Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Empty To Refill...

A few years ago I read a great book by Joyce Rupp called The Cup of Our Life. Several of my friends and I chose to undertake this endeavor as part of our Lenten study. I wish I could tell you I recall a multitude of life-altering a-ha moments from this study, but only two truths have remained with me.

The greatest lesson I learned is how people are like any other vessel. Sometimes we need to be completely emptied to allow ourselves to be filled again. Armed with this knowledge, I took advantage of the long Memorial Day weekend to unplug. For the most part there were no e-mails, no posts, no cell phone calls, no television. I spent three fulfilling days in the garden, in my home, in my car, and in my head. All four places were cleaned out and refreshed. And I'm not just talking the standard "I'll run a swiffer over the surface and worry about the rest later." This was a pull everything out of the deep recesses, clean it out, clean it up, and in some cases even throw it out.

My gardens are looking great, my home is literally shining, the closets are cleaned, I made some money selling "stuff" on Ebay, and returned to work today completely refreshed with a pure mind and heart. This was a great pouring out of the yuck and refilling of the "aaahhhh." {Insert deep cleansing breath here.}

The other epiphany I've retained from this book is that like most of our favorite cups or drinking vessels, we have chips, scratches, stains, etc. We are not diminished by these blemishes. The beauty is in realizing we all have them; the trick is to accept our scratches and imperfections in not only ourselves but in those around us rather than pretend we are above them.

The day did not end as great as it began and although I am mentally and physically exhausted, I can once again be filled. So on this evening as I prepare for a great tomorrow, I share with you Joyce Rupp's words of wisdom. May you remember them as you drink your coffee, sip your wine, enjoy your lemonade, or savor your tea. Take some time to be emptied out so you can be refilled. You are a beautiful cup to me.

The Perfect Cup

it is time for me
to see the flaws
of myself
and stop
being alarmed

it is time for me
to halt my drive
for perfection
and to accept 
my blemishes

it is time for me
to receive
slowly evolving growth
the kind that comes
in God's own good time
and pays no heed 
to my panicky pushing

it is time for me
to embrace
my humanness
to love
my incompleteness

it is time for me
to cherish
the unwanted
to welcome
the unknown
to treasure
the unfulfilled

if I wait to be
before I love myself
I will always be 
and ungrateful

if I wait until
all the flaws, chips,
and cracks disappear
I will be the cup
that stands on the shelf
and is never used
   --- Joyce Rupp


  1. It's true! Spring cleaning refreshes the soul! And so does gardening! I can't wait for my tomatoes!

  2. I'm actually drinking a cup of tea as I read this after spending the morning defrosting the freezer and mowing the lawns.
    I'm feeling partially refreshed, so I'll now turn off the computer and try and complete the process.
    Thanks for the inspiration!

  3. Great way to spend your weekend! Thanks for sharing. xxBliss

  4. I love that poem. It seems appropriate for me at this juncture in my life.
    I could use a deep cleaning and a thorough emptying out. Thank you for another thought-provoking post. xo, A

  5. We all need some time to purge and refill - I agree that it is important. As is loving your "cracks and chips" (or, in my case, my folds and bulges). If we don't love ourselves for who we are, then who will?


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