that we are able to accomplish the tasks each day throws at us. This includes getting enough sleep (I know this can be a struggle with a newborn), exercising regularly, and being careful what we eat. If we don’t monitor this tank, we suffer health implications, and we all know that being a sick mum is never much fun!
2. Our Mental tank
Taking time to learn knew things and develop new skills. To be challenged in our thinking and read thought provoking material. The brain is a muscle and if we don’t use it, we loose it! It’s not hard to learn new things, it is just a matter of being willing to do so. Why not try checking out Youtube to learn how to do something you have never done before.
3. Our Spiritual tank
For me this means my relationship with God. When I am not giving Him the time He deserves or letting Him guide and speak into my life, things never go well – because I can’t do things on my own or in my own strength. It is important for me to make time to sit and just listen and to be in constant communication with him throughout the day.
4. Our Emotional tank
This is the one I want to focus on today, because I feel it is the one that us mothers most often neglect. We may neglect it due to guilt, or supposed lack of time, or simply because we have never really sat down to think about what it is that fills our emotional tank – what are those things that we enjoy and that refresh us.
Rest and refreshment are essential if we are to maintain a balanced life. I can say from experience that if I do not take time to rest and do the things that refresh me (in my case art or craft), then I become more stressed, more easily annoyed by/at my husband and children, and much less likely to willingly do what God asks of me.
It is strange that we often feel guilty taking time to rest and do the things we enjoy. In today’s fast paced world, it seems that if we are not running at a hundred miles an hour, being involved in as many things as our calendars will allow, and setting goals upon goals, then we are almost looked down upon. What is never mentioned is what can often be the cost of this ceaseless running; stress, emotional breakdowns, divorce, wayward children, fractured relationships, health implications etc.
We should never feel guilty about taking some time (and even intentionally booking it in) to do the things we enjoy. It has immense benefits (all the opposite to the negatives mentioned above), and it will make us happier, more content, and much more enjoyable people to be around. Most importantly, it will help us to be more effective wives and mothers.
What are the things that you enjoy doing for rest and refreshment, and how can you schedule in a bit of ‘You time’ into your week? Let us fill our tanks and live life to the full – as it was intended!