Be Filled Up So You Can Pour Out

Fill Up by Holley Gerth

I stand behind a small table at a wedding shower with a ladle in my hand. I’ve brought a quintessential southern punch—lime sherbet with ginger ale. Have you experienced this bliss? If not, you need to come see me for a special occasion in your life.

The guests pass through the line of quiche, chicken salad, fruit, petit fours and other treats. Then they stand before me and look expectantly. I reach down into the green bowl of goodness then offer cups to those who are waiting. Everyone walks away satisfied.

As I think about this later, I realize I often feel like the girl standing behind the punch bowl in other ways too. I imagine you do as well. We have people in our lives coming to us for something—encouragement, hope, dinner, diaper changes. Yes, it’s quite the variety. And it can be overwhelming.

Most often we’re told to go “refill our pitcher so we can pour out.” In other words, take a significant amount of time to be refreshed. But {confession} I’ve always had trouble living that way. With a busy schedule, I treasure those times but they’re fewer than I’d like. What do I do in the meantime? I learned a lesson from the punch bowl that day. And I think you need to hear it too because it makes a whole lot more sense.

Here’s how we’re meant to live in a punch bowl life: we pour a little out, we fill a little up, we pour a little out, we fill a little up.

How can we do that? Some ideas…

In conversations, we can take time to share our needs too.

We can lock ourselves in the bathroom for just five minutes to catch our breath and pray while our toddler plays.

We can walk away from the computer when social media begins to feel overwhelming and instead spend time with friends in real life.

Most of all, we can go to Jesus and say: “I’m empty. How do you want to refresh me?” On our own we will always run dry. But Jesus promises us “living water” that fills us up with what we need to offer others (John 7:38). We can always go to him—not just in the times when we can get away for a significant time but also moment-to-moment.

By the end of the wedding shower, the punch truly had run out. There was nothing left to offer. But it seemed everyone went home satisfied anyway. It had been enough. And when we fill up and give out, what we have to offer will be enough too.

Take care of yourself, friend. You don’t have to stand behind the punch bowl with an empty ladle. And you are worth filling up because you are a woman who knows how to pour out in wonderful ways.


Holley Gerth

p.s. I spent this weekend with part of the God-sized Dream team in Branson, Missouri. I’m so thankful for these wonderful women and grateful to DaySpring and Revell for all they added to our time together! They fill me up…

GSDT Branson 2014

About Holley

About Holley

Wall Street Journal Bestselling Author and Life Coach

I like humans, words, and good coffee. And I’d love to help you beat what’s holding you back, become all you’re created to be, and kick butt for the greater good.

Cheering you on,


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