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Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Mothering: Full & Empty

As a mom, I feel one of my main jobs is to keep things filled. I go to the store so the refrigerator is filled with food. I fill the pantry with good food and snacks too. I fill the freezer with food to be eaten later. I fill the toilet paper, paper towel roll and scotch tape holder. I fill cereal bowls with milk for my children. I fill the dishwasher with loads of dirty dishes. I fill the washer with dirty clothes several times a week. I fill the dryer too.


I go to the store and fill my carts with clothes, toiletries, and other needs for our home. I help kids fill their toy bins after they empty them. I fill children's dressers with clean clothes that I've folded and washed. I fill the plants with water a few times each week so they can grow too.

I don't just keep material things filled though. I make food to fill my children's bellies so they can grow and do all God has planned for them each day. I give them good books and read them the Bible each day so they can learn, fill their heads with things of God and His amazing world. I try to fill them with educational media and positive relationships.

All of this filling can leave my quite empty. I do have alone time each day, where I am refreshed and filled by God. As Ann Voskamp discusses in her book, One Thousand Gifts, when I serve Christ, He is really the one serving me. I never serve out of my own strength. If I did, I'd be exhausted by noon. But Jesus, "who came into this world not to serve, but to serve others, and to give His life as a ransom for many" (Mark 10:45) will one day come again and "put on an apron, and serve them as they sit and eat" (Luke 12:37). Even on this day that He faithfully serves that we might say, "The LORD is my helper." (Hebrews 13:6).

As it says in Isaiah 58:10-11:
Feed the hungry,
and help those in trouble.
Then your light will shine out from the darkness, and the darkness around you will be as bright as noon.
The LORD will continually guide you, giving you water when you are dry and restoring your strength.
You will be like a well-watered garden, like an ever-flowing spring.

It's the lavish radical nature of the upside-down economy of God. Empty to fill. (ibid, p. 162)

As I pour out my life into the life of my family and my home, I can go to God each day to be filled. I can give and give so that He will increase and do it all for the love and glory of God. (1 Corin. 10:31)
God has no end, He can give and fill when I no longer can. I am so thankful that He gives us all we need to serve Him.

God's upside-down economy doesn't make sense in this world. God pays back everything we give and exactly in the currency that is not in the world but the one we yearn for. Joy in Him. (partially taken from One Thousand Gifts, p. 163)

So today, as I try to count each task a gift, these endless jobs in my home and give thanks to God at every opportunity (Col. 3:17, 1 Thess. 5:18), I pray you will join me. I pray He will fill you up today.

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