Saturday, July 31, 2010

Quiet Time

So I have to admit, I struggle with my own quiet time with the Lord. I let life get in the way and I allow myself to be distracted more than I should. I want to be better about it; I often try to do bible studies to get myself in the habit of reading and praying daily. I still struggle.

I hope that one day I can say that I am so in the habit that it became second nature. That probably won't be for some time. I have also find that there is no shame in reading the bible in the bathroom when you are a mother to small children especially. It is the rare time when I am alone and things are quiet. I also find that a lot of my prayer time happens in the car on the way to the grocery store or to the bank or church.

I am learning that quiet times with God depend on your stage of life. When I was younger, it was easier for me to take time and just be with God. I could take a hike to the top of a mountain and sit and pray with ease. Now I have 1 husband, three children, two dogs, a few friends, and church obligations that seem to demand so much of my time- especially since God has called our family to home-school- talk about no time for myself! But I am learning to adjust to this stage of my life. There are days that my hands barely touch the bible, except to pick it up out of a milk spill or save it from my toddler's crayons. There are days when I get two hours to sit and read (albeit very very rarely!). I am trying to give myself grace on this and remember that God understands the circumstances of my life. But also not letting myself off the hook. So I am finding the times when it is possible for me and God to have alone time- whenever or wherever that may be!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Growing Pains

I remember when I was a teenager and my body was growing so fast that my bones ached. I remember I would cry at night to my mother telling her how much it hurt. "It's growing pains," she would tell me. I never understood why it hurt so much to grow.

Well now I am an adult and I am not getting taller anymore, but I am growing still. The growth I have is the same as all adults, it is internal. This pain hurts too. Some growth hurts more than others, it depends on the nature of the growth and how deeply it is ingrained into your life.

Maybe you decide you want to eat healthier; to stop drinking soda, start cooking homemade food, eating out less, more fruits and vegetables. That can be difficult, especially if you have a big junk food habit. Or maybe you want to be more financially responsible. It takes discipline to follow a budget and make the right financial choices. Those are both difficult things to do and it takes some pain involved with the learning process.

The most painful, however, is when it is something that is woven into your character for years that you have lived with and developed over the majority of your life. That is the most difficult and painful kind of growing pains. That is especially true if it is not your decision to change, but when you have been disciplined by God about that character flaw. When God has to "break us" to show us our sin, to show us how prideful we have been in our own strength, that is REAL growing pains. Those are growing pains that may last for days.

I have found that along with the pain comes a beautiful healing power. The grace that can wash over us after we have been broken is sweet and refreshing. It is redeeming and better than any spa treatment known to man. I have found out something about myself, in this as well. I have never had an easy time fasting- it seems the days that I decide to do it I become extra hungry. But when I am in the grace and going through the brokenness of the growing pains I find that fasting comes naturally. I find my body unable to eat because I am so meditative in prayer. That, for me has been such a beautiful place to understand fasting. I know so many people that can summon that ability easily. I am not one of those people. But I am so appreciative of what I have experienced in the growing pains.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Why Here, God?

So when we first moved up here to the White Mountain area, when we agreed to live 30 minutes from nowhere in the Petrified Forest with our closest neighbors being jackrabbits that have declared war on my summer garden, we knew that it was for a reason. We knew God had a purpose for moving us here, more than just the prospect of saving money and getting rid of some debt. When I explained this to my mother- who is a Christian- she sounded doubtful. But I knew there was a deeper meaning behind this upheaval of our lives.

As we have been trying to find a place up here for our families in the last 8 and 1/2 months, it is becoming clearer and clearer that I was correct in my assumption. There is such a need for people who are passionate about their faith. There are others out here, but the atmosphere of the mountains is so empty of God. The christian radio stations are few and far between, so many of the churches appear half asleep making the good ones so precious. As I have been living up here we have found a terrific church family that we have come to truly love! I have become a part of the worship team and I will soon be starting to help lead. I have also stepped into a place in the youth group. There is a terrific group of teen girls that are ready for some deep discipleship. I am excited to watch them grow and become beautiful women of God and lead their community one step closer to God.

I am not pretending to be the only one up here fighting the spiritual battle that is being waged in this beautiful place, but I am so glad to be a part of it. I am excited to see what God is going to do here. I feel the spirit gaining momentum and can see things at work. It will be such a joy to be involved in this journey!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Hello Again

I just noticed that it has been almost a year since I have actually published anything. It has been a busy 9-10 months! God called us to move 4 hours away to the Petrified Forest National Park- yes we live in a National Park, that is our backyard. We live 25 minutes from the nearest town and it is a bit of isolation. We have had to try to figure out why God called us here, which has been challenging but I think we are getting here.

Also in that time we have had to figure out our new schooling routine as well as my loving hubby's new work schedule. All in all it has been a time of serious adjustment in our lives. At this point things seem to