What to Do When Your World Stops

This Sunday I am at home, wishing I could be at church.  It’s been another challenging week, bringing more pieces of my health puzzle together (more on that later).  This morning my mom sent me a link to a very encouraging message, which led me to another.

If you, too, are home sick today … or you are presently facing some other trials, these brief messages (less than 10 minutes each) will help lift your heart and give you direction.  Please feel free to share your comments below, including prayer requests.

Pressure Points – In this message, Pastor Kramer gives uplifting truth and hope to remember when (not if) we face trails.

When Your World Stops – This message is about how to keep going when you feel like your world is ripped out from under you.

His List Is Longer Than Mine

To be completely honest, I wish I were on a beach without a care in the world this morning.  Instead I have a list longer than an elephant’s trunk of things I need to do. 

Thankfully, I have something far better than a day (or week, or month!) at the beach.  And it is not dependent on location, weather, or my state of mind:  God never changes … aren’t you thankful?  So much in life is unpredictable.  Yet, God remains completely trustworthy!  As I stare at what needs to be done, and want to shrink back in my weakness and lack of “want to,” I am hopeful and revived, because God never changes!

The fact that God never changes means:

1.  I am always loved.

“The Lord has appeared of old to me, saying: ‘Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you.’Jeremiah 31:3

2.  I am never alone.  He is always with me, as He promised.

“Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.’ So we may boldly say: ‘The Lord is my helper;I will not fear. What can man do to me?’” Hebrews 13:5-6

3.  He is always holy – He never sins, never messes up.

“For thus says the High and Lofty One Who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: ‘I dwell in the high and holy place, with him who has a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble,and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.'” Isaiah 57:15

4.  He always makes His innumerable resources available
     to me – His kingdom never shuts down!

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ,” Ephesians 1:3


5.  His mercy is unwavering, His grace immoveable.

“For the Lord is good; His mercy is everlasting, and His truth endures to all generations.” Psalm 100:5


6.  His forgiveness is always available for this saved sinner.

“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” I John 1:9

7.  I never stop being His child.

having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will,  to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved.” Ephesians 1:5-6
 
Can you think of anything else to add?  I’m sure there is no end to the list (it’s much longer than our to-do lists!!!), but these are what stood out to me this morning.  Have a blessed day, basking in God’s faithfulness!

Sparkles of Joy

Two and a half years ago:

It’s a cloudy Saturday.  The dishes and laundry scream “clean me!”  My to-do list is so long it could be used as ribbon to bedeck several beautifully wrapped packages.  I try to remember why I ever wanted to have children (who make messes, yucky smells, and lots of noise), the imperfect carpet and linoleum grind at me, I can’t remember what the word vacation means, my husband and I are in a rut in our relationship, my jeans are too tight, and I am too busy to make a dentist appointment much less squeeze in a coveted hair cut. 

Then it happened. “MOM!!!”  Four-year-old screaming bloody murder.  My husband and I run into the other room to find our son’s forearm hanging gruesomely crooked as terror fills his beautiful blue eyes.  I try to keep from throwing up, reminding myself to breathe as I wonder what to do next.  Between sobs he tells us he jumped off the couch and hit a desk chair (which he knows is a no-no).  Tim gathers a few things as I throw together a sack of hopefully edible items to send with my two men.  Baby and I remain at home, and I ask God to keep my son and our family safe.

They are off to the hospital, and I dissolve in a tirade of tears.  I call my pastor.  He remembers. Same song, different verse.  Two and a half years earlier, when my adorable boysie was learning to walk, he fractured his leg.  It was minor, but because we weren’t sure how it happened (we figured out when it must have happened after the intimidating doctor visit), our doctor informed us that she had to submit our name to the Department of Child Services to be investigated for child endangerment.  I struggled with shock and anger while our betraying doctor assured me, “I know you would never do anything to hurt your child.”  We went through the worst trial we had ever experienced, only to be waved through at the end of a grueling month as “probably not dangerous.”  Violated. Hurt. Labeled. (Reminds me of Someone I know.)  I heard my pastor at the other end of the line saying, “Sara, you need to trust God.”

