Friday, October 1, 2010

Thirsty?


If your marriage is starving but still hanging on, you need to wake up today and make a real effort to pour some of yourself into your husband's cup.
~Kristin Armstrong, Heart of My Heart

I read this on Tuesday and since then, all that has been on my mind are the proverbial cups that I am supposed to fill.  I pictured myself, a large pitcher (okay, you can stop laughing now), carefully doling out precious amounts of myself into designated receptacles.  I even started drawing them.  For some reason, I decided that I would represent my girls with these dainty little flowery cups.  Who am I kidding?  There cups, if you look at actual volume would be resemble the  Route 44's from Sonic.  There were some disposable Starbucks cups labeled "special projects" that won't be around forever (praise God).  Ceramic tea cups for friends -- the go-to cups when you are in need of something familiar in your hands.  There was a champagne glass for the husband because, you know, it's like we are still on our honeymoon after 10 years.  Um, yeah. There was even a chalice for Jesus and a water bottle for running.  I'm very thorough, you know. 

As I finished sketching all of these things out, I stood back.

This is just impossible.  I felt so divvied-up.  Dried up?  Unsure of how to keep things in the proper check.  Is everyone getting what they need?  Where am I falling short?  Is something overflowing?  To top it off, I just read this, too:  It's easy to get caught up in the needs of our children that the needs of our husbands slide down the priority scale into oblivion.  Of course, this has never happened to me.  We are still in the honeymoon phase, remember?  Right.

Later that night, I asked God -- Is this it?

Let me paint a different picture, child.

I watched and before me was a glass pitcher, pouring out into this ordinary drinking glass, where the water spilled over the lip and onto the saucer beneath it.  From there, the water overflowed over the edge of the saucer and the waterfalls cascaded into all the cups below.

Nice, huh?  Practically speaking, God is the pitcher. I am the ordinary drinking glass and the cups below are the things He has called me to pour myself into.  I'm not sure about the plate.  Feel free to share your thoughts on that one.  The point is, in my earlier sketch, I was dried up because I didn't have the Source flowing into me.  And, I realize now that if I have cups below that aren't really mine to be filling, I, and the other cups, are left without.  It's not because He is not giving enough, but because I usually don't have/make the time to get replenishment from Him.  He is about relationship, not just about works.  He desires to spend time with me and if all I'm doing is working, there is a very real possibility that the relationship is in danger of drying up. 

Anyone thirsty besides me?

"On the last and greatest day of the Feast, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, 'If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.'"  John 7: 37-38


A Word about the art:  This was an extremely difficult piece to draw.  I was using a clear glass pitcher, trying to depict water pouring forth.  Shading glass and water is next to impossible for me.  But, I took on the challenge because I felt the full frontal view would offer the gift of refreshment to the viewer, as if he/she could readily receive the offering.  Anyway, I'm sure that one day one of the real artists that read my blog are going to realize I'm just posing!  :)

I'm linking up with some of the coolest people in blogland.  Please check out Jennifer's Sneak Peek Friday, Michelle's Caffeinated Randomness, and Rachel Ann at Home Sanctuary.

18 comments :

  1. Beautifully written! Thank you for sharing from your heart. May we all be filled from God's beautiful Crystal Pitcher to the point of overflowing so we may, in return, fill others with His love.

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  2. This was beautiful! Thank you!
    "It's not because He is not giving enough, but because I usually don't have/make the time to get replenishment from Him."
    It is so about relationship... I really needed this today!
    Blessings on your day!

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  3. Thanks for your transparency. I paint but am WAY to chicken to ever post about it! HA! Smiles and love to you for this weekend!!

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  4. You are amazing and I think you could write a devotional book with no problem. Perhaps one day. Thanks for inspiring me this morning, I needed this.

    Blessings abundant!

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  5. This is a beautiful analogy, Jen. I often think about "serving from my overflow" and sometimes realize that I don't have an overflow. That's when I "check myself" and rearrange priorities because as you so brilliantly showed us, you cannot serve if you are empty.

    I saw your piece in Exemplify and it looks wonderful! I did not have the time to read it at that moment but I am going to dive into it this weekend. It was so great to see you there you wonderful writer you! :)

    Have a great weekend and may your cup runneth over...:)

    Natalie at Mommy on Fire
    http://www.mommyonfire.com

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  6. Jen, you are RIGHT on. We sit under His fountain of living water...how sweet.

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  7. Awesome share! I especially love the part where you shared how God showed you a different picture than you imagined. He is so faithful to fill us with living water until overflowing.

    Thanks for stopping by for coffee. I love being a Company Girl! :)

    -Melissa

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  8. I love this image. I'm sending the link to some friends right now!

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  9. Hi jen,
    Nice to have wandered here first thing after breakfast and be inspired by your post. Truly when god speaks to us, it illuminates things for us. I like your drawing! Patsy from
    HeARTworks

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  10. Jen... I just love this wonderful image you painted with your words. Beautiful. I think your drawing is great. I love the water pouring out. I don't think you are a 'posing', I love that you share your art with us!! :)

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  11. Beautiful word picture...and beautiful sketch. Thanks so much for sharing how God is working in you right now. I think women struggle with that empty feeling a lot and I know there are many that needed that message today! Have a great weekend!

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  12. Your words are always an inspiration. Thanks for sharing your image, too. I can't help but picture you pouring it on yourself to draw it. :)
    I like the unusual angle.

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  13. Hi Jen, I came over from Studio JRU (haven't posted my sneak peek yet : )). I love the drawing; a difficult image but you really did a good job at it...AND you did a great job of describing this journey of quenching your own thirst and perhaps even the thirst of others through receiving from God's abundance!

    Blessings,
    Cindy

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  14. Reminds me of the song by Geoff Moore "Overflow" http://www.elyrics.net/read/g/geoff-moore-lyrics/overflow-lyrics.html And btw, you are an artist. =)

    No tomato growing tips over here...our city used to be a chicken farm back in the day, so we have very fertile land. Just plant and they grow. I do not have a green thumb at all. Actually, my dad plants the veggies for us and I just water them (when I remember to). We had 6 tomato plants last year = 300 tomatoes! Only 4 tomatoes plants this year.

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  15. As always, wonderful observations well worded! Thanks for the fresh perspective (both the drawing and the text)!

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  16. The Lord truly speaks to you in a very special way Jenn.....I enjoy your thots. Maybe we'll run into each other at the Riverwalk...I'll be the old lady walking around enjoying herself! :0)

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  17. I love that, in our own ways, we both posted about martyrdom this week. It never works when we pour out of emptiness, self-sacrificing to the point of death. We must acknowledge our thirst before we can drink. May this be a season of drinking deeply. I look forward to tasting & seeing that the Lord is good right alongside you friend. Love you!

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  18. OM gosh! I love that you posted on (in)courage today so I could find your blog! I've cried with each entry I've read...they so touch my heart! Thank you for your honesty and your willingness to share. I think we often don't realize how many other people could be feeling the way we do, we think we are all alone in our struggles, but we are not! Not only is He with us, but there are many "sisters" sharing similar experiences. I get such encouragement and support from these women (who I don't even know personally but wish I did) from all over the world. I look forward to your future posts!
    PS I love your drawing! I think you did a great job!

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