by Nancy Ellis
Have you ever taken a sip of hot coffee that was just how you like it? For me, it is the perfect combination of premium Columbian coffee, Italian sweet cream, and one tablespoon of Sugar in the Raw. Unless you drink your coffee black, a balanced pour of coffee, cream, and sugar is important. If there is too much cream you can be left with a dry mouth or maybe too much sugar leaves you wired. But, the same is true if there is too little of one of these crucial ingredients. Your left with a cup of coffee that might give you the jolt you need but the after taste is awful.
One of my favorite sayings of all times is “you can’t pour from an empty cup”. That saying helped me blossom out of postpartum depression several years ago.
After a recent Sunday sermon I got to thinking, “is my pour balanced?” Do I have too much or too little of something in my cup? Am I even using the right, premium ingredients?
My beloved sisters, my first question for you is: who is pouring into your cup, and what are they pouring?
Next, what are you pouring (or spilling) out of your cup? Is it balanced or are you and the people around you left with a bad after taste?
Let’s examine our cups together.
With everything that has changed in our lives in the last two months, I am sure many of your cups are feeling empty. Empty, because you are now homeschool teachers, chefs, lovers, housekeepers, entertainers, and the list goes on. So, let’s go back to the first question. Who is pouring into you? Is it your mother? A pastor or a mentor? Or is it social media and the news? And what are the ingredients? Are they premium, grounding in the truth and light? Or do they leave you with an awful taste in your mouth? Asking for a mentor is a hard request. It requires vulnerability and dedication.
When was the last time someone said “we should grab a coffee sometime” (virtual or not) and nothing ever came of the request? It is our responsibility as women who lead balanced lives to follow up. I am bad at this too. I do have an amazing mother and a Pastor and core team of women that I can go to but I do not leverage them enough. So, I am speaking to myself too when I say: schedule that coffee. Ask for insight. Ask for help. There is great value in hearing from those who are older or wiser. Those who have been in our shoes before. Or are maybe just one step in front of you. Don’t let arrogance or busyness or fear stand in the way of you being filled with premium ingredients. If you do not have a mentor or two or three, I encourage you right now to drop everything and send a quick text and ask for one. It can be as simple as that. My Pastor said it perfectly, “listen to what they say and watch what they do”. Titus 2:4 tells us the older woman “are to teach what is good and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled.”
Now, to remain balanced we can’t stop there.
The next step is to take those ingredients that were poured into us and refine and reinforce them with less of a mother figure but more of a friend. This is why small groups are so important. People who have a similar interest, challenge, or season as you. People that can walk with you in your journey and sharpen you. Proverbs 27:17 tells us “Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another”.
Lastly, with your mothers and your friends pouring into you, it can be hard to keep balance because your cup will eventually overflow. So, it is your responsibility to proactively pour out not only to yourself, your husband, and your children but, pour out to your younger sisters. Just liked we asked about a mentor earlier, take a moment now and think about someone who might be younger or newer or less experienced then you are. Invite them to a virtual coffee. Find ways to pour into them so that your cup doesn’t pour over but more importantly because they need those premium ingredients that you have now, more than you do! And remember they are listening to you and watching you so let them see Jesus through your everyday actions. 1 Corinthians 11:1 says, “Be imitators of me as I am of Christ”.
Beloved ladies, most of all remember Jesus is our greatest mentor and He left us all the ingredients we need: the Holy Spirit and the Holy Bible. So, balance your pour with Him daily! Psalm 119:130 says, “The unfolding of your words gives light; it imparts understanding to the simple”. And John 14:26 says, “But the Helper, The Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you”.
Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank you for the Word and for the Holy Spirit who brings your ingredients to life for us each day. Thank you for our mothers and wise mentors, thank you for our small groups, our friends and our sisters. We know that as daughters of the King we are all valuable and needed in every season in our time here on earth. Let us find community, sisterhood, mentors, and mentees in this time of isolation. Let us have the courage to reach out and grab any ingredients we are lacking. Thank you for balancing our cup so we can live abundant lives that glorify You and build Your kingdom!
In Jesus name, we pray,
Nancy Ellis is a wife, mom of two beautiful young children, a successful businesswoman and a Small Group Leader. She is transparent, real and one of the most encouraging women I know. Her passion to lead in love in every area of life is contagious as she helps women of all ages embrace God’s love for them. – Cindy Grasso