Monday, September 18, 2017


As I parent I often feel like I'm running on empty. I don't have enough energy, imagination, creativity and so on, to be the mom I'd really like to be. I'm often asking God to please give me patience for this situation or that car ride. I'm reminding God that I just need a little more kindness to make it through the day and often times I feel like the well has run dry and there is just none left. I have used everything that is available to me and now I'm out. This is usually when I give up and most often deal with the situations that arise in ways that I wish I wouldn't have later. 

For a while there I was finding myself at the end of my rope more days than not and couldn't figure out why. I prayed the same prayer every morning asking God for the patience and kindness I would need for the day but it just seemed that he wasn't giving me enough. 

Over the summer I was fortunate enough to spend some time at my parents cottage at Winnipeg Beach. I love going there because something about that place makes me feel relaxed. The water at the cottage is not the best for drinking so sometimes we go buy water in town but often we go to the artesian well down the street to fill up our little clear jug. This well used to have a lever on it that you would have to pump to get the water out but now it's just always pouring out of a tap. As I approached the well one day it hit me how amazing it is that this water just keeps flowing. I filled up my water jug and everything in me wanted to be able to turn off that tap to conserve that water but having no way to turn it off, instead I walked away as the water kept on flowing. The next time we needed water I thought to myself, "Is it possible that the water has been flowing the whole time I've been gone and it will still be flowing when I go back?" How could it be? That's so much water! But when I walked back, sure enough, the water was still flowing. 

I think that sometimes I doubt God the same way I doubted that well. I think that he doesn't have enough for everyone and that he just gives me a little at a time so that he won't run out and so I won't waste his precious resources. I go to Him and ask for patience and kindness for my day and He gives me a little and I have to be careful to conserve so that I don't end up not having enough. As I think of that water pouring out of that tap, never stopping, never running dry, I realize that I've been thinking about this all wrong. God is like that well. He is a spring that never runs dry. He doesn't give me just enough patience and kindness to get through the day but he gives out of his abundance. He gives me enough patience that I could swim in it, more than I could ever use. It doesn't matter how crazy or chaotic the day is, he gives me so much that I could never possibly run out! I realize that I've been thinking that God has the same problems that we do in the world, that he doesn't have enough and is worried about running out. But he doesn't and he will never run out! 

As my perspective shifted from scarcity to abundance, I noticed a huge change in my day to day life. Instead of being worried that I would not have enough patience and kindness for everything that my day would bring I could richly lavish both on my kids knowing that I would never run out. I stopped asking God for enough patience and kindness each morning and started to ask him to remind me of the amazing abundance that he has for me in the moments that I need to remember. When a situation would arise that would really push my buttons I would remember that I have more than enough of whatever would be required of me. Did I still screw up lots? Yes, of course. But instead of wallowing in my shame for each mistake and I would remember that God has an abundance of patience and grace for me too! 

Here are some verses that speak to this:

John 14:27 
"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid." 

Isaiah 55:8-9 
"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the Lord. "As the heavens are higher than the earth so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts."

Isaiah 58:11 
The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.

John 7:37-38
On the last and greatest day of the Feast, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, "If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him."

John 4:13-14
Jesus answered, "Everyone who drinks the water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life."