Tag Archive | Presence

Taking Time for Yourself

Beloved Brews Linkup

 

Taking time for me is something that keeps changing over the years. In my earlier years, taking time for me was not even on my radar.

While growing up, I was really busy trying to find someone who would stay by my side and be my friend. I ran hither and yon to find them. I did not know that Jesus wanted to be that for me.

As a young mom, I was of course immersed in the goings on of my small children, and trying to build a household. It was popular thought at the time that as a woman, you could “Have it all.” I was living to find ways to get it all done. I did not know that Jesus had already provided a way for that to happen.

My children grew up and began their own families, and I was frantic trying to find ways to fill the time. The way I did that was to fill my mind (and my house) with projects to keep my hands busy. That turned into many unfinished projects and guilt for not finishing. I finished some, and got rid of the rest. I did not know that it was Jesus who had already made it possible for me to fill up that creative space in my heart.

All the frantic, caused my physical body to break down. That began a time when all I did was take care of myself, i.e. nap, nap and more nap. I did not realize that Jesus had just the right prescription for what ailed me.

I was a believer. I knew God existed, but maybe for someone else, but not me since I was so lazy. Desperation led me to question His love for me and if He really meant all that He said in His word. The thought then crossed my mind to actually sit, in a chair, by the window, and just think of Him. Just think about what His word says. Decide if I really believed it all or not.

I spent much of that time dozing off, feeling guilty for dozing off, waking up, trying again, and dozing off some more. Time passed, and I began to call it “Resting in the Lord”. Jesus began to make me realize that if I did not take care of myself, then there would be nothing left for anyone else.

Over the weeks and months that followed, I found myself actually being more awake, more alert, and fuller of God’s words. They began to seep into my spirit and give me strength. Strength enough that I actually joined an exercise class that began to strengthen my body. That was five or so years ago, and that class is still a part of my life. God had revealed to me that if I wanted to do His plan for me, I would need to be as strong in my body as I was in my spirit.

2014 was a year of great introspection for me. I knew by Holy Spirit’s prompting, that I would need to spend a mass amount of time with Him, and myself, excavating some hurtful things in the past. Normally, spending that much time just with myself would have seemed selfish, but I found myself sure that if I did, then I could stop being tripped up by the things in my past. There was no guilt for this time, and it paid huge dividends. There were two resources provide for this time, and Bonnie Gray’s book “Finding Spiritual Whitespace” was the first. It opened the door for the second. 2014 brought my dark spaces out into His glorious light.

Now in 2015, He is allowing me to share my experience with others.

All this to say, there will always be some thought, someone, some thing that will try to keep you from taking care of yourself, spending time on yourself, being with yourself. Make it a priority. Make it an appointment for your calendar. It is important for your mind, spirit and body.

In the end, it will be important for the people that are in your sphere of influence. Only God knows how big your sphere will become if you only take the first step!

What I Love to Do That Feeds My Soul

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What I love to do that feeds my soul.

I love to sit in the big chair next to my window.

There is much to do there; journal writing, Bible study, reading whatever read is striking my fancy. It is most always quiet.

If not total silence, then quiet piano playing in the background. I find the solitude very useful. 

Simply gazing out the window and noticing the great beauty that God has set before me quiets my insides.

No matter what I choose to do there, it makes my soul quiet, so I can hear His spirit speak.

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Beloved Brews Linkup

Can You Hear It?

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Hear what?

The voice of god.

 

This topic comes up so frequently in conversation.

 

I’m no expert,

but I have made some observations and asked some questions.

I’ve gotten some great answers,

and been quite bewildered by the answers of others.

 

Here’s what I think.

I believe God is always speaking.

Always.

I am just not always listening.

Sometimes I think I am listening,

only to find later how much I missed.

OR

I do not understand the manner in which He is speaking.

These two observations made me want to find a better way of hearing.

It’s been a long, long study,

but I’m learning more and more every day.

 

Questions…

How does God speak?

How do we know we are not just making it up?

What about all those coincidences?

If I connect the dots, will they lead back to Him?

