But do you notice the focus for the last two weeks has only been on outward appearance? I am reminded that no matter how much I weigh, what my muscle mass is, or what I wear, 2017 will never be the year I desire without taking care of my soul.
Shari Braenel says it this way:
If your heart’s not right, if your relationship with God is suffering, then no matter what we put on [or how we look physically], we aren’t that beautiful.
Sound harsh? Sometimes the truth is.
Several years ago I tried focusing on “me” and putting God on a shelf. I hit bottom. It was anything but beautiful.
And I know I am not alone. I hear from 1000’s of women a year who have hit bottom. Marriage is nothing like the Hallmark movies. Motherhood is drastically different than the Leave it to Beaver reruns on TVLand. Life is isn’t that beautiful.
Interestingly I have found a consistent correlation in each hurting person who writes me.
To each email or message, I reply with the question, “How is your Quiet Time?”. Consistently the person responds that they aren’t currently spending consistent time in the Word and prayer.
Every. Single. Time.
Now I don’t ask this question because I believe that a consistent Quiet Time is a magic pill to no more bad days or hard times.
Jesus says in John 16:33 that the troubles will still come our way. The difference is that with consistent Quiet Times you won’t be running on empty when the challenges hit.
Look at the glass pictured above. It has two purposes – hold and pour out a beverage.
Now picture this glass as your life.
We spend all day pouring from our “glass” into those around us. As mommas, teachers, and grandmas, every time we train, play, discipline, clean, wipe, fold, pick up, sing, lift…we pour out. By the end of the day, the glass barely contains a couple of droplets of moisture. Empty.
Let’s imagine now instead of staggering out of bed, we wake up and grab the “pitcher” to refill our glass. We grab our Bible, pray, and ask the Lord to give us wisdom and strength for the day. By beginning in this way, God overflows our cup with His mercies. Then throughout the day, each time we acknowledge God in the little things, worship Him in song, or seek His wisdom, He tops off our glass.
The problem occurs when we wake up after a full night’s sleep expecting to have a full glass. Before the day has really begun, we try to pour into those around us. Unfortunately the glass is empty and there is nothing to pour. Instead of patience, mercy, and logical discipline – anger, frustration, and ugliness is spewed on everyone around us.
We have no grace or love to give.
While exercise and healthy eating will help and are very important, they will never give us fully the love and grace we need. While beautiful clothing can affect first impressions, it doesn’t take people long to see our hearts.
Do you desire to be beautiful?
Grab the pitcher.
Do you desire to pour into those around you?
Grab the pitcher and allow God to pour into you.
If you are unsure how to have a daily quiet time, I encourage you to read my eBook. A Quiet Time, Worth the Time shares my journey and how it changed my life. Available free to all blog subscribers.