Grab some coffee or some tea and let's discuss Own Your Life chapter 8 on cultivating the practices that deepen your faith. Owning the spiritual disciplines. I really loved how God spoke through her son during that storm and how it was a Bible verse that Sally had taught him and it benefitted them all. I need to work on memorizing scripture with my kids. I just need to be more spiritual disciplined to do it. That was very powerful for me this morning.
"When we spend lots of time with Him, He rubs off on us and we start looking a lot more like Him." My prayer request is that my husband and my kids start to desire Him more. I think we'd have a lot less arguing between siblings and trying to get one another in trouble constantly if we spent more time with Jesus. We do morning time together to start the day with God, but I'm trying to encourage them to read their Bibles for just 5 minutes a day...it's going to be a process...again it's that spiritual discipline.
"We must make an investment of time and effort if we want to experience His blessing, favor, wisdom, comfort, and pleasure. We cannot develop a spiritually strong life apart from Him." I see how much this is true from my own experiences, yet I fall short sometimes. I need to really remember to be in prayer constantly and seek Him for everything first. I think about how many times I just make decisions without thinking and realize that I should have given it to God first. It's all about His will for me...not my own will.
"God does not want us to meet with Him to make our lives busier. Instead, He longs to live in authentic relationship with us." I love that quote and I know it deep down, but again it's a powerful reminder. We spend time with our families, friends, the people that we want to be around. God needs to come first and we need to be spending time in His word to hear him speaking to us. We need to set aside that time as He is, and should be, the most important person in our day. I'm good about doing that sometimes more than others....again I need to be doing it daily.
"Over 500 verses in the Bible are given to prayer, which illustrates how much God values conversation with us." Wow...I know so many times people think that their prayers are stupid are too short or too long...I really don't think that God cares about any of that...He just wants us to seek Him and trust that He is working on our prayer requests. I also loved her description of all that the Word of God was in our life.
"No matter our age, women who live with no margins will eventually come to emotional, mental, and physical harm" We need to be resting on the Sabbath. With 5 kids, we are constantly going somewhere. With 3 of them with special needs, we are constantly at the doctor or counseling or therapy as well. It's exhausting. For years now, I've constantly been on the go. My youngest went off to kindergarten this year and I have been relishing the quiet. It truly has been reminding me that we do need to rest. God does have our best interests at heart by encouraging the Sabbath to be a day of rest. I've been on the backburner for so long now that I have a bunch of stuff going on with me that needs to get sorted out. I'm overweight, I have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, my knee was injured 3 years ago and I didn't have insurance that was the best so it went untreated. It wasn't until this year that I was finally able to get on hubby's insurance at work and I got the surgery 3 weeks ago to fix it. I need to go to the dentist and have dental work done as I haven't been to a dentist in over 5 years. I also need to get my vision tested as it's getting worse. It's all from pushing myself and constantly in a state of go, go, go...and putting my kids needs before my own. Sally also goes on to say "that when we are being busy, constant activity will slowly undermine our perspective on life and kill our souls." I can see that in my own life too now that I have had my own down time and quiet since the kids are all in school.
"Sometimes when we are shouldering too much responsibility, we worry and start to fret. God always seems farther away, life's pressures feel unbearable, and our reactions to people, including our loved ones, become harsh when we live in a state of constant exhaustion." I see this in my fellow trauma mamas and in some other special needs moms that I know. Some of it is our reality of what we are shouldering, but we need to be seeking God and doing self-care and getting respite to rest as well and this was just a reminder too to me of that. I know sometimes being a people pleaser, I don't always say no. I have started to put some boundaries up there too and realize that sometimes for my own sake and for my family's sake, it is ok to say no. My immediate family needs to have a mom that isn't stressed out or burned out by taking care of outside things so I am more careful to what I say yes to. It's been hard to learn for me...again I'm a people pleaser...but I realize that isn't a life God wants for me either. It is ok to say no....I can't make everyone happy. Sunday if the Lord's day and He does have his reasons for wanting us to rest...we need to be obedient and rest. We need that margin in our life.
"To find the rest we need, we must build rhythms into life that includes periods of quiet, times to stop each day." Yes, we do need that...I try to give myself a few minutes of quiet in the morning to pray, study the Bible, I'm writing this blog post now in quiet...well my kids just woke up...but mostly in quiet....I'm also learning to embrace the quiet of the day when my kids are at school...I can actually think and do for myself and not feel guilty about taking care of me. Not having that time for all these years, I can see how it truly is important to get SOME form of quiet in daily...or even savoring a nap at times. The quiet helps to bring down my stress level for sure. Jesus speaks to us in moments of quiet....we hear Him more clearly in those moments of quiet.
I know too sometimes when I am struggling in prayer, a prayer journal helps me...I used to write a different blog when my oldest was little and I used to write letters to God and see Him as just talking to a friend about my day, but it opened prayer back up to me when I was going through a dry spell. Other times I write journal syle prayers...I like to look back and see how God has truly worked in my life. He truly is amazing!
Lord, help us to seek you in prayer always, be in Your Word daily to seek Your Wisdom and guidance and to remember to rest and create that margin not only on Sundays, but also as a part to our day. Amen.