I was standing as close as I could to the bathroom mirror — well, as close as the countertop between us would allow. I dabbed my finger into the white creamy lotion and dabbed it around my eyes with my pointer finger — the finger you’re not supposed to use on your delicate eye area. The bags under my eyes and I had made a deal: I’d promise to be careful with my pointer finger, if they’d stop looking so dark and broody all the time.
As I smoothed the cream around my tired eyes, I wondered why I was using so little of the product when I desperately needed more and my little tub was nearly full.
“They say you don’t need much.”
“I don’t want to burn through this too quickly.”
“I might not be able to afford to buy more when this runs out.”
Then it hit me. I was doing the same thing in my mothering.
I was holding back, not giving all of my love and affection to my kids in fear of depletion. I feared there wouldn’t be enough of me to go around.
I feared I would empty myself, never to be filled back up again.
I feared I would lose myself completely.
Everything I knew about God in that moment came flooding into my mind. I had been operating as if I was the one in charge of the refueling. I was so wrong.
He says He will provide new mercies for us every morning. If we empty ourselves, He promises to fill us back up.
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. // Lamentations 3:22-23
He says if we give our lives away for His sake, we’ll find it again.
For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. // Matthew 16:25
He says for us to love Him with all we have and to love the people around us like we love ourselves. The people in our family are the most obvious choice, aren’t they?
And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”
// Mark 12:30-32
He says for us to love because He first loved us. Never once in Scripture does it say for us to hoard up our love in fear.
We love because he first loved us. // 1 John 4:19
He says all will be made new. Including me and my circumstances.
And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” // Revelation 21:5
He says He is everything we need.
His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. // 2 Peter 1:3
He says His grace is enough for us. His power makes our weak places strong. Amen and amen.
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. // 2 Corinthians 12:9
Our children need to see us giving ourselves away for the sake of Christ and because they’re worth it.
They need to see how we’re refueling (through our relationship with God because of Jesus and His Word).
They need to see that selfishness hasn’t overtaken us like it has the culture.
They need to see what it looks like to be wholly dependent on Christ.
So are we holding back from our children? Probably. Is there a solution? Absolutely.
May we be the kind of women who are emptied out in love every single day because we have full access to never-ending free refills.