Me {First}.

Today’s post comes from Live Brave founder and creator, Lesley Glenn

I am not sure when it happened in the 30 years of being a Christian.

Or how it happened.

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I just know it did.

The indoctrination of “giving it all away, in the name of Jesus.”

Maybe I did it to myself.

Maybe I heard wrong, learned wrong, studied wrong.

I think I had a little bit of help though.

The words used were powerful; self sacrifice, humbleness, less of me, surrender, you owe your life, give till it hurts, ….

This scripture always brought up in sacrificial giving.

“The Widow’s Mite”  Luke 21:1-4 (see note below)*

I had a wake up call,  in regard to the misconception of  what it means to minister, give my life away, be generous, sacrifice, stewardship, friendships, relationships and legacy.

The reality of living this type of life starts with the intention of me {First}.

My epiphany started when I  first heard about the Jewish tradition of the Havdalah service and their perspective on giving.

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The Havdalah service is recited over a cup of wine that runs over into the saucer beneath. This overflowing cup symbolizes the intention to produce during the week ahead not only sufficient to fill one’s own cup, but also an excess that will allow overflow for the benefit of others. In other words, I am obliged to first fill my cup and then continue pouring as it were, so that I will have sufficient to give away to others, thus helping to jump-start their own efforts. (Lapin, 150)**

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Wait, what?

Fill my cup first?

YES.

Me first?

YES.

Family first?

YES.

The  dimmed light started to flicker in my head…..

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I used to be a flight attendant.

When we demonstrated  the safety equipment, we always told the  passengers  in case of loss of air pressure to secure their own mask first, and then their child’s or, before  helping anyone else with theirs.

We have to be told this because  in any emergency or non emergency situation, we will often think of our children, family, neighbors, church, community, etc first.

But what good are we, or how much can we actually help if we can’t breathe ourselves.

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As the light in my head moved from flickering to a full flame, it made me think of the past 30 years of “working” to get it right. When I passed a homeless person on the street,  I always gave them money.  When it came to ministry and calling,  I always gave it away, even when I needed to bring in an income.  I felt an obligation to give more, be more.   It made me think of how we as a Christian culture push people to give whose cups are empty or half full and then get upset when they can’t give anymore or give at all.  We applaud and celebrate the empty cups of others, and call it sacrifice.  We often, guilt  people into offering so as to please God.

I am not just talking about money, but also career, ministry, volunteer work, relationships, friendships.

A very wise Godly man (my dad), told me recently,

“God will never ask you to give away what you don’t have”

But, we in the name of God do this ALL.THE.TIME.

I have been guilty of this very thing, running my non profit, Dandelion Wishes. For  three  years, I was  getting upset that people weren’t catching the vision, they weren’t doing their part. (insert social justice policing here)  When in actuality, they didn’t have their cups overflowing to give anything more, and neither was my cup full.  They couldn’t give what they didn’t have and I couldn’t give what I didn’t have. It is self righteous to think and act in a manner that we think makes us more spiritual, more pleasing to God by giving away everything.

“God will never ask you to give away what you don’t have”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

My perspective has changed now.

For the past year, it has been about ME, my family,  and my inner circle of friends,  as it should be when one is fighting a deadly disease, no one will fault me for that.

But as I have been regaining my health and stamina, something in me is not the same.  I no longer want to ride on the saddle of the horse named, “Give it all away.”  Instead, I stand with a banner that says, “My cup is full”

IMMe first

When my cup is full, the overflow happens naturally and passionately, to the people, places and things that matter to me and that matter to God.  

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Lesley is a devoted wife, and mother, loyal friend and sister, and loving daughter.  She is an artist, and writer, a world traveler, and a  social entrepreneur.  Lesley lives a life cultivating gratitude, knowing that each moment is an opportunity and each day an adventure.  She believes that her only mission in life is to breathe heaven on earth by being fully present.  

*(if you look at the context of the scripture and remove the chapter and verse breaks, what you will really find is an exposing of a greedy system )

http://www.truthforfree.com/?p=1333  (The Myth of the Widow’s Mite)     and  Click Here: Post by Mike Glenn.

**Thou Shall Prosper by Rabbi Daniel Lappin 

Photo Creds: Lesley Glenn

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7 thoughts on “Me {First}.

  1. When my cup is full, the overflow happens naturally and passionately, to the people, places and things that matter to me and that matter to God.
    This line says it all. We cannot give what we do not have. It gets really messy and sometimes downright ugly when we try to give out of our emptiness. Crazy thing is, sometimes we have no clue that we are so bone dry that our insides are cracked. That is like trying to squeeze wine out of a raisin! I celebrate your full cup overflowing naturally, passionately wherever God leads you. I trust Him in you as you love deeply, authentically to those who matter to you and PaPa most. Love you!!!

  2. Thank you for this Lesley! The timing couldn’t have been more perfect. You always challenge me to look/think outside the box. Your last sentence just says it all – brilliant!

  3. As a new Mom, this could not resonate more. I want our daughter to “have it all” and often it is at the expense of myself. If I am not full in Him first, then what am I pouring into her? More of myself? Yes, she needs me, but she needs the FULL me. Thank you for sharing.

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