Somehow I Am Always Pouring, Even Though My Cup Is Empty

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“I see a lot of ‘self-care’ stuff on the mommy accounts I follow and I have been on board with a lot of it.

The phrase I see used most often is, ‘You can’t pour from an empty cup.’

When I saw this for the first time, it hit me like when my 20-month-old clocked me in the head with a plastic golf club.

I thought, ‘Oh my gosh, YES. THIS. You CANNOT pour from an empty cup. I need to rest and recharge and THEN I can be there for my children.’

But…my kids didn’t get the memo.

They could not care less about the volume of liquid in my cup. So with the ‘I can’t pour from an empty cup!’ mantra on repeat in my brain, I beg my husband for rest.

I cry for peace and quiet. I ask God for a break, for a win, for something, anything. I can’t pour from an empty cup.

But my kids are still beating down the bathroom door, demanding snacks, attention, to look how high they can jump, to look at this new face they can make, to check out the ‘Floor is Lava’ game they made out of pillows in the living room.

They’re running around, yelling at ear splitting decibels, they’re bouncing balls and tackling their sister after being told a billion times not to.

They’re falling off of furniture at an alarming rate, they’re eating things they shouldn’t, they’re making a zillion messes.

Courtesy of Bethany McDonald

My cup ALWAYS feels empty, and yet I am somehow ALWAYS pouring from it.

And after a lot of protesting, ‘God, how can I do this?? How can I pour from an empty cup??? I read it on the internet!!’ it dawned on me.

That as a mom, that’s…like…exactly what I am called to do.

It’s in my life verses that I’ve always thought about, but it took motherhood for me to see them in this new light.

2 Corinthians 12:9-10: But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

I can pour from an empty cup. Really, when my cup is empty, that’s the best place for me to be.

When I am at my emptiest, I can then be filled to the brim with the strength that only comes from Christ.

When I cannot rely on myself at ALL, I can rely on Him. And that is infinitely better.”

Courtesy of Bethany McDonald

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Bethany McDonald. You can follow their journey on Facebook and Instagram. Submit your own story here, and be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.

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‘The self-talk has to stop. Motherhood is not sunshine and rainbows. It’s mundane many days. I lose my patience. I screw up. I have unwashed dishes in the sink, crumbs on the floor.’

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