What that one scripture that I simply cannot get out of my mind?

Can I HEAR His voice with my ears?

What about those “gut” feelings?

 

I am positive that you can add more questions to this list.

As many people as there are,

there are AT LEAST that many questions.

 

As stated earlier, I believe God is ALWAYS speaking.

Consider this thought –

What if –

  Babies were born with the ability to hear and communicate with God,

and they lost that ability through neglect or lack of knowledge or just plain unbelief?

Perhaps the big people around them didn’t know this language,

or they chose not to believe it if they did know.

Could be?

 

If we spend time each day getting to know God and His Word,

then our minds will become renewed.

Slowly, over time,

our thoughts will become more like His.

We will learn through His Word about His character.

We will learn through His Word His expectations.

We will learn through His Word that He LONGS to communicate with us.

We will learn through His Word the “sound” of His voice.

My sheep hear my voice and they know me.

The voice of another they will not follow.

John 10:26 -28

(That’s another couple of posts all by itself!)

When we spend the time,

We can be fairly certain that we are not making it up.

He is Faithful to watch over his Word to do it

Jeremiah 1:12

Do your thoughts align with God’s Word?

Do your thoughts align with the promises He has already written for you in His Word?

If so,

you can be pretty sure He’s been speaking to you.

Somehow.

 

In the late 80’s there was a program called “Perfect Strangers”.

In it, the character Balki was always saying “What a co-in-o-dink!”

He meant coincidence of course.

Well, I do not believe in them.

I choose to believe that it is God’s way of connecting the dots for our lives.

Look back on some things in your life.

Things that in no way go together,

but in the end,

the dots connect to the next big thing that God had for you.

 

He’s talking to you.

Are you listening?

 

Is there a verse that you have read that just will not let you go?

One of my biggest ones; Psalm 139 of course.

but especially verses 13-16-

13 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. 14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. 15 My frame was not hidden from you  when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, 16 your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me  were written in your book before one of them came to be.

 

Oh yeah!

I’m NOT a mistake!

 

God’s voice,

God speaking to me,

will always make me know that I have worth and value.

 

I HAVE heard the audible voice of God.

This is not so common,

but I believe that God uses whatever it will take to get us to listen.

In the circumstance I was in,

I am so glad He spoke,

no,

He yelled!

People tell me that God wouldn’t yell.

 In my case He yelled “SHUT UP!”

(He would never say that!)

Well He did.

It WAS the only way I would listen.

It made all the difference in the outcome.

 

My husband has heard His voice audibly as well.

If he hadn’t listened,

we could have been burying our daughter due to a strangers foolish mistake.

 

I’ve had experiences where my insides just didn’t settle well in a given circumstance.

Some of those unsettled times I have not paid attention,

and later paid the price for “not listening”.

By the same token,

Some I have taken to heart,

listened,

and in the end seen exactly the pit fall Holy Spirit was trying to keep me from.

God was speaking to me.

In my gut.

 

I choose to believe that He uses all these ways and more

to communicate to a world that He so longs to interact with.

To SPEAK to us.

To build relationship with us.

To love and to bless us.

 

I have a little story I’s like to share with you on this subject

I have permission to do so.

My friend and I were talking a while back about this very topic.

We were talking about the fact that we want to teach our children and grand-children

how to hear God in whatever way He chooses to speak.

Recently she was sitting on her front porch,

She was enjoying the sights and sounds and smells of the beautiful fall here in the mid-west.

She spends her quiet time there.

Encountering God and listening for His voice.

On one day,

her not quite pre-school age daughter came to join her.

She was very quiet,

and after a bit her mom was going to speak to her,

and she put her little finger to her lips and shushed her mom.

A bit shocked,

mom asked why?

To which the little replied,

“I think I hear God talking.”

So of course mom asked,

“So what do you think He’s saying?”

To which the little answered.

“Chirp, chirp.”

 

A heartwarming story to be sure.

A surprising answer from a babe.

Purity.

 Sweetness.

A complete lack of guile.

A heart ready to HEAR what God has to say.

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Fearfully and wonderfully made

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