Refilling the Emotional Tank

From time to time I find myself drained emotionally. I’ll feel tired, but not the kind of tired that sleeping helps. Kind of like one of those cloudy days where you just can’t shake the drowsiness.

What I’ve found is that that means I’m emotionally tired. My emotional tank is running close to “E” and I need to take some time to refill it.

For me, I do that by simply having nothing to do. When I have nothing on the schedule and nothing but time, the weight that was on my shoulders slowly slips off, pound by pound.

Blessed with a long weekend (thanks Colombus!), I was able to do just that this past week. It started with a morning at a local park with Maggie and Pax. It’s in a quaint part of town with a beautiful Episcopalian church and Charleston style townhomes. Each hour the church bells still toll.

There’s a playground where everyone in the neighborhood just leaves out their toys, and there’s a giant sandbox for the rugrats to run around in.

photo 1

Pax loved it. He toddled all over the place, giggling as he went. Because we had the day off and didn’t have anything planned, I was able to really enjoy each one of the moments where he threw his ball and slowly turned his head back to see if I was watching.

I even got to daydream about his future brother or sister when I caught a glimpse of Maggie’s belly starting to grow.

After playing there for about an hour (a huge feat for a 19-month old boy), we headed to a pumpkin patch across town. Across town means a 3 minute drive.

The pumpkin patch is setup next to a gas station in an empty lot. We like to go to this one because the same folks come back later in the year with Christmas trees, and if you buy some pumpkins you get a coupon for your tree (the things that excite you as an adult…).

We had a blast at this simple patch o’ pumpkins. It was such a difference from a year ago when our son didn’t do anything but sit there among the pumpkins. Now, he was checking everything out.

photo 2He didn’t want to get out of this box!

photo 4I posted this on Instagram last weekend and it’s too cute not to show you (love the last one of him crying!).

photo 5By the end of that day, all the emotional weight that had been on my shoulders had slowly disappeared. And it was then, when the stress was gone, that I started to think about Jesus’ burden. He tells us the His burden is light and easy to bear, and I believe that because I believe the Bible.

But so many days it doesn’t seem like it’s light. It doesn’t feel like it’s easy.

There’s decisions that stress, emails that keep coming, and growing to-do lists. Each one brings its own weight to life.

Pretty soon, the weight of all of them is on your shoulders and you can barely get out of the chair, let alone do anything about it.

I’ve started to see that the problem is in feeling all the weight, all the time. See, I think Jesus’ burden is light and easy to bear because He’s only asking us to bear one thing at a time. He’s asking us to bear the weight of taking one more step in faith. Just the next step.

He’s not asking me to stress about what I have to do in the next weeks and years. He’s asking me to take one more step.

And when I think about that, it seems like something I can do. Tomorrow brings so many worries, but today is all we can do something about.

That realization came from a clear mind and a relaxed soul. And that’s why refilling the emotional tank is so good and so necessary.

  • Loren Pinilis

    I’ve had days like this, too – where I just felt emotionally drained and in need of recharging. I will pray for some relief. Sometimes it comes quickly. Sometimes it doesn’t. But it always comes.