I once heard a mom referred to as “an old worn out goat.”
It got me to thinking.
Then it got me convicted…because there are days I cave to the exhaustion of mothering.
Then it got me wondering how my children would describe me.
Then it got me to prayer. “Lord, how do I make biblical matrimony and motherhood irresistible to my daughters, even when I am tired and overwhelmed?” (’cause what mom isn’t sometimes?)
The answer came to me unexpectedly one day when someone used the term “well-watered.”
“That’s it!” I thought. “A well watered woman is an irresistible woman.” So I began a biblical search on how to live well-watered. I mean, really live it.
What are some of the ways a woman can live nourished and succored so that what she oozes out day by day is irresistible to her daughters?
It should be no surprise to us that the bible is chock-full of very pointed instruction (Insert a Yippee!) when it comes to living well watered. The instruction is right there for us, if we will take the time to listen and follow it. Passages such as Jeremiah 17 and Psalm 1 teach us how to find life-giving nourishment even in a parched land. We also have female examples such as the widow in I Kings 17 and Esther who model for us how to practically live it out.
In my study, I found five principles for living well watered. I try to keep these principles in my mind so that my daily life is shaped by them. As imperfect as I am at it, I’m finding my responses more and more defined by these principles.
Today I’d like to briefly share the first principle to living well-watered. I Kings 17:11f tells us of the widow going to get a cup of water for Elijah:
“As she was going to get (the water), he called to her and said, “Please bring me a piece of bread in your hand.”
But she said, “As the LORD your God lives, I have no bread…only a handful of flour in the bowl and a little oil in the jar; and behold, I am gathering a few sticks that I may go in and prepare for me and my son, that we may eat it and die.”
Then Elijah said to her, “Do not fear; go, do as you have said, but make me a little bread cake from it first and bring it out to me, and afterward you may make one for yourself and for your son. For this says the LORD God of Israel, “The bowl of flour shall not be exhausted nor shall the jar of oil be empty, until the day that the LORD sends rain on the face of the earth.”
This widow woman illustrates that when we feel our resources are stretched, we tend to focus on what we don’t have and what detriment will come to us. But Elijah’s response teaches us to think and act counter-intuitively.
This widow woman actually ended up living nurtured and cared for, with plenty to sustain her and her son…and enough to feed Elijah with as well. But it didn’t happen through hoarding and reserving her resources or avoiding risk. It happened by living counter-intuitively.
Jesus says in Luke 6:36 “Give, and it shall be given to you…”
The first principle to being a well watered woman is to live counter intuitively.
When the demands of your children seem to suck you dry, remember that jar of oil that never ran dry. Is it possible that the little bit you seem to have left will be multiplied when you offer it up and pour out what seems to be every last drop?
When you haven’t had a good quiet time in days because of sick kids or interruptions that never cease, remember the flour that wasn’t exhausted, the provisions miraculously there for this woman so that she could continue nourishing her household.
Against the odds, the widow lived well watered. And she did it by choosing to act counter intuitively.
Living counter-intuitively starts with thinking counter intuitively. This week, try this exercise: Each time you catch yourself thinking “I can’t do this.” “I don’t have anything else to give” or “I wish I could just be left alone for five minutes” or other similar thoughts, stop yourself. Then remind yourself of the widow and quote this scripture.
Make the choice in your mind to reject the natural way of thinking and then choose to act counter-intuitively. Ask, “What would it look like to pick up the jar of oil and pour it out?”
Then do it!
“So she went and did according to the word of Elijah and she and he and her household ate for many days. The bowl of flour was not exhausted nor did the jar of oil become empty, according to the word of the LORD.” I Kings 17:14