Today, I want to give you something to think about. Let's talk about the cookie jar. While I'm sure you would like to discuss my favorite cookie recipes because I do love to bake, the reality I want to discuss is what can keep your relationships and even self-care on track. I have heard from more and more people that are dealing with situations that once they are able to take a step back, and think about this, they are able to find workable solutions that continue to help them to thrive, even in the most difficult situations and times.
I know this has happened to you before, I mean hasn't it happened to us all. You get a late night craving. You tell yourself, you really shouldn't be eating this late. However, you can't stop thinking about those nicely baked cookies in the cookie jar. The ones that were freshly baked earlier today, and your mouth waters, and you fight the temptation a bit longer, and yet you find yourself being pulled to the kitchen, just for a slight sniff of the cookie. I mean you won't really eat it... you just want to smell the aroma because you can already taste it. You assure yourself, you won't eat it. You walk into the kitchen that has been pulling you towards that cookie jar. You get closer, and everything in you can feel and taste that amazing cookie. You know at this point, you're giving in. I mean really just one cookie won't hurt anything, right? I'll start the diet tomorrow, I will have more self- control tomorrow, that cookie jar is just calling my name, and at this point you just give in to the thoughts, and dreams of the cookies.
You open the jar oh so slowly, hoping to savor every moment of this cookie. I mean, you are just having one, so let's make it count. You open the jar, and the smell pulls you in further, the smell of the fresh baked cookies, make your mouth water. You take one deep breathe over the cookie jar just knowing that in a few moments, you will be able to taste the cookie you've longed for. You reach into the cookie jar with such anticipation. This has been such a fight of control, so you are ready to pull the cookie out and make each bite count. As you're reaching into the cookie jar, something doesn't feel just right. Your hand is going further into the jar then you expected. Now your hand is dancing around the inside of the cookie jar with no restriction. There should be something that you hit beside the side of the jar. Something is terribly wrong. It can't be… please don't tell me… OH NO!!! This can't really be happening. You reposition your hand that was once on the inside of the jar on the outside, and taking the other hand, you pick up the jar and look deep within. Oh your greatest fear is realized, there are NO MORE COOKIES in the cookie jar. Immediately your senses are shattered, your heart is broken, and your mouth is forming words it shouldn't because there isn't a cookie to stop you. Your hurt turns into anger, because you aren't able to find a cookie, who ate them all. Was it the kids, maybe your husband. I mean who is the culprit that ate all the cookies, and I can't have one when I want it.
So you climb off the ledge of disappointment, and start to think more rationally. I'll just come back in the morning and try again. I mean surely when I open the cookie jar tomorrow, I will be able to have the cookie I long for. The next morning you return to the cookie jar with the same expectations as before, yet there isn't any cookies in the cookie jar. You're really discouraged and feeling defeated at this point. You share with your spouse, or friend how disappointed you are in the process of not having any cookies in the cookie jar, and they have a wonderful idea for you. Pray about it. The Bible is clear, if you believe you will receive. So be sure you pray about it and God will change that situation. You take their advice and pray over the situation about the cookies in the cookie jar. You ask God to bring more cookies and to have one, just one, you even tell him you're not being greedy one will be enough.
The next morning you wake up and with great expectation believing that God will do it, you run down stairs and quickly open the cookie jar knowing that it will be full, but to your surprise there isn't even one cookie in the jar. Now you feel completely abandoned, alone, distraught, unloved, unworthy, angry, disappointed, and at a point of just throwing in the towel and giving up. You start telling yourself all the reasons why you weren't given the cookie. You sliding lower and lower into a dark desperate place. How will you ever be the same again? Is it even possible?
Have you ever had this happen? I have, not only with the cookie jar, but other expectations and It's a horrible feeling. Is this where you are today with your life, relationships, or career?
So many of us wait in great expectations for things just like that cookie, and then we get extremely disappointed when it's not there. The question I have, is who is responsible for filling the cookie jar? In my house, since I’m the one that typically bakes the cookies, or puts them away, it is my responsibility to fill it! How can I expect there to be something in the cookie jar, if I don't fill it. If I don't put something in the jar, how can I expect to get something out of the jar. That even goes for relationships, how can you expect to get anything out of it, if you don't first put it in there. My husband and I do a lot of marriage coaching and each person comes into the relationship with expectations, but you can't get those things out of your marriage unless they are put into your marriage.
If you are not taking care of yourself first, then just like that cookie jar, you will become empty and unable to give any more. You have to replenish and add back to you. It isn't selfish, it is necessary. Do you feel like the cookie jar was selfish because it didn't have any cookies? That seems absurd, but it is just as crazy to think that you will always have if you are not replenishing and putting back into yourself. So I would challenge you and say what are some things you enjoy? What do you need? Do some soul searching to determine what is lacking in you and how you can replenish that area, so that when your family, friends, or job come pulling things out of you, there is always enough. That is why vacations are so important.
So today take time to reflect on where you are at now, where you need to be, and how to get there. If you find that you need help creating space for yourself, let us help you. We can talk through what you need and how to get you to where you want to be. Click here to learn more.