Sips from the Fountain

Starting with a Sippy Cup: From Ritual to Relationship

March 30, 2024 Martha Gano Season 1 Episode 2
Starting with a Sippy Cup: From Ritual to Relationship
Sips from the Fountain
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Sips from the Fountain
Starting with a Sippy Cup: From Ritual to Relationship
Mar 30, 2024 Season 1 Episode 2
Martha Gano

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Embark on a profound spiritual expedition with me, Martha Gano, as I recount the transition from ritualistic routines to a fulfilling communion with the Father. Growing up under the weight of religious obligation, I experienced firsthand the transformation that occurs when perseverance in spiritual disciplines blooms into a genuine understanding of God's love. Join us as we discuss the metamorphosis from performing out of fear and guilt to embracing a liberating relationship with our Creator, and how this shift can clear the filters life has placed on our perception of Him.

We also tackle the art of nurturing a deep connection with God, drawing parallels to the joy we find in time spent with dear friends. I'll share insights on how an organic, joyful approach to our walk with God surpasses any checklist mentality, and the way worship and gratitude woven into our daily lives can revolutionize our spiritual journey. Our conversation promises to be a sanctuary for your soul, as we explore the continuous path of self-discovery and the embrace of the divine companionship God offers us in every facet of life.

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Send us a Text Message.

Embark on a profound spiritual expedition with me, Martha Gano, as I recount the transition from ritualistic routines to a fulfilling communion with the Father. Growing up under the weight of religious obligation, I experienced firsthand the transformation that occurs when perseverance in spiritual disciplines blooms into a genuine understanding of God's love. Join us as we discuss the metamorphosis from performing out of fear and guilt to embracing a liberating relationship with our Creator, and how this shift can clear the filters life has placed on our perception of Him.

We also tackle the art of nurturing a deep connection with God, drawing parallels to the joy we find in time spent with dear friends. I'll share insights on how an organic, joyful approach to our walk with God surpasses any checklist mentality, and the way worship and gratitude woven into our daily lives can revolutionize our spiritual journey. Our conversation promises to be a sanctuary for your soul, as we explore the continuous path of self-discovery and the embrace of the divine companionship God offers us in every facet of life.

Speaker 1:

Do you ever feel like life can get too complicated and maybe even overwhelming? Yeah, me too, and it's okay. My name's Martha Gano, and in this podcast we're going to talk about life, love, faith, family, relationships, all kinds of things, and we're going to drink from what God wants to pour into us, one small sip at a time, because when it's the fountain of living water, small sips make all the difference. It'll be just you and me. Sometimes we'll have a friend join us. If we could have lunch together today, this is what I'd want to talk about. Hey, hey, hey, you guys, and welcome back to the podcast, excited to keep talking about this concept of drinking from the fountain of living water, and I thought today that we would talk about starting with a sippy cup, taking sips from that fountain. What does it really mean?

Speaker 1:

I actually grew up in a conservative faith culture where there is a high value placed on what I don't know what you guys called it, but we called it a daily quiet time. It was like this devotional time. The concept is amazing Spending time with the one who created me every single day. But unfortunately, I felt like we were often encouraged in the practice, not through love, of spending time with the Lord, but through almost like a fear of disappointing him, through maybe even some shame or fear of failure, if I'm going to say that out loud and then for me personally, all of that translated into turning this amazing spiritual experience, or what it was supposed to be, into, what was more performance based or something that was even a little bit fear driven, definitely based on duty. I would say duty bound was how I felt about it, and maybe you've been there. I would literally watch the clock, sometimes grown out loud with boredom. I would feel guilty about not reading my Bible, and then I would feel guilty about my mind wandering so much. When I was reading my Bible, I would set timers, I would pray through lists like I was reciting, and then I would start wondering what in heaven's name is the point of prayer anyway? And then I'd start wondering what am I going to have for breakfast and how did the bubonic plague spread across Europe? Like so many things, I would start thinking about most commonly, what I needed to do that day, because my default is list. Sometimes I would even fall asleep and then, wow, talk about the guilt. Then, right, it was rough, but I did it anyway, which is not necessarily, I don't think, a bad thing.

