A Container Filled Life

The other day I took my kids to one of those self serve yogurt places.  (I love how we pay more to serve ourselves than we did to have it served to us).  Anyway, my kids immediately picked up the largest container, and at that point I shook my head at an attempt to say no way.  I could see we had to lay some ground rules for this one.

You may use the smallest container (which by the way was still enormous).

You may fill it half way with your choice of yogurts (there were like 12 to choose from).

You may pick out 4 of the hundreds of toppings at the end.

No kidding 4 yogurts cost me like $20.  Are you kidding me?

As we sat there with our mixture of yogurts loaded with toppings, I thought about how this yogurt place looked a lot like my life.  (Stay with me here. I promise to connect this).

Before kids, my container sure felt large.  I had lots of space for all kinds of activities.  I had the time to run every day.  I went to college.  I worked a part time job.  I had plenty of time to meet up with my friends.  My container was large and I still filled it nice and full.

After kids, my container somehow shrunk because my time was usurped by their time.  Everything was shoved into a smaller container or at least what felt smaller.  It was overflowing with stuff and if I would have gone to the check-out counter with it – it probably would have cost me $100 for that yogurt.  No kidding.  All the sudden I had kids activities, housework, husband’s needs, doctor appointments, writing and blogging, God time, and I just added in a job to all of this.  I needed a mom of my own to give me some rules so my container wouldn’t get so full.

This got me thinking.  I do have someone to tell me to stop and His name is God.  He has been pulling and tugging on me for quite a while.  He has told me to stop it over and over.  He told me to keep my container about half full so that I can have room to budge.  More importantly, so I can have room for him.

Yet I didn’t listen.  I kept pouring in more and more yogurt (volunteering and raising my hand for too much).  I didn’t stop there.  I added in a few toppings (added a few more kids activities to my overloaded schedule).  Before I knew it – it was overflowing.  At this point I received a great opportunity to do something really awesome.  It was something I really wanted to do, yet when I went to add it in to my container, there was no room.

Something had to give.  But what?

In order to make room for this very special opportunity, I was going to have to let a few people down.  There were things that I was not going to remove from my container.  For instance, my time with God, my husband and kids’ needs (notice I said needs), and my own personal time (like exercise and my time to re-energize mama).

It took some real planning to make this happen.  I had to go through my calendar and highlight all those things that were blocking my way.  It was a type of inventory.  It took prayer.  It took will power.  I had to say “no” to my kids.  I had to say “I am not going to feel guilty about this” many times.  I had to say “God give me the strength to just say no.”

So, while we were enjoying our yogurts, I realized that my rules were pertinent to so much more than just the yogurt store.  My rules were perfect in my everyday, container filled life.

You may use the smallest container (which by the way was still enormous).

You may fill it half way with your choice of yogurts (there were like 12 to choose from).

You may pick out 4 of the hundreds of toppings at the end.

God doesn’t want us overworking and over burdening our lives.  He doesn’t want us struggling to make carpools, and saying yes just because nobody else will do it.  He wants us to choose wisely because we only have limited space in our container.  He wants us to pick out the toppings that fit just perfectly in our half-filled container.  After all, we must leave room for Him; the perfect cherry on the top of the dish of life.

About aslamkowski

Blogger, Speaker and Author of "Revealing Faith: Learning to Place God First in Your Life" Most importantly, desperately wanting to hear and follow God's Will, wife of Peter and mother of three kids.
This entry was posted in Faith, Family, God, Jesus, Religion, Social Justice, Women and Christianity and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to A Container Filled Life

  1. teachezwell says:

    Wow. I can identify. I also hear his nudges and I typically squish more into the container. You’re a good example for me to follow. Thanks!

  2. NikkiSmalling says:

    Love this! How often do we let everyone else dictate our time and schedules rather than seeking out the few things that are life-giving and necessary? As we continue to stay increasingly more connected the opportunities to disconnect and really enjoy what’s around us are threatened. I don’t want my child to grow up thinking busy is normal and that change starts with me.

    Ironically enough, my word for this year is “margin” — allowing for some white space to think and create and write habitually and seeking out (and not missing) moments with my Creator.

    PS: the yogurt bowls are a total scam, way too big!

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