Big rocks and living water

Once upon a time, in the Thursday morning Bible study at my home church, we did a study called Living Your Life as a Beautiful Offering by Angela Thomas (now Angela Thomas Pharr). One of the lessons in that study was about filling up your cup so that it can run over, because, of course, it’s pretty hard for a cup to run over if it isn’t full to begin with. The bucket or love tank analogy works equally well, and for purposes of the illustration, I want you to imagine a metal bucket.

Like this.

The crux of the lesson was that no one else can fill your cup (or bucket) for you, you have to do it by staying connected to the source, i.e. God. (Or, if you prefer, Love.) That is to say, a full bucket doesn’t come from other people (and certainly not from just one other person – how exhausting would that job be!), it comes from God. It comes from study, prayer, and meditation; from making time on a regular basis to tap into the source.

I was explaining this to a friend once and told this person that other people can sure as heck dent up your bucket and some can even poke holes in it. Fortunately, others can help you hammer out the dents or patch the holes, but no one person can fill it for you; only Love can fill your love tank.

Now I want to switch gears for just a sec. Hopefully you’re familiar with the ‘big rocks’ analogy about time management and prioritization. Stephen Covey references it in The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. (If you don’t know it, you can check out a succinct rendition of it here, or a lengthy demonstration here before you go any further.) In the illustration, a jar represents your life, or the time in your day. You have to fill this jar with big rocks, pebbles, and sand. The big rocks symbolize the important things – relationships, career, community involvement, church, etc. The pebbles are the less important stuff like car, house, meetings, appointments, and the sand represents trivial things that take up time but aren’t important – video games, TV, social media, housekeeping… Okay, maybe not that last one. Point being, if you fill up the jar with little, unimportant stuff, there’s not enough room for the big rocks. But if you put the big rocks in first, all the other stuff will sift down into the cracks and spaces between them.

There are variations on this. Depending on who is doing the demonstration, and in what context, God is one of the big rocks, maybe even a bigger rock than the other big rocks. Sometimes people will take it a step further and, after all the big rocks and pebbles and sand are in the jar, they will pour in water to show that there is still room in the jar. Here’s the kicker. I don’t think that God/Love is one of the rocks at all; I think it’s the water. As in, living water. And here’s where it all comes together.

Filling your cup or bucket or love tank with God or Love or living water changes EVERYTHING about the illustration: If you put the water in first — which is to say, if your love tank is full — then every rock you add – family, friends, home, job, school – the things that are MOST important in your life, whatever they are for you – each one you add not only gets wet itself, but also makes some of that water overflow onto everything around it. Then adding the pebbles makes more of that water splash out. Then adding the sand makes more of that water splash out. The key is staying tapped into the source. But do you see what happens then? Everything starts from a place of Love and you always have enough love to share, because you’re always tapped into the Source of love and every single thing you do starts with a full tank that splashes Love onto everything else around you!

And here’s the other cool part: even if this hasn’t been the way you’ve operated thus far, you can add the water any time. The water still soaks into everything and fills up all the empty space as soon as you pour it in, so really, you can fill your love tank any time and still get the same effect! So, first things first: Do you know how to tap into the source, whatever you call it? Do you stay tapped in – meaning do you know to pay attention to your love tank and take time out to fill up when you start to feel depleted? Do you know what your big rocks are and how everything else measures up?

Fill ‘er up! *splishy splashy*

Daylight Saving Time… Bah.

I hate daylight saving time.

There is a very small handful of things I’m willing to use the H-word about; in fact, it’s a bad word in my house, but I really hate daylight saving time. I’m kind of a spoiled brat about it, and I’m grumpy because I have to change my clocks this weekend.

See, I’m not one of those people who are dependent on an alarm clock. I wake up at approximately the same time every day, or at least within a half hour. I usually wake up around 7:00 a.m. Sometimes it’s closer to six thirty, sometimes I sleep in and it’s almost 7:30 before I get out of my warm cozy bed. Sometimes, for no reason at all, my eyes open up around six and I lay there hoping to get another hour… 45 minutes… half hour… Please? And on the VERY rare occasion, I wake up and it’s bright outside, so I look at my watch on my nightstand and it’s around 8:00 – weird. But generally my eyes pop open around the seven o’clock hour. My body has adjusted to that time.

I’ve tried figuring this out. It doesn’t seem to have much to do with when I went to bed, because that fluctuates a lot more, depending on my day. Sometimes I’m up ‘til 11:00 watching a movie, sometimes I fall asleep reading to my six-year old around nine. It might have something to do with the level of light coming into the room, but that changes gradually and constantly throughout the year, and my internal clock isn’t that smooth.

Regardless, daylight saving time wreaks havoc on all that. I’m from Indiana. This didn’t used to happen! Once upon a time we believed in “Hoosier common sense” and we didn’t have to change our clocks to keep up with the Jonses. Or the New Yorkers, as the case may be. We were perfectly content to be on Eastern Time for most of the year and Central in the summer. We were cool and carefree, like Arizona. Now we’re just following the crowd. They said it would be better for business. Maybe it is, I don’t know. I still think it’s stupid.


Now I know what people say, “Oh, it’s time to spring forward! We get an extra hour of daylight!” Or in the fall, “Yay! It’s time to fall back! We get to sleep in an hour!”


I will still wake up at the same time I’ve been waking up, because it’s not, in fact, dependent on what the clock says. So on Sunday, when my eyes pop open, my clock will say sometime around 8:00. Not my old comfortable 7:00. Oh, I’ll adjust, though as homeschooling mom, I don’t necessarily have to. Once I start working again, or when time sensitive kid activities like day camp roll around, I’ll set an alarm to correct the problem. And then in the fall I’ll be grumpy again, because while everyone else is sleeping an extra hour, I’ll be waking up at 6:00, wishing I too could sleep in.

Daylight savings. Bah.

A word for the year

This year, for the first time, I’ve chosen a word of the year. I first heard about this idea from Claire Diaz Ortiz during the Work By Design Summit in 2016 and was reminded of it when she posted about her word for 2017, Essential.

I wanted to know more about this concept and so I went looking around for more information. In a nutshell, a word of the year is a single word, rather than a New Year’s resolution, to help with focus, goal setting, and even daily activities and decision making. Cool, right?

It got me thinking… what would my word be? Essential is a good word. In fact, with all the messages I’m getting lately about simplifying and minimalism, essential seems like a pretty great word to focus on. But it wasn’t MY word, and I like to do things my own way. So I started brainstorming.

I had just started again working through the first chapter of Ruth Soukup’s How to Blog for Profit Without Selling Your Soul, where she talks about finding your awesome. I made a list of the things I love talking about, reading about, learning about, what gets me excited, and right after stuff about my spiritual journey, came this list: Home decor, design, redecorating; homebirthing, homeschooling, homesteading; the concept of “home” from a cultural standpoint… seeing a pattern?

As you may have guessed, my word is HOME. My one word, the word that will provide me with focus, clarity, direction in my daily activities, and motivation in setting and achieving my and my family’s goals for the coming year and beyond, not to mention a platform on which to base a full year’s worth of blog posts… that word is HOME.

Do you have a word for the year? You can learn more about it here and here and even find your word tribe. Have fun and keep being.