In response to the underwhelming condition of my cupboards, I went grocery shopping this weekend. It’s amazing how one’s outlook improves upon stocking the cabinets and the fridge. We no longer own just a can of peas, a package of hamburger and some expired strawberries.
I guess I really hadn’t been dedicated to the state of the pantry since before the Nashville trip… I was trying to use up and make do– in more ways than one. And much like my gas tank upon returning, I realized I’d been running on low.
Maybe our emptying out is deliberate through going and giving and serving. Washing bottles and feeding babies. Maybe it’s unintentional through the breaking of a heart or spirit. Tears spill and the emotional wreckage re-surfaces and despite our best kept efforts to keep the table clear, things accumulate. And much like the straw that broke the camel’s back, sometimes it’s not the big things that leave us barren but the culmination of all the little foxes that cleverly leap in to steal our joy.
I struggled through the weeks asking God to fill me back up. Soaking up the word. Bemoaning my lack and pouring over the scriptures. And in response I was met with overwhelming references to His abundance…
Then something funny happened on Saturday with our favorite Mexican take-out. We always ask for the bigger bag of tortilla chips which is usually just a hair larger than a standard brown lunch bag, but a more equal match for our container of salsa. But when the boy came through the door carrying two large brown grocery sized bags I knew something was awry. The first bag held our meals. And the second was brimming with thin and crispy salty goodness in the form of little pointy and curled triangles. So many that we couldn’t eat them all. So many that we had to share them. So many that all we could do was laugh and take pictures. And as I poured the leftovers into container after container, shaking to settle the contents to fit in the last of the overflow this verse came to mind:
Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. ~ Luke 6:38
The past week I’ve been blessed to realize just how much I have. But I know that in order to receive I also have to let go. I have to surrender my attitude and maybe even my stuff. I have to acknowledge my feelings but then be willing to part ways by testing them against what the word says. I have to make room and space. In this life, there is a continual filling up and a spilling out.
I’m finding my fullness and happiness are only satiated by His presence. So this weekend as I tidied up my thought processes, and feasted on those chips and the Word and not my feelings, I also spent a little time putting my physical house back in order (yes this is a matter of opinion but when I can see the top of my kitchen table again, it’s a good thing. I feel peace.) Clutter, I’m finding, does not begat peace… contrary to the popular belief that more stuff equals more happiness.
I tossed out scribbled notes of grocery lists and to-dos that should have been done long ago. Donated clothes that don’t fit and dishes without their mates. I sorted through thread and mail and abandoned scrolling through Instagram and Facebook because I realized I’d been filling my time and space and brain with so many other people’s ideas of what is pretty and holy and necessary to be successful and live a good life that I’d forgotten how to just do me. And that starts with Him.
Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fullness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore~ Psalm 16:11
Then we give ourselves space and grace and good counsel. We work it out and get it out- our feelings. Our clutter. Our ideas. Our creativity. Our love. We keep showing up. Serving up. Filling up and pouring out over and over again. Because that’s what our Savior did for us and when we trust in His love, we are assured His abundance can fill our every need and then some.
Filling up on this song and Coffee for your Heart over at Miss Holley’s this week. Join me there?