Pouring Out Requires Filling Up

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As we gathered around tables set with gold, blue, and green chargers topped with china; iced water poured into crystal, flowers brimming over vases, we also noticed several lovely, mismatched little pitchers scattered amongst the setting. Some were plain creamware, others cut-glass, some painted with dainty flowers, others edged in gold.  Joining us at the table set in her kitchen area, Sally Clarkson picked one up and reflected, “We wanted you to take with you a reminder of your need to be filled, as you constantly pour out to your families at home.”

Each of us thoughtfully chose one pitcher to accompany us on our trip home, representative of our lives as pour-ers. The pouring, it is an integral part of our lives as moms, isn’t it?  We’d had a rare weekend of being poured into, and we would soon depart to return to our loved ones filled, ready once again to nourish and nurture.

For too many mamas, life is lived in the poured-out position.  And now?  We struggle with emptiness.

It’s the word we’d use to describe the interior of our souls, the seemingly inevitable result of pouring out, pouring out, pouring out of our very hearts day after day.

These precious people surrounding us are certainly needy, aren’t they?  Needing attention and instruction.  Needing clean clothes and healthy dinners.  Needing stories read, math taught, infractions disciplined, relationships nurtured.

Mama, you’re a lovely pitcher.  And yet … no pitcher left in the “pour” position can stay full long! 

When Jesus spoke with the woman at the well, He told her, "If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, 'Give Me a drink,' you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water … whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life" (John 4:10, 14).

Later He told His disciples, “He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, 'From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water’” (John 7:38). 

That sounds like just what we need, doesn’t it?

If we are to have anything worth pouring out, we must take time once in awhile to right ourselves and get in place under the One who is constantly pouring out with no danger of running dry! 

My chosen pitcher is currently full of the lovely blowsy roses that met me when I returned home the next day to my sweet family, and every time my eyes light on it, I smile. 

How often do we need to drink water?  Daily—and several times a day, right?  So, too, we need to come to Jesus, daily asking Him to fill us again with the living water we are so busy pouring out.

We all need to take more time. Time to sit in the grass or comfy on your couch with a pen, a notebook, your Bible, maybe a candle and something nice to drink ... time to spend with Jesus in order to be refilled.  This time is key to a full life, ready to be poured out because we have something to offer.

You are precious and important, sweet mama.  Only you can take responsibility to remain full so you may pour out sweet water.  Here’s my prayer for you, today:

“For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God” (Ephesians 3:14-19).

May you always pour from a full pitcher, friend.

misty krasawski

Misty Krasawski is hopelessly flawed but eternally optimistic, because God has promised to be the Author and Finisher of her faith! She is also wife to Rob, mama to eight precious children and one beautiful daughter-in-law, and spends all her free time trying to avoid the laundry by reading classic books, painting with watercolors, lighting too many candles, baking copious amounts of cookies, and studying as much theology as she can lay her hands on. She's currently pursuing a degree through Colorado Christian University and is a regular contributor to both The Better Mom and For the Family, and also occasionally pours her heart out at www.mistykrasawski.com. She loves encouraging people to chase the dreams God has placed in their hearts, preferably over steaming cups of tea and coffee and probably something chocolate.

Words that Shape Hearts for Eternity

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Just as important as knowing what not to say is knowing when TO speak. As moms, there are moments every day that offer opportunities to encourage and build up our children, but we must grab them up! Today, speak life!

After the final kisses, the final prayers…after the last story book is closed and toes are tucked tightly beneath quilts- I sip my tea. Every night I drink it in, leaning with one ear bent toward the hall- hoping tonight might be just the one where bed time goes off without resistance.  But the creak in the wood below my feet betrays one of my babes headed my direction. 

Up. Again. Deep Breath. 

Peeking from around the corner, almost whispering…"Mom? Will you pray for me again?” 

I can see the look in her eyes, the questioning behind the pools of brown sugar staring through me. She’s aching…wondering if my answer will be an embrace or if I’ll send her back to bed in frustration.

Right there- those eyes- they startle me. I am earnestly shaken by my own eagerness to send her on her way- to speed through the sacred and deny the giving of a blessing.

I’m stung by the memory of being a wide eyed child, still awake, longing for assurance, to be held and wanted. My mind wanders further…How many times have I longed for the goodness of God himself, for all the gifts the Scriptures tell us he longs to give his children and how many times have I wondered, as my sweet girl is now, if I’d interrupted him by taking too many trips down the hall after lights out to be worthy of favor? Too many.

And yet, God gives so freely. So generously. He waits for me to want him and delights in my coming. 

I’m guilty of forgetting this. I am guilty of using my words only to instruct and teach and train, yet not to encourage. Why do I rush by the moments that are ripe with the possibility to hold hearts and impart courage and inspire? 

I want to use my words to bolster my children so that they know they are beloveda child of God he loves to lavishly care for.

“The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs- heirs with Christ.” -Romans 8 :18-17a

And right there in my hallway, walking my girl back to her bed, I can see clearly that the love I freely give, right this minute, the blessing I bestow on my child, the delight I take in holding her hand pours into who she knows she is: Beloved Daughter.  

My love and my words are  what God is using right now to reveal His love for her, to display his glory to her young heart, to generously meet her needs and comfort her soul. And the sheer pleasure I show in being  with her pales in comparison to the delight over her that comes from God alone. 

“The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with singing.” – Zephaniah 3: 17

My sweet child- right in my arms, gently asking for a blessing…what an honor to be the one to bear it unto her. I cup her chin and kiss her head and we bow and I can feel her small body relax. Restful assurance of being loved fills her soul,  deep breaths overtake her, and she falls asleep.

Do you know that just as important as knowing what not to say, the words you choose to share with your children have the power to bring life and love into their hearts and fill up their souls with the light of heaven? 

Praying that God gives us words of grace and power to share, that we may speak life,

Kristen

www.hopewithfeathers.com

This post is a part of the Better Mom Book Club. We'd love to have you join us as we share extended content and conversation through email and our private Facebook Group. Join us! 




Kristen Kill

Kristen is a Northwest native who grew up surrounded by family, books, alpine peaks and lots of green. She never thought she’d leave. And when she did, she landed in a lot of concrete in a city that shapes the world’s culture. Now she's figuring out a life that she longs to have marked by gratitude and grace, good food and conversation; beauty, art and homeschooling all squeezed into a Manhattan apartment. She writes about living with intention as a wife and mother of four in the midst of a city that makes her heart beat just a little bit faster every time she walks outside at Hope With Feathers. She also relishes in her role as the Editor of The Better Mom and loves sharing snippets of her life on Instagram.

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