Fill Up to Give Away

Jan 9, 2014

You’ve probably had this experience.

Your day is too full already with too many places to be.  As you race from one point to the next, you glance down at your fuel gauge and discover you’re running on fumes.

What to do?  If you stop to fill your gas tank it will make you later than you are already.  But the alternative is worse.

Because you know without a doubt that your day of driving will come to a screeching halt when those fumes run out.  And yet parents try to keep driving on an empty tank when it comes to their kids.  They give and they give, running on fumes when their own tanks are woefully low.

Much of the time, parents feel “out of gas.”  While the demands of their children never end, their own resources dwindle so they feel as if they’re operating on fumes in their family life.

It’s a law of physics that matter is neither created nor destroyed.  So in order to create nurturing for our children, we must start with resources of some kind.

Parents must load up their own tanks with energy and happiness.  They have to find experiences in their daily lives which fill them up in order to be able to pass along that nurture to their children.

First, they have to protect their health.  They need to eat right, get regular sleep and get medical care when needed rather than putting it off.  

But just as importantly, parents need to see to their own happiness.  Necessary ingredients for happiness may be different for each person.  For one, it’s a moment alone for prayer or a cup of tea.  For another, it’s time for a daily walk or run.  For many of us, it’s time with friends who love us just the way we are.

To establish the kind of life we want to give our children, we have to first create the kind of life we want to live ourselves.  And that life will include finding ways to refill our own gas tanks every day.