Friday, September 3, 2021

Pour In to Pour Out


BySarah Geringer 

As for me, my life has already been poured out as an offering to God. 

2 Timothy 4:6a NLT

As Christians, we are called to pour out our lives as offerings to God and in service to others. But unless we are filled first, we cannot pour out abundantly and selflessly. We must make our pouring-in moments high priorities so we can pour out as cheerful givers rather than depleted grumblers.

How do we practically pour in, when our lives are so busy and pulled in so many directions? I'm learning to do this myself, and these are the practical tips I have to share with you today.

First, meet with God every day, as soon as possible. The sooner I spend time with God one on one, the better my day goes. No, my days aren't free from distractions, responsibilities and problems. But my attitude is better when I spend time with the Lord, filling up on the fruits of the Spirit to nourish me throughout the day.

Second, take a daily pause to get centered. After reading the Bible, I jot down prayers and notes of gratitude. I also use a classic prayer book to slow down and focus on God. I just purchased a new prayer journal to help me reflect on my Bible reading. I also use a one line a day journal to keep track of memories. The days I do this first, I feel greater peace. The days I don't, I feel more restless and rushed in my spirit.

Third, take a nap if you need one. As a highly sensitive person and introvert, I need downtime for my brain to recharge. I've learned that a quick nap is a good reset between the alpha activities of the day and the beta activities of evening. Before I nap, I pray and thank God for what he's done during the day. A nap refills me so I can be more refreshed for family time.

Fourth, feed your mind. Every day I try to learn something new. Whether it's from a nonfiction book, one of Dr. Henry Cloud's daily shows, or a favorite podcast, I carve out time for learning. This habit helps me expand my thinking and inspires me to share new things with others.

Fifth, get creative. I learned from this wonderful book that we need different kinds of rest to be refueled, including creative time. During the week, this looks like trying new recipes, taking nature photos or picking a bouquet from my garden. On weekends, it looks like making art with my daughter. Being creative fills me with joy so I can serve with a joyful spirit.

Finally, be social. We are made for community. I commit to regular phone or Zoom calls with friends, and I'm connected to a group at my church with regular meetings. A face-to-face lunch meetup with a friend is worth its weight in gold. These social times fill me up for days or even weeks.

I hope these six tips inspire you to pour in so you can pour out more effectively. Have more tips to share? Please leave them in the comments below so others will be inspired by your insights. Here's a prayer to encourage you too:

Father God,

I praise you for filling me with your Spirit.

I confess that I don't always fill up with your presence before pouring out.

Help me to pour in with good things so I can pour out with greater joy.

Remind me that as I remain in you, you will remain with me.

May I be a willing vessel who pours out for others and for your glory.

In Jesus' name,


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