3 things I can’t recover in life:
The word after it’s said,
the moment after it’s missed,
and the time after it’s gone.
(Pinned from hplyrikz.com on Pinterest)
I feel like God has a megaphone pointed straight at me right now. From every direction I am hearing His encouragement to slow down my heart and mind in the midst of my schedule.
Notice I am not talking about slowing the schedule,
but slowing down me within the schedule.
At this time, my circumstances are what they are. I am a working mother with a young son in a home rampant with non-traditional work hours and people coming and going. My husband and I have plans for future adaptations of our family structure, but TODAY, it is God’s will that I do well at home, and at work, and in this ministry. In addition, God wants me to love people well.
These. things. are. His. will.
Rather than hearing God urge me to “set boundaries” and “take care of me,” I think I am hearing Him beckoning me to be fully present in each moment that I live.
The time it took to type the last sentence is now gone forever…
and now that moment is gone…
and that moment too.
My 2015 was grace-covered and amazing in terms of God blessing my efforts. I stand undeserved of the favor He bestowed on me. I experienced observable positive results from my efforts and that is NEVER promised in this life. But in the throes of “success” I often threw potato chips in my mouth on the fly and called it a meal, did not exercise and sometimes collapsed into bed still wearing my clothes. On many days, my husband and I (whom I love to pieces) texted more than we talked.
In December I found myself listening to a video of Rachel Lee teaching on a church website. She explained that the word
ABIDE means UNION AND COMMUNION.
Somehow that word-swap helped me and got me thinking: I want union and communion with God, with my husband, with the outdoors, with my body, with people. You have now seen the front page of my 2016 prayer journal.
I desire union and communion with God.
I pray. I pray a lot. I read and memorize Scripture. But this year I was all too often rushed in my efforts. On too many mornings I was distracted by what I had to do afterward. Yes, I have a young boy to get out of the house in the morning with me, but that can’t be an excuse. Yes, I must check e-mails from students and respond quickly to all problems. It is my job. But I need a calm heart and God’s perspective before I deal with people.
This usually means…
Bible before computer.
Prayer before e-mail.
Family before Twitter.
I desire union and communion with my husband.
I don’t want a “business” partner with whom I run a well-scheduled family that is provided for and kept safe. I want union and communion with a spouse on a mission with me to create a home in which we love, know and raise children who grow up to love God all their heart, soul, mind and strength.
I desire union and communion with my body.
I want to enjoy my food and the people with whom I am eating. I want to treat my body — the temple of the Holy Spirit — with respect. I want to serve God long and well in it. None of us are guaranteed to go to bed with a healthy body tonight, so I want to enjoy the one I have today. I confess that I go days without appreciating the fact that I can even walk! I have headed from my car to the office with my mind on work and never appreciated one step or greeted one person along the way. I want to enjoy the gift of walking, eating, talking, touching and greeting.
I desire union and communion with the outdoors.
Weird thought, I know, but last year I wondered what my biggest regret would be if I were suddenly bed-ridden from injury or illness. It was this, that I did not enjoy being outside enough. I would be so sad (and mad) that I did not breathe in enough fresh air and enjoy using and moving my body outside. The little dipper sits directly over my house right now at night. I have not spent enough time gazing at its beauty in the night sky.
I desire union and communion with people.
Is it possible to be fully present with someone when you are with them? To stay in each sentence as they are speaking it? Is it possible to not rush one single moment? I think it is possible in the power of the Spirit. I am thinking that is how Jesus lived his 33 years and why He was able to change the world with his brief time. He stayed connected with God, and therefore connected perfectly with people. That is why I believe He was able to interact uniquely with each person He encountered.
Jesus had no protocol, no routine, no script that “worked.”
He was perfect every time.
That same perfect Spirit now abides in me as His child and Jesus says to me…and you…Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. (John 15:4)
Moments are all the same length. Time is NEVER rushed. It clicks along at exactly the same pace every moment of history. It’s me that tries to rush it along. In all my efforts to rush a moment along, however, I have never succeeded. I have never changed the time-span of a single one, only wasted it.
That is why in 2016, I am attempting to reject the perceived battle that I can slow or speed time and instead engage in the battle to ABIDE.
These are the desires that I will be taking before the Lord all year. I will be waiting expectantly to see what He does with this heart of mine that beats with all these slow-down desires in a speed-it-up chaotic world.
Breathe, Laurie, breathe…I hear Him say.
“Lord, teach me how!”
then the LORD God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature. (Genesis 2:7)
Every breath is from Him anyway. My life is His. Hours pass by whether I use them or waste them, ignore them or pay attention…but I cannot rush them. They belong to no one but Him.
Let’s ABIDE this year.
Photo credit in this blog belongs to this beauty. She grabbed my camera and took her siblings for a photo shoot to create a montage for her dad for Christmas. Are you kidding me? Hope you enjoyed. Dad certainly did!
© 2016 by Oaks Ministries. All rights reserved.
Good thoughts! Beautiful and meaningful shots!
I will pass the photography compliment along!
I loved this! Union and communion…helps me focus on the purpose of abiding. Thank you, Laurie.
Glad it helped you too.