My Cup Is Empty

I have an incredibly hard time resting. On top of not being a good sleeper, I feel guilty if I need to rest. As a woman and a Christian, the need to say yes and be available at all times is overwhelming. I know some people are great at being able to balance taking care of themselves and taking care of others. I feel deep guilt if I take time for myself, especially when I know someone needs my help. It is easier to continue to put myself on the back burner than actually stop and take care of what I need. Just writing that out seems ridiculous.

I have a picture of a quote saved on my phone from American author Eleanor Brownn, “You can’t pour from an empty cup. Take care of yourself first,” I know all of this to be true, so why is there so much guilt associated with taking time for yourself? That guilt you feel, the guilt I feel, is not from God. God wants us to be the absolute best version of yourself and He knows that to do that, you must take care of yourself. That “run-ragged” feeling comes from Satan. It comes from a world that places unrealistic expectations on us. In order to take care of others in your life, you must take care of yourself.

In Genesis, the very beginning of the Bible, God creates everything we know in this world and beyond. After His work is complete, God rests. He took the time to recover from work. “By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.’’ Genesis 2:2-3 If the creator of everything knew to rest, what makes me think that I can keep going without rest? How silly!

Jesus knew that taking care of himself was very important. He knew that he needed time to rest and reflect without the noise and distractions of the world. At the end of Mark 4, Jesus makes the decision to get in a boat and retreat to the other side of the lake, even when he knows the crowd is still wanting to hear him speak. During his rest, a terrible storm pours rain down on the boat he and his disciples are on. Jesus continues to sleep on the boat that is tossing back and forth. Everyone around him feels like they need him to do something for them, but Jesus knows how important rest truly is. Once awakened, Jesus commands the wind and waves to be still, and everything is calm once again. Everyone is then able to rest.

God wants us to use the times of rest to draw closer to him. When we rest properly, we can use the time for self-reflection. We can use that time as a time for prayer. We can use that time for sleep. We can use that time to strengthen our body with exercise so we will be fit to work for the Lord. We need to use that time to renew our mind. Romans 12:2 says, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test what God’s will is: his good, pleasing, and perfect will.” By taking the time to rest, your spirit is renewed and ready to serve God to your absolute best ability. When we don’t take time to rest, we will not be able to serve God with all our hearts and minds.

I am trying to make a mid-year resolution to take time for myself. To take time to rest and renew my body, mind, and spirit. To make sure I don’t run myself completely ragged. To know that it is okay to say no, and it is okay to sleep! I hope you will take time to learn to rest as well. Take time to renew your mind and spend time with God.

This week’s recipe is a spring and summer salad that will be on your menu rotation every week. It is packed with garden fresh veggies and makes the perfect meal on its own or pairs perfectly with chicken, steak, pork, or seafood. Give it a try; I am sure you will love it!

“Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy that person; for God’s temple is sacred, and you together are that temple.” I Corinthians 3:16-17