Empty to fill. A radical thought and words so ripe and truthful. I found them written just that way in the pages of Ann Voskamp’s beautiful book, One Thousand Gifts. She goes on to describe that our happiness comes not in being handed a gift but in handing the gift over. Giving away your one life for many others to have life will always bring a fuller life than we can imagine. God has no end and God cannot be outdone. His love will not end and we will always be paid back in extravagant ways that only God can provide when we love and serve others.
Feed the hungry, and help those in trouble.
Then your light will shine out from darkness,
and the darkness around you will be bright as noon.
The Lord will guide you continually, giving you water when you are dry
and restoring your strength.
You will be like a well watered garden , like an ever flowing spring.
I can turn this all around and tell you of the many times I have felt like I have been tipped over and emptied until I am left rummaging for what will fill me again, what will make me whole. ..Then there is the crystal clear moment when I let God in, deeper and further than before. He has flipped a switch in me and showed me that giving more of myself away without expectation would allow me to live to the fullest. My one little life would be full and meaningful in spite of the pain or the frustrations or even the deep disappointments. I now understand that there is no other way.
Now I ask not what will be given to me but rather what I can give away to another.
Life is short. Let it be a gift and a blessing for others and then take the time to bask in the moments of grace.
Henri Nowen writes, “Gratitude is the most fruitful way of deeping your consciousness that you are a divine choice.”
Over the weekend we enjoyed family in from out of town, children making goals in the sunny front yard, C’s love of his cousin B, voting for many types of art, fancy wine and favorite foods,a night away from children, nursing colds with long naps, relaxing on the screened in porch, a talk with a family member that came from the heart, four sweet boys and one precious little girl, an Aunt meeting her niece for the first time, reunions of a love affair that began in Ethiopia and the ups and downs of sisterhood that stands the test of time in spite of it all.
The days fly by and we fly from one thing to the next. Make a list of what took your breath away. It is those moments we call LIFE!
Be reminded, just as Ann Voskamp reminds me, that we must empty ourselves to be filled and as we are filled back up be reminded that it is all grace and each and
every connection, experience, up, down, opportunity and moment of beauty is God’s gift to us.
Peace and Grace,