Friday, August 26, 2011

What's in your cup?

I sat on the couch in the middle of the afternoon, feet propped up on the coffee table, Jonah bible study book (by Priscilla Shirer) balancing on my knees, staring at the video screen.  The speaker was shaking the arm of a woman holding a glass of water, and water was spilling out, all over the place.  She asked, "Why is water spilling out of the glass?  Yes, it's because I'm shaking it, but it's really because that's what's inside it."  As she shook the glass, she spoke about life shaking us up, and when it does, what spills out, is what's inside. 

My finger reached for the pause button.  I listened to the happy sounds of children all around me, looked at chores needing to be done, dinner waiting to be stirred, and laundry begging to be folded, but forced my mind to get quiet enough to think.  The soft truth that settled around me in that moment, was that the biggest thing inside of me being shaken out, was anger. 

There.  I said it.  I've been really angry.  Angry for my man's sake, and obviously I can't go into much of it.  Angry for the circumstances of his job change and our financial circumstances because of it.  Angry with God for not making it easier.  Not sending a last-minute rescue.  Not fixing it.  Angry for my plans changing.  Angry that I'm angry, because I'm smart enough to know this isn't the end of the world, and it's really not so bad when you stop and consider what it could be.  Angry about the fact that knowing anger was pointless, didn't seem to be enough to quell the anger itself. 

And then I bowed my head and begged God to forgive me.  I don't want to be an angry woman because anger is the seed that blooms into bitterness, and I refuse to let it take root in my soul.  We had other plans, that much is true.  God is bringing about His plan, that can't be changed.  But I won't be a woman who spills out anger when her cup is shaken.  I've tried not to say much on this blog about all the details, because my insecurity overwhelmed me just enough to fear words of caution or criticism from you guys if my reactions to life were "off" and I didn't want to cause anyone to stumble either.  The thing is, I'm not perfect.. not by a long shot.  But I'm trying to get this right, all the while showing you when I don't.  I won't hide it from you, that's not who I am.  I'm transparent and vulnerable, emotional, and passionate.  I don't long to be any other way.  I just don't want to be angry.  I want to be accepting, willing, and when my cup shakes, I want it to spill love, kindness, trust, and faith.  So that's my goal. 

What does your cup spill when it shakes?


  1. This is not criticism or judgement. Know that it's perfectly OK to feel anger, sadness, some grief over your disappointing circumstances. I encourage you to stay there. Don't rush to get those feelings over with because they are not "nice". Don't cover them up with fears of becoming bitter or not being Christian enough. It's important to process through this with friends, prayer, journal, even this very personal blog. Take example from the book of Psalms to feel, and feel deeply and completely, then bless the Lord your God as you are doing. Wanting things your way is how every human being functions and surrendering to God's way is the hardest thing you and I ever do, over and over. Thank you for your honesty. Your blog is beautiful.

  2. This post has really ministered to me. There are some circumstances in my own life that I've been dealing with and truth be told, I've been angry too. And what has made it harder is that some of the changes are things I'm "supposed" to be happy about. But it's been really hard to process it all at once and I've been on the verge of the breaking point and asking the Lord what's going on and why is this so hard? So, just know that your transparency has blessed me. Now I have some different questions to ask the Lord.

  3. AMEN to what Lisa said above.
    I love that you are transparent. We all love stopping by your blog because well, you have a great sense of humor, you do great projects and share them, and you share great recipes...(by the way, I think i gain five pounds every time you do a food post.) (smile)
    I love that you share all the fun, the good and the stuff that gets you down. We are all only human.
    Will be praying for you you.

  4. I can relate as well. Thank you for the challenge :) I've also done that study. Gotta LOVE that Priscilla Shirer!!

  5. Anger is a feeling that comes about and for some of us--is stuffed until it's shaken out of us in all the little things we do and say. We aren't angry people by nature so this constant feeling under such circumstances is unusual and foreign and scary...but you're human. It's normal to go through a range of emotions when life doesn't go as planned.Praying for you--thanks for your honesty!