I calm down as I cry out to God.  While fearing the worst, I know my God . . . I can trust the Creator of the universe.  A couple hours later they come home.  My boy’s arm is safe and secure in a new shell.  Tim looks tired, but he says it went pretty smoothly.  He didn’t feel that anyone doubted what happened.  It helps when the child is old enough to explain this time.  I start to breathe again.

Suddenly, even though I am completely drained, I look around and notice that my home is not hum-drum anymore.  I am so thankful to be here. The linoleum is looking shinier, and the carpet spots are hardly noticeable.  My husband and I kiss and hold each other a little longer.  After a nap I have an urge to clean my family’s clothes and cook them a delicious meal. I don’t mind having toys all over the floor, and wall smudges have become my art gallery. As I glance in the bathroom mirror, I think perhaps I am looking prettier than I have in days.  And at supper the whole family seems happy simply being together.  In coming weeks my heart warms at the sight of my boy with his orange cast and matching Tigger overalls.  I can’t help but giggle, while in the same breath praising and thanking God.  God got us through and did what He does best – turning ugly things into His beautiful artwork. He used a terrible day to sprinkle sparkles of joy on my heart.

What happened?  Did a broken arm suddenly and miraculously change everything?  No . . . the carpet was still blotched, the laundry piled high, and my hair seriously in need of reshaping . . . and, yes . . .  God adjusted my heart and healed my blindness.  If only it wouldn’t take hospital trips to make me truly appreciate God’s blessings.  By God’s grace, I’m getting there. 

God’s joy is always there for the taking.  In fact, it has your name and mine written on it by God’s hand with the most expensive and the most powerful permanent ink imaginable: Jesus’ precious blood.

This Christmas will you join me in taking time to open up, admire, put on, and gratefully enjoy His gift of joy?  Let’s close our eyes, take a couple of deep breaths, and accept this lavish gift.  With thankfulness we receive Your gift of joy, Father.  We know this gift is ours because of Jesus.  For He has come . . . and will come again. 

“Then the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.  And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.’ And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”
Luke 2:10-14 
 
Update: Today my oldest son is a happy and healthy almost seven-year-old.  And I am getting more used to dusting off my priceless gift of joy.

Special thanks to http://poppiesatplay.blogspot.com/2011/11/joy-to-world.html for the above image.

The Great I AM Still Is

I’m confused . . .
 
I AM intimately involved.  Listen to Me and believe.  I AM in charge of the knowns and unknowns.

I feel alone . . .

I AM always right beside you.  You are exactly where you need to be. Talk to Me.  I AM listening.

I’m hurting . . .

I AM your true Friend.  Deflect your pain to Me.  I AM working on every detail right now.

My life is cluttered . . .

I AM holy, organized, beautiful.  Look at Me.  Dwell in Me.  I AM your eternal peaceful retreat.

I’m needy . . .

I AM able.  I know your need and I AM always right on time.  If I AM not meeting it, it is not a true need at the moment (or I AM working a bigger plan.)

My heart is aching . . .
    
I AM the Healer of broken hearts and the Calmer of storms.  Rest in Me.  I want to hold you.

I’m afraid . . .
    
I AM peace.  Reject the lie that anything is bigger than Me. You are safe with Me.

I don’t like the way things are . . .

I AM Your everything.  Gaze past the temporal to the eternal.  Embrace Me.  I never disappoint.

I’m battle weary . . .

I AM your Protector, My darling.  Relax. Rest in Me.   Let Me put My armor on you.  Stay close.  I have already won the war.

I’m stained . . .

I AM your Redeemer.  The price is paid.  Forgiven.  You are clean in My eyes.  Press on.

I’m crying . . .

I AM crying with you.  I understand earth pain.  What you are going through will not be wasted. Very soon – no more tears, forever.

I’m tempted . . .

I AM the best.  If only you knew how much I love you, you would never interrupt our blissful moments with a useless and dangerous idol.

