You know, some moments in life are fantastic and refreshing to the soul but then other moments, well they can be life DRAINING. I’ve been thinking alot about my symbolic cup and what fills it up and what makes it POP a gasket, as my nanny would say. In the spirit of honestly let me share with you some cup emptying moments that have happened to me recently.
So, I’m usually full of ridiculous antics but I’m like 99% sure tonight I reached a new low. As you may or may not know, my house has been stricken with illness. Like seriously. Every member of my family probably could have qualified for quarantine at some point. It’s been a rough few weeks on this ole gal. And (yes, I know I just started a perfectly good sentence with the word and. At some point in life, you reach an age that you get to start a sentence with whatever word you want. I’m that age.) and anyway, to top it all off, my precious husband has been working out in the middle of the ocean so he has been spared the infectious- yet loving- snotting, sneezing, vomitting, coughing, gagging, crying kids. Lucky dog. I usually don’t get sick but a couple weekends ago, my body gave in to the sickness. I went to see the doctor first thing Monday morning and he gave me a shot of antibiotics, a prescription for more antibiotics and bam! I thought I would be better. Well, truthfully, I did get better for a minute but then, because I am a crazy lunatic, I quit taking the antibiotics. They were making my heart have palpitations. Judge if you want. Whatever. I ain’t even gonna lie; I am a self-diagnosing hypochondriac. So yeah. This week rolls around and i’m sicker than I’ve ever been. Those little guys in the mucinex commercials have set up shop in my face and chest but are refusing to pack up and leave. Never having time to be sick, I packed up my little ones and we made it through Christmas yesterday even though it was hard. I had a crying 10 year old who is old enough to understand that his daddy works hard to give us the life we have but yet is still not old enough to understand why daddy had to miss Christmas. The other two were grouchy all day; I’m guessing because they couldn’t articulate what Jack was expressing through tears. I did all the things in my mom “hat” and comforted their little spirits as best as I could all whilst sneezing, coughing, peeing on myself from said coughing and basically, you know, just dying. Jack fell onto a basketball goal and busted up his elbow pretty bad, my youngest child was screaming like someone in a scene from the Exorcist and then someone at a family dinner made me want to break out the crazy and open-handed smack her for talking ill of my screaming child (what? Christians want to smack people too. He knows my heart so I might as well say it. I didn’t actually do it so see, he’s working in me!) All of these moments, as each one of them went down, were draining my cup. Little by little, my fighting spirit was being drained. I was replacing it with an overwhelmed, tired, sickly woman who wanted nothing more than a nap and to be left alone. Fast forward to tonight…to my new low. I wound up taking Jack to the ER for his banged up elbow because of the lingering thought, and consequent momma guilt, of a broken bone. I let him lay in my lap while we waited on X-rays and I tried not to cough and sneeze all over him. I did anyway. I coughed, once again, until I peed my pants. Let me just say this: if you are a dude and are reading this, you better thank the women in your life who have birthed your children. Peeing ones self is most definitely the least awesome thing for a grown woman to do. Ah. I digress. Anyway, after my coughing fit I got up and was walking around the room and then I saw it. It was the oxygen thing that nurses use. I decided I didn’t have time to be sick, but since I was pretty sure I was dying, I would just put it on for a minute and check my oxygen levels. That would surely give me the reassurance that I needed to press through the illness. Welp, I put it on and then kept it on, hysterical over how my heart rate would get crazy high each time I coughed. In my fleeting panic over my impending heart attack from such a high heart rate, I realized, ever so painfully, that my cup was officially dry. I knew I needed some time alone with my Jesus because the only thing that fills a dry cup is a drink from the spring of living water!
Tonight, as I prayed and wrote in my journal, I began to think back on the past few days and look specifically for the good. The moments that replenished my soul, even if it was just a little. I thought I would share the top 4 things that I have found to be cup-filling, just in case other momma’s out there run a little dry sometimes, too. And also because I have had way to much cough medicine and want to type. 🙂
- Just a little talk with Jesus. That old hymn was right, “let us have a little talk with Jesus, tell him all about our troubles…” Talking to Jesus like he is my best friend is what keeps me sane. I don’t know how non-believers do it without a true, life-giving, merciful friend to carry the weight of their problems. I’ve come to realize that I make my own life far to difficult by worry. It only gives me premature wrinkles. God says he will bear our burdens and I believe him. Hebrews 13:6 So we will say with confidence, “the Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?”
- Uninterrupted time in his word. I hate to get up early but I will stay up all night just to have time to read, and think, about God’s word. The bible is my ace-in-the-hole for life. It always tells me just what my desperate, and often failing, soul needs to hear. It’s crazy the way the Lord works. No matter what issues I’m having, when I open his word, it always meets my needs. Romans 15:4 For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.
- My precious husband. This one can be tricky because if you aren’t careful, marriage can drain your cup. It’s kind of hilarious they way it works actually. You find this person you are madly in love with and then you make little people who puke on you, poop on you, cry nonstop and that’s just the beginning. Of course life gets a little stressful!! When my husband fills my cup, it’s because I have made a choice to ask him how he is, and then really listen, or to watch him in awe while he plays with our kids, sometimes I think about what a selfless man he truly is by sacrificing so much and asking nothing in return and sometimes it’s just noticing how cute his butt really is in those Levi’s. When I approach Nick with an open heart and attitude, I never, ever leave empty. He is, afterall, the man I chose to spend forever with and I think he is pretty incredible. I’ve just got to hush all the noise and focus on the one my soul loves. Proverbs 18:22 A wife of noble character is her husband’s crown, but a disgraceful wife is like decay in his bones.
- The awe and wonder of our three babies. Yes, they drain me at times and are most definitely the reason I have gray hair. But, when I hear them say something about how much they love Jesus, make a funny little joke or learn something new and complex, my heart could just burst. When I’m not playing my role of super-crazed, vegetable slingin’, tooth brushin, homework pushing mom and I just listen to them, I am truly amazed. We created some fantastically interesting and wildy intelligent little people and that is amazing. Why wouldn’t your cup be filled if you have little people who are incredibly entertaining and still love you unconditionally even when they’ve seen you yell and foam at the mouth over some spilled juice/missing homework/markers on the wall? Psalm 127:3-5 Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are the children of one’s youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies at the gate.