Tag Archives: love

A Rat Toy for Valentine’s Day?

I’m writing this on Valentine’s Day. No, my husband did not surprise me with a rat toy this morning. In honor of this day of love, I wanted to share a thought that’s been tumbling around in my heart a lot lately. It has, in fact, been changing my heart since I first heard it this past fall from Barb Wilson.

The thought is this: I’m living in a hamster ball.

Not a hamster wheel, a hamster ball. If you pictured the wheel first, I can understand. I often get confused and think it’s a wheel that I’m in, but it’s actually the fully-encompassing sphere.

The difference is so immense it’s nearly indescribable.

On the wheel, I’d run and run and never get anywhere. I’d grind away the days in joyless scrambling. I’d also be exposed to anything that comes along (like my cat, Rusty).

So, it’s a good thing I’m in the ball instead. Inside this enclosure, I am completely surrounded. I can’t escape it, and nothing outside of it can harm me. I may take a spill down the stairs or get pushed around by a feline. In either case, I may get jostled around a bit, but, in the end, I’m ok.

I can roll for miles and miles, free to roam wherever I please, and, wherever I go, I’m still inside this ball. A glance in any direction reveals its surrounding presence. It’s inescapable.

But that’s ok. I don’t want to escape it. The sphere that holds me safely inside is a picture of God’s love.

His love surrounds me, carries me, and protects me. Everywhere I look, it’s there. Everywhere I go, it’s there. No matter what I do, it’s there.

I pray you know God and can enjoy your own hamster ball. There’s truly nothing else like being wrapped in his indestructible, unending, unconditional love.

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39

Fill ‘er up, God!

I’m not a coffee drinker. Never have been. My taste buds don’t crave that bean. They prefer the sweeter cocoa variety. With an overarching saccharine inclination, my beverage choices lean toward hot chocolate, sweet tea, fruit juices, and, when I want to get really crazy, Mountain Dew.

As tasty as these treats are, at the end of the day, they are not what I prefer fill my cup.

Reading one recent morning (glass of orange juice in hand,) I encountered the following words, and was given a fresh vision of what “my cup runneth over” truly looks like.

“that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.”

This statement, part of Paul’s prayer for the Ephesians, created for me a vivid picture of God’s love. These words are the last of a sentence that begins:

“And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—

that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.”

I imagined what it would look like to be filled to the measure. Completely full. Overflowing. A cup running over.


Me, the chalice, overflowing with God. A constant stream of His love filling me up and spilling over the sides. Other things try to get in – the murky liquids of anxiety, despair, insecurity, lies – but there’s simply no room.

The flow from God is so strong, streaming over the sides of my cup, a constant river of His love, glory, hope, and peace, that it shoves everything else out in the abundance of its flow.

This  is the fullness my soul longs for. My prayer, like Paul’s for the Ephesians, is to fully grasp the love of the Lord, and be filled with it, to the measure, so that my cup runneth over with it each and every day.

Fill me up, Lord!


What fills your cup?