Chrissy Mayer, GFC Temple Terrace
It was another perfect Florida day, and my family and I were soaking up the rays by the sparkling seashore. The beach has always been such a place of peace for me. I love for the kiddos to be able to play, free from technology, with all the dirt, and I welcome the noise that is quickly drowned out by the crashing waves and wind.
As I was sitting in my chair, working on correcting my to-be-rivaled farmers tan, I watched as my seven year old was growing more and more frustrated as he tirelessly carried his bucket up and down the sand dunes. He was busy building a moat and would travel back and forth to the water and back to the moat, in an attempt to fill it with water. But as I continued to watch, I noticed that his bucket was leaking from the bottom. With each trip he grew visibly more tired, more confused, more frustrated.
I motioned him over and exclaimed, “Son, your bucket has holes in the bottom. Did you know that?” He went on to say “Yes, but they are small, and if I. just. keep. moving. I’m hoping that I will have something left to pour out.” “But I see how tired and frustrated you are becoming. You are basically pouring from an empty bucket babe.”
I immediately heard the Holy Spirit whisper to my heart, “Ah, do you see?” He quickly ran off, with the utmost determination, towards the wet sand with his shovel in hand. He proceeded to cover the bottom of his bucket until the sand was about an inch thick. Then he added water. The water quickly seeped into the sand and again out of the holes; as he ran as fast as he could back to the moat. This time he threw his bucket down in anger.
As I watched this scenario play out in front of me I couldn’t help but think about my own bucket. There have been seasons where I have grown oh-so-weary, completely frustrated, and felt suffocated by anxiety. Trying to outpace a leaky bucket is hard work! There have been days I have just wanted to throw my own bucket (self) on the ground and pitch a fit, because I have nothing left to pour out.
Have you been there?
Maybe you are there today.
We’ve all heard the saying, “You can’t pour from an empty bucket!” But what if we were to stop, take a step back and evaluate the integrity of our bucket altogether?
Because you can be poured into all day – every day… And you can strive and hustle and cope in your own strength – for a while… But ultimately, God did not create you to simply live your life in survival mode – hovering just above “E”. No, you were created to thrive!
Here are some hard questions we need to get real about:
– Do I have any lies or unhealed wounds I am potentially operating out of?
Phil 4:8 encourages us to fix our thoughts on “what is true, and honorable, right, pure, lovely and admirable.”
Our bucket will begin to leak when we begin making decisions based on lies rather than truth.
– Do I have intentional and identifiable boundaries?
Proverbs 4:223-27 encourages us to “Keep vigilant watch over your heart; that’s where life starts. Don’t talk out of both sides of your mouth; avoid careless banter, white lies, and gossip. Keep your eyes straight ahead; ignore all sideshow distractions. Watch your step, and the road will stretch out smooth before you. Look neither right nor left; leave evil in the dust.”
Our bucket will begin to leak when we do not have or maintain clear boundaries for ourselves or with others.
– Do I have an intentional rhythm for nurturing my mind body and spirit?
In Matthew 22:37 we are commanded to love the Lord our God with all our “heart, soul, mind and strength.”
Scripture is full of verses that tell us that God created as an integrated creation of mind, body and soul. If we lean on or run too hard in one direction things will get out of balance. If one area suffers, sooner or later, all areas will suffer.
Our bucket will begin to leak when we neglect one of these areas for too long.
So now what?
Get alone with God. Get real. And Get in community!
Ask God to show you where the holes are.
Admit where you have been believing a lie or where you are weak and need His strength.
Allow God to heal and fill your holes through the transforming power of authentic community where there is accountability.
After “taking 5” to tap out and be in his feelings, my son got to thinking. I walked over and asked him what he was going to do. “I’m going to need a new bucket!”, he said. He realized the old bucket just wasn’t going to help him build what he had purposed to accomplish. And he had work to do!