Thursday, January 23, 2014

Seeking with all my heart...

Lately time is whizzing past.  My kids are chasing me with their ever-increasing height, the school year is half over, birthday season is roaring toward me and my shop is nearly open which means my days have been a blur.  With so many full, carefully planned days, long lists of things to get crossed off before collapsing into bed at night... I've got to confess something.  I've been briefly glancing at the Lord's table.. not stopping long enough to sit down... and just grabbing a vitamin's worth of Him lately. 

Vitamins... they are good.  They are full of good things you need, but you can't exist on them for long.  They won't sustain you when the hunger pains hit, you know?  This occurred to me the other morning as I rushed through my devotional, and took my "vitamin route" rather than sitting and savoring a meal of His word, that I was spiritually starving myself.  Yesterday, I felt broken by this realization because when you've got a full plate of activity and chaos and kiddos melting down facing you, the best thing you can do for yourself is stop, settle your heart, and bask in Him for a while. I know this of course.  I really do.  I mean, it makes the entire day smooth out before your feet and you remember how to breathe through any of the crazy moments that will certainly come your way.  So how did I forget this truth that I knew?

 As if I needed confirmation I opened up my daily verse text and read;
Jeremiah 29:12-14  "Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.  I will be found by you, declares the Lord, and I will restore your fortunes and gather you from all the nations and all the places where I have driven you, declares the Lord, and I will bring you back to the place from which I sent you into exile."

It was like a cool, refreshing breeze wrapped around my hurry, scurry heart, and the course of my day changed.  It was still filled with crazy.  Melt downs from a certain somebody that I wouldn't have been able to handle if I'd skipped that "meal."  It was full of unexpected, tears, (some mine) problems to solve, and too much to do in the hours I had.  Somehow, when I stretched out and closed my eyes last night, it wasn't so bad.  I had been sustained.  I didn't know what my day was to hold when I awoke that morning but God did, and He knew I would need to feast on His strength in order to get through it.  (And in truth, don't we always need that?) I don't always heed His whispers to stop and be with Him in the midst of chaos... but it's like the feeling after a great workout. You sure feel glad you spent the time after because it changes your whole day.  Wish I didn't ever forget that part.

I have to say this too, because girlfriend, if you're reading this and feeling frustrated because you can't escape the madness in your schedule to bask in His presence, this isn't really about how much time you spend. And let me just assure you, that I get it.  When I was a younger mama with two little ones in diapers, I was lucky to squeeze in five minutes of uninterrupted thought!  And oh the guilt I felt, knowing I "should" take more time on a consistent basis.  If that's at all where you find yourself because you work full time, or your schedule is nuts or you have babies that demand your constant attention, I just want to encourage you.  Kids grow, schedules change, routines vary and some days are more streamlined than others for all of us.  I truly believe looking back a bit, that God was right there beside me, feeding me morsels of Himself to carry me as I dragged my sleep-deprived self through some exhausting days of being touched by needy, small hands all day.  Sometimes it was as simple as His words in a song on the radio as I drove across town with sticky-fingered little ones buckled into car seats on our way to Target.

Don't let yourself get caught up in the number of minutes you spend, just do your best to give Him your full attention when you do have five minutes to concentrate on Him, even if it's while you are locked in a bathroom by yourself. He knows your schedule and heart better than you do, and I think He has a very soft spot in His heart for us exhausted women (and mamas too) with precious little time.  Isaiah 40:11 says, "He will take care of his flock like a shepherd; he will gather the lambs together and carry them in his arms; he will gently lead their mothers.'

Don't you love that?  He will care for us because we are all his lambs. 

(P.S. my desk never looks this good in real life.  I staged it all cute for my shop photos of the wrapped canvases I will be selling when I reopen February 5th. I just wanted you to know...Keeping it real over here!)


Msmoozys Open House said...

Hun thank you once again for being that reminder that it is ABOUT HIM. It sure can get away from us at times, then the Lord brings people like yourself in our lives to lovingly remind us. THANK YOU ~hugs~ Have a blessed day. :-)

Lea said...

Oh, what truth! I so well remember those years of little ones and my time with HIM had to be in the early morning and since I like the early morning, that wasn't hard for me. But, now, I have plenty of time and still chose to have my time with HIM in the early morning because, as you said, there is nothing like beginning my day with HIM. Hats off to you young Moms that are still in the thick of things. It does get better!

The Every Day Extraordinary said...

Such truth you speak. My thoughts exactly. Thanks for the whisper in the whirlwind sister!

Between You and Me said...

what freedom it is when we realize any time we spend with him is better than no time at all…
this is all part of me learning to RELY on him this year…hitting the ground running is me relying on ME…gotta quit it.

Tonya said...

Love this. Been there. Done that. And came to the same conclusion. ...time spent with Him is never lost.

Leng said...

Beautifully written! Your words really touched me and was a good reminder for what needs to be done in my life. Thank you for that :)

Susan Jeffries said...

Thank you for this beautiful reminder. I cant wait to see what you have created in your shop! Blessings~~ Susan

Kelly Hallahan said...

I love that He gently leads those with young! So grateful.

Shell in your Pocket said...

I love that cute white vase...your pictures are so pretty!
Sandy Toes

Lynn Bennett said...

I needed that... Thank you...

Lynn Bennett said...

I needed that... Thank you...

Tiffini said...

oh echo the heart of so many women...momma's and the age we live in. constant and chronic. we have to fight to focus on Jesus. fight to not take it from Him and do it ourselves. fight to wait on Him. fight to let go and trust Him...fight to believe that God power really IS limitless...praying to day that you are able to bask in His light and KNOW His peace. that each time that urge to jump up and run you are able to process it and just keep focusing on Him and letting go. i am a chronic listmaker and feel frustrated when i can't get it all done so i GET YOU! You are taking new risks and that is always scary but you are safe in His hands...i love all your new stuff is so exciting to open again isn't it? it will be AWESOME! happy saturday...xo

Farmgirl Paints said...

you know this is me too. it's a giant blurrrrr and so hard to focus sometimes. i love your sweet heart. oh and that vase is just lovely in every way. miss you!

Fiona said...

Once again you mix beautiful photos with just the words I need to hear. I'm so guilty of taking the vitamin route, and sometimes, somehow, I even think that reading a Christian blog or two is good enough! And sure it's way better than no reminder of God at all, but it's not real food. Here in Australia school is about to begin for the year, so the crazy is yet to come. But even with the luxury of time and space in the holidays I am tricked into the "not enough time" lie. You've given me a good reminder to make bible reading and prayer a priority as schooldays begin. I hope that you have a week of good time with God ahead in amongst your busyness.

Danielle Broadbooks said...

Amen and Preach, woman! I love this. such an encouraging and wonderful email. I agree completely with everything but the work out metaphor. I mean, when I get finished with a workout, all I feel is that I need a nap! ;) Thanks for your heart, and sharing it with us all on this blog of yours!

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