Who Am I Filled With?

The other day I read in my morning devotional book by Jill Briscoe:

As a young mother trying to be patient with my children, it was easy to blame the little imps for my impatience and irritation. However, I learned that the children did not create my mood, they simply revealed it.

Ouch! Man, that hurts! But Mrs. Briscoe is so right. After reading that, I had to get on my face before the Lord and confess. I had been fussing at my children, blaming them for this and that. In reality, my own stress and poor planning and failure to stay in sweet fellowship with God was the root of my problem.

So many times I get caught up in the details of the day, in the work that must be done, and I take my focus off of Jesus. I meet with Him in the morning for a few minutes of prayer and I read a little bit of His word at some point throughout the morning. I usually even ask Him to forgive me and fill me. But I leak.

When I encounter a frustration and I respond without seeking Him first, I leak. When a child disobeys and I respond without seeking Him first, I leak. When the milk gets spilled and the dog gets stepped on and the ball gets thrown in the house and I respond without calling out to Him first, I leak. When I think of a friend and know I should call her, but I dismiss it with excuses of what’s on my to-do list, I leak. When I hear my youngest calling “Mama, Mama” and I know I should sit and play with him a while, but I sit down to check email instead, I leak. Pretty soon, I’m not filled with the Holy Spirit, I’m filled with Fleshly-Jennifer.

And then I am impatient and rude and sarcastic and all the things that real love is not. I have turned into what I call “Monster Mom.” And I find myself blaming my children for this transformation. They didn’t pick up the Legos that I just stepped on. They didn’t really put away all those Hot Wheels cars, they just scooted them under the couch. They have the TV up too loud. They can’t speak kindly to each other. They left the dress-up clothes all over the floor and left regular clothes on the bathroom floor and toothpaste all over the sink and crumbs all over the table and dumped dog food into the dog’s water to watch it expand. So I tell myself it’s all their fault that I’m crabby and raising my voice and gritting my teeth and stomping around the house complaining about what a mess they’ve made.

But it’s not their fault. They don’t create my mood. They reveal it. My Bible Study Fellowship teaching leader used to say that we’re like tea cups. When we’re bumped, whatever fills us up is what spills out. And when I’ve leaked out all the Holy Spirit and am only filled up with Fleshly-Jennifer, then guess what spills out when I’m bumped. Ugly, Fleshly-Jennifer.

My Father Dear, please plug up my leaks. I want to decrease so that You will increase. I want to be so filled with You that when my children bump me with their messes and their disobedience and their noise, I will spill out You. When they reveal my mood, please let it be a mood that resembles You and Your character.



Filed under Bible, Christ, faith, Family, motherhood, parenting

4 responses to “Who Am I Filled With?

  1. Martha

    I am learning the same thing, and now that I have that tea cup illustration, it will stick with me even better!

    God has been showing me that being a patient and peaceful mother is one of the best ways I can show my children Who God is.

    And you are right, it is so important to seek God with each interruption! How generous and gracious He is to pour out His love into our hearts. How many times have I not had because I have not ASKED.

  2. Lucinda

    Oh my goodness! You are teaching me just what I needed to hear. I have been getting upset with my husband, and blaming him. When really it is me that is letting my busyness get in my way. I need to be more purposeful in seeking God before I speak to him. Thank you Jennifer for writing what I need to hear, right now!

  3. If I have written what you need to hear, that is because I also need to hear it and God has been teaching me. I have also been praying more about what I should write on this blog, and God has been directing me.

    Really, the more I read in books by other women and the more I talk with other women, I find that most of us struggle with so many of the same things. I often remind myself that I am not alone, that others are needing God’s help in the exact same way. Satan wants each of us to think that we are alone, that we are worse than everyone else, that we should be embarrassed and stay stuck where we are. He is our enemy and a liar.

    Girls, you’re not alone. Any mess you see in your life, I probably have in mine. I just may not see it yet because of all the other messes. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s