Monday, 22 June 2015

Filled to Overflow

One of my favourite things to do is go out for coffee with people. I love everything about it. The meeting up, grabbing a table in the corner, hands wrapped around a warm drink (typically non-caffeinated, ironically) and the promise of a conversation ready to unfold. It truly never gets old for me.

Last week I was out for coffee with a new friend and as we chatted away, she asked me a few questions that really made me have to stop and think about the bigger picture, the larger ‘whys’ behind what I do and how I live.

It is these conversations that I love. The ones that take you deeper, refine you, and make you think. They are the chats that leave you contemplating your answers, revealing more about yourself than you had actually articulated earlier that day.

And as we chatted away, I realized that being asked the how’s and why’s in life are extremely important. They cause you to slow down, to catch your breath, and to actually contemplate why you live the way you do.

You see, it is easy to go by your feelings in the moment. It is easy to feel exhausted, worn out and ready to quit when you are going a million miles an hour. It is easy to be discouraged when you look at your week and it feels like all of your time has been eaten up before your Monday morning alarm clock has even gone off.

But it all comes back to the why.

Why are my weeks filled to the brim? Because I get to pastor alongside my husband, meeting with people, sharing my heart and hearing theirs. My weeks are full because I get to pour out vision, investing in various areas of our church. The calendar is taken up by my school schedule, where I get to learn and develop as a person. Work fills up time slots to help make ends meet. Appointments line my calendar now, because I have clients whom I care about and get to journey with. My week is full because I have a home to take care of, a husband to love, and a family to be part of.

My weeks are filled to overflowing but it is in the overflow that I find joy. It is in the overflow that I find purpose.

The reason I live my life this way is not because I need to push myself to exhaustion so I can step back and see all that I have accomplished. In reality, working with people gives very little immediate evidence of ‘results’. It is because I feel that I have been called to love others, pour myself out, and live in such a way that produces overflow.

Maybe you need to consider why you do what you do. What drives you?

If the overflow in your life that you experience from all you do is full of anxiety, depression, and exhaustion rather than joy, purpose and life then perhaps you should reconsider how you fill your time.

Now, we cannot control every element of our lives (of course I would never do dishes if I didn’t have to!) but it is the cumulative effort of how you spend your days that produces the overflow. It is the things that you can control, the decisions that you can make, that may pour joy and excitement into your soul.

At the end of the day, life is not meant to be lived in such a way that the overflow of what you do consistently beats you down. Life is to be lived to serve others, love deeply, and to receive well. Look for the gifts, rest in gratitude, be kind to those around you.

Don’t get stuck in a moment of exhaustion without looking at the bigger picture, the why, the overflow that pours out. Because in those moments when it pours out, when I find myself confirming why I do what I do, I am drenched in purpose, joy, and excitement. 

Enough purpose to swipe my calendar over to the next week ahead.

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