Lissa Marie Niederer

Thoughts about faith, family, books, and how I'm trying to make them all fit together!

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You Can’t Pour From An Empty Cup

empty cup

Thanks, first of all, to those of you who helped the official launch for The Sky We Walk Upon to be such a memorable occasion. The whole day was a real affirmation to me that I am in the right place, doing the right thing. If you weren’t there and would like to see pictures, you can see them on my Facebook page. Feel free to stop in and say hello!

I had planned on sitting down the first day after launch weekend and hammering out page after page of Book #2. It has a title, an outline, and about the first 50 pages, so I felt confident about being able to sit down and really make some progress towards the next step of my long-term goal of becoming a traditionally published Christian author. I was so excited about my new cast of characters, about the things I am planning to show them. (And I still am. Just wait. You’re gonna love it!)

So. Toddler nap time came around late Monday morning (this is my usual time to write), and the house was quiet, the coffee cup steaming dreamily beside me. I sat poised at the computer, eagerly anticipating a flow of creativity to bring my dear new heroine, Charlie, to the next place in her journey–one that began with such promise and gusto!

Nothing. Nada. The words just weren’t coming. I backed off, finished my coffee, and tried again.

Still nothing.

Looking to my coffee cup, at the last creamy dredges curved along the bottom, it occurred to me that I was feeling rather empty myself.

I want to tell stories that both entertain and encourage people to have faith in the hope that Christ offers to each of us. But I can’t share that message with others if I am not actively seeking to nurture my own faith on a daily basis. I have always loved God, but I am still learning about His word and what it means in this life. And I have been so busy trying to fit in all this publishing stuff on top of my regular responsibilities, that I haven’t been taking the time I need to allow God to fill my own spiritual cup. I’ve been pouring and pouring from my reserves without boiling water for a refill.

sleeping-outsideHow many people in different situations and walks of life experience this kind of a personal drought? A lot, I think. Consider a parent, giving and giving all the time without taking care of their own needs. After some undetermined number of pancakes flipped, diapers changed, arguments settled, etc. the well from which joy and patience flow will run dry. But a few hours for that parent to recharge and do something for themselves will return them to their children a much happier person, much more prepared to do the job efficiently and with gladness. To serve others, we must keep our batteries charged. It is the reason we are programmed to sleep at night, to allow strength to return to our minds and bodies. Even God rested on the seventh day, right?

So, whoever you are, whatever you do, I urge you this morning to consider the following: Resting is not selfish. It is not unproductive. It is admirable to want to give, to serve, to share. But I encourage you to find something you can do for yourself, to refill your cup.

For me, I feel like I need to take some time to answer the call to discipleship in Matthew 11:28, “Come to me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.” I can’t fill up my own cup, but God can. So I’m going to take a couple of weeks off from writing, marketing, networking, blogging, doing doing doing, and let Him. I’m sorry if you are a new follower, as you won’t see a new post from me for a time. But I’ll be back soon. Ready to pour! 🙂