The Elusive Quiet Time

I often find myself with great intentions with sub-par follow-through.

Most notably, my intentional daily, intimate time with God.

Currently, I find myself in a place and a “season” in my life that allows for people to show me a little more grace whenever I mention my lack of intimate time with my creator. I’m often reminded that with so many children running around I have a built in excuse and quiet time is somewhat of an elusive occurrence and a nearly unattainable state.

Yet, I find myself desperate for that time. I have an insatiable need for intimacy with my Heavenly Father.

My heart’s desire in this life is to serve Him. I long to be used as a vessel for Him and all those other very “Christian” things I can say. My heart longs to teach others about Him and to love others the way Christ loves them.  All of them. Even those who make me want to pull my hair out because they just don’t seem to get it.

I’ve spent a lot of time this past year seeking and searching for my “place”. I have become a bit resentful towards those who have reinforced my place at home. I’ve been envious of those who God seems to be using to do great things here on this Earth to build His eternal Kingdom.

And, sadly, I’ve taken for granted this gift He has given me.

I have been handed a houseful of blessings on a silver platter and I have scoffed at the opportunity to savor every joy. I have longed for the greener grass. I have allowed the desire for earthly treasures to slowly procure parts of my heart I had set aside to be used to serve Him.

During this season of my life, I have allowed myself to feel as though I was drowning and was, therefore, reaching for and desperately grabbing anything I could get my hands on to try to pull myself out of the current.

The reality is, I have been acting more like a scolded child being sent to her room so in a desperate attempt to prove I’m in charge I’ve grabbed everything I could get my hands on and chucked it at the floor.

Making excuses for not having a quiet, intimate time with my Heavenly Father has not panned out well for me. While I have been desperately searching for something to make me feel valued and loved, God was right there waiting for me to find my refuge, my strength, and my value in Him.

There are a million others things in this world that I can choose to spend my time on. I can look at the messes that surround me and decide that I’m better off cleaning up that spill or wiping that nose or changing that diaper. God sees that spill. God sees the yucky noses and the dirty diapers.

He also sees me. He knows my heart. He knows my desires. He loves me. More than I could ever love another being. He loved my so much that He sent His Son to die for me.

There can’t be any more excuses. My busyness is not a burden, but a blessing.

The only way I will ever be equipped to go out into the world is if I have first spent time with the One who created it.

 

 

 

Randy and Miki

Brooks-Blog-Board

Meet Randy and Miki (and their boys)!

Randy is the Regional Director for South Pacific Christian Fellowship. While the two of them have been here recruiting people to become church planters, I have been able to get to know Miki and have come to truly treasure our friendship.

Both Randy and Miki have incredible hearts for Christ and it has been a joy to watch them as they faithfully enter this new season of change.

Be sure to visit the SPCF website for more information about what they do and how you can help!!

Community

I witnessed a beautiful thing yesterday, while in the waiting room of the Emergency Department, of all places.

As I made myself as comfortable as possible in the chair I would be committed to for awhile, I briefly scanned the room before I picked up the National Geographic magazine that was haphazardly tossed on the table beside me. The cold, quiet room was filled with people who were awaiting news of their loved one.

Every few minutes I would glance up and take notice of the newest member of our quickly growing Waiting Club. I confess, my ears would perk up a little as they explained (either to the waiting room staff or the person on the other end of the phone) the reason why their loved one required a trip to the Emergency Room.

As my eyes carefully investigated the images within the magazine; my ears took notice of footsteps approaching the waiting room. My eyes quickly followed suit and soon fell upon the three women strolling down the corridor into the room. As they entered, one walked directly to the waiting room staff while the other two anxiously scanned the room.

My gaze fell upon the woman sitting directly across from me on the other side of the room. I had hardly taken notice of this woman until now but my heart knew this was who the women were searching l for.

And then the moment came. The moment this woman looked up and saw her community. These women were her people and they had come to her. They came to sit with her and talk with her and wait with her. And the weight of the world was lifted off this woman’s shoulders in a brief second. In one moment her eyes went from sullen to joy-filled.Community Large

She was able to share her burdens with those who came to meet her where she was and in her time of need. And it was beautiful.

I have a hard time with community. I don’t know if it’s because of how often I move, or that I’m a relatively private person, or that I’m just busy and community doesn’t always rank very high on my priority list.

There’s also a good chance that I avoid community as a defense mechanism. I don’t want to put myself out there and risk being hurt. More importantly, I don’t want my children to be hurt.

I’ve been privy to a lot of talk about the village lately. It takes a village to raise a child. It also takes a village to raise good mothers. It takes a village to raise strong fathers. It takes a village to celebrate joys and to mourn losses. These are not things we should be doing alone.

Life was never intended to be done alone.

Don’t let your fears keep you from finding your community. And once you find it, trust it. Trust the process.

There will be broken hearts and hurt feelings from time to time, but we’re resilient people.