I’m discouraged . . .

I AM real and I AM strong.  Discouragement is one of Satan’s favorite tools.  I AM closer to you than breathing.  Take My hand and we’ll go through it together.

 Our story has a happy ending. I promise.         

. . . . . . .

“And God said to Moses, ‘I AM WHO I AM.’ And He said, ‘Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’'” Exodus 3:14

“Jesus said to them, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.'” John 8:58

“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’” Isaiah 41:10



What are your favorite Scripture passages that speak these truths of God?  Please share!




Ten "Going Crazy" Tips

“Call the Funny Farm!”  Not if, but when is the last time you were in a position of confusion, exhaustion, discouragement and/or grief, and you felt someone must quickly provide emergency intervention?  If you’re like me, it was as recent as yesterday or this morning. Stressful moments, from mildly irritating to incredibly difficult, come to all of us!  They can sneak up as a complete surprise.  They can also be predictable.  Can you relate to some of these?

  • Full schedule
  • Homeschooling (especially on wet or cold days after we’ve been inside for too long!)
  • Times of transition
  • Weddings
  • Holidays
  • Illness or injury
  • Hormones
  • New member in the family
  • A time of loss
  • Financial strain
  • Job tension
  • When disappointed by people or circumstances
  • When we sin against or disappoint people 
  • When we receive bad news
  • Reorganization at work or church
  • During a move/remodel
  • Etc!

How do you deal with your craziness? It really is a good thing that our lives aren’t completely trouble free.  If they were, where would our need be for God?  You’ve probably heard these before, but I’m praying that God will use something here to encourage you, dear Sister!  Here are a few of my favorite “Crazy” tips:

1.  Rest

As soon as possible do whatever it takes to get much needed rest.  My two boys, six and four, are pretty much beyond naps.  Yet, we still have a 1 1/2 hour reading/quiet time in the middle of the day.  It is helpful for everyone.  My six-year-old actually looks forward to it!  If you are anything like me, everything seems much worse when I am overly tired.  And my exhaustion can be a sign that my priorities are out of kilter.  My doing too much can be attibuted to my own pride. 

Whenever necessary (not more than once per day :)), get your kids occupied with a good video and go to your room, close the door, put on your MP3 player or a good set of earplugs, lay flat on the floor and stretch your arms above your head while breathing in and out slowly.  Here is one of my helpers:

“It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows; for so He gives His beloved sleep.” Psalm 127:2


2.  Eat

It really can be as simple as taking time to nourish ourselves.  My tendency is to crave chocolate and potato chips, but these usually make me feel worse.  At the risk of sounding like your mother, eat well and drink lots of water.  Grill some chicken, make a salad, grab an apple.  Go through a drive-thru and buy a salad if you can afford it.  Indulge in the food you are craving, if you must.  But, don’t go overboard, and don’t resort to splurging as a daily escape from reality.  Popcorn is a calming snack, as is a banana.  I love it that when Elijah was tired, afraid, and discouraged God did not berate him and condemn him.  God isn’t condemning us: let us not condemn ourselves.  Enjoy some of God’s good gifts – eat!

“Then the word of the Lord came to him, saying, ‘Get away from here and turn eastward, and hide by the Brook Cherith, which flows into the Jordan.  And it will be that you shall drink from the brook, and I have commanded the ravens to feed you there.’” I Kings 17:2-4


3.  Remember you are in a spiritual battle.

Too easily I forget that I am a soldier in a spiritual war.  I’m sure that my forgetfulness, and the ensuing consequences, makes Satan very happy.  We should expect daily battles!  You think your temptations regarding food isn’t part of your spiritual battle?  What was Eve’s first spiritual battle about?  Yet, what we are really fighting against is far more gigantic than people, circumstances or food:

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age” Ephesians 6:12


Would we go to the hottest site in Afghanistan unarmed?  No way.  Give me the largest tank and a wide selection of the most accute bombs available.  So then, how can we expect to face spiritual battles unarmed?  There is no option here.  We must eat, we must breath, we must be in God’s Word!  Especially during days of pressure, weakness, doubt, and possible depression, begin the day by putting on the armor of God, by reading and praying through Ephesians 6:10-20 (you can read it by clicking on the link below):


And, remember, we are on the winning side.

