Take a breath. Slow down. Dating doesn’t have to be so rushed. It does have to be right.
[Bonus material from Get Lost.]
“The purposes of a man’s heart is like deep water, but a man of understanding will draw it out.” Proverbs 20:5
As the sun set on Tuesday, I went to God. He sat with me on my little country porch. Me in the white rocker and Him within the grand peace of the day ebbing away.
I told him how empty I was. That my life just felt like all the purpose had been wrung out of it. Have you ever felt like that? Do you today? If you’re coming to me fresh from the pages of Get Lost this may surprise you. But even those of us who fill others up, often find ourselves empty. This week, I did.
In my parched hunger, I opened my Bible. Proverbs 20 because it was the twentieth day of the month and I read one book of Proverbs a day. Only on this day, I got stuck on verse five because….well it filled me.
It happened this way.
The words like a cozy blanket wrapped themselves around me: “The purposes of a man’s heart is like deep water, but a man of understanding will draw it out.” Then…A picture in my head. One like this.
Our purpose—a place of deep refreshment no matter how much work and intention it takes to get to it—lies deep within the well. But often our buckets hang unused. As mine as been. The well is not dry, but our buckets can be.
It takes “understanding” to use our buckets. Understanding is our judgement or our outlook. The way we choose to perceive things. I have not been perceiving things—myself especially—well as of late. I’m tired and my bucket of understanding is empty. How to fill it?
My mind was filled again with a picture. Of my sweet, wonderful mother.
I realize that a mother gives us the ability to have a healthy outlook on life…or an unhealthy one. She “fills the bucket with understanding.” I know my mom poured a healthy outlook into my life from day number one. I read my baby book. Gushing with optimism and pride over every effort. From a slobbering pressing to push a tooth through my bright pink gums to a toddling attempt at taking my first step, she poured possibility in to me.
Not all of us have mothers who fill our buckets well. I think of the three precious ones who were kidnapped ten years ago. Taken from their mothers. One mother never stopped pouring optimistic hope into her lost Amanda. They say she died of a broken heart believing her daughter was still out there somewhere. Hoping beyond hope. Amanda was the girl who never stopped believing she had purpose though raped and held hostage. A young mother herself, she waited ten long years for the one chance to escape and rescue the others. Her bucket was well-filled and the most horrific of circumstances could not drive out her drive for purpose.
Another had a mom who did not know how to fill her Michelle’s bucket with hope. This daughter went into that house empty and came out only because she was forced. Her bucket had no understanding. No judgement or outlook to press her to try. (Oh what I would give to tell Michelle how precious she is. That she has purpose. Value. To help her pick up that heavy empty bucket and fill it with outlook!)
I want to dip my bucket back into the deep well of truth, but my understanding has run dry. I’m forgetting how to have an outlook that presses me to the hard work of dipping down into the deep well. And I refuse to be a girl who cannot see purpose in the most difficult of circumstances.
So I have declared it a summer of Me and Mom.
We will shop in Lititz where the stores are quaint and adorable. We will journey to hear my dear friendNancy Leigh DeMoss who also fills my bucket so very well.
We will put my girls into a car for a road trip. More shopping. Lots of eating. And we will journey to hear the wonderful Beth Moore in the Dunkin Donuts Center. (I may even have some Dunkin Donuts. I prefer Blueberry Cake or Glazed.)
My bucket is already feeling fuller. Like it’ll have the weight it needs to drop down deep into the well of purpose again by the end of this summer of Me and Mom. And this is how God has designed it to work, isn’t it? For those older women in my life to train me. (Titus 2:4) Because sometimes I forget.
This may not seem like a blog about marriage or dating, but you would be wrong. Because—you see—there is no greater purpose than that of wife and mother, if God would choose to call you to these roles. And that’s the primary thing these older women in my life teach me. So I never forget.
Do you have an older woman in your life teaching you?