Speaker 1:

The law was given to us, among other things, to be our teacher about what the life giving ways of walking this journey are. So we obey the law until we learn the heart of God for us, enough that we get that the law is the practical expression of how he is for us. That's when the law becomes, as the scripture says, written on our hearts, meaning that we get the spirit behind the law. So I think there is value in spiritual discipline, even if we don't feel the impacts immediately. For me, as I kept pursuing Jesus, he began to do that really fun not fun actually difficult work of cutting out spiritual cancers and moving me away from my sewer waters, cleaning out the filters. Just that living on a broken planet had put over who he was to me. Then I started feeling differently about spending time with him.

Speaker 1:

So let me ask you this question who is one of your favorite people on the planet and when you think about hanging out with that person, how do you feel? Take a second just to reflect on that. Think about him or her. Let yourself register what your internal response is. Maybe you smiled or you may be even chuckling right now, but you probably even have an urge to reach out for your phone and text him or her. So let's say that you do and you set a time to hang out together. How do you feel when you think about that? You're probably looking forward to it, right Even excited about it, and chances are good that he or she is too.

Speaker 1:

So you meet, and when you see each other, it's all smiles. It's easy, it's comfortable. There's a natural ebb and flow of conversation as you start catching up because you're both interested in each other and you really care about what's going on. You click. You're each other's people and as you hang out, that place deep in you that was made for connection starts to hum. You feel seen, heard, appreciated, you feel loved. You remember why this is one of your favorite people. You get each other and when you leave, you cannot wait for the next time.

Speaker 1:

Now, imagine if it went differently. First of all, although this one is dear to me, I've let it go a really long time before I reach out. It's really just occasional. And then finally, mostly out of guilt, if I'm honest, I ask for a time to connect and we make a plan. When we get there, I get right down to business. First, I set a timer based on what I think a good amount of time to invest in the relationship is. I pull out a checklist. It has certain items that I need to tell my person about myself and my life and as I report, I literally reach for my pen and check each item off my list. I'm finished and there's an awkward silence. I yawn and ask did you bring your list to talk about? But just about then my timer goes off. I jump up, not noticing that he or she had just started to talk, and I say it's been great, I will see you next time. I literally sigh with relief as I can finally leave. I barely enjoy the good feeling I have from seeing my friend because I'm already feeling guilty about not wanting to do it again anytime soon.

Speaker 1:

You're probably getting my point about now. Right, that was how I operated in my relationship with the Lord. I mean, imagine if you're the other person. They would definitely not enjoy the relationship either, right? Who wants to be in a friendship with someone? Who is duty bound to stay there, who forces themselves to spend time with you? Nobody, and I don't think God, enjoys that one single bit either. Why? Because he literally created us to hang out with us, to enjoy us, for us to enjoy each other, to love each other and love being together. I mean he made this whole amazing, mind blowing planet for us. He gave us the ability to enjoy so many things from nature to incredible food, to physical activity, to art, laughter oh my word. He has poured out things on us for us to enjoy because he loves us and he wants us to enjoy all those incredible blessings that he's given us. And check this out, he wants to do it with us. What? Who wouldn't want to hang out with a friend like that? Right Like for me, hiking through the woods is hanging out with Jesus I mean, that's him kind of having me over to his place right.

Speaker 1:

Or playing peek-a-boo with the cutest baby is enjoying the fun humans. He surrounded me with An incredible meal is an act of worship for me, and I love taking care of people, especially cooking for them, and doing that makes me resonate with the heart of the Father that loves lavishing gifts on us. So I hang out with him in small ways all day long quiet time, nothing. It's literally all the time, and I love it. Imagine getting constant love notes, constant reminders that you're being taken care of fun things to discover comfort. When hard things hit you. It's all there all the time. That is spending time with God.

