“So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.” – Hebrews 4:16
They say you can’t fill a cup that is already full, but we established in the welcome post that most women’s cups are bone dry. Historically, my obligations and tendency to overextend myself kept my cup empty. Those same obligations also didn’t leave any room for God to fill it. If your anything like me, your cup is more like a container where the person who made it forgot to hollow it out and leave an opening for the liquid. It took me a while to realize I designed my defective cup.
“Beware the barrenness of a busy life.” – Socrates
For a long time, my fear of saying no and my subconscious, prideful desire to be the woman who inspired everyone to say, “Wow! How does she do it?” turned my life into a train wreck that left no room for filling my spirit. My free moments either morphed into guilt trips for not completing XYZ, or spiraled me into anxiety because I was sure I was forgetting something monumental. (Talk about self-important. Ugh.) All this came to a head during my master’s program, in which I worked full-time and attended school full-time, while also being a wife, a toddler mom, and a travel soccer mom.
I only slept 2-3 hours per night, constantly ate junky food because I didn’t have time to cook, never exercised, and, worst of all, I didn’t leave myself any time to connect with God. He kept whispering for me to put him first, but my constant refrain was, “When?!” I felt like crap and my attitude reflected that. I was an anxious, over-extended martyr that felt like I always let everyone down. No one wanted to hang out with me because I was snippy, and people felt like they had to walk on eggshells around me. I about had a nervous breakdown.
“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” – 2 Corinthians 12:9
Thankfully, God intervened. One day, the weight of carrying everything by myself broke me. I ended up curled in the fetal position on the floor, ugly crying to God and apologizing for how I’d messed everything up. Again, I heard him whisper, “I love you unconditionally. Put me first. I have things to show you. See what happens.” It was evident that I failed spectacularly at doing things of my own volition, so I gave in and decided to follow His seemingly impossible instructions. I had no idea that saying yes to God would change everything in the most beautiful ways.
Once I surrendered, God helped me start chipping away at the hardened substance I’d unwittingly filled into my cup. Through him, I identified the areas of my life that stole my time and energy and altered them to get those minutes and hours back. I started every morning with prayer, exploring the Bible, and devotions. I also became more conscientious about how I filled the empty moments, such as driving, and purposefully used them to fill my cup with inspirational music or sermons.
The point is (and I’ll share more on this in later posts, so be sure to come back!) I intentionally chose God, and he showed up for me in miraculous ways that I could never imagine. He changed my attitude, gave me more time to sleep, and made me more efficient, so I somehow completed higher quality work in a shorter time. He helped me find time to exercise and start eating right, and I felt better than I had in years. In all this, my relationships began to heal, including my relationship with the Father. I learned how to love, truly love, and show more grace – all during the most stressful time of my life. I learned to trust Him. I began to seek and enjoy Him, not through acts or obligation, but instead in the spirit of love.
“Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Jesus Christ.” – Philippians 4:7
God wants you to learn to trust him, too. He wants to chip away at the hardness filling in your cup. He wants to know you and grow in relationship with you, but he needs you to lovingly, willingly, and intentionally choose Him. Open your heart and let God pour into you. You deserve a miracle, and you deserve to overflow!
Thought questions: How can you create margin in your life for God to show up? Is something blocking Him from filling your cup?
God, I praise you because you are so gracious and good, and your mercy is always overflowing. Thank You for loving me, even when I’m difficult, and for showing me how to receive You in my life. Please put the desire to know You and grow intentionally in relationship with You in my heart and show me how I can make margin for You. Father, please help me put you first and make room for You to pour Your goodness into me! Thank you for all that you are. Amen!
Do you relate to my story at all? Are you stuck in the demoralizing cycle of busyness? Perhaps you’ve already overcome it? I’d love to hear from you! Please share your stories and thoughts in the comments below.