The Empty Cup… by JoAnn
Recently, a sweet young lady whom I consider a family friend made a post on Facebook that concerned me. She stated she would appreciate prayers as she was going through a stressful week. She went on to explain that as a mother and nurse, she was having a difficult time keeping up with all the demands in her life. She went on to say that she knew she needed to take care of herself as well but had no idea how to do that anymore. It sounded like she gives all she has to her family and job. My heart went out to her.
Thinking of what type of wisdom I could give this younger woman, I didn’t want to sound like a know-it-all or say anything to discourage or offend her. I wanted to say that I had been where she is now many years ago, but I still remember what it felt like and how hard it was to figure it all out. I decided to write, “You can’t pour from an empty cup.”.
That quote was one I first heard Christian author Joyce Meyer say in one of her lessons. It hit the nail right on the head for me, and I knew it would for this young friend as well. It gets to the point rather simply. As mothers, wives, and employees, we spend our days pouring into everyone. Whatever is in our proverbial cup, we offer to all in need. As moms, we give our children what they need from that cup first and foremost. As a nurse, I can only imagine how often my friend pours from her cup when tending to patients. When she gets home, she is expected to give whatever is left to her spouse. But what if the children need more?
You can quickly get the picture that this young lady’s cup is being emptied each day. How does she have anything to take for herself? She doesn’t. I know from experience from my own life that it takes quite the balancing act to end up with enough left over in my cup at the end of the day to include my own needs. I went years with an empty cup until I reached burnout. I hope my friend doesn’t have to go through such a hard lesson.
To balance our lives in a way as to always have something to pour from our cup, is a very individual and personal thing. Something each of us must learn. To some, it comes easily. To others, the anxiety and stress can be overwhelming. To a parent, it is the most important thing to learn. You have no choice but to pour into your children if you love and care about what kind of human being they become. Therefore, it is essential that you keep your cup full. That means you must take care of yourself, too. You can’t give to your kids what you don’t have.
So fill up that cup, my friend, and then enjoy the gift of sharing it with others!