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Starting the New Year Right

In this new year we want to have our cups filled by God. Do you ever look at your own habits? You have coffee mug, tea cup, sparking water and regular water sitting in front of you and somehow, even though you are so very thirsty and dehydrated you keep sipping from the cups that aren’t water. Are you feeling restless? Are you feeling distracted? Join us as we start the new year with a reminder on how to really get filled.

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Julie Lyles Carr: I have a pretty serious confession to make to you. I’m Julie Lyles, Carr of the AllMomDoes Podcast, part of the Purposely Podcast Network. And from where I’m sitting right now in front of my microphone in my studio, I’m gonna take a pause and let’s see, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. Is that an eighth one? Oh my. Friend, I have eight coffee mugs or water cups insulated ice, icy kind of cups.

Yeah. Eight of them sitting around in the various surfaces of my studio. And that’s after I cleaned that up a few days ago too. . So it probably would’ve been more. And let me tell you something. When I find scenes like this in my kids’ rooms or on the coffee table in front of the sectional in the family room, I throw a hissy fit with the kids that are still living in the house.

Why can’t you guys put your cups away? Why do you have so many cups? You only need one or two cups. Why are you doing this? I’m washing cups all day long. The entire dishwasher is full of cups. And yet here I sit and. I’m faced with the consequences of my own behaviors as I look at these eight beverage receptacles, littering the surfaces of my studio.

We’ve been talking about in this new year how we want to have our cups spilled by God, and one of the things that I’ve been pondering about is I’ve looked at my own cup behaviors. Is why. Why do I not finish my cup of coffee before I move on to the water? And why do I move from the water to the can of sparkling water?

And then why do I move from that back to another mug that has a teabag in it? And in all of it, I’m clearly thirsty all day long, but I keep drinking from all these different cups. I never actually finish what I started. It’s had me thinking about different seasons and times in my walk with God, where I’ve been going to a whole lot of other cups, to try to find that hydration, that living water, and then I keep abandoning a lot of them along the way, sometimes for good reason, and sometimes because of my own distraction. Now what do I mean by all that? There are many times where maybe you feel it too. I will feel restless. Maybe I feel a little bored.

Maybe I’ve got some questions, or maybe I feel like time’s passing really fast, and am I doing the things that really fulfill me, or am I just cranking through a to-do list every day? When I think about that, I’ll often reach out. To take a sip of something from somewhere in life. Maybe it’s going out to dinner with some friends.

Maybe it’s a new book or a new podcast, I think is going to inspire me. Maybe it’s a different way of doing things or a different routine or trying something different at the gym. I can gather all of these different cups of experiences, opportunities and distractions. And I can think that maybe that will quench some of the thirst of my soul. But I think just like my real habit, of leaving cups and coffee mugs everywhere, half full, I see that I do it within my spirit as well.

Does that resonate with you? Because boy, I sure can think that something outside of myself or some different thing may answer a question or may fulfill a need that I have. And when I find that it doesn’t, then I can find myself moving on to the next thing and the next thing and the next thing. But wow, what if I would remind myself in that minute.

Hey. Don’t go reaching for another cup of whatever. Let’s take a pause and let’s get quiet before God and see what he wants to fill my cup with. I was really fascinated. I went into the Bible and I started looking up this word cup and how many different places that it appears, and there are everything in the Bible from people who were cup bearers who would bring beverages to the king and also taste those and make sure they hadn’t been poisoned or make sure that they were fresh.

There’s everything from that to what is described as part of the decor for the tabernacle and the temple, cups that would hold incense, that would hold candles. And they were shaped in certain ways, all the way to the story of Joseph and his brothers. And when his brothers come and he recognizes them in Egypt and they don’t recognize him, he has someone slip a silver cup into his brother Benjamin’s nap sack, and it’s on the way home that they’re stopped in that cup is there, and it’s the way that Joseph brings his brothers back and then reveals to them who he actually is.

We also know about Jesus having the cup of redemption at the Last Supper and what he offered the disciples in that moment and that commemoration that we do in our faith communities today, that we continue that experience of taking of the bread and the cup of Jesus. As I began to look at this word cup, I began to also see different places.

David talks about it in the psalm. I love this from Psalm 16, five, where he writes, Lord, you alone are my portion and my cup. You make my lot secure. . That’s the verse. When I look around and I look at all of these cups, I think, wow, Jules, if you could take a pause when you’re starting to reach for other stuff and remember that God alone is my portion and my cup. 

And when I am seated in that, when I’m really focused on that, what’s so beautiful is that then I begin to experience that sense of feeling secure and safe with him. Whatever is going on around me, whatever the things that sometimes I feel might say, I can always know outside of my feelings that God is with me.

And that he is my cup and he’s the one who makes me secure. Of course, when we talk about having our cup filled by God, we also think of the words of David in Psalm 23, verse five. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil, my cup overflows. So often I’m looking at the cups in front of me as half empty , and both for the coffee cup that’s currently sitting on my desk in front of me that actually is half empty with sort of the sludge of what’s left over from rewarmed up coffee.

I don’t even know how many times today, all the way to the places in my life where I can feel just meh, and I’m looking at things in a way in which I feel like my cup is half empty. My energy, my attention, my creativity. I’m just feeling half empty. What a difference it could make if I would be willing to look at those circumstances and say, okay, Lord, I think I’m sitting let’s rephrase it this way, at half full.

And I need your joy, your inspiration, your peace, your rest, your wisdom, your truth. To take me to the place where I’m overflowing. The world just can’t make our cups overflow. It can bring us beautiful things, it can bring us hard things, but the world’s never gonna keep us in that state of feeling truly satiated and satisfied.

And that’s one of the things that I’m thinking about a lot for the new year. I have areas in my life where I’ve spent the last year feeling like it was half empty. Instead of saying, okay, what actually is here and what can God enhance? I’ve taken some time continuing to nurse some things that were half empty, when frankly I should have just taken that cup to the proverbial sink, tossed it, and let God show me what he has for me.

So as you’re heading into this new year, I wanna challenge you with this, and it’s the same thing I’m challenging myself with .What are the things that are scattered throughout the countertops and desktops and tables of my life, my inner life that I’ve forgotten about, that maybe just need to be taken out and cleaned up?

What are the things that were good things? And maybe if I had stayed true to it, I would’ve found some hydration and some satiation. Maybe it was a discipline. Maybe it was a practice that was serving me well in my prayer life, in my quiet time, did I abandon that? Did I get distracted? Maybe I need to go back to it.

And maybe there are some things in my life and in yours that instead of seeing it as half empty, I need to see what God has already started to do, and then I need to pray to him to provide the increase. Maybe I’ve been trying really hard to fill my own cup. It’s time to let God show me what he wants to fill it with.

So my friend, what I’m gonna do is this. . I am gonna take a little time after I get off this microphone and I’m gonna clean up a lot of the cups that are sitting around from where I can sit right now. And then as I project into this new year, if I think on the things and pray and ask God for what he wants me to be doing with this fresh set of days that he’s put out before me.

I wanna ask him, what cup do you have for? And how can I cooperate and get out of the way and stay in a posture where God, you fill it with what you want me to have for this year. You fill it with the dreams, the desires, the ambitions, the places of rest, the places of push, the places of challenge, the places of reach that you wanna take me.

What God, are you going to fill my cup to overflowing with in this New Year? Friend, I’m gonna be working on that for myself and praying that over myself and I’ll be praying it over you as well. Happy New Year.

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