Do you ever wake up, out of the blue, and feel as if you are investing your time, your efforts, your thoughts and energy, day in and day out, into things, that will one day fade away? You have this drive in your heart, these dreams and desires. You realize, although these things are not “bad things”, they take up time, leaving no time for the very thing that will sustain you, ground you, be your anchor, the only thing eternal, THE ONE THING. Jesus.
Wifey, Mommy, Housekeeper…the list goes on of daily responsibilities, keeping me consumed. I honestly love every role I play in this life, however, it is a must, a necessity, to set aside time to spend with the Keeper of My Heart. My Savior, who protects and guides me daily. My Father, who so tenderly loves me and cares, wanting only the best for my life. The Holy Spirit, who works on my behalf, filling me with wisdom, speaking, and leading my life with great counsel, who makes me a better Mommy, wife, person. My God, who reigns in all the earth, making known the end from the beginning. Creator, Shepherd, Great Counselor. What a God.
I am writing from my Mothers living room, in Arkansas. Home is where my heart is and will always be. It is pouring down rain, with a touch of a cold front on the arise. I was up with Evie every hour last night, from 8:00 pm- 3:00 am… She tossed and turned. I felt like I was going to lose my mind. Oh yes, the STRUGGLE was so real last night, but hey, its a new day. I finally have some down time and can finish this particular devotion. My goal is blogging one devotion per week. I have had the computer screen open for 3 days now, in attempt to finish this, however, it just was NOT happening. Well, now, here I am, eager and excited to simply be transparent and share with you what is on my heart.
Sometimes, I find that people put other people, who are in the spotlight, on some sort of pedestal, as if they aren’t human or real. Being a pastors wife, I get a dose of this very thing at times. My goal, when I write, and share certain aspects of my life, is to reveal, we are all human, all falling short. We make mistakes, just like any one else does. We have fears, internal struggles. We have highs and lows. We argue and feel insecure at times. We battle. The good news, is no matter who or where we all are in life, the One thing we all have in common, is that there is a loving Savior full of grace that helps us and works on our behalf.
Would it be surprising if I told you, I cant remember the last time I opened my bible to read it? Or the last time, I set aside time to pray and truly spend time with Jesus? Yep. A pastors wife, married to one of the front line speakers of our generation. I am in and out of church services constantly, week in and week out, conference after conference, and yet I can’t tell you the last time I was able to spend one on one time with my Savior. This is exactly what I was referring to earlier. I have so much time to do everything else. Well actually, I have no choice. LOL! I wake up and my time is given to my family. Fix breakfast, update this, run these errands, clean that up. When I finally have a few minutes of down time, I want to be able do something for myself, something I enjoy. Therefore, I blog, or I snap photos of things I enjoy, or I decorate, or I simply sit in silence for the few minutes that I have until I have to do it all over again. Until I wake up one day, out of the blue, and realize I am starving to be in the secret place. Tucked away, just my sweet Savior and I, alone together, to be rejuvenated. It is necessary to get alone, just you and Jesus. The older I get, the more I realize that life only gets more and more busy. It is important to be strategic with setting aside time daily, to simply soak, rest, in the presence of God. Some of you reading may not even know what that means or looks likes. God is our friend, our helper. When we take time to talk to Him, invite Him into our lives, just like we would a friend, having coffee or lunch, we build that relationship, getting to know Him more. The more we know Him, the more we love Him. The more we love Him, the more we CANNOT LIVE ONE DAY WITHOUT HIM. Another thing I have learned about myself, over the years, is I hate who I am without Jesus. YES, HATE. I can always tell when I haven’t set aside time. I talk, react, feel, different. I say and do things I regret. I annoy myself! LOL! I am truly a different person. Yet, when I’ve been with Jesus, He helps me to see things through His eyes. He gives me strength in my personal weakness, and patience in my irritability, hope to see beyond my current situation. Life is better with Him. Satan is really good at beating us up. He is also good at keeping us busy. With the combo of being too busy, as well as the lies from the enemy telling us we should be ashamed of ourselves, we tend to throw in the towel and give up.
I am writing to encourage you. YOU’RE NOT ALONE. Its normal to feel these things, and to struggle. Take one day at a time. I personally love the morning devotions because it helps me get through the day… but also know, I talk to Jesus through out the day : Driving down the road, cleaning up, or cooking… “I need you today, Lord.” “I love you so much…” “Help me Holy Spirit.” Remember, being in relationship with Jesus, is the same as any other relationship. Yes, He is God, but He also wrapped Himself in flesh to come down so He would be able to relate to us. The same way you would randomly call your Mom or Dad, sister or brother, or friend, just to say “Hey.. just checking on you …!” It is the same way in our relationship with Christ. The important thing is making effort. Being disciplined, creates habits, and before you know it, you won’t want to go a day without reading the word, or prayer, because you see the strength and transformation that comes with it.
He is our daily bread, our spiritual food for the soul.
This previous week, I woke up, and knew, I could not go another day without spending time with Him. Evie was down for a nap, I rushed to open the word, and this is what I read.
“MY SOUL, WAITS ONLY UPON GOD AND SILENTLY SUBMIT TO HIM, FOR MY HOPE AND EXPECTATION ARE FROM HIM. HE ALONE IS MY ROCK AND MY SALVATION ; HE IS MY DEFENSE AND MY FORTRESS, I SHALL NOT BE MOVED. WITH GOD RESTS MY SALVATION AND MY GLORY. HE IS MY ROCK OF UNYIELDING STRENGTH AND IMPENETRABLE HARDNESS, AND MY REFUGE IS IN GOD.
TRUST IN, LEAN ON, RELY ON, AND HAVE CONFIDENCE IN HIM AT ALL TIMES, YOU PEOPLE ; POUR OUT YOUR HEARTS BEFORE HIM. GOD IS A REFUGE FOR US, A FORTRESS AND A HIGH TOWER. SELAH (PAUSE, AND CALMLY THINK OF THAT)
“O GOD, YOU ARE MY GOD, EARNESTLY WILL I SEEK YOU; MY INNER SELF THIRSTS FOR YOU, MY FLESH LONGS AND IS FAINT FOR YOU, IN A DRY AND WEARY LAND WHERE NO WATER IS. WHEN I REMEMBER YOU UPON MY BED AND MEDITATE ON YOU IN THE NIGHT WATCHES. FOR YOU HAVE BEEN MY HELP, AND IN THE SHADOW OF YOUR WINGS WILL I REJOICE. MY WHOLE BEING FOLLOWS HARD AFTER YOU AND CLINGS CLOSELY TO YOU. YOUR RIGHT HAND UPHOLDS ME.”
As I read the words I so desperately needed to read, tears began to flow, and I felt this overwhelming presence…the sweet reminder that “when you seek Him, you will find Him…” Yes, it is okay to enjoy life and all it consists of, however, Jesus is the only thing eternal. We must stay in communication with Him. Our lives, our families, our friends depend on it.
Although the peace and quiet was for a short 15 minutes, God saw my attempt. He led me to just the right passage… and my soul was reminded that I cannot do this life without Him.
So today, in the midst of your busy schedule, take time to seek Him. He is waiting to hear from you, and to give you exactly what you need. He knows what we need more than what we think we know we need. “Ask and it will be given to you. Seek and you shall find. Knock, and the door will be opened.” Matthew 7:7