Energy

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Strange how it comes and goes, isn’t it?  I’m not talking about the “I can run 10 miles today” kind of energy (I don’t remember thinking that since I had Cloe 5 yrs ago, actually…) though it’s amazing how THAT kind disappears on me as well!

No, I mean the emotional energy that seems boundless around some people, and completely dry around others.  The first example that comes to my mind is my little sister Kimberly.  That is, she is the first *positive* example that comes to my mind!  😉  When I grow up some day, I want to be like her.  I don’t remember ever thinking “ugh… I just don’t have the energy to deal with Kimberly right now.”  But I’m quite sure that people have thought that about me!  Here’s another strange fact about Kimberly and those like her… no matter how much energy you pour into her, you never feel sapped.  Why is that?  How does a person learn to be one of those people that only multiplies your energy level?  We all need more people like that in our lives, I think.

My current struggle is with a few random people that are not at all like Kimberly.  Some, I can pour energy into, feel drained for a while, but eventually the supply refills and I am totally fine pouring more into them again.  Others… well I have a hard time explaining the others.  At one time I remember having energy to give them.  But somehow, those supply lines have run dry and aren’t refilling.  I wonder why that is?

[Random rabbit trail: does anyone else  automatically think of  creepy “Lost” characters when you hear the word “others”?  I do…]

I’ve recently started Beth Moore’s Esther study with 2 friends here.  We’re only on week 2 right now, but I’m loving it!  I pretty much just love Beth, though.  She is so transparent and passionate and easy to relate to!  Yesterday in the session 2 video, she made a comment that I’ve been thinking about.  She said “God is attracted to weakness.”  I’ve really seen that to be true in my life.  When I have times of having no strength left to deal with children or whatever current situation I’m in, He’s there.  But He’s never pushy about it.  Don’t you love that about Him?  He’s an absolute gentleman.  He wants to be there for you, but He won’t push His way in… He waits for an invitation.  But when I invite Him in, He is faithful to rush to my weakness and prove Himself strong.  I’ve seen it so many times in my day-to-day struggles with strong-willed children.  It’s been just as helpful in my marriage.  The only question is why it takes me so long to come to the point of crying out “Lord I’m at the end of myself here! Help!!!”

Here’s the thing.  Remember those emotionally draining relationships from earlier?  Those don’t seem to always apply to the “end-of-my-rope” prayer I mentioned.  For sure, that prayer helps my peace of mind… any conversation with God does.  But more and more lately, instead of renewed energy, I feel something more like a need to be smarter about this.  Numerous people have told me, on numerous occasions, that I invest too much in one-sided relationships.  My precious husband keeps trying to encourage me to be more realistic when it comes to these situations.  Not that I should not keep investing, but that I need to be more realistic about what I’m expecting in return.

Hold on… haven’t I already blogged about expectations?  I told you… it’s a problem with me.

Anyway, I want to change.  I want to still be able to invest a little in those one-sided relationships, but be realistic about how they will respond.  I do not want to become cynical about these people and their responses (or lack thereof), but neither do I want to get my hopes up for a great relationship and continue to be hurt when those dreams bite the dust.  Again.  And again.  Where, exactly, is the balance between realistic and optimistic here?  This is my struggle for the day.  As always, I would love to hear what you think about it!

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14 responses »

  1. *I* think you *are* one of those people who I can invest in day after day, hour after hour and NEVER tire of it. Thank you for your sweet sweet words, you always brighten my day! 🙂
    I love you so much!!!!! ❤

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  2. don’t give up on the power drainers! thanks for hanging in there for me. you have well said the truth on how to react to the one sided people… sorry i couldn’t put it more clearly and it came out cold and hard the other day. love you! proud of your desire to put your heart’s feelings and thoughts on “paper” (do we even know what paper is any more these days?)

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  3. I recently contemplated the same concepts… when leaving theC, as a matter of fact. I found that people I *thought* were “friends” were only responders to comments. Even when I try to keep up with them, they do not return in like manner. And I had to come to realize, that just like every other area of life, relationships are governed by two things… GOD’S SOVEREIGNTY and MY RESPONSIBILITY. I’m commanded to love my neighbor and to do unto others as I would want them to do to me. That’s my responsibility… to invest in those my path crosses with. But, a friendship is something that only God can orchastrate. We can’t make friendship happen, no matter if we’re the giver or the taker. It’s God that brings exaclty who we need into our lives. It is He that binds hearts together. It’s not a matter of the two parties doing everything right. It’s a miracle created and predestined by the sovereign God of the universe.

    So, we have a responsibility to “be nice”, even in one-sided situations, but if the clik isn’t happening, we shouldn’t take it personally. We should just realize that that is one person God has not created for meeting our emotional needs. They are simply in our path for our obedience to love and “do unto as we woul we want done to us”.

