Our Guest for today’s blog is Elise Booz. Elise has been an active member of Drawing Near to God Ministry for many years. She and her family are members of St. Andrew’s Church, Park Circle where she is also the worship leader.
I’m sitting here at the kitchen table, wanting to be clever and profound. But I also want to be in bed, passed out under the covers. My 8 month old daughter’s play mat is visible over the chair in front of me; blocks of bright colors, and happy shapes. Her yellow bib with a monkey on the front sits on the high chair beside me. She’s asleep in her crib, finally. My 2 year old’s toys are scattered around the playroom. I straightened up a little after bedtime, but only a little. Tomorrow there will be imaginary tea parties to attend, crayon masterpieces to color, and stacks of picture books to read, and I know the play room will be overrun in no time. My toddler is in her bedroom, singing ‘Happy Birthday,’ to every item she sees. Her dresser, quilt, and night light celebrate a birthday every night. Note to self: teach her a new song in the morning.
Today was filled with the monotonous mountain of tasks that come with parenting littles. Diaper changes and feedings, band-aids and tantrums, piles of laundry and dishes and crumbs on the floor. A walk to the playground, a sweet lullaby before nap time, a silly dance or two, or twenty. Before I know it, bedtime has come and gone. Today felt like a trudge, and yet it’s over just like that. I have nothing to show for today. No problems were solved. My to-do list remains unchecked.
How is it that I feel like I’ve accomplished nothing today, and yet, I’m so tired I can’t possibly do one more thing?
God, did I rely on myself today instead of you? Did I look to my own energy to power through, and my own plans to create meaning? Were You whispering words of encouragement and care into my ear? Was I too chaotic, too prideful, too loud, too exhausted to listen?
I know my God is not a miser. Scripture says that He has lavished me with wisdom, and insight according to his immeasurable riches. Scripture says that His love has been poured lavishly into my heart. So why does my heart feel so empty and dry? My emptiness, and frustration, and exhaustion are at odds with His complete, sufficient love for me. God, don’t leave me empty. Please, don’t forget me. In this season of wearing myself bare as I serve my little children, please don’t forget me.
And suddenly now, I feel God’s reassuring presence. Here, amidst the baby toys, and the unwashed dishes, in this moment complete with ‘Happy Birthday’ soundtrack, I feel God whisper: I am the God of the overflow.
My God is not a miser. He doesn’t leave me to white-knuckle through my day alone. He doesn’t leave me to my own devices. He doesn’t give reluctant help, or meager morsels to tide me over until bedtime. He is the God of the overflow. His love overflows to me. His heart overflows with kindness toward me. His mouth overflows with songs for me. So, when I’m empty from pouring out, I can rest, and trust that his eternal overflow will fill me again. I might feel empty and worn, but I will be filled again. I’m blessed to serve the God of the overflow.
Sweet sister in Christ, does your life feel too full and completely empty all at the same time? Did today feel like a trudge and a blur all at the same time? You are not alone, and you never will be. Whatever happened today, and whatever happens tomorrow will not leave you empty for long.
Each day we pour ourselves out, in service to God and to others, but He who lavishes love will not leave us empty. He is the God of immeasurable Grace, the Source of life and love itself. He is the God of the overflow, and He wants to spill over into your life. And He, in turn, wants you to spill His goodness everywhere you go.
In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth. Ephesians 1:7-10
Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. Romans 5:3-5