|A very full bowl. Mrow.|
"Yes, yes, I know," I tell Scout the Cat. Her food bowl is empty.
The dog's bowls are empty.
E's lunchbox is empty.
And, y'all, my coffee cup is EMP. TY.
I brew a cup, and the Keurig starts blinking. Empty.
I add water. And now, the Brita pitcher . . . empty.
This is a normal morning at my house. And sometimes, I feel like I just go around filling up empty things.
I'm not complaining. It's my job description: Fill 'em up with good food. Fill 'em up with encouragement. Fill 'em up with knowledge and manners and hope.
But when do we get filled? When we are running on fumes from all that filling . . .
Who fills us?
If we're lucky, we have supportive families and encouraging friends and inspiring sunsets. But that's not always the case. And if there's one thing I've learned, especially as a writer, it's that we have to refill the well, or it most certainly will run dry.
A few years ago, on a whim, I reached for a little fuel. I started by simply reading a daily devotional Bible, and it developed into a three-step routine that's been going for five or six years now, filling me with the nourishment that I didn't even know I was starving for.
"But you are a shield around me, O LORD;
you bestow glory on me and lift up my head. . . .
I lie down and sleep; I wake again,
because the LORD sustains me.
I will not fear though tens of thousands [of empty bowls, pitchers, and lunchboxes]
assail me on every side."
Psalm 3:3, 5-6 NIV, MVF (Mama-Fied Version)
Trust me. If you don't already spend this daily time with God, just. do. it.
(Are my kids the only ones who love this video? :)
Throughout this process, I've grown to realize that God's presence is enough. It's enough to fill the incessant cycles that drain our days. We don't need to rely on humans or accolades or stuff to fill our wells.
We simply need Him.
Could the Bible tell us this any more clearly? “The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by human hands. And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything. Rather, he himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else" (Acts 17:24-25 NIV).
When I read about mamas with unfulfilled hopes and see my neighbors with empty nests, I want to shout this at them. But I refrain. Sort of.
"Morning!" I press pause.
"Reading my Bible . . . or actually having it read to me. I have this app--you can download it on your phone--that will read it to you." (Easy, now.)
I press play.
"Ooh, he has a nice voice." She smiles.
And I do too . . . because I know that by filling our own wells, we spill hope all around us, soothing the empty places, and giving the nourishment that they don't even know they're starving for.