“You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.” I John 4:4

We must take time to read God’s love letter to us and . . .

4.  Pray

We cannot begin to estimate the power of talking to God.  Pour out your heart to Him!  If writing is your thing, grab a pen and paper or a computer and write your prayers to God.  It will help you to get it out of your system and leave it with the One Who has the power to work 24/7 for your good and His glory.  If you write it down it will also help you gain perspective on your problems.  How precious that our almighty God took on flesh and came to this wicked world.  He cried our tears, sharing our sorrows:

“We do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:15,16


5.  Talk to a godly friend. Ask for help! 

One of the highlights of Sunday is talking briefly with a friend at church about how we can pray for one another throughout the coming week.  And I can’t remember the number of times I have sent emergency emails or Facebook messages to ask sisters to pray for me.  It is an immediate relief to be reminded that we are not alone.  Don’t worry that you will be bothering someone (unless this is the 5th time you’ve called them today!). 

I do want to stress GODLY friend.  Not perfect (there aint any!), but growing.  Who is a godly friend?  One who is going to love you, show you grace, not judge you . . . but, also someone who is going to tell you the truth and not just what you want to hear.  Call the friend who listens, cares, and points you to Jesus.

We recently heard Todd Wilson, of FamilyMan Ministries, speak to our local homeschool parents group.  He spoke of a woman who called his wife and asked if she could come over to talk to her.  They started with small talk, but soon the conversation got deeper.  The visiting woman, one of whom Todd said we would all look at as the ultimate godly woman, quoting Scripture and giving glory to God, shared a personal hurt with Todd’s wife.  She told of a time two years before when she had been studying her Bible and her little girl kept interrupting and trying to get Mama’s attention.  The woman grabbed her little girls wrist too hard and broke it.  Since then the mother had been in agony.  As she shared her burden with this godly friend, she was able to breath and move on.  Todd’s wife didn’t condemn her, but instead told her things like, “Oh, I am so sorry!  Any one of us could’ve done the same thing!  I know you didn’t mean to do it.” (Todd even humorously admitted wanting to share some personal experience/not-so-good advice, “I understand . . . I’ve often felt like I wanted to break every bone in my child’s body!”)  Finally, this Christian sister was able to move on with her life.  Sometimes we just need to confess our mistakes or sins to a godly friend.

“Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.” James 5:16

6.  Forget the past and move on. 

If your stress has to do with your past (twenty years ago or yesterday), God wants you to forget it and move one.  If you need to apologize, write the letter, make the visit, or pick up the phone.  Even if people are hesitant to forgive.  God is always ready to forgive us!

If you have been sinned against and are constantly plagued by bad memories, practice giving these burdens to God – the more you do it the easier it will get to give them over to Him and not grab them back.  If you are obsessing, ask God to change your mind and literally get up and move into a different room and do a different activity.  A Christian counselor recommended this when I was obsessing about death after a close call, and it really helped me.  It is so refreshing when we can look forward to the future, entrusting our past and our future to God’s excellent care!

“Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:13-14


7.  Plan something to look forward to. 

We women have the privilege of serving the people in our lives: cooking, cleaning, driving people to appointments, cards, listening, etc.  But we get worn out and need to be recharged.  Get out your calendar and look for the first free space – plan a date with your husband or a friend.  If other people are too busy, plan a date for yourself – go out and get a coffee or ice cream, read a favorite book, sit by a beautiful lake and soak in God’s beauty.  And do it without feeling guilty!  God gives good gifts to His children!  He gave Jesus so that we can live more abundantly.