Speaker 1:

Now I know that we know the power of filters in our culture and that a filter can completely change our perception of the person not who they are, but our perception of who they are. That's true of God too, because when my filters of who he is have changed, have been healed, have been corrected, have been realigned to the truth of who he is and, to be honest, for me that's an ongoing process. I have a dear friend who just turned 90, and I remember when she was 75, the Lord showed her something that was like deeply profound, brand new and really hard, and I remember her saying that she said to the Lord really, are we not finished? Can we not be finished now? And she just realized at that point that the Lord was always going to be working on her and truly, even now, at 90, she talks about what he's continuing to show her in teacher.

Speaker 1:

So when those filters got cleaned off for me and adjusted, that is when my personal time with the Lord just became crazy, different from what it used to be. So it's not just a checklist anymore for me. I don't even know what I'm going to do when I come to hang out with the Lord, or what I'm going to hear or what's going to happen. I come to that time with excitement, all smiles and anticipation. But what are some of the things I do? What are some ways to like take a sippy cup and start taking sips from the fountain. What do I do? And I spend great time with the Lord, so I always start my personal time with God with worship. I feel like it connects me to his heart. Plus, the scripture says that we enter his gates with thanksgiving and we enter his courts with praise. So that's like how to get in to see him right. It also says that he inhabits the praises of his people. So it makes a lot of sense to me that putting everything else aside and just focusing on worship is a great starting place.

Speaker 1:

When my boys were little I have boys that are two years apart and when they were little. Little boys are somewhat notorious for being so active and having so much fun in their lives that when they got told what to do, maybe they forgot or a little distracted. So when I needed them to do something for real. I would look at them and say, hey, match eyes with mommy, match eyes, match eyes. And I would have them make eye contact with me and then I would say clean your room. Say it back to mommy what do you need to do? Clean my room Now. Say now, clean your room now, clean my room now. And then my chances were maybe a little bit higher that they were gonna do the task that they had matched eyes with me about. But that's kind of what worship does for me. He's always there in my life. Worship just gets me to match eyes with him. Then when I know that I'm tuned in to him and matching those eyes with him, then I can pour my heart out, knowing that it gets me.

Speaker 1:

Side note here if you ever get to the point where you wonder if God sees you actually correction on that when you hit the points in your life where you're wondering does God even see where I am? You guys you gotta head to the story of Genesis 16 and read about Hagar. That's where her story is housed. Let's just say that when no one else saw her, god came down and met her and her name for the Lord, based on who he was to her, was the God who sees me. You are the God who sees me. He does care and he does have something to say and do about it all.

Speaker 1:

So for me, it's not just this narcissistic monologue anymore, it's instead what do you have to say to me today, lord? I don't know if you've ever listened to the amazing Jamie Winship 10 out of 10, highly recommend but he teaches us to ask what do you want me to know about all these things in my life? What do you have to say and what do you want me to do about them? Or even how, about saying what do you wanna talk about in general today, god, like, instead of just being everything I wanna, hey, god, what would you like to talk about today? What are you doing all around me today and how do you want me to partner with you and all of that? I am hungry to hear what he has to say to me, to read in the word what he has to say to me. I hear his voice personally and clearly, and on days that I fall asleep while I'm praying. Well, I recently has heard someone say whoever didn't love it when their child fell asleep in their arms. That's the papa I love being with and you can love being with him too. If that's intriguing or you wish you had that, just keep listening, come back.

Speaker 1:

We're gonna be talking more about how to open our hearts more and more to the Lord so he can replace that sewer water with his living water, he can clear out our filters and we can start to see our walk with him come to life and begin to bloom into full color. And if we have to start with a sippy cup, that's okay. That's where everything starts, with small steps, just those baby sips. So thanks for hanging out today. It's been so fun and I'll see you guys in the next episode. Hey you guys. Thanks for hanging out with us today. I hope you've got some refreshment from this sip from the fountain. If you're curious to hear more or if you like what you've heard, you can go ahead and subscribe to the podcast wherever you listen to yours or follow our Instagram account, sips from the fountain or our Facebook page by the same name. Special thanks for cover art photography to the Sarah D Harper, and I can't wait to hang out with you guys next time. Thanks so much. Love y'all. I'll see you guys next time.

Drink From the Living Water
Cultivating a Meaningful Relationship With God