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fill me up, Lord

What fills you up?

Everywhere I look I see people and the media encouraging me to take more time for myself, take a break from my kids, take better care of my body, or do something I love. Don’t get me wrong…these things definitely have their place and can be important. But I find myself in this busy season of having little kids, getting sucked into the idea that my life would be so much better if I had more time to decorate my house or hours to be creative or time to spend with my girlfriends or more time to take care of myself. I start thinking on those days when I’m about to pull my hair out because my boys are being so naughty that if my husband was home more to help me (like so-and-so’s husband) or if I could leave my boys for just a few hours and do something by myself I would be a much better mom. And in these days of social media it is easy for me to retreat from real life and get lost in Instagram or Pinterest or blogs. I convince myself that these are the things that will fill me up.

Those are good things, right? Time with our girlfriends can encourage us, eating right can make us feel better, having a break from our kids can be refreshing, social media can allow us to connect with people and information in amazing ways. I think where I often go wrong is when I let these “good” things take precedence over the “best” thing. I start looking for all these ways that I can be filled up and listen to the voices telling me that I need those things. And I don’t know about you but when I start packing my life with all these things that are supposed to be “good” and yet neglect what is “best” I just end the day feeling busy and tired and overwhelmed. I may have been filled up temporarily but it sure didn’t last.

So, what is best? What truly fills me up?

Time with Jesus.

Time reading and meditating on His Word. Time talking to Him. Time enjoying His presence.

The thing is…time with Jesus, well, it takes time. And often in my full days I am tempted to let this go first because I can think of a million other things to fill my time with that I argue might fill me up more. I argue that I can stay connected to Him by praying throughout the day and listening to worship music…which are good things that I need too!…but I never really stop and allow Him to speak into my life.

This summer the boys and I have been memorizing Psalm 19. I chose this passage to memorize with them because we had been talking about all the things God made and how they show how BIG God is. The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Psalm 19:1

But as we got down to verse seven I began realizing that I was the one that needed to hide this passage in my heart. Verse seven and following describe the life nurturing effects of God’s Word on my life:

God’s Word revives my soul.

God’s Word gives me wisdom and enlightens my eyes.

God’s Word gives joy to my heart.

I went back and read this passage in The Message and loved how it phrased the same truths:

God’s Word pulls our lives together.

God’s Word points out the right road.

God’s Word shows the way to joy.

God’s Word gives us directions that are plain and easy on the eyes.

God’s Word warns us of danger.

God’s Word directs us to hidden treasure.

Aren’t those the same things I am looking elsewhere for? I am looking for joy and wisdom and refreshment and direction…but I am looking in all the wrong places. I am so thankful that as I start to veer and my priorities get all jumbled up again (because, let’s be honest…I am so weak!) that I can fall back on these verses that I memorized with my boys this summer reminding me that God’s Word is truly what fills me up.

My prayer as we start this new month and new season is that I would choose what is BEST. That I would say no to things…even good things…that are threatening to crowd out what is important and distract me from nurturing my relationship with the Lord.

Lord, fill me up.

  • Selena Bragg - Perfectly said. Perfectly written. I needed to read this… thank you for your example. 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Carrie - Amen, girl! Your perspective is refreshing (and spot on!).ReplyCancel

  • Sherri - Oh wow I was just having a similar conversation with my husband tonight. I told him that going to church for me was like recharging me. I run on my battery all week long and by Sunday it is empty. Time worshiping HIM with other believers completely fills me up for the week ahead. Everyday time spent with HIM is just partial toppers. 🙂
    HE is what I need to be fulfilled. 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Meggie - Thanks so much for sharing this. SUCH a great reminder and so, so true.ReplyCancel

