How To Manage An Overflowing Cup

Written by Jaclyn Heeke

“A woman who lives with the stress of an overwhelmed schedule will often ache with the sadness of an underwhelmed soul.” Lysa Terkeurst said this in “The Best Yes” Bible study. How many of you are just overwhelmed from the daily to-do list…the daily grind? I am…a lot of the time. During the pandemic, like many, I heroically vowed ‘our family will maintain a much lighter schedule after this. We will not allow the Google Calendar/iCal/old-school paper planner to rule our lives like we have been.’ But alas, here we are – the kids, the husband, and I are all desiring for normalcy again. Which means we want to see people and do all. The. Things again…cue up the calendars and strategic logistics planning.


In Psalm 23, the cup David speaks of is running over with JOY. Most of the time my cup is running over with stress. Just yesterday, I was 10-15 minutes late for 3 consecutive appointments. Today, I made a ham sandwich for lunch and forgot the ham! It did not taste good. It was a wake-up call, though…I was not living a joy filled life.


Maybe the first important part of this post is just to recognize your cup is overflowing with something other than JOY. How do you realize this? Do you feel confused? Sad? Angry? Distracted? Worn-out and just plain tired? Maybe it’s not stress for you as it is for me. Maybe its grief or frustration or financial strain? How can we begin to refill ourselves with something that doesn’t deplete us, but rather leaves us in a constant state of renewal and allows us to bless others and ourselves along the way? For me, that answer has time & time again been to “get in the Word.”


When we are empty, as Christians, we should not refuel ourselves with just anything. No amount of shopping, amazing food/drinks, activities or (fill in the blank) can provide the kind of restoration and healing that God’s words can. I have been trying to do too much this summer, and it has not been going very well at all. But, once I recognized I was literally down to the last drop, I went back and finished a Bible study I’d started in March. I also had the opportunity to serve as a counselor at a church camp for a week with 3rd-7th graders. Those kids singing worship songs brought some happy tears to my eyes and gave me goosebumps. At the end of the week, my co-counselor summed it up really well. He said, “I felt like a cup that God was pouring thousands of gallons of water into. He always shows up big!” Serving and attending in-person worship service weekly are wonderful ways to replenish joy and be in Christian community. I also employ smaller daily actions like listening to Christian radio, receiving scriptural and inspirational texts from a women-focused group, praying as I cross the bridge on my way to work each morning, and saying nightly prayers with my kids, just to name a few.


I pray that you are filled with JOY today. That your cup runs over, in a good way! And, if it does, please share your wisdom about how you go about refilling your cup to be overflowing with joy in the comments. If you aren’t there yet, I hope this message gives you hope to be JOY-FULL.


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