“And He said to them, “Come aside by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.” For there were many coming and going, and they did not even have time to eat.  So they departed to a deserted place in the boat by themselves.” Mark 6:31-32


8.  Claim your blessings. 

Reminiscent of Ann Voskamp’s wonderful book One Thousand Gifts, simply sit down and start writing down all the things you have to be thankful for.  Your list of “bad things” is much smaller than the “good things” . . . and you’ve probably realized why I set apart “good” and “bad” to remind us that our point of view is terribly limited.  What may seem bad to us may be what God is going to use to do amazingly good things in our lives.

Ask God to help you be thankful for where you are right now, including all the yucky stuff.  He can and will give strength to help us be genuinely thankful for trials. All we need to do is ask and wait on Him.  God highly treasures our sacrifice of praise.

“Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name.” Hebrews 13:15

9.  Cry and Breathe

Just a couple days ago I let it all out in my room, boo-hooing and doing some much needed grieving.  I felt so much better afterward. Crying purges!  It rids our bodies of toxins. Crying is part of what God has given to help us release some of the pent-up emotional pressure.  These verses are probably familiar to you, so I want to share them in a translation other than the NKJV to give another perspective.

“You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book.” Psalm 56:8 (NLT)


If you are not a cryer, take a brisk walk, work out, release that stress somehow (and I don’t mean hurling a pan over your husband’s head!).  And as our sweet more mature friends gently remind us, “This too shall pass.” 

“Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.” Psalm 30:5

10.  Pick One

Think of five people you know who are going through a trial right now (not including yourself).  Plan how you, or you along with your family, can do something simple and special for him or her. 

If you have a neighbor who just broke her arm, offer to rake her leaves.  If you have a friend who just went through surgery, take a meal or a happy balloon over with a favorite coffee.  Fresh flowers can be an extravagant gift making people feel loved, but most women I know prefer plants that aren’t going to die (unless they have thumbs not even close to the color of green and are thankful that after a short while their flowers die naturally 🙂 ).

I have a friend who has been suffering with depression. Just a phone call meant the world to him and helped him to be brave enough to seek the help he needed.  I praise God that He used little ol’ me to help a brother in need, and at the same time get my mind off my own troubles.

“Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.” Galatians 6:10

I hope something in this list will help you during this crazy time of life!  The best thing to remember as women on God’s mission, we are not alone, and God is lovingly continuing the good work He started in us.

“Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”  Hebrews 13:5
“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you, yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.'” Isaiah 41:10
“Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ;”  Philippians 1:6

God of Mountains Topples Walls of Fear

 
“I will lift up my eyes to the hills— from whence comes my help? My help comes from the Lord, Who made heaven and earth.” Psalm 121:1

From the breathtaking mountains of Colorado . . . back down to the foothills of Mount Neverest (laundry).  I didn’t want to come home.  I wanted to stay there and stare at God’s art work all day, every day!

What did I come home to, besides lots of dirty clothes?  A busy autumn schedule, a spiritual battle, and a wall of fear . . . it looms over me. 

  • How am I going to ____? 
  • What if ____ happens? 
  • I don’t feel good about ____.   
  • Am I going to be able to be ____? 
  • Am I ever going to be content with an imperfect life and house?  
  • What about my friend’s hurts? 
  • What if ____ happens to my family?
  • What if my dreams for Women On God’s Mission are too big? 
  • What if I’ve bitten off too much with my schedule?
  • How can I continue to make the 45 minute commute to church 2-3 times per week? 
  • Do my goals match God’s plans for me? 

Fears like a dripping faucet nag at my heart – that loved ones who do not believe in Jesus, as the Way the Truth and the Life, will lose their opportunity with God. And fears for precious friends facing persecution around the world . . . on and on, the walls of fear could rival the Wall of China.

Thankfully, peace is not inextricably connected with time, place, vacation, God’s beautiful creation, nor with anything I do or don’t do! C.S. Lewis said, “God cannot give us a happiness and peace apart from Himself, because it is not there.  There is no such thing.”  Where God is, there is peace.  Even in the midst of hectic real life!  I thank God that He uses these fears to draw me to Himself.  If I had no fear, there would be no need for God. 

