Saturday, May 22, 2010

The Well

I've been a bit of a crank lately. It seems like I'm extremely prone to irritability and anger, two qualities that don't at all match the way I think of myself or the self that I want to be.

Here is my theory.

Actually, here is the lead-up to my theory.

I enjoy thinking of my life in seasons. My additional word to describe life lately has been "capacity."

When I see someone who is better then me - well, not better than me - but someone who seems to be able to keep more balls in the air or fit more hats on her head, I remind myself that each of us have a different capacity.

I also try and give myself grace when I can't seem to hold as many things together. I recognize that my capacity can grow and shrink depending on the amount of sleep I get, exercise, emotional factors...

I'm in a season where my capacity is very small. I don't get much sleep. I've just moved and am adjusting to an entirely new way of living. I am parenting two small children who require near-constant hands-on attention.

Today I was particularly moody.

That brings us back to my new theory.

In my pondering over why I am having such a hard time keeping an even keel, I thought of a new word picture.

A well.

I can see myself as a well. Deposits being poured in, and water being drawn out. I see all the people and projects of my life standing around the well. My sweet friends are pouring huge buckets of delicious clean water into my well. Jack walks up to the edge and gleefully dumps his little cup into the well, all the while using a giant sized bucket to draw water right back out and fling it on the ground in a colossal tantrum.

Commitments I've made pull water up and out.

Andy pours water in. I draw water from my own well to pour back to him.

In and out.

The water line moves up and down.

Sometimes I'm full to overflowing, sometimes it looks like I'm going to be completely dry.

I think my emotional struggle lies in the fact that I moved from a season where my well seemed so full to a dry spell.

My capacity is small, simply from the nature of my life stage. I am trying to conserve my water, save it for Andy and Jack and Joey, and some days it feels like water is being drawn out of me with huge buckets, against my will. I'm fighting to have enough for everyone, but there just isn't.

I get angry when I feel like my water has gone to something that is less important to me that one of my boys. It irritates me when I have to give them less so that the other realities of life (laundry, grocery lists, complicated relationships) can get a few drops.

This picture shed some light on my mood, but it also brought me to the solution.

I've been trying to keep my well full on my own. I try and conserve where I think I can. I monitor everything that goes in and comes out. I stress when I see the levels getting low and I get giddy when I've just received generous amounts of water poured back in.

But Jesus said, "Whoever believes in me, as the scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him," and, "... if you knew the gift of God ... you would have asked him and he would have give you the living water."

I've been trying to live fully on lifeless water. The only solution for my dry well, is to fill it from a source that never runs dry.

Oh Lord, forgive me for trying to keep my well full on my own. I've been stingy with my water where I could have been generous. Please fill me with your living water and teach me to give it freely.


Jason, Allison and Elliott said...

Absolutely beautiful and so true. Thank you, Emily, for your honesty and insight.

Alissa Maxwell said...

Amen. Doesn't it help just to think on these things? And give yourself grace it's okay to conserve your water for just a few things right now.

sassouth said...

True and honest. Thanks for posting.

Heather said...

This is such an inspiration to me. Thank you for sharing your analogy. It brought a light my eyes this morning that I haven't seen before. I have also been trying to replenish my well on my own.

emilyruth said...

totally awesome word picture...
you're not alone, my friend
(my blog friend :)
two kiddos is rough stuff
& life is just rough stuff sometimes...
good that you are looking to jesus
he's good with the rough stuff...