in , by sarahmfry, March 03, 2010
What a shame, to go to bed early and waste it tossing and turning.  Especially when the baby will wake for his midnight feeding in a couple of hours.

But the mind reels.... 

I miss blogging.  Why haven't I been blogging words lately?  No inspiration?  Why not?  No outside walking to declutter my brain.  A potpourri of homeschooling/afterschooling ideas.  Feeling guilty cuz I ignored the dogs today.  (guilty for THAT? what a weirdo.)  Didn't even muck the kennels.  Will pay for THAT  tomorrow - extra mucky muckiness.  Strange day today, but very productive.  Facebook makes me feel yucky.  Wish I would have done more prep for my teaching tomorrow.  When can I fit it in?  Right after the girls leave for school at 7:30.  Thinking about friendships.  Some of it bloggable, some of it not.  Again - need inspiration.  Getting warm enough to pull out the double stroller and hit the road with the boys!!  Thinking about devotions.  Quiet time.  Hourly prayer.   My time in the GBS prayer room in college. Clarity.  Power.  Healing.  Strength. even Glory. Think a prayer room should be painted light blue.  That room was a bit dark & creepy. But Oh.. the greatest times ever.  Couldn't wait for the mid-afternoon hour.  Spoiled me forever.  Unrealistic expectations? Stop the thinking! 

That's it.  I have to blog. I've learned not to fight the thoughts.  Makes it worse.  This one may end up in the drafts pile like so many others lately. 

I'm thinking about personal "devotions."  I think misconceptions can easily come into play.  Guilt often plays a part.  So grateful to be done with the questions of the early days..... (What does it mean?  Is it a sin to miss?  How long do you have to read and pray for it to count? How many days can you miss and still be a Christian?) Thankfully (oh, how thankfully) I have found a much larger ocean of grace and relationship in which to swim than those tortorous years of legalism and confusion. 

But devotions matter.  Yessirree, they do. And I'll just say it.  I struggle somtimes.  Life has seasons.  The getting-up-through-the-night-with-baby seasons are tough for me. (Wait, do I have other seasons?)  But I had a bit of an epiphany tonight.  Maybe an old thought in a new way.  I sometimes dread devotions because of the powerful times of prayer and worship I have experienced.  So when I do the right and holy and disciplined thing and have devotions that are normal....un-sensational.  Sometimes maybe even a tad boring...(can I say that out loud?) I think it makes me frustrated. 

I have grown up just enough to know that our walk with Him is not always sense-sational (thank goodness, how exhausting).  But when I don't have time to linger long enough to work past the noise and clutter of life it frustrates me.  Sometimes the "quiet" times aren't long. Many times they're not so quiet.  Most of the times they are interrupted.  I won't bore you today with a discussion of early morning or late night or mid-day devotions.  Everyone must find what works for them.  But I seriously think that the enemy sabotages my efforts.  I love the discipline of early morning devotions.   I like candles and worshipful music and pervasive quiet. I love coming away for mid-day devotions.  But I want them to be devotion-filled.  I want them to be meaningful and peaceful and inspiring and convicting.   I want to learn and worship and sing and wait and listen.  Routine? Not so much. 

But I have learned that worshipful glory and routine discipline must kiss each other. 

So...if you're thinking right now about whatever side of the discussion you're passionate about.....
  • Devotions should be a discipline........or Devotions can be whatever makes you feel close to God
  •  It's best to get up early to meet God.......or it's just communing with God throughout every day.
  • It's not about feeling.....or stay till the glory falls. 
  • It's a duty...........or it's a delight!
  • Necessary for all Christians......... Not about rules - just relationship!    
 I say a hearty, resounding Yes!  Amen! To all of it.  I'm certainly not trying to make any dictates or profundities about how each person works out their time with God.

I'm just talking frankly about the real-life stuff that I think weighs me down in this quiet-time journey.  I love....long for....even CRAVE quiet time alone to find perspective in the arms of my Abba.  And I guess that is why I sometimes feel frustrated when I have seasons when my quiet time feels muddled and unpowerful and dull.  So that's a great reason to just keep chugging through the day's lists and ignore my Abba.  Yeah.  I know....duh.

But sometimes I let life keep pushing me on.  I pass my chair and my books and my prayer and I don't stop.  As if finishing my list is more pressing.   He is persistent, but quiet.  And I don't always stop.  Oh...ouch!  I'm so not proud of that.  I confess because there is no need to hide. 

I've realized I'm afraid if I stop I won't get my brain cleared in time to really settle and quiet and drink and I'll get up from the table without really being full.  I don't like to nibble.  But it can't always be a feast.  This Bread is good in bountiful buffets or in quiet life-giving morsels.  God, please give me the patience for the morsels.
  I am hungry.  So very hungry.  I confess it's been awhile since I've been filled to overflowing.  Oh, what a counselor my Abba is.  He sets things straight without even speaking.   Gazing on him makes my eyes more accurate.  Sitting with him makes my heart more right.

I am a books girl.  I know the Living Book is the only book we really must have, but books help me.  Books that speak His heart (Tozer, Lewis, ) Books that guide the eyes upward (Eastman) and inward (Chambers) Books that help my heart find its words (Augustine, Baillie) Books that guide through the Word and move me into new rooms for the Holy Spirit to work in (Beth Moore, etc.)  Books that help with the daily discipline side of devotions for a busy mommy (many versions of The One Year Bible). 

So I have gotten a few new books to add to the old favorites.  And I have a new Bible Study I need to purchase.  My daily schedule is working well for me.  I have adjusted life until it is now manageable.  But I feel like I understand better now why the quiet time slot has missed the highlighter too many days.  Dishes, laundry, reading time, housework...all highlighted happy pink.  But His slot sits white on the page?

Dear Abba, grow me up.

And I am to have found an Judge who does not reject me for my weakness.  He woos.  He calls.  He makes me hungry.  He morsels and in feasts.

He satisfies the longing soul andthe hungry soul he fills with good things.
Psalm 107:9 ESV

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