    Realizing this has been incredibly freeing to me. I (generally) no longer take it personally when people don’t seem as interested in a friendship as I am. Or when others are just down right rude. It’s like I can let it go with a smile, knowing that they’re just not the ones God has for me. I can rest secure knowing that He does have friends for me and He will and is supplying my relationship needs.

    I hope this makes sense. I’m not making light of social sins of pride and being aloof. Just saying that there’s freedom and security that embraces you when you snuggle up in God’s sovereignty. Does that make sense?

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  4. I’m so glad you wrote this. I know that we share a few different life philosophies or viewpoints about things sometimes, and I hope it doesn’t keep us apart, but I wanted to tell you that I can completely relate to the concept of one-sidedness when it comes to personal relationships. I have experienced them all my life and am still trying to figure out how to approach and live a happy and healthy life in spite of them. I guess we turn to what brings us hope and peace and we cling to it. It is clear what brings you hope and peace and I pray that you cling to Him.

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  5. You give me so much energy, you are always there for me! I so appreciate the way you are always there with truth and encouragement even when I am down! Thanks for the inspiration… your thoughts are always just what I seem to need!

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  6. My son in law has just today posted two comments on Facebook: If you don’t guard your time, your time ends up belonging to everyone. You don’t have to return every call, text or email. Only those that are most important. The ones that line up with “the race God has set before YOU.” (Heb. 12:1)
    To say “yes” to helping everyone is to say, “I am God and can do it all.” Guard your time as a steward. Know your priorities. Learn to say “No.” And you don’t have to have an explanation. Try it now…”thanks…but no.”
    God WILL put people in your life, though, to teach you such wonderful 🙂 things such as patience… ask Him to help you see when you are doing too much and when you are genuinely saying “No” to ministry. Ask for wisdom to discern between God’s will and energy zappers and distractions which are sent by the enemy. I think your cute little hands must be pretty incredibly full with the race set before you- guard your time and your energy!

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  7. I posted this on your f/b page and realized I should have done it here! 🙂 So here goes….

    I believe that there is a distinct difference between family and non-family members in this situation, and also that discernment and being led by the Spirit come into play as well.

    I do believe that when you are united by the bonds of blood or marriage (in-laws), there is very rarely a time that you can stop investing in these relationships. I had a very difficult adult relationship with my older brother (and only sibling) that I wanted to “leave” many times, but felt in my heart that was wrong. When he died suddenly and tragically in June of ’08, I was deeply grateful that I obeyed the Spirit’s voice. On the flip side however, family ties do NOT have to bind & boundaries are essential! If they are draining relationships and there is a need to create even tighter boundaries, that is not the same as no longer investing in that person, and you should never feel guilty for sticking to those boundaries…. See More

    Non-family members- if you are not prompted otherwise by the Spirit- should be ones that you choose to no longer invest considerable amounts of emotion and energy into. We are called to be witnesses of the saving grace and redeeming love of God, so obviously, we must live in peace as far as it is up to us and not be discourteous to them. But if these people drain you, it may be best to release them.

    There is a great need for us to always be close enough to hear our Lord’s still small voice directing us in any direction, and iron-clad rules on this particular subject may not be advisable in order to let Him guide.

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    • I think you’re right on, as usual! 🙂 Relationships are so sticky. Thankfully, God knows. Something I like to remind myself is that the Shephard wants to lead even more than us dumb sheep want to be led. He is faithful to lead when we are ready to follow.

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  8. I agree with Strawberry Shortcake. Family should always be top, but in priority order… husband and kids before parent, sibs, and in laws. If a relationship with a parent, sib, or in law hurts your relationship with your spouse or children, there has to be clear boundaries. Totally cutting off family members who simply seem disinterested in the real you may not be a good thing. But if they are trampling over you or attacking your own little family, distance may seriously need to happen.

    When it comes to others, I think we have the responsibility to love and be courteous… genuinely, not pridefully fake…. but we can certainly pull back and just not invest as much. Smile, chat whenyou run into them, but you don’t have to go out of your way to keep trying to be friends.

    That’s just my take on it. 😛 God will definitely lead us. His sovereignty is not hard to see if we look for it.

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  9. Hey Julie its Tim. I know what you mean about people draining you. I think you just have to decide on your own which ones you have to let go and which ones you need to keep.

    Really the best way to do that is to figure our your circle of influence. Meaning who can you help? I think that with all these social media sites we stay in contact with people that we would most likely have almost no contact. Some people think that is good but. I think the human brain can only do so much.

    You may be spending to much thought and will power on things and people out side of your circle of influence. I know that many times I do. Once we figure out our circle of influence we are able to focus only on the things that we can influence. At the center of the circle you find your self. Start examining there and work your way out. There may be certain aspects of people that you shouldn’t worry about because it is out of your control. There may be parts of them you can influence. Who knows.

    This is a common struggle for every one. Just know that your not alone. I think this is one of the biggest things that social media sites create. A black hole of effort and emotion. I am guilty of doing this to.

    Love you,
    Tim

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