Words of affirmation, one of my top love languages. I have plenty of opportunity to put my love language to work being a wife of a hard working husband, mom of three eager to please sons, and mentor to a team of business owners. Quite honestly much of my day is spent pouring into others. And I absolutely LOVE that part of my life.
I also choose to share the positive rather than negative with the world so often times I keep the “crap” bottled up rather than bringing any negative energy into my social media, conversation, or relationships. In our home we talk a lot about our proverbial “bucket“. Filling the buckets of others by acts of kindness, encouraging words, loving gestures. Two of my favorite books to share this concept with children are “Have you Filled a Bucket Today?” and “How Full is Your Bucket”. It’s part of my job as a mom to fill my boys’ buckets and teach them to do the same for others, but sometimes as a wife, mom, and business woman I forget that my bucket needs replenishing too.
The redundancy of every day life and responsibilities can deplete our buckets. At times it seems that society is even attempting to poke holes in our bucket enabling the good feelings and positive thoughts to leak out faster than we can refill it.
Sometimes it’s hard to admit when we’re in this space. I came to a hard realization that my bucket was nearing a dangerous low a few weeks ago. This became quite clear when a good friend stopped by to pickup my youngest for a sleepover and I found myself oversharing the the raw and real details of my extremely challenging day and far from great week. What would have normally been a light-hearted, laughing, chatter filled pick-up had turned into me venting and complaining, two of my least favorite behaviors.
Fast forward one week and my bucket will now be overflowing for months. An overwhelming surprising gesture concocted by husband and made possible with the effort of many incredible people in my life brought me to the realization that being on the receiving end of a kind gesture is sometimes as important as being on the giving end, even if it’s hard to humble ourselves enough to admit that we too NEED our buckets filled from time to time.
While this generous surprise done for me was far from simple, most bucket filling gestures needn’t be so elaborate. A simple card in the mail, unexpected flowers on a birthday, inviting a friend for a walk and chat, dropping by with a gourmet cupcake just because, or simply saying some sincere kind words. These things mean the world to the receiver…and will fill the heart of the giver as well.
I have come to realize that it is near impossible to continue to effectively fill the buckets of others when our bucket has run dry. After my big surprise last week I had a renewed spirit. A constant smile on my face. An attitude of gratitude. Clearer eyes on how to continue to bless those in my path. My positive energy was no longer depleted and exhausted…now it was jacked up on love and thankfulness.
I like to believe I am strong enough on my own. But the strongest thing we can do is to admit that we NEED things too. We CAN be strong wives, strong moms, and strong leaders. But no matter how strong we think we are love and encouragement are the driving force to that daily strength.
So who’s bucket can you fill today? How full is YOUR bucket?