“For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.”
Romans 8:15

If I am carrying fears around, I am accepting a “gift” from the father of lies, Satan.  After I lift off the enticing wrapper I drag around a back-breaking, heart-wrenching, rash inducing time bomb.  Through me Satan disrespectfully flaunts a small victory in the face of his and my Creator God, while he designs to do everything he can to destroy me, my family, and any godly influence from my life!  In contrast, our wonderful God sweetly yet powerfully assures, “I have it all under control.”  He calms the storms around me, giving me freedom to breathe, freedom to sleep sweetly, and the assurance that He is working on ___ and ___.  God understands!  God cares! 

Are you in a fearful place?  Surgery is scheduled, your biological clock is ticking, you lost your job, your baby has cancer, loved ones are moving away, your house won’t sell, your husband is being called up for another tour of duty, you don’t know if you are on your way to heaven when you die (see above under Lovely Links to get help), your very life is at stake in a land where there is no freedom of religion . . . whatever it is, Satan would love to tie us up in ropes of fear – he wants to snuff out all of the big dreams that come with following a big God!

Like my Indonesian sister in Christ told me tonight, “I just need to meditate more on His word and draw myself even closer to Him. This cloud of uncertainty and doubt has been a thorn I need to get rid of FAST!” 

And when we are too weak to cast off our fears, He can and He will!  Will you kneel with me right now and commit our fears to God?  He has all the answers we need.  He is the answer.  Pray and watch the walls topple.

“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you, yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’” Isaiah 41:10

Just God and Me

“Your words were found, and I ate them, And Your word was to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart; For I am called by Your name, O LORD God of hosts.” Jeremiah 15:16


On Saturday I listened to an inspiring Christian woman speaking about godly priorities while cleaning my room.  Later that same day, while I was folding underwear and sorting socks, I heard another famous woman interviewed on a highly revered Christian website.  As her voice streamed through my laptop, my hopes for a meaty message quickly faded.  I was left feeling parched.  Yes, she mentioned God, spoke about prayer as well as other true and good things, but never communicated God’s own words.  Most of her words were about her. 

More than any other time in human history, we have countless opportunities to hear and learn from God’s Word: radio, television, internet, books, church, CDs, Sunday school, small groups, conferences, magazines, DVDs, blogs, YouTube, email, Facebook, etc.  Certainly there are messages and interviews worth hearing that point us to God.  It takes some work, but we can wade through fluff and find solid biblical teaching.

My concern, as I get to know myself better and listen to others around me, is that we too easily depend on the testimonies of other humans.  Before realizing it, my own quality time with God slips away.  Unless the words of others springboard me toward further personal study in my Bible, munching from the crumbs of other people’s spiritual meals soon leaves me depleted, hungry. 

“And Jesus said to them, ‘I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.'” John 6:35

If I allow this spiritual malnutrition to continue, my starved self turns to my husband and children, friends and pastor, to feed me, to fill me.  I open my refrigerator, go shopping, listen to music.  My emptiness echoes in my soul, and when women come to me for counsel I give them my helpful opinions and good ideas instead of God’s.  At times my family feels the brunt of my ugliness.  I’ve allowed the potential fruit of the Spirit to wilt and rot.  Then finally, after the damage has been done, I end up where I should’ve been in the beginning: on my knees and in His Word.

Do you have a daily quiet time with God alone?  I understand, it can feel nearly impossible at times with the busyness of life.  Do you enjoy listening to Christian radio but sometimes let that take place of your quiet time?  What about church – do you tank up on the sermon and small group lesson, hoping it will carry you through your stressful week? 

Dear sister, we need “just God and me” time.  If it means getting up earlier, staying up later, shutting down the computer, getting away from the house for awhile, turning on a good video for our kids, declining an invitation from a friend, hiring a baby sitter . . . we will only be PEACEFUL and USEFUL when we spend time with God.  Alone.

“His (her!) delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he (she!) meditates day and night.  He (she!) shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he (she!) does shall prosper.” Psalm 1:2-3

Stay tuned for ideas to help you develop a quality daily meeting with God.

Special thanks to The Narrow Gate for the picture above.