  6. Sometimes I think one of the reasons God allows the bad stuff, the stuff the changes our plans, the stuff that doesn't make a pretty blog post into our lives is because it makes us not only humble but also relate-able. (Don't know if I just made that word up?) God has a plan and a purpose for every circumstance, I know how cliche that sounds but it doesn't change the truth of it. Your humble and contrite heart and the fact that you are willing to be transparent to others brings brings blessings to the Lord. God has that study in your hands at this time for a reason. Take heart sweet lady. Patty

  7. concerning my husbands job- there is anger all over the place. anger that people dont have regard for others lives. anger that people who do his job are being assassinated at an alarming rate. anger that it could happen to him, or one of hi coworkers at any time. anger that there doesnt seem to be much we can do about it... I could go on and on about the fear and the anger that exists about my hubbys job.

    but on the opposite side of the fear and anger- there is pride. a HUGE amount of pride. Im so incredibly proud that he does what he does. and i wont ever stop being proud of the choice he has made.

    other than that- my cup is full of contentment and hope and happiness. I have some new things happening for me that i am hopefully about, and im thrilled that im where i am with my hubby and kids. :)

  8. I think you said what a lot of feel. I know there is anger is in my cup a lot of times, it's what I do with it. Remember there is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus!
    Blessings on you.

  9. Ahh friend! I am Italian/German, ya think I might have an emotional side based off of stereotypes? That and I have watched WAY too much I Love Lucy, and have been influenced. God and I routinely have this conversation "REALLY, I mean REALLY?? Maker of Universe and REALLY this is what is dished out??" That is just me. Then I calm down a bit, and realize that it isn't always God who does the dishing. Sometimes, God allows the other power that rules the Earth for the moment to test our faith too (ahem, Job, Hosea etc). It is in those moments that the thought of letting you-know-who win, absolutely chaps my hide. So I get angry again, but this time at the right person, and with motive to not be angry but to change my reaction. Walking and growing in faith is never easy...asking for prayer is a way of not being alone while growing. You are not alone.

  10. Right now, anger, too. I am so grateful to your vulnerability here, because you refuse to let your human weaknesses define you, but continue to turn to Him again and again.

    I realized yesterday when thing upon thing was going wrong and I totally lost it (alone in my garage with no witnesses, thank goodness!) that I want to be filled with His spirit more than my own disappointment and selfishness. Anger doesn't feel good.

    So this post speak to me, and reminds me, too, that I need to keep it in perspective. His perspective.

  11. thank you so much for being open. i teared up reading this b/c i've been so full of anger lately, too. for the same reasons: things didn't go the way i planned & God didn't "fix it" the way i asked when i asked, & i'm having to trust that He knows what's best in the long run, which, of course, He does... and i don't want to be angry either. i spent a huge portion of this last week praying about this & working with God to dig up the anger out of my heart. i'm going to be praying that you & Him do the same work together & that you gain His peace in the process.

  12. Thank you very much for this post! it really helped me today
    I linked you in my blog today

  13. wow, that glass of water thing, very powerful. i too am angry and have been for about 5 years. thanks for shedding some light on me. i'm glad you're so wise to see the lessons god is giving you and then thankful you share those lessons to help so many.

    thanks for your transparency.

  14. I'm with you but add in dollops of fear, confusion and self-pity. No advice I'm just with you. Isn't it wonderful that we don't sit in out messy spillage alone. I am so glad that Jesus sits down next to us in our mess, holds our hands and draws us out.

  15. Enough said. We all feel like that,at times and even all the time.I needed to read that today. I am angry. I never thought my life would be on this coarse.27 year marrige very rocky.Very changed.Job not what I want.Overweight,otta shape,digging deeper into my own pit that I've jumped into.Knowing I should have faith and trust in HIM.But fall short.Relying on my own ways.WOW.Too much right now.I think I'll go have lunch and be quiet to hear HIM. Have a wonderful day and thank you for sharing.

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