  • Mary Ann - What fills me up is being with my family and serving the Lord. I sometimes get lost in the “thick of thin things” like all the rest of the world. I work 10-hour days (only 2 more years and I can retire if I choose) and get busy with everyday life. But when I’m with my little 3-year-old grandson, I have to slow down the pace, watch him like a hawk, focus on his needs, and just drink it all in how wonderful he is. He saved me….he came into my life just when I thought I didn’t have much to live for. I had lost my husband and both parents within a 7 month period. Then my son met his wife and they got married and had their little boy about 18 months after my husbandk passed away. What a joy that little boy is!! I love how he came into my bedroom last night (they live with me) and we talked about Thomas the Train and all his friends. He said “Love you muches and muches” and then off he was to his own bed. I also love teaching my little 4 year olds in church every Sunday. They can be a handful for sure. The Lord put us in families and groups for a reason, so we can learn to nuture, love, give, sacrifice, and experience all kinds of things….even loss, pain, and sorrow….The Lord suffered those things too so that He could understand what it was like for us when we are in that situation. You are so wise, Jess, and I surely do appreciate your focus and faith in God and his Son. Your family is growing leaps and bounds. Your boys are ever so darling. Thanks for sharing a bit of your life and your wise thoughts with us.ReplyCancel

  • amy jupin - this post was perfectly timed just for me, jess!
    at least it feels that way.
    thank you.ReplyCancel

  • Sue Jones - I soooo needed to read this today!! Thank you for this!!!ReplyCancel

  • Janelle dobbins - I just listened to a sermon yesterday that my brother preached talking about being caught in the comparison trap. It was excellent and much needed.


  • Kendra - Love this simple truth, that it is Christ who fills us for all the needs that our day brings. Especially with a little kiddo and another on the way, I tend to measure how I’m doing by how MUCH I do sometimes, rather than by WHO I spend time with prior to the day to fill my cup.ReplyCancel

  • ranee - well said…what a great reminder.ReplyCancel

  • Brandi Wichhart - God was truly speaking to my heart through your message. Thanks for all that you share & blog about. You are truly inspiring.ReplyCancel

  • Tay Pegg from Australia! - This is such a perfect post, and exactly what I needed to read! I get told a lot to get away from my son and have ‘me’ time, and they are shocked when I say ‘I enjoy being around him’. Recognising God’s gift of children helps with needing solace from them. More time spent with God means less time ‘needed’ to fill up on empty carbs – I mean – empty websites and other frivolous things.

    Thank you so much Jess! I love your blog!ReplyCancel

  • EricaG - You brought tears to my eyes today. I’ve been searching in all the wrong places. I know that, and yet the pattern continues. Thanks for the reminder.ReplyCancel

  • Kelly - Oh Jess, yes!! Thank you for so honestly stating what is soo easy for us to do! This is me. For sure. I am excited to read the few ideas to help post next! KellyReplyCancel

  • creole wisdom - I love this Jess. You are so very wise.

    I feel like I can relate: it’s so easy for me to get distracted and not prioritize time with the Lord. That is the most important thing and I know life goes better for me when I take that time first thing in the morning.

    For what it’s worth- coming from a single lady, I really admire women like you who are in the season of their lives with little children. It’s something I (the girl who spends lots of time trying to eat healthy, exercise and hanging with girlfriends) look up to. Your work raising up those boys to be men of God is so very important.

    What I love about our faith is that each day we can start over and do better. That’s what grace is all about.


  • katygirl - hi jess. i hope i get to meet you sometime. xo.ReplyCancel

  • Jenny - Like many of the commenters above, I really needed to read this today. I have been praying for a deeper relationship with God and I can hear him for the first time in a long while. He is calling me to focus on him and how to better my faith. It has been a bumpy journey thus far but the light at the end if the tunnel is so bright and inviting. I can relate to thinking girl time, adult time, craft time, and pampering time is deserved after a long day raising a toddler. I often tell myself Pinterest is “filling my cup” making me a better cook, social friend, and crafty mom. But your post reminds me that there is a much better way to spend my time during my sons nap & that I need to use my time more wisely. I’ve been looking for that full cup in all the wrong places and yet I’m so thirsty. Thank you so much.ReplyCancel