When The Cup Is Empty

The plates keep spinning as I try desperately to balance what seems like an endless to do list. Just don’t stop moving or the fine balance, or the facade of what now looks like balance, of life will coming crashing down.

The demands of everyday life often make me feel like a salmon swimming upstream. I’m in constant motion but sure don’t feel like I’m making any headway. Do you ever feel like you’re struggling to keep your head above water? Let me tell you, you’re not alone!

You’ve heard it said, “My cup runneth over” from Psalm 23:5. Well, an all too common occurrence in our society today is “My cup runneth empty”. How many times have you been giving and giving and realize you ran out of “stuff” to give long ago and still keep dipping in for more.

There is a reason we’re told in a flight safety rundown we need to put our own oxygen mask on before we help others. When we don’t take in what’s needed to keep us going we’re useless to those around us.

The past month and a half I haven’t done a good job of putting on my oxygen mask first. As such, my cup had long since run dry and was choking  on the remaining dust. Rather than take the time needed to invite God into fill me up, I gritted my teeth and tried to continue on in my own strength.

I’m sure many of you already know this but that is NOT fun! We grow weary and burn out creeps at our door the entire time. Stubborn pride whispers lies to us that we can do it all and do it on our own.

Slow down. Take a deep breath. Cry out to Jesus and repent of pride. Allow God to breathe fresh air back into you. Dig into His word and let Him pour new life into your cup.

I pray you can find your “oxygen mask” quickly next time life sweeps you off your feet and tries to drain your cup. You can’t give what you don’t have!

Blessings in the Middle of Pain

It’s a New Year and full of so much promise. You can just feel the fresh heartbeat, can’t you?  Change is in the air.  In the process of all this change, it’s always wise to reflect on the past year and see where God has taken us.

This past year has been a chock full of ups, downs, and heartache but also so much joy for me! It’s been a chance to really come to know the Lord on a whole new level. I’ve been brought to my knees countless times this past year. When the enemy brings us to our knees, we can either collapse in despair or surrender in prayer.

I’m pretty sure I’ve spent more time in doctor’s offices, hospitals, surgery centers and rehab facilities in this one year than I have in the last 5 years combined.  That’s saying a lot considering the fact that we’re sure our younger son helped pay for part of the new wing at our local doctor’s office.
I’m not sure which is harder honestly, being the patient or being the spouse, mom or sister. 

This could have been a year to just crawl up in the fetal position and feel sorry for myself and my family.  I could have become calloused emotionally.  My attitude could have taken a turn for the worse and thus making everyone around me miserable too.  I’ll admit I most likely wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows to live with every moment either.  I stumbled from time to time.

But, and this is a very important BUT, I made the choice to run to Jesus every time I felt my attitude starting to turn sour.  Or when I felt doubt starting to creep in about the outcome of yet another medical procedure.  I’m also very blessed to have an amazing family that helps point me back to Him when I’m struggling.

This isn’t to say that we are supposed to just ignore our emotions and stuff them down so no one sees that side of us. People have questioned my family all year on how we can stay so positive in the middle of all of these challenges.  To be really honest, there have been many tears shed.  I have felt scared, confused, nervous and even angry.

So what do I do with those feelings?  I cry out to Jesus. I play worship music.  I invite Jesus in to change the atmosphere. I tell him I’m hurt, confused or feel like I’m sinking.  I can’t hide those feelings from Him anyway so I may as well take them straight to my Creator. He’s a big God, with big shoulders. None of my problems are too big for Him.

I have Godly people all around me and if I’m really struggling I will call them to vent.  Most of the time they let me get it out but then quickly redirect me back to God’s promises. I put my trust in Jesus.  He is the only source of true peace.  Everything else can come or go, but He never changes.  He is the rock I anchor to.
Father God, thank you for the blessing of this past year.  It didn’t always feel like a blessing in the middle of it but I know that you have plans for me to prosper and not to harm me.  I cling to that promise and know that you work out all things for my eventual good.  Help me to trust you completely.
In Jesus name, Amen.