You’ll be okay.

I’ll be okay.

 

 

Renew a Steadfast Spirit Within Me

I’ve been working through some stuff this summer.

I mean, I’ve really been struggling.

Recently, I took a good hard look at myself and I’m not a big fan. I’ve become bitter and angry and resentful.

I want so badly to be that pastor’s wife who always knew she was going to be in ministry so she does all the ministry stuff and loves all the right people. I want to want to play the piano and organize get-togethers and, darn it, I want to want to write thank you notes.

Instead, I find myself having a really, really hard time loving some of His people. I struggle with the grace required with the demand on my husband’s time. I don’t play piano or sing and any attempt I’ve made at organizing any event has been nothing short of futile. To top it all off, I don’t get dressed up on Sundays nor do I require it of my children.

And this mouth!

Goodness gracious. Think before you speak!

And I don’t write thank-you notes.

I want so badly to be that stay at home mom who always had the desire to be at home with her kiddos. I want to want to make fun meals and plan fun things for my children. I want to plan fun crafts and be this super crazy fun mom who has lots of fun.

Instead, my children get me as a mother.  Did you know we don’t do Santa Clause?

Or the tooth fairy.

Or the Easter Bunny.

We don’t dress up for Halloween. They aren’t allowed to watch Disney or Cartoon Network, but they are allowed to have cold pizza and soda for breakfast.

I want so badly to have confidence that I am exactly where God wants me to be, doing exactly what God wants me to do, but then I have to question what in the world He is thinking because I’m not very good at the things he’s placed before me.

Instead, I’m here. I’m here in this house. I’m married to this man. I’m the mother to these poor children.

And, I don’t get it. I don’t understand how or why this is my life. It’s certainly not a bad life, but it isn’t what I would have set out to do or who I would have set out to be. But it is who I am.

And, unfortunately, I’ve struggled with that. And then I struggle with myself for struggling with that.

So, I pray.

Renew a Steadfast Spirit

Because more than anything in this world, my heart’s true desire, is to serve Him. And not just to serve Him, but to do so with joy.

So, I will trust. I will trust that for everything that I am not, He is.

We Are the Church

Today, I submit to you an idea. A belief, if you will. And I simply ask that you hear me out; that you consider where you are in your Christian life and where you want to be.

I submit to you the idea that we aren’t called to simply sit in a pew on Sunday morning. Church shouldn’t just be something we do on Sundays in an effort to check one more box off of our never ending To Do list.

In a time when we place strong emphasis on “lifestyle”, I submit to you that Church is a Lifestyle. It’s like being a vegetarian. If you only practice vegetarianism on Saturdays then you won’t receive the full benefits of that lifestyle change.

This same idea applies to being the Bride of Christ. If you’re only His Bride on Sundays, you won’t receive the full benefits of that lifestyle.

I submit to you the idea that we no longer accept Church on Sunday as the catalyst for our walk with Christ. Our personal relationship with Christ should be the driving force behind being the Bride and Church on Sunday is more like our weekly bath. Sundays are the time for God to scrub off all the dirt and clean out our wounds from the previous week so we can emerge fresh and renewed and ready to go back into the world and get our hands dirty for Christ.

I submit to you the idea that the more time we spend with God the stronger our desire to serve him will become. We will no longer look at service as something we have to do because we feel obligated or because we don’t want someone to notice that we weren’t there doing our part.

No. We will want to serve others; we will want to serve the church because we will want to serve God.

I submit to you the idea that our view of others will change when we are the Church. When we begin to see each person individually as the one Christ died for we will be so preoccupied with loving them that we won’t have the time to judge them hastily.

I submit to you that you can have a strong, personal relationship with our Creator and that those types of relationships aren’t reserved for the elite, for those we perceive as having a call into ministry because you, too, have been called into ministry.

I submit to you the idea that when we are the church our focus will no longer be on ourselves but on others.

And when our focus is no longer on us this amazing transition takes place. We begin to put God’s will above our own desires. We begin to place the importance of Kingdom work above busy work. We become concerned with the plight of others and the matter of their salvation begins to weigh upon us.

I submit to you the idea that when we are acting as servants of Christ our prayer life will change. We will no longer pray me, me, me and instead we begin to genuinely lift up others in prayer. We become more aware and more attentive to God’s pulling on our hearts. Suddenly we begin to realize that every time God places somebody in our hearts, in our minds, we need to take a moment-stop what we’re doing-and pray for that person. And it feels good when God uses us like that.

I submit to you that Satan knows what’s keeping us from living a full life in Christ and he takes solace in using our struggles against us.

I submit to you that Satan knows the Bride of Christ has become a building. A building filled with people there by obligation who leave feeling judged, insecure and inadequate.

I submit to you a call to action. Let us no longer rely on a few hours one day a week to help us feel fulfilled in this life, but rather completely surrender our lives as the Bride of Christ and bring new light to what it truly means to be the Church.