Five Minute Friday scribblings, God, Life

Give: Giving On Empty

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By +Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

My Five Minute Friday prompt this week is—GIVE. This largely unedited “rough draft” form of writing stretches this perfectionist, in the best of ways. I write for five minutes on a given topic. If you’re interested in learning more about 5-Minute Fridays, check out our hostess, Kate Motaung’s site. Or, click on the link at the bottom of this post. As you read my simpler Friday posts, I hope you’ll join in the conversation!


Have you ever had one of those days? You know, the kind where you pour out and give of yourself and serve and  . . . the list goes on. You come to the end of the day exhausted, weary. And just plain DONE.

As a mom and as a wife, as a friend and as a daughter of God, sometimes I feel as though I have nothing left to give. The kid comes to me for the third time that day asking for forgiveness for mean words spoken.

The green beans burn on the stove top as I help with homework.

Snow falls and needs shoveling and the husband is out of town.

A friend calls with the worst kind of news to be shared.

I am empty.

Bread Dough Overflow

It’s when I come to the end of myself—of my reserves—that I see how much I need God. I need Him to fill me with Himself so I can continue to give to those He places in my daily path. I need to lean hard into Him, asking for His help.
I can’t do life on my own.

We’re heading into what could become a chaotic season, a time of celebrating Jesus’ birth and all He’s given to us. It’s imperative that I—that we—spend quiet time with him daily. It’s only after coming into His presence that we can offer the gift of ourselves to others.

My desire is to be His light, speak His encouraging words, be His hug to someone hurting. I want to be a gift to those around me. To give of myself to help them feel better.

WillowTree Creché

To give beyond my resources, I must ask the Lord to fill me with Himself. I can only give of Jesus when I’ve been with Him.

As we step into Christmas busy-ness, let’s purpose to give our time, our worship to the One who’s given everything to us.

What about you? How do you give of yourself to others? What do you do when you feel empty?

Vist Kate Motaung’s Five Minute Friday post—Give

11 thoughts on “Give: Giving On Empty”

  1. I hope you emptiness can be filled, always.

    For me, it is not empty, but too full. Yesterday – Thanksgiving – I watched the Macy’s Parade and some of the programming that followed, and was overwhelmed. In my mind it is 1990, as a result of the pain-induced “Memory Wipe”; while I can adapt to the current technology, the cultural changes are beyond my ken, and it’s very disheartening.

    Still, Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. And dogs don’t use technology, so I have a place in which I may rest.

    May God bless you today, this weekend, and always.


    1. Andrew, the cultural shock must have been a difficult thing to grapple with. I am truly sorry. You’re right to cling to the truths about Jesus, because He never changes.

      And yes, God has a way of filling my emptiness. I make it much easier for Him to do so when I yield to Him. 🙂

      I’m continuing to pray for you, friend.


  2. I need the focus of this: “Let’s purpose to give our time, our worship…” He is teaching me that my walk needs to be intentional. I am not going to accidentally focus on God. But my world is better when I do focus on Him intentionally. I have that same nativity. It is a favorite of mine! I need to get it put up. Thank you for the reminder this morning! Joining you at #fmfparty


    1. Traci, YES. Our walk with Jesus does need to be intentional. If it’s not, then we’re moving away from Him. The nativity picture was actually taken at a friend’s home. I wish I had it though. I love the simplicity of the lines. 🙂

      I’m so glad you stopped by! Have a wonderful weekend.


  3. Love your post (as always). Loved the line, ” It’s only after coming into His presence that we can offer the gift of ourselves to others”…..I totally agree. We need quiet time with Him and, from that, we replenish ourselves to be able to give ourselves to others. When I feel empty….I stop, take stock and give thanks. I remember what a joy it is to be alive, and give thanks for everyone and everything I know. I can then move on, again, battery’s charged [for a little while longer 😉 …. repeat cycle ;)]


    1. I like that you stop, take stock and give thanks when you feel empty. I wish I was better at making that my first response. 🙂 And you’re right. Our batteries only stay charged for a little while. That God, He’s got the perfect ways of drawing us close to Him, doesn’t He? 🙂 Have a beautiful weekend!


      1. Giving thanks: it’s become my ‘self protection’ mechanism! Love what you say about how God draws us close to Him: I hadn’t thought of it like that and it’s such a beautiful way to do so. Thank you.


  4. I want to be a gift to those around me… such true words. Sometimes it is the hardest for me to be this way for those closest to me. This season, I have been so convicted to not take for granted the people God has placed in my life… especially my husband! Thank you Jeanne for a wonderful reminder! Hope you had a blessed Thanksgiving!


    1. Kim, sometimes it’s hard to not take those closest to us for granted. I am often challenged to treasure them. We don’t know what tomorrow holds. I hope the Lord gives you all you need to be a gift to your husband and children!


  5. Such timely words, Jeanne…they touched my heart today. It’s been a chaotic lately and God too impressed on my heart today the absolute need to sit at his feet in this “season”…to just treasure Him and want for nothing but more of Him. Giving is good, but you are right we need to be plugged into the source before we can pour out. Blessings, friend.

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    1. Tiffany, may we both be intentional about taking time to “plug into the Source” during this season. It’s a challenge some days, but it’s also a necessity. 🙂 Especially when the days are busy and the kids are needing. Have a wonderful weekend!

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