Thanks to all of you who have sent notes of love, grace and encouragement. My inbox has never been so full of love and peace. I will get back to each of you soon.
Last night, as I was sitting down to do my blog, I found myself in the doing mode. “I need to write my blog post because I said I was going to write my blog post…” But I was tired after a long day of traveling and speaking and meeting some other needs. Then I thought to myself that all of you, who have written such great words of love and peace, would extend that to me as I laid down last night, read Jesus Calling, and rested. Thanks for the grace.
When it comes to the blog, I can skip a day and none of us are the worse for it. (Actually, I gave you the gift of one less email to open. You’re welcome.)But when it comes to digging in with my relationship with God, “skipping” is how I found myself in the desert place.
No one heads for the desert. What does happen is we lose the things that point us to God and that is just where we end up. There are a few things that, when I’m missing them, I start to wander in the sand:
Bible Study: With my job, it’s hard to find a day and a time to do a proper Bible study (you know, the kind with Beth Moore and coffee cake…) But as I was sitting here in my own little sand pit, a couple of friends who live in other parts of the country asked me if I wanted to join their study via Skype. I love God’s timing. Find something that works for you and then make it work. I’ve had studies on my lunch hour at work, during play group at my house, or even (gasp) at another local church while a sainted woman taught my kids science when I was a homeschooler. (Actually, I would have cleaned the churches toilets while some person besides me taught science, but I digress.)
Prayer: Start small if you’re in the desert place. Have other people pray for you to start praying more. (It really does work.) Be gentle with yourself and ask God to help you want to want to pray. Do short 15 second prayers of love and thanksgiving. Be gentle.
Quiet time: I asked one of my employees, Bronwyn, what is the hardest thing to do when she is in the desert place. I love how in her discussing her quiet time struggles, she compares her relationship with God to her relationships with others: “OK first to admit when I am alone, especially in the early morning when the house is still asleep I want to just sit quietly and drink my coffee. Just a vegetated like state soaking in nothing, enjoying stillness and calm; perfect time to talk to God, right? I should want to soak Him in, diving into His word and letting Him seep into all of me….
All this can sound crazy; you may think I am nuts…but like any relationship my relationship with God can falter too. I am never a perfect wife, mother, friend or daughter. They all take work. It requires I give, give more than I want to at times. It requires I do things I may not feel like doing at that moment. Quiet mornings sipping coffee alone without distraction or hurry are great. I love those times. Reading a great book, getting lost in the story of the characters is fun and a much needed break at times. But when they outweigh the times I spend with God, in His word, learning and studying more about Him and who He wants me to be and what he wants me to do is not a good balance. It is not putting Him first, when it comes down to it that is all he has asked me to do, put Him first.”
I’ve found that for prayer, quiet time, and studying my Bible on my own, having a spot – a cozy chair or in the other three seasons of the year, a sunny lounge chair in the back yard – helps greatly settle my mind and focus my attention on Him.
Where do you do those thing that connect you with God? Do you have a chair, a desk, a kitchen table? Where is your place to connect with Him?