Thursday, 6 November 2014

Accepting our cup {Words of wisdom from a meeting with Sally Clarkson - Part 1}

Today, I had the joy of meeting a godly woman, who is the author of several of my favourite books.

Today, I met Sally Clarkson.

Have you ever heard of someone, or read someone's work, and really hoped you'd meet them one day?  Someone who the Lord has used to speak to your heart, and life, and wanted to meet in person?

If you are at all like me, you may have wondered whether she would be how you imagined. I had heard her, and seen her, on short videos on the Internet, so that part was as expected.  I mean, the REAL person.

I have a single word I want to use to describe her.


  1. 1.
    (of a material or article) allowing light to pass through so that objects behind can be distinctly seen.

Do you know why I use that word? Simply, because the "Light" passed right through her today - the Lord Jesus, who she loves so much, shone right through her, and cast light upon all those who listened.  That "object behind" was the Lord Himself, and His Word, and it shone through Sally, and gave light to those ladies, all wanting to be more like Him.  Sally channelled those precious truths, like the mirrors in a lighthouse, and they bounced right into the hearts of the eagerly listening ladies, gathered cosily in the living room of the home that used to belong to C.S.Lewis. 

Sally is one of the most sweet, gentle and encouraging people I have had the joy to meet.  She was able to share her personal experiences in a very honest way, allowing us to see that she has walked where we have walked, and experienced the same struggles and trials that every mother has. The joy of the Lord just overflows through the words she speaks.  It was really, simply, wonderful.

I was so incredibly blessed by my wonderful husband, who looked after ALL ( yes, ALL) the children, so I could go and listen without having my mind on the children. It was a rare, and special, thing.  The Lord KNEW I needed to hear the words of wisdom she had to share, and I pray that the Lord gives me the grace to put the many truths into practice in my life.

Now, my job is going to be that of a mirror.  Sally was transparent, and the light of Jesus shone through her.  I will try and reflect some of that back out to those who read my words here, so you, in some measure, can bathe in the light of the truths she shared! 

The slight trouble is this - there was SO much, it will be hard to choose! 

I may need a few blog posts.... 

Before I begin, I want to say that some of what she said helped me to feel less guilty about my lack of posts here recently.  As you know, I am the mother of eight precious blessings.  When my life is straightforward, I have the opportunity to blog more easily.  When life shifts from the norm, the blog will NEVER be my priority.  It will ALWAYS be family.  Does this mean my "following" may decrease? Yes.  My stats section on Blogger tells me my answer. Does this matter? NO! I only ever share simple thoughts, many of which are just a passing on of what God teaches me. If it even blesses ONE other, then that's wonderful! Sally reminded us, today, that our family is most important, and I will not apologise or feel guilty for that. It's a blessing.

The first thing I want to share with you relates to something which Sally loves.  If you have read her books, or followed her blog posts, you know how she loves to have a cup of tea.  In fact, tea cups are something she a lot of, and takes great pleasure  in using them to host gatherings with many ladies she has encouraged over the years. 

A "cup" is one concept that Sally shared with us, about our lives, as mothers. She talked to us of the portion that God gives us in our lives.  In Psalm 23 we find the word "cup", which also means "portion".  The portion that the Lord allots to us - that content of our lives which we have been given - is like the contents of a cup.  We have it, held in our hands.  It's ours.  Sometimes, especially as mothers, and home educating mothers, our cup feels incredibly full. It may even be filled with something we'd rather not have.  What the world tells us to do is to throw the cup and away - smash it on the floor and tip the contents out.  Why should we have a cup filled with something that's not easy to swallow? Why?  Because it's the Lord that fills our cup! It's the portion HE has allotted to us!  

It's NOT always easy to swallow.  Think of the words which the Lord, Himself, spoke.

"O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt."
Matthew 26:39

Our precious Saviour asked for His cup to be taken away.  Not, however, without adding that He was willing to accept the Father's Will.

We, too, need to be like Jesus.  

Perhaps the content of our cup is bitter. It may be hard - REALLY hard.  It could be heavy to bear.  It could be a broken cup.  Maybe it's awkward to hold, because we are tired and hurting.  

The thing is, it's the cup that the Lord has given us. It's His will for us, and we need to cry out, as Jesus did, "not as I will, but as thou wilt".  

We need to accept our portion.

Sally told us that there is no limit to what God could do for those who will trust Him fully.

We need to trust God.   He gave us our cup - He filled it with the things in our life that we have.  Our family, our circumstances, our responsibilities.  They are just the cup we need.

Today, when things aren't going the way you hoped, expected, anticipated or desired, remember you are holding the cup that GOD gave you.  It's a privilege to have something that we know is just right, and the perfect portion.  What God has given us, He has the strength to see us through.

I will return with more of what Sally shared with us, in another post.


  1. Such an amazing glimpse into your encounter with Sally. Wish I could have been there, but anticipating her next book which comes out in January!

  2. I happened upon your blog thru Sally Clarkson's fb page. I've been following Sally for a few years now. She is such a blessing to many mommas and their families. I like to think of her as my virtual mentor in all things womanly :)

    Thank you for sharing what you gleaned from your meeting with Sally in Oxford recently. What a treat! I long for a day when my season of life allows for me to attend one of her meetings.

    I am a momma to two sweet children (a five year old daughter and 1 year old son). I cannot begin to imagine how anyone cares for more than two at a time, let alone 8! And I think I have it rough sometimes - lol!

    I loved the analogy you shared in your post regarding "our cup." My 1 yr old son is still not sleeping through the night. He typically wakes every 2/3 hrs between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. I am extremely sleep deprived :( Your post is something I've been pondering as I try to determine how to help my son sleep longer night stretches. Is this something God has pre-ordained for our family or is it a situation I've created without realizing because I'm too tired to break the comfort nursing habit in the middle of the night? BIG sighhhh. I wouldn't mind so much but the affect it has on my person is becoming a hindrance on my marriage and, really, my entire life (wife, mother, friend, etc.). I simply have no energy to exist outside of mothering and I am amazed that I can even do that half-gracefully most days. My husband and I have no time together as I am too tired to stay up in the evenings once the babes are asleep (8 p.m.ish) and weekends are filled with house projects, family gatherings, etc. It's like a black hole I cannot see my way out of...So, I've come to think that maybe this is just where I am supposed to be. Maybe the hardships my marriage and other relationships in my life are facing are part of His plan. I know that my son will sleep through the night one day and I will again reap the blessing of much needed rest but I have no idea when that will be. I have to trust that if I continue to pray and talk with God on it and ask for his grace and sustenance that he will continue to carry me through it but I do question it every day too. How much more am I to bear in not sleeping well? I do feel at times that it is ruining my life.

    You have 8 children. Have you ever experienced the sleep issue w/any of your's? Probably completely naive of me to ask but I'm grasping for anything that would help me and my family find a more peaceful ground.

    Thank you again for sharing. I very much look forward to reading more on your meeting with Sally.

    God Bless you and your's!