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Saturday, March 5, 2016

#inthemorningwheniriseor...

I flip flop back and forth about this blog.  One minute I am all business, the next I convince myself that is okay to be more personal, I mean, it is my blog.  Right?  So today, we are going personal, just sharing my heart and experiences in hopes that God can use it in some small way to encourage someone else. 

This week, on two separate occasions I heard women talk about their busy schedules and how hard it is to find time have quiet time with the Lord and in his Word. Women desperately wanting time with him, not just making excuses.  One sweet girl is weary from caring for a baby who is determined to be nocturnal! and the other working full time, with one daughter graduating from high school and the other getting married less than a month later. There are things to be  done!  Shopping, planning, crafting, and the list goes on!  

Quite time used to be easy for me.  I would drop my girls off at school, sit in the parking lot for 30 minutes and read a few pages from my current novel, then head home to peace and quiet, where I would grab my Bible, journal and beverage of choice and sit in the oversize chair by the window, orchestrate the perfect instagram photo #meandJesus #quiettime.  I'd have an hour even more to sit and soak in the Word and in prayer before I'd need to think about work or the groceries. Ah… the green pasture days, I like to call them. 

But then, the landscaped changed.  Now the girls were going to be home schooled (teacher not included!). They would never leave! I was back to the toddler years!  "Mom" "Mom" "Mom" "MOM"!!  Their stuff everywhere, never having a clean house! Suddenly, there was no quiet time for anything! What is it about a grocery store that turns other wise relatively well behaved preteens into stark raving mad lunatics! Suddenly, my house of quiet refuge seems more like a Frat House. I needed time with Jesus more than ever and yet it was/is borderline impossible. 

So some thoughts, as much for me, as for you. 

His mercies are new every morning! He gives us manna for each day… sometimes we are tempted to look at the "manna gathering" as just one more thing we have to try and squeeze into our day, instead of seeing it for what it is… CHRISTMAS MORNING!!  Each and everyday!  Picture opening the door to your tent (or cabin in my case, tent camping is not for me) and let your eyes feast on the sea of gifts that Lord has laid out before you.  Do you need strength? It's there.  Patience? It's there too.  Rest? Peace? Encouragement? Too feel love? Valued?  How about a purpose? A reason to get up every morning? Forgiveness? Hope? A shoulder to cry on? A place to find refuge? Wisdom? It's all there, everything you need to get through your day wrapped in the pages of His Word.  

Don't try to swim across the English Channel when God is sitting in a boat along side you with a life jacket and a pair of water skis! The Christian life isn't a steady supply of luxury liners, there will be times when we will have to get in the water to get to the other side, but God is laying out all we need to succeed we just need to get up and get it!

Quiet time with the Lord doesn't have to be instagram worthy (don't get me wrong it is precious when it is).  But Jesus understands the seasons in our lives.  There will be times when we are in the midst of the race, grabbing living water as we run through our days and collapse into our beds at night and then their will be times when He will lead us besides still waters to sit and rest by the stream.  

Maybe you are in a "race" period of your life.  Picture Jesus standing on the roadside cheering you on with a cup of refreshing water in His outstretched hand. Now, reach out and take that cup!  
Some practical ideas to help your mind start thinking of ways you can find time with Jesus in the busy seasons of your life. 
- leave your Bible open on our kitchen counter or the seat of your car so that you can read a verse or two as you walk by or before you start driving. Then think on those verses as your prepare a bottle for your baby, pick up toys or drive to your next meeting. 
- Tune your radio to a great christian radio station where you can sing praise music or listen to the Word being taught.
- Are you a tech girl? Download a bible reading app that you can use while waiting for a doctor's appointment etc. 
- Get up 10 minutes early and spend time on your knees talking with your Heavenly Father.
- Let your errands and things to do remind you to pray.  Doing laundry or dishes?  Pray that the Lord would wash you and give you a clean heart will with clean thoughts and right desires. Grocery shopping?  Thank Him for his provision and pray for those in need.  Waiting for the dentist or doctor, filling a perscription? Pray for healing.  Pulling in your garage? Thank Him for the refuge we find in Him. 
- Pick a verse each week to memorize.  Read it every time you _____________.  You fill in the blank.  Try putting emphasis on a different word every time you say it.  For example  THE Lord is my shepherd.  and the next time The LORD is my shepherd. May sound silly but try it… it can be pretty amazing. 
- Choose to read christian literature during this busy time of your life, so even when you want to just "escape" for a few minutes you can be touched by God through the gifts and talents of His gifted authors. (Try Francine Rivers or Lynn Austin to get you started.) 
- Take a Facebook/Instagram or Pinterest vacation. Or… purpose to read scripture before you jump on one of these sites, maybe you will find the scripture more life giving and pass on the other altogether.  
- Make a pledge to pray with your friends, every time you are on the phone, take a moment to ask how can I pray for you today and then do it! Right then and there on the phone.
- Pray and ask the Lord to show you the moments in your day that you could be spending with Him.  He would LOVE that and He will be faithful to show you. 

My favorite verse… Hosea 2:14-16 
14 “Therefore I am now going to allure her;
    I will lead her into the wilderness
    and speak tenderly to her.
15 There I will give her back her vineyards,
    and will make the Valley of Achor[b] a door of hope.
There she will respond[c] as in the days of her youth,
    as in the day she came up out of Egypt.
16 “In that day,” declares the Lord,
    “you will call me ‘my husband’;
    you will no longer call me ‘my master.[d]

Remember Jesus is standing there living water and fresh life giving manna in hand, you just need to reach out and grab it!  I'm gonna be praying for you!

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