Friday, November 1, 2013

Weary . . .yes, weary.

This week I was talking to my best friend . . .and I actually uttered the words to her that I had been thinking but had been unable to voice to anyone.  Those words were "I am weary."  Every morning this week, I have had to drag myself out of bed and MAKE myself take a shower and blow dry my hair and slap on some under eye concealer.  I have just wanted to stay home.  I've wanted to curl up in a ball and read (which I have done at night - I've read the Hunger Games trilogy since last Friday).  So when I got off work yesterday (Thursdays are my Fridays!), I was actually feeling pretty good.  I was thinking of my three days . . .and realized once again that those days are fairly packed with "stuff to do." 

This morning, I've been looking over my menu spreadsheets and making my grocery list.  This picture is indicative of my life . . .a couple of sunday school books, a list (and under that page . . .another list . . .and another), a curriculum magazine, two diet pepsi cans, a couple of pair of reading glasses, a computer . . .a towel wadded up in the floor (from the cat!!).  While I've been "working," I googled something like "menus for 20 people" looking for some new Tuesday night ideas.  As I searched and looked, I cam across a blog - Heavenly Homemakers.  Now remember what my search included -- recipes.  I was looking for recipes, people.  Hear me loud and clear -- recipes.

What did I find?  Maybe I should say, "who did I find?"  I found God - right there on a website where I was looking for a recipe.  Let me back up a tad . . .on Tuesday night, we started a new study by Craig Groeschel -- The Christian atheist.  We answered a quiz about our intimate relationship with Christ and I was stunned at some of my responses.  As I read over my responses, I was thinking (and actually shared with the group), "Where is that deep personal relationship that I have had with Christ?"  My answers did not compute . . . yet . . .they did . . .because I knew they were true.  I wasn't as close to Christ as I thought I was . . .and we all know the saying, "Christ didn't move away . . . I moved away." . . . .remember what I told my friend?  I am weary . . .so very weary.
So back to Heavenly Homemakers . . .this is straight from her blog - I can't believe God spoke to me while I was looking for a recipe.  I love how God continually surprises us!!  I copied and pasted from her blog:
In desperation I cried out to God, “My cup is empty, Lord.  How am I supposed to serve others when I have nothing left to give?  I’m worn out.  I’m completely dry.  I don’t know who I am anymore.  I don’t know what service to you is supposed to look like.  If you tipped me upside down, there would be not one little drop left to spill out.  How am I supposed to give when I have nothing in me to give?”
I took a deep breath.  I surrendered my weakness and confusion to God.  And I waited.
Soon after that night, I shared this specific battle with a trusted friend.  I shared with her the image of my empty cup – how I was dry, with nothing left to give.  She spoke these simple truths to me:
“Laura, you have the Holy Spirit living in you.  Because of that, you are never empty.  Your cup overflows!  If you feel empty, it’s because you’re giving from the wrong cup.”
The wrong cup.  The empty cup.  The cup of self.  The cup that demanded praise from others.  The cup that delighted in affirmation and appreciation for my works.  The cup that was self-seeking and fruitless.  I was trying to learn how to be the new me, all while hanging on to the painful parts of the old me.  No wonder I felt so tired and confused.
My further studying led me to drink in (literally) John 7:37-39:  “Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, ‘If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink.  Whoever believes in me, as the scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.’  By this, He meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were later to receive…”

I would never have written those words on my blog . . .because I only write about the good times (most of the time -- I have shared a few hard things).  I've always been honest in my writing . . .but I rarely let people "in" . . .because I don't trust well . . .and I'm afraid if I share something too intimate, someone will use it against me (how?  I do not know.  That is just how my crazy mind thinks!).  The amazing thing is that I didn't have to write the words - she had the courage to write them . . . she just thought she was writing them about herself (which she was) BUT SHE WAS WRITING THOSE WORDS for me, too.

I was so convicted (back to my Baptist upbringing!!) by her words.  On Tuesday nights, for whom am I really cooking and preparing?  On Sunday mornings, why am I teaching?  Why do I do my job on a church staff?  I think I had forgotten . . .and have now been reminded.  When I am weary, it is because I am trying to do it on my own steam.  When I don't want to go to work, it is because I have forgotten that I actually GET TO DO KINGDOM WORK EVERY DAY!!  When I get so frustrated on Tuesday nights with Mark because he says something or doesn't do something the way I think he should . . .oh my gosh . . .it is because I keep forgetting that this is all for Christ.  He will keep pouring into my cup and He will keep filling it up AS LONG AS I ASK AND AS LONG AS I AM DOING IT FOR HIM.  Like the other blogger (I must find out her name!!), I've been giving from the wrong cup.

So . . .an epiphany is great . . .but what am I going to do about it?  I've been sleeping in because I've been tired . . .which means I haven't been spending that 20 or 30 minutes with God each morning . . .MY CUP IS EMPTY.  I need to spend time drinking from the RIGHT cup.  As I typed those words, I just imagined a little girl (me!) sitting at a little play table . . .with a little play tea set . . . and guess who was pouring the tea???  Jesus . ..Jesus . . .Jesus.  I'm slurping away and he is smiling . . . and he whispers, "You are tired?  You are weary?  You are thirsty?  Drink some more, Lisa.  Drink some more!"

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