Monday Re-Start

We went to church yesterday morning. This may not seem like a big deal, but to me it was refreshing, cool water for my parched, spiritual thirst. On one hand, I’ve been so blessed to be able to travel and be with friends and family. But on the other hand, I haven’t been to my home church in several weeks. Sure I can listen to Richard’s sermons here, but nothing restores my weary soul than to sing in my off-key voice with angelic voices around me, tap my toes in my own rhythm, take notes during the sermon to remind me of God’s sovereignty, put my folding chair on the rack, then hug and talk to my sweet brothers and sisters of Hope Point. Ahhh….I love it. I need it.

I have everything any woman would want or need….loving husband, fantastic children, goofy pets, amazing friends, beautiful home, enough food to feed an army, exercise, a room where I can create etc…. I’m able to do what I want when I want, but I have felt loose, disconnected and frustrated. During the service on Sunday, I realized I needed to reach out for the life ring God was throwing to me. I had been treading water for a looong time in the middle of the ocean, doing a pretty good job, but getting a bit tired.

So here it is Monday…while some think “Ugh, it’s Monday.” I’m thinking “Woo Hoo! It’s Monday!”

In Him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace…Ephesians 1:7

I think Monday is a great day to start afresh, start a new pattern, start my day off right. I knew that I had been missing my daily quiet times with God. I needed to get back in the habit of praying and reading my bible every day. I had made my days so busy with taking care of everyone else, that I began to believe that I could do it all-by myself. Trying to do it all on my own power, I was tired, grumpy, impatient and just wanted to go into hiding. Thank God, that we all have been atoned for our mistakes through his blood on the cross and we have been forgiven! We are all given that second, third and one thousandth chance to start again. God says “It’s ok. I love you. Try again, but this time let’s do it together.”

I set my alarm for 6:00am for the quiet and still of the morning.

20131028-083510.jpgIt’s still dark outside. I try to be very quiet, so as not to awaken Superman, the dogs and cat. The pets are very set in their ways and I didn’t want to get involved in the morning bathroom routine, feedings and normal start of the day shenanigans.

Sam followed me into the kitchen while I made some coffee. She laid down at my feet, looked up at me as if saying “Momma, it ain’t time to get up yet.” With a hot cup of coffee, I started my new morning routine, which is actually my old routine, but I let it go in the shuffle of life, so now I’m back, starting new again. (Wow, that’s some sentence you got there, Mar.)

I give thanks.

I ask for forgiveness.

I pray for intercession.

I read.

I write.

Then….

20131028-162452.jpgLooks like my time is up. It is 6:45 and the girls are hungry. It doesn’t seem like I had enough time. Maybe I can set the coffee maker to brew before I wake up and rise at 5:30 instead of six. I’m willing to make adjustments, tweaking it here and there. The most important thing is that I make this time every day.

Do you have a special routine for your quiet time with God? When do you do your devotional? Do you have a special spot? Early morning? Lunchtime? Or right before bed? No matter what the time, it’s all good. Thanks for dropping by,

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Piles, to-dos and Bunnies: How do I find time for God?

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There’s a pile of shoes by the door. There’s a pile of mail and papers on the counter. There’s a pile of laundry waiting to be washed and folded.

I have a mental list of the things I need to be doing….groceries, dinner, clean muddy door, pay bills, visit hospital, exercise, vegetables, tennis practice, tennis match, track meet, scout meeting, and on and on it goes.

The stores have aisles of chocolate bunnies, colorful Easter eggs and baskets of all shapes and sizes. My kids aren’t little anymore. How do I “do” Easter with an 18 year old? Basket?

It is the season of Lent. A time in the church year that Christians remember the days leading up to Christ’s crucifixion and rising from the grave. For the first 40 of my years, my family and I would start this season by having ashes marked on our forehead on Ash Wednesday. We would walk around town feeling quite smug about our smudges. Living in the south, heart of the Bible Belt, a Baptist church on every corner, inevitably a sweet little lady would stop us at the grocery store to let us know we had some dirt on our faces. I’m sure with her finger licked and ready to clean us up. It was a time to “give up” something important like chocolate or soda.

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I’m older now and attending a nondenominational church. This community church doesn’t observe the different liturgical seasons like my old church did, so I kind of missed the beginning of the Easter season. Although I haven’t had the ashes marked on my forehead, I believe my soul knows it is a special time for renewal. I’ve been yearning for a closer relationship with God. My piles and to-do lists have been overwhelming me. I needed to evaluate my life and see how I could do things differently.

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This is my friend, my pleasure, my time waster, my iPad. It is an amazing tool. In fact i can keep in touch with friends and family hundreds of miles away and I write all of my posts from it. Do I “give it up”? I don’t think I could.
What if I used it more wisely?

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I have uploaded bible and Christian apps. I have subscribed to daily devotions that are emailed to me every day.
In the mornings I look at those things first. I read God’s word, I write in my 1000 Gifts journal and I pray. My initial daily doings now have more intent and focus. I still have piles and long lists of to-dos, but they can all be done joyfully and peacefully because I have prepared my mind in the Holy Spirit.

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I haven’t figured out what to put in the Easter baskets, but hopefully I’ve added quality time with God. What things are you doing this Lenten season to focus more on God? Leave a comment below, I’d love to know!