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.