Today I read in Mosiah chapter 2 (The Book of Mormon) and was thinking of how many times I had turned to the scriptures for strength, wisdom, and comfort and gotten it. I thought back on all the years past when I was going through postpartum depression and had been needing that spiritual drink, or that bread of life and looked in the scriptures for it. It filled my jug each time (if my lid wasn't on - and if it was I learned the hard way that the jug has to be open).
I remember reading this same passage when I was pregnant with my first child, experiencing some depression then as well, and thinking that vs. 20-25 were telling us that we should think we are ugly dust that is unprofitable. I did not agree that God would really give us that advice, so I struggled with accepting that scripture for a while. Over the years I have come to a realization of what it meant in my language, which was "God created your body out of the dust of the Earth, which He also created and owns. Your spirit is His literal offspring, and His son has paid the price for your sins. This means that we pretty much owe all we have to God and His son Jesus Christ. Does he ask us to give all we have to Him? Yes. Do we have to give it to Him? No. But, I personally have tried that road at different times in my life, even if just briefly, and I have figured out that for me to live and live happily and wholly, I need to give it all to Him. When the scriptures tell us to trust in him and not in the arm of the flesh, that wasn't just some old geezer telling us some ancient words of wisdom that were just for people who lived back then. This was God telling someone to write these words because they ARE true and WILL ring true forever! "Trust in the Lord with ALL thine heart and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him and he shall direct thy paths!" (Proverbs 3:5-6)
You may think, "If I give all to Him, what will I have left for me?" Well, let's address this question. First of all, if God so loved the world that he gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever would believe in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life, then we can know that he doesn't want us to die. And then if we look at scriptures like Deuteronomy 31:6 that says "Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the Lord thy God, he it is that doth go with thee, he will not fail thee nor forsake thee." we can know that He is the answer when we have battles we feel we cannot fight - alone. When we look to God, we live. When we turn to him He cannot and will not desert us to our foes.
So we've talked about the "If I give all to Him" part of the question, now for the "what will I have left for me" part. This is a very important concern and relates to the second great commandment "Love thy neighbor as thyself." Well if you don't love yourself, your neighbors aren't going to be very happy with the way you are obeying that commandment. What does it mean to love yourself? I will tell you my thoughts, but YOU think about it and pray about it and come up with your own answers. My thoughts: If you don't fill your own jug, it's going to be a lot more difficult for you to fill your children's, or your family's or your neighbor's? Let's be clear here that I am not talking about being selfish. I am talking about taking good care of yourself. To me and in my life, the things that fill my jug are praying, reading scriptures, journaling, getting adequate sleep, drinking enough water, eating nutritious foods, getting exercise, avoiding things that add more stress to my life (like processed foods, suspenseful movies, negative critical thoughts, etc...), serving someone, scheduling in at least 15 minutes relaxation time that is quiet, and music. I wrote those in order, by the way. Your order may be different and that's completely fine, but keep in mind that when you fit the most important things in first, the not-as-important things will settle in the way they need to.
So what fills your jug?