Hopping off the Empty Cycle

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I was really empty. My kids were even emptier.

I just wanted to veg out. I had just put in a good couple hours of trying to get work done on the women’s ministry God had called me to…I was ready for a good mind break.

But alas… that’s about when the girls would wake up and be ready for me to be the mom.

Sometimes I’d try to finish the project I was on, all the while having them on the “back burner.”

Just a note… if you put kids on the “back burner” … when you get back to them they might be hot… dried out… leave them there long enough and they might be “burned.”

Often, I would run to my phone. Instagram. I would come away with feelings of jealousy, feelings of not being enough, seeing another thing I wish I had, another twinge of guilt for something someone else did but I didn’t do, or feeling of uninvited when friends got together. After running to Instagram to numb what I was feeling, I’d TRY to go back to being a great mom with half my head still struggling over those feelings.

The kids would run to anything. Playing with each other. Fighting. Whining. iPad time.

I would get mad, because they weren’t listening, doing school, or coming to the table. And I’d run to something else. Chocolate peanut butter Reese’s cups. Tree-shaped or heart-shaped, the holiday made no difference to me. Then I’d try to go back to being a great mom with a sugar high, sugar crash, and a slightly sore throat (because chocolate and peanut butter tends to give me a sore throat, sigh).

And the kids would keep playing, keep watching, keep ignoring me… You know it, that vicious, empty cycle.

I’m a homeschool mom.

Letting things go does not work.

Letting it go for four months makes it even worse.

There’s no yellow school bus that is on a schedule to help us to keep track of time.

There are no teachers counting my kids as tardy.

So no one knew. Right?

God did.

And one day He called me out on it. He opened my eyes to the Empty Cycle I was stuck in.

He showed me the things that were standing in my way of really living. The things that I had put on the back burner. The things I had made my main deal, that should have been a hobby.

In several months time, He showed me these things, gently, and lovingly as only a Good, Good Father could.

One step at a time.

The Holy Spirit was faithful. He was a comforter when I woke up stuck in an empty cycle. He was my teacher. He led me to the next step, each step taking me a little further away from the merry-go-round of emptiness.

— — — —

Girl, are you stuck in a cycle of empty? Are you empty and trying to pour out to empty people? Empty children, spouses, children.

You are the only one who has any say in stopping it in your life.

Get filled up.

Hop off the merry-go-round of emptiness.

Last time we talked about a couple QUICK things  you could do to stop the cycle. Sometimes, though, you have to go on a diet. “Empty Cycle Diet” I know… I just made it up. Haha

Ask the Holy Spirit to show you what got you on the empty cycle. He is faithful to show you. Maybe it’s that you’ve been too busy. Or that you haven’t had quiet time. Perhaps you’ve been pouring into activities or people that drain you. Maybe you are helping where you really don’t need to help.  Perhaps it’s a homeschool curriculum that’s not working or an extracurricular activity that is draining your kids.

You might have to stop.

Take a break.

Start over.

Start at the beginning again.

Get quiet.

That’s really the first step! Get quiet and realize you are on the crazy train.

Second is to figure out who the crazy train is affecting, because if you figure that out, then you know who you are meant to live for. You find out who is really important in your life.

Third, take notice of what you run to to try to fix your crazy cycle. Instagram, Facebook, food, chocolate, etc…

Fourth, take notice of what drains you. Perhaps it’s a certain person? Some extra volunteer position? Some event you attend, some project you said you would do. Some calling that God called you to, but now He wants you to move on.  Seasons of life change and with it God calls us to different things.

Just because He called you to something last year doesn’t mean He still wants you in it this year.

Get quiet and figure it out. What just sucks the life out of you? What drains you?

Take a few days/weeks to think about this crazy train stuff. Take time to consider those four things.

Realize and be willing to admit the truth of how your life is.
Notice who this emptiness is effecting.
Learn what you run to “fill” the void.
Pay attention to what drains you.

After a couple weeks of prayer and thought about it put yourself on a “diet” or fast.  Decide how long it will be . . . Maybe a day, week, month, or longer. Decide what things drain you that you plan to stay away from during your “diet.” Also decide what of the things you run to you will avoid.  

When all the things you run to are gone and all the things that drain you are gone, finally, you can start to really live.

Pray that God opens your eyes during your “diet.” Pray He shows you the things that are most important, that He fills you with new desires again. Desires to be the person He really wants you to be. The person He really called you to be.

The person your people really need you to be.

By the grace of God this “empty cycle diet” thing works. I’m living proof.  

I’d love to know if this resonates with you! Do you feel like you’re in a crazy empty cycle?

**There is a lot packed into this one little article. Maybe you are really feeling empty from years of emptiness like I was, if so this will just touch the surface. I pray God fills in all the holes. I’d be glad to chat more with you, email me.   Maybe you don’t feel desperate nor empty; Awesome! You may not need these words at all. 🙂 Feel free to skip the article! And YAY for you! In your spare time email me, I’d love to hear your tips and ways you stay off this crazy cycle!**

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