Stuffed Empty

Stuffed Empty

I have to admit. I’ve been feeling over-indulged. Stuffed with all manner of rich food. Glutted on parties and get-togethers and celebrations. Overrun by glitter and pine needles and errant wrapping bits and boxes.

I’ve been sitting idly by for the last few days while my fellow bloggers  — and even Facebook friends — post “Best of” year-end lists; musings on what they’ve seen, learned, or did over the past year; their top blog posts; meaningful reflections.

And, I say to myself: Really? You can manage this after the mad-dash, crazy-feast, {often, and sadly, yes} unholy stampede that was Christmas?  {I can manage a cup of coffee right now. That’s about it.}

If you’re one of these blissed-out, pensive souls, I envy you. I do.

I’m dry as a bone and stuffed as a pig. Yet somehow, empty. Tell me I’m not the only one who feels this way. {Comments box below, ahem.}

The irony is not lost on me. During one of the holiest times of the year — the holiday that celebrates our Jesus’ birth — I find myself feeling lost, tired, and disengaged by the time it’s all over. This is not to say that I didn’t experience moments of pure holy beauty, connection, joy. This is not to say I didn’t enjoy the blessings of family and friends.

But, let’s just say I’m glad today’s January. And, here’s why.

I’m coming to terms with my annual stuffed-to-the-point-of-emptiness breakdown spiritual awakening {á la Brené Brown’s The Gifts of Imperfection}. You see, God likes empty. Imagine what He can do with us when we hold less distractions. Just think how He loves to hear: I’m yours God, because I’ve gotten nothing left in me now and I need You.

Or, think of it another way: If we’re vessels to catch God’s goodness, then we can gather more when we’re empty than full.

I’m glad to be empty and overwrought and undone this New Year.  Because that means I’m ready for the work God means to do in me this year.

I’m going to let you in on a little secret: 2013 is going to be big for me — and a group of 98 other talented and dream-filled ladies too. We’re all part of author Holley Gerth’s God-sized Dream Team. You’ll be hearing me talk more about this team and what we’re up to in the weeks to come, so stay tuned. Also, as a bonus for those of us needing a jump start this New Year, Holley’s new e-book, “Do What You Can” Plan: 21 Days to Making Any Area of Your Life Better just released today — and only for today, it’s totally free! After today, it’s still a steal for only $2.99. As someone who’s gotten a sneak peek at the book a couple of weeks early, I have to tell you, honestly, that this lovely little gem will empower you, inspire you, and get you going — all while leaving you feeling you’ve just been having a series of cozy coffee dates with a trusted friend. Holley just has this way about her, and I know you will love to get to know her and unlock your God-given potential, under her kind guidance.

 All images copyright Elizabeth May, 2012.
The post was gladly shared at: Playdates with God, Grace-Laced MondaysHeart+Home Linkup, and Soli Deo Gloria.

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  1. I guess I fall into the “blissed-out, pensive souls category! Yet I too am glad to see the end of a jam packed month, that yes is now more commercial than the religious experience it is meant to be. But like you, I have experienced great moments of joy this Christmas like when Nick unprompted, started singing “Happy Birthday to God” at the breakfast table Christmas morning-much to my delight & surprise! The kind that brings tears of joy down your face when you realize your kids “get it”! Or when Dave read from the book of Matthew about the real Christmas story and the kids were quiet, interested & listening… Which then lead to more discussions… But yes, I look forward to the new beginnings that January brings! And thank you for the blurb above on the free book, which I just downloaded. I will be watching you on your journey with Holley!

  2. Visiting from SDG…enjoyed your post. A verse that came up for me yesterday on a subscription to Bible Gateway’s verse of the day was Isaiah 43:16,18-19. It is a great reminder to forget what is past and gone and to look forward to what God will be doing. So encouraging when we are “stuffed empty.” The hope that He gives us can truly fill us up!
    Sharon recently posted..Grandpa’s GardenMy Profile

  3. Thanks for the ebook, Beth! I’m sitting here looking at the mess that is my living room and thinking I need to get organized ASAP! Personally, I don’t necessarily feel “empty” so much as melancholy at this time of the year…I’m a real sentimentalist!

  4. Oh, friend, you are not alone :). Here it is after noon and I am still in my pjs. I don’t want to jump back in because I haven’t the energy! Thank you for sharing your own empty here. Yes, yes, God wants our hands empty so he can fill, doesn’t He? So grateful to be dreaming with you in 2013!
    laura recently posted..Playdates With God: Snow DanceMy Profile

  5. Beth, you just get better and better at this blog! You eloquently captured so much of what I have been feeling, but put a positive spin on it that changed my whole perspective. I had moments of such joy and connection with God over the holidays, but it was mixed with annoyance at the busy-ness of everything, the obligations, and the let down when real life pushes out that holy bond! (I sometimes want to live at church, to keep that feeling so strong and powerful and joyous:) ) All of that did leave me feeling empty, but I love seeing that emptiness as a blessing. How hopeful that makes me feel!! Thank you:)
    Beth recently posted..Baby Burp Cloths, Set of Six with Matching Appliqued Onesie Amy Butler fabrics by GraceInAbundanceMy Profile

  6. It has taken me many years, but I finally got close to being empty this year to make room for Christ. Not fully successful, but there was some progress. I found a new Advent devotional (well, okay, one that had been stuffed in my closet for years) and was as diligent as I could be to do it.

    There have been so many years that I have been where you are. I am so glad that you shared so open and honestly. And I got Holley’s book today!! 🙂
    Jen Ferguson recently posted..Happy New Year and the Soli Deo Gloria PartyMy Profile

  7. 2012 was my first Christmas as a true ’empty-nester’ and yes I feel the emptiness. I tried to fill the imagined void with projects and shopping for friends and family, however that only provided temporary distractions. I faithfully read my fav blogs each day and feel like a stranger on the outside looking through a glass where everyone inside is organized, focused, on-task and progressing forward into 2013 without me. You captured my exact state of mind and heart with “I can manage a cup of coffee right now”–thanks for your honesty.
    After much procrastination and couch time, I picked up my pen and paper and began a simple list of spiritual lessons I learned in 2012 and blessings I experienced. I am getting a clearer picture of areas of emptiness that I plan to put on my prayer list for God to fill and change in me.

    • I am so glad to know you were with me on this. I felt exactly as you described, reading other blogs, seeing how everyone was so on task. And, isn’t amazing, though, when we let go of comparisons and pick up pen and paper (or laptop and mouse) and seek God, how our view changes? I felt so much lighter, better, just writing this post and releasing it.
      seasonswithsoul recently posted..Of Pashminas and EpiphaniesMy Profile

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