Where I Find Everything I Need – Proverbs 4:20-23

We were minutes away from the small Christian school my children attended and where I volunteered as an aide. My kids, either lost in their books or chatting about different classmates, didn’t notice the thumping sound till I pulled our minivan off the road.

As they started asking questions and I pondered our options, I realized I wasn’t ruffled by the inconvenience of a flat tire. Or being late. Or wearing less-than-great shoes for walking. Or the disappointed voices surrounding me. Or knowing no one nearby who could help.

It was like the bases were already covered. God was with us. I’d invited him into my day, focused my attention on him, worshiped and thanked him, confessed my shortcomings and been washed clean. Because I’d drawn close to him, car trouble wasn’t going to take my joy in him away.

My bucket was full

Our country home sat at the end of a long gravel road, my prayer-walking road. Rising early most mornings, I slipped out to get alone with God. It was my time for prayer and reflection, how I reconnected with what was most important. I called it filling my bucket because I saw my heart as a hungry, needy vessel requiring daily maintenance.

“My son, pay attention to what I say; turn your ear to my words. Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart; for they are life to those who find them and health to one’s whole body. Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it” (Proverbs 4:20-23 NIV).

What’s in your bucket?

When one of the kids left the back door open and the cat came in and chewed on our roast, I didn’t come unglued. And when my little girl put her head in the wrong place and got hit by a flying saucepan, I reached for the one who’d launched it, not with blame or reproach, but with compassion for his anxiety and fear.

Even when our family goes through worse-than-anyone-can-imagine disasters, my bucket is ready to pour out the grace, encouragement, and hope we all need. And when it starts to go dry, I hurry back for a refill—before things get desperate.

To put it simply, when my bucket is full, it’s less “all about me,” and I love living that way.

With a full bucket, I have a refreshing drink when I need it and enough to share with others. I may not always sense God’s presence, or clearly hear his voice, but with a full bucket I’m far more likely to be close to him and find things working out right.

Are you thirsty? I’ve got enough in my bucket to share.

by Kathy Sheldon Davis

Up from the Rabbit Hole – Proverbs 4:20-23

I don’t always realize when the filters of my mind need cleaning.  I feel I’m pretty good at watching what goes into my brain, but when I read Dorcas Smucker’s blog this week I decided I should do some scrubbing.

rabbit costume. ryanmcguire. free pixabay

She wrote about how she “followed the rest of this country down this rabbit hole of insanity” this week when she got overwhelmed by stuff dominating the media. Dorcas even found herself griping about Caitlyn Jenner, that he should have instead transitioned to a gray-haired, saggy-bellied woman in the throes of menopause.

Was that a rant?

I have high regard for Dorcas Smucker’s writing. Like her, I steer clear of going deep into social trends and politics. But here she is, a Mennonite minister’s wife, mother of six, columnist for the Register-Guard and author, and she finds a way to meet most any subject with grace and objectivity. All without adding to our already maxed-out brains.

She delivered just the encouragement I needed this week when she said she dealt with craziness by feeding her hunger for the Bible. She also counsels the discouraged young people in her life by telling them they need more Jesus and more talking with “real people with real voices who speak real words” and less of looking to digital friends.

Like my son would say, “BAM!” I think he means that’s the point!

What a perfect way to describe the thought-cleaning I do. It’s like keeping up on my computer’s maintenance. I don’t wait till it gets sick and performs poorly before I defrag or chkdsk. And I don’t wait till my mind gets gunked up before I scrub the filters with good dose of words of truth from the Bible.

My son, pay attention to what I say; turn your ear to my words. Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart; for they are life to those who find them and health to one’s whole body. Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.


Proverbs 4:20-23 NIV

by Kathy Sheldon Davis

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