Wednesday, January 09, 2008

What feeds you?

At Living Room this Friday we're going to discuss what activities feed us and what activities drain us. When I think of what feeds me most, giving me joy, peace, energy, and satisfaction, I can see how important God's commandments are to my day-to-day life. God's commandment to love God, love others, and love ourselves are not merely given to us because it's a good thing to do or because we need to do it to please God. God gave us these commandments because he cares for us and wants the best for us. It's not just good for God - it's good for us.

I've learned that when I do things that flow out of love I receive feelings of joy and satisfaction. When I do things simply because I think I should, because they're a chore, I get dragged down - drained of energy and joy.

Jesus said to the Samaritan woman at the well, "Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life." John 4:13-14. Jesus referred to this spiritual water as "living water."

I've always sort of known what he meant by "living water," but was never able to quite define it to myself in words. But in the meditating I've been doing lately, I think I've come up with what he meant: God's love flows into us and then flows out from us to others - never lying still or becoming stagnant - always flowing. In the receiving and giving it quenches our thirst; it feeds us; it produces an abundant life. This is the Holy Spirit living within us, helping us to be the kind of people God wants us to be and helping us live the kind of lives that will be fulfilling.

For me, supporting people with mood disorders, both in bloggerland and in the world around me, feeds me tremendously. It gives me great joy. Cleaning house when I'm expecting friends over is okay too, especially if I listen to some good music while doing it. But when I have to dust, vacuum, and clean the bathrooms simply because "I should," that's draining - it's a drag.

So...What activities feed you? And what activities drain you? Where do you find most joy and fulfillment?


Merelyme said...

i would agree...doing things for others is always so much more enjoyable. i find that i am most happy and fueled when i am engaging in something creative. that act of making something new gives me hope. great post my friend.

and also thank you for your contributions to the little "discussion" on my blog about depression. i do think it made a great difference.

Dream Writer said...

Great post and I Do agree. Not only is helping others a gift but it is a positive act that keeps us going.

We need fulfillment in our lives and each person has their own way to fulfill themselves.

marja said...

Thanks, Merelyme and Dream. Yes, creative work feeds me well too. And when the creative work I do is going to help others or when it's done as a gift for someone else, then it's even more fulfilling. Being able to make something that will give others pleasure is a gift. And every one of us has some kind of gift we can share with others.

Dancer said...

excellent post marja! i also like to take a step back from time to time and ask that very question.."what do i enjoy"...when i re-focus, i feel energized for life.

Syd said...

Great post Marja, and a very important question. I believe that in helping others, we help ourselves, so it's a win-win, which is always nice. :)

Other things that feed me are: listening to uplighting music, knitting, blogging and spending time with the people that I love.

Dream Writer said...

Please grab your Lions Award within my blog. I awarded this to you for your powerful words within your blog :)

Dream Writer said...

It is real easy. Go to the award and put your arrow on the award and right click. Click on "Save Picture as" and save it in a program you want..RE: My Pictures, Desktop and so on.

Then go into your blog functions and upload the picture. If you have the new version of blogger it is real easy to upload a picture.

+PHc said...

Or, if you have a Mac: drag cursor across Lion picture top left to bottom right. Then click it onto desktop and name it. The on your bog dashboard, hit customize, then hit the top "add page element" box. Then choose add picture. Unclick "shrink to fit." Pick "from my computer" rather than "from the web" then hit the button there that says "choose file" and scroll down in new window, till you see whatever you named your Lion picture. Hit that. Then hit button in the bottom in pictures box that says that says "select" or "save changes." It'll spin around saying "saving." If the spinning stalls and nothing seems to have happened, ignore that and hit "save" on main blog page outside of box once or twice till it says "changes saved, view blog." View blog. View Lion!

+PHc said...

I forgot to say cut and paste Lion picture to get it onto desktop after dragging cursor across it.

- Sorry if I'm giving more instructions than you need, it's just that the computer literate people in my family who I usually consult aren't bloggers and often can't help me anymore so I've had to learn little by little, slowly. (I had to ask Whimsy how to get my Lion too.)

Who knew God would come to us and be passed on by us to others in the form of a hot pink lion.

Anonymous said...

I don't know if this comment belongs in this section, but I did want to ask a question. What are some your hints to "keep going" when you really feel depressed and just want to stay in bed all day but know that you can't because of family responsibilities? I take Prozac daily, but because I'm 47 and perimenopausal, I don't think it is working too well at certain times of the month. My kids are 21 (in college), 17 ( a senior) and 15...and I can't just lay down and say "out of order" today. But that's the way I feel.
By the way, I appreciate your faith-filled posts very much. I sometimes feel guilty that being a Christian, I don't always feel or show "the joy of the Lord" because of depressive feelings and I'm not always that good at hiding them.
Sandy M

Jim said...


Merelyme told me to come to your site because I write similar as you do. Based from what I have read, I am adding you to my "read blogger list". I think you and I have alot in common relating to spiritual as well as disability.

I will come back tonight to do some reading when I have more free time.

Just saying "Hi" and nice to meet ya.


marja said...

Hi Sandy: I'm going to write my next post to you.

and Hi Jim: I'm pleased to meet you as well. I had a real quick peek at your site and I want to read it and get to know you better.

For now, though, I'm in "worry" mode and finding it hard to concentrate on blogging. My mom-in-law is doing poorly and I may have to travel to take her to the doctor. I'm anxious to get back though - so much to share. Hopefully tonight my "worry" thoughts will be sorted out a bit.

+PHc said...

Blessings to your mom-in-law, and peace to your worrying.

Cathy said...

Hi folks. I'm new to this blog and have enjoyed going over everyone's comments. Clearly we are all concerned with surviving and thriving.
I have a burning question these days, forgive me Marja because it's off-topic. Has this blog touched on the subject of EMpowerplus yet? What do people think? My online research left me with the impression that there are a lot of legitimate concerns about the company but also many anecdotes of success with the product. I've had bipolar all my life and am stunned at the concept of it 'going away.' I see my shrink tomorrow and will ask him. Really, I love my lithium and Paxil (I don't love my Seroquel) and am doing nothing rash. But if something might heal us...