If you’re empty, exhausted, or overwhelmed today, this is for you.
To be honest, I wrote it for myself because I desperately needed a reminder of hope in the midst of the crazy.
I took this picture of limestone and teal, of bright red flowers blooming tall, two years ago. And then two days later, I found myself sitting at my little white desk in Alabama, no longer standing on cobblestones in Jerusalem.
I came home to 400+ work emails and countless projects waiting. This time, while preparing for my second trip to Israel, I knew better. I knew the chaos that was sure to greet me, and so I purposely planned and prepared ahead of time, determined to make space for my soul to breathe upon arriving back home. I walked straight into the crazy, working overtime for weeks so there would be built-in time afterward to recover, to sleep, to process all I had seen and simply… be.
It didn’t quite work out how I had planned.
After multiple delays and canceled flights, I walked through the front door, tossed the first load of clothes in the wash, took a deep breath and opened the computer to get a handle on what would be waiting for me on Monday morning.
And then I promptly said goodbye to the idea of rest. A mix of circumstances out of my control, poor communication, and decisions made by others swirled into the perfect storm that needed immediate attention.
I’m sure you’ve been there, too — desperate for rest, empty and exhausted, craving slow and quiet.
I worked all weekend, from sun up to sun down, and then Monday morning dawned and more was needed but there was nothing left to give.
And so before I opened the computer or looked at the to-do list, I reached for my phone and scrolled through pictures from Israel. I was nearly to the end when I stopped at this one, taken on our final day, of a familiar teal door against a wall of limestone.
I wrote a letter of sorts to myself that morning, and then I decided to share it on Instagram.
Turns out, I wasn’t the only one showing up to a new week already depleted. And surprise surprise, I’ve needed these words all over again several Mondays since. Steal them for yourself, return to them when you’re empty, and know that you’re going to make it. He will be enough.
Because of an unexpected situation, I spent my weekend working and fixing instead of resting. And now we’re here, Monday morning, and I’m already empty. It’s “back to normal” with a huge dose of overwhelm as I attempt to catch up on all the things.
But there’s this picture, this pop of color on an old door built into an even older building. You can’t tell from this angle, but the flowers are dying, surrounded by weeds.
This is what I’m preaching to myself today. If you’re showing up to a new week with empty hands, I hope these words will encourage you:
The answer isn’t in doing more, in hustling or hurrying or striving.
And the upside-down truth is, you can overflow and be empty at the same time.
So before you pour out, go ahead and fill up — with the right things. There are new mercies available every morning, and you’re welcome to them.
Slow down, hit pause, and look for the good that’s all around.
You’ll find it in a cup of coffee, a smile from a stranger, old words of Truth that stand the test of time. You’ll hear it in an encouraging voicemail, in the perfectly-timed song on the radio, in the birds chirping outside your window.
He will be (more than) enough, so walk into a new week with empty hands that are open and expectant. Serve well. Rest well. Keep your eyes open for the #beautifulordinarynow and you’re sure to find it — and Him — already there.
Related post: if you’re flat-out exhausted, this is for you.