Running on Empty

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I pretty much still consider myself an amateur at this whole ‘adulting’ thing in most areas of my life, but especially so when it comes to grocery shopping and making meals.  I’ve got the basics down (I mean, it has been two whole years..) but not quite the science of buying groceries in an efficient way.  Here’s what I mean.. I go to the store, typically without a list (probably mistake #1) and then I wander around, usually through the majority of the aisles, and pick up things I need as I go.  I’ve seen my mom do this many times, but when we get home she somehow ends up with enough items to make a week’s worth of meals, I swear.  I, on the other hand, get home, unpack everything and realize I bought yogurt, bananas, apples, eggs, chicken breasts, and probably spaghetti noodles.  Can’t make a whole lot of meals with those ingredients… So, I live off of the random items I buy for as long as I can, then when I literally have nothing left to even put a makeshift meal together, I return to the store, and what do you know…buy pretty much all of the same items! And so, the cycle repeats.

As I got up this morning, I stood at the fridge with a rumbling stomach trying to figure out what I could eat to suffice until I went to the store.  I had put off buying groceries last week because I knew I would be out of town for the weekend (my bestie got married + literally had the most beautiful, perfect wedding I’ve ever been to!).  So naturally, I found myself in the same predicament when I got home.  I had a quick bite of banana bread that my mom so kindly made for me (she’s the best) and then ran to get groceries.

But as I stood at the fridge I realized that not only does this routinely happen with my groceries, but also in my relationship with God.  I refuel my faith and need for Him at the beginning of the week, or at certain points in my life, and then I sit back and run on my own for as long as I can.  I forget that I really need Jesus, until He’s all I have left; the same being true with my groceries.  I go through the week needing God as little as I can, thinking I can handle it on my own, and then all of a sudden, I have nothing left—my fridge of faith is empty once again.  There’s nothing left inside of me to nourish my soul or feed my faith anymore.  I feel that same rumble in my heart and soul as I do in my stomach when I stand at the fridge hungry for a sustaining meal.  I find that need to refill myself with God as much as I need to refill my fridge with food.

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So, here’s what I’ve learned… It’s best not to wait until the fridge is barren to return to the store.  In the same way, it’s best not to run yourself empty before you to run back to God.  My relationship with the Lord is so much more fruitful and fulfilling when I continuously run to Him on a daily basis.  If I do so before the meter in my life reads ‘E’ I’m so much better off.  God doesn’t want us only to want him when He’s all we’ve got left.  Instead, He rejoices in our ever-constant need for him day in and day out.  He does promise to be there every time we run ourselves empty, however it’s so much easier to run on a steady supply of his goodness and grace.  He doesn’t just provide random needs to barely keep us going, he provides all the fruits of the spirit (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control) — all the ingredients to fill our hunger and restore us.

I’m challenging myself to be better at two things: grocery shopping and spending time with Jesus.  If you’ve got this adulting thing down, then I just encourage you to challenge yourself to spend more time with Jesus.  The next time you go to refill your fridge, remind yourself to refill on Jesus, too.  Run to him before you run out.  Get up in the morning and fill your spirit up with a good dose of prayer, bible time, worship, or whatever you like best.  I promise you’ll be fulfilled, because God’s just that good!

 

Thanks so much for reading along!

-Natalie

PS: currently accepting all tips and tricks on effective grocery shopping + meal planning 🙂

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