Distance to Empty

My minivan has a kickin’ feature (anytime I can use the words “kickin'” and “minivan in the same sentence I try to ’cause it makes me giggle) that allows you to see how many miles you have left before you run out of gas. I hit it tonight and watched the miles tick down until a little star appeared at the 5 mile mark. I was kind of curious to see if I would really sputter out and stop after 5 more miles, but then realized my cell phone battery was dead and it’s 57 degrees outside and thought better of it. I quickly pulled into the nearest Shell station and put a little gas in the van. My car seemed happy about that.

As I drove on, I got to thinking about that little DTE button. I wish I had one of those. I wish I had a meter that told me exactly how much longer I had before I was completely empty. Instead, I’m like a clunky old VW with a screwy odometer and definately no DTE. I go, go, go until I suddenly seem to spit, sputter and came to a shuddering stop (how’s that for a little alliteration?). That happened to me today. I hit empty and I hit it hard. Unfortunately, the people who suffer most when I hit empty are my family. I’m just tired. And that’s not their fault. It’s mine. And now I’m tired and I’ve got a big old heap of mommy guilt to go on top of it. I was not a good mommy today. I was bad mommy. The kind of mommy that kids write books about when they get older. The Mommy Dearest kind of mommy (shudder). Maybe I wasn’t that bad. I didn’t beat anyone. I didn’t use a single four letter word…at least not out loud. But the tone of my voice was scary and the volume was louder than it needed to be. It’s not that they were being impossible, they were just being kids…and a husband. I hit empty. And when you’re on empty, there’s no jump starting the car to dodge the oncoming traffic. You sit there and wait for it to hit you. And my kids stink at dodging. Again, not because they’re little terrors, but because they’re kids. They seem to hit me while I’m down every time. A little trivia for you: Did you know that a car, though completely lifeless and empty, will still explode when hit at the right angle? I have no idea if that’s a fact or not, but it works well with my allegory. Most days I handle their little shenanigans well – but those are the days when I’m full, or at least have a little to keep me going.

I have just pushed too hard, for way too long. I’m tired physically. Just really, really tired. I feel like I’ll never be not tired again. I’m tired emotionally. Not because there’s anything super emotional happening in my life but because I’m so frustrated with myself and that makes me emotional. I can’t help it. I’m a girl. And, perhaps most importantly, I’m tired spiritually. I miss God. It’s not Him who left me – I’ve drifted from Him. Thus the big fat E staring me in the face right now. I’m tired. I so, so tired. And so I’ve decided to take the day tomorrow and fill up my tank. I need to be filled with the Spirit. I need to pour scripture into my weary body and allow Him to recharge me. I also need to fill up my kids’ love tanks. I’ve not loved them well these last few days. I need to speak grace into my husband who has been oh so patient with me these last few months. I will probably not post tomorrow. I need a day away from the computer, away from the television, away from everything that I substitute for the one thing that truly fills me up. I need a day to be filled. I’m posting something I wrote a couple of years ago when I reached a similar place in my life. I was pregnant with Tia and had terrible insomnia. I slept 2-3 hours/night and was not handling that well. These are the words the Lord spilled through my fingers into my journal. I sing them softly to myself tonight. I do not share this to beg for encouragement, though I always welcome that. I share it because it’s a way of holding myself accountable. And now, off I go to sleep and recharge my physical batteries.

Fill Me Up

Used to have brilliant words to sing
Now I drift like the wave
I crash to the shore
Then I quickly pull away

I miss sitting at your Feet
Listening to your tender words so sweet
How I long to surrender
To Thee Holy Lord
I yearn for your presence in me

Fill me up, Holy King
Light my heart, make me sing
Jesus call me out w
ith an Almighty shout
Father I bow down to Thee
Fill me up, Holy King
Sing over me, let your presence ring
Cleanse me from within, may I never drift again
Gracious Father, I bow down unto Thee

Now I sit in quiet dark
In the silence you still seem so far
Forgive me for my straying heart
Despite my failing moments, I know you’ll not depart

I give myself again to you
Father God, don’t let me go
Take my life, mold it to Your glory
Oh how I love you so

Fill me up, Holy King
Light my heart, make me sing
Jesus call me out with an Almighty shout
Father I bow down to Thee
Fill me up, Holy King
Sing over me, let your presence ring
Cleanse me from within, may I never drift again
Gracious Father, I bow down to Thee


  1. Our God is hearing your name in countless prayers. Please brace yourself!

  2. i hope you have a wonderfully refreshing day tomorrow (or is that today???!). i know 3 young ones require OH SO MUCH of you! blessings to you 🙂

  3. Three Against One says

    I know exactly what you mean about feeling empty, the last few days I have just been tired and almost in a funk that I can’t seem to get myself out of and I don’t have a newborn waking me up in the middle of the night anymore. Maybe once the rain goes away and we can get outside more we will feel full again.

  4. Stuart Fam says

    Beautifully put.

  5. blessedpath says

    Oh how i can relate……I had sooooo many of those days just 2 yrs ago. It seemed like I was always ugly to the kids and Mike bc i wasn’t happy with myself. We all stray from the Lord at times…in fact, I haven’t been in the Word much myself lately…I can tell when I stray too far…EVERYTHING is harder, He wants us to be close. I hope you had some quiet time to fill your soul today……..

  6. the broomes says

    I had one of those awful/tired/not-good mommy days the other day. I actually ended up crawling into Joshua’s bed at about midnight and praying over him. I was reminded that without Christ’s strength and grace filling me up, there’s just no way that I can love and raise him in a godly way. It was such a refreshing time for me. I felt God’s faithful lovingkindness for me and He provided much patience with Joshua as well. God is so faithful!!! Why in the world do we allow ourselves to try to do this mommy thing on our own?!!?


    Hello…i am a good friend of Rachel Hyser and I found your blog through hers…I SO relate to this post! I have 5 children 7 and under..and there are way too many days that my tank is on E! Thank-you. You just reminded me of the only thing that can fill me back up.. the Lord.He is always faithful..

  8. Joe & Cyndi Rogers says

    I found your blog through reading Angie Smith’s blog (about sweet Audrey and precious baby Luke). You do not know me, but I am am mom of 2 in Dalton, GA and I just sat here and cried and cried for about 30 minutes before I ‘stumbled’ onto your blog and this POST!!

    Be assured that I KNOW that I didn’t actually ‘stumble’ here. God’s amazing Holy Spirit guided me here!! I was just thinking how EMPTY I am and how tired I am and how I will never not be tired again and how I just want to be recharged and feel full again!! I am weary and needing a break….

    And then, I read this post. It is as if God brought me straight here to speak to my heart!!

    THANK YOU for being so transparent and in your transparency, you spoke to my heart and God used you in a mighty way to speak to a wife and mom in Dalton, GA.

    WOW!! All the time God is good!!! He is amazing!! THANK YOU for your words. I will come back to read more.


    Cyndi R.