My Tank if Full, but I'm running on Empty

The Tank is Full, but I’m Running on Empty

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My body can’t keep up with my brain. It’s running 24/7, 100 miles a minute and my body…well let’s say it’s no where near where my mind is. I have to listen more to my body as I get older than a few years ago. Typically, I’ll ignore sickness, pain, and cuts/bruises to keep working and starting new projects.

Early last year, my body had had enough and shut me down and even affected my mind. I got really sick for three months and couldn’t get out of bed to do anything. All the years Ken and I have been married (20 years 3 months), I can count on my left hand the number of times he has had to wait on me hand and foot for any length of time. He’s knows I’m a fighter.  

But we can get so busy that we forget to stop and breathe and we also forget that God wants us to rest. He did so why don’t we? I can’t answer for you, but in my case I keep thinking I don’t want to waste anymore time. I want to make every second count. But, how good am I if I’m sick and bed ridden?

There has to be time to get away from projects, writing, designing, crafting, ministry, work, cleaning, cooking, paying bills and just spend some time re-filling my tank. How often do I pamper me?   

To everything there is a season,
A time for every purpose under heaven:
2 A time to be born,
And a time to die;
A time to plant,
And a time to pluck what is planted;
3 A time to kill,
And a time to heal;
A time to break down,
And a time to build up;
4 A time to weep,
And a time to laugh;
A time to mourn,
And a time to dance;
5 A time to cast away stones,
And a time to gather stones;
A time to embrace,
And a time to refrain from embracing;
6 A time to gain,
And a time to lose;
A time to keep,
And a time to throw away;
7 A time to tear,
And a time to sew;
A time to keep silence,
And a time to speak;
8 A time to love,
And a time to hate;
A time of war,
And a time of peace.

– Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 (NKJV)

It’s not being selfish to have balance in one’s life with time allotted for ourselves. When I take the time to ensure that I’m comfortable with my outfit, my hair looks nice, I smell nice then I feel like I can go out confident. After all, I represent God and I know He doesn’t want me to look like I don’t care about myself. Now, that’s the outside.

God considers the inside even more so I have to have His help with my impatience, insecurities and other weaknesses. To do that, I spend time in prayer with Him, a lot! LOL! I read the scriptures every day. What’s really important to me at this stage of my life is that I don’t keep running on an empty tank. I never want to reach a point where I still have marvelous ideas and visions but no strength to carry them out!

You have to take time for yourself too, time is a precious commodity not to be wasted. And, there’s different ways to waste time. It’s not just doing nothing and letting time pass by. It is also working so much going from here to there and not taking time to refill the tank. Everything in life needs re-filling: a car, the body and the mind. One thing’s for sure, the work will ALWAYS be there, but will we be there to do it if we’re not careful to take better care of ourselves inside and out?

For me, I’ve been trying to incorporate some “best practices” to stay uplifted and motivated:

  • Exercise. Simple and enough said right? But, it’s so important. I would sit at my desk for hours at a time every day with no exercise and that’s not good for circulation of my muscles. Plus, it’s good to get into a different environment and then come back to my desk. It gives me energy when I need it most.
  • Quiet time. I’m typically a “go getter” personality, but when I take the time to just sit and quiet my thoughts, I am more open to what’s God is saying. I also can tap into that “creativity” which I need in my day since that’s a big part of my life and career.
  • Increasing prayer time. I can’t stress enough how important it is to talk to The Lord every day and several times a day every day. He totally understands us best since He made us. When I talk to Him, I just feel better about everything.
  • Creative environment. This is a new one for me too, but I’ve been reading about how imperative it is to design your work space that will induce comfort, joy, and excitement. I didn’t always give a lot of credence to this cause I didn’t think it would make that much of a difference. Boy, was I wrong. From the paint color you choose for the walls right down to the type of chair you sit in to work is crucial. If your table is not at the right height with your chair, you will be uncomfortable and it can also cause back, shoulder and neck pain and you won’t feel like working.

    These are just a few main changes I made to my craftroom: (1) I got a long craft table that I use for making my greeting cards. I can paint and use other art mediums and it gives me a lot of room to spread out my supplies. I took a lot of stuff off the walls and replaced them with white silk panels that I draped over fairy lights for a glam feel. (2) I love neutrals, glamor, rose gold/gold/silver colors so I tried to surround my space with this colorspace. I also love white marble so many of my pieces have that look; and (3) I traded in my office chair with one that has a longer back area because I struggle with back pain. And, I try hard to keep my room organized so as not to create a junky area that makes me feel overwhelmed.
  • Eating right and sleeping tight. A work in progress as I’m not fond of plain water. But, I’m trying to add it in more daily. Sleep is extremely important too, so I listen to sermons on my smartphone. First, it puts Jesus on my mind as the last thing I do and throughout the night, the word of God is being preached into my mind and sub-conscious. I have seen a difference in myself when I wake up the next morning.
  • Using aromatherapy products. I’ve struggled trying to find the right products for my excessively dry skin. I finally found a lotion made specifically for people like me. My skin is so dry that it will peel and cause pain and discoloration. I use this lotion almost daily and it has repaired some of the areas of my skin. I also love to use my candle warmer to burn essential oils like lavender, apple spice and the scent is so good and calming.
  • Reading scripture every day. To help me stay on track, I study the daily scripture that comes across my Bible Gateway and YouVersion apps. GUIG also has a daily verse that automatically changes everyday and I love to come here and read it.

I’m not saying I’m doing all these tasks all the time. I still remind myself, because my natural tendency is to sit at my desk all day working forgetting to eat, exercise, etc., to stop and take care of myself. As I mentioned, all this is a work in progress. It takes work and commitment until it becomes a lifestyle.

And, I know that if I’m applying these tips and making them my lifestyle, my tank will stay full and so will my body, mind, soul and strength.

Check out this post >>  Is God Waiting on Me?

Kim McDougal

Kim is the founder and creator of Growing Up in Grace. By day, she's the Director of Interactive Communications for the Hispanic chamber located in Jax, FL. Kim also owns "Kim's Studio Art" where she creates and sells Wall Art Printables and "Kim's Handcrafted Cards" on eBay where she creates and sells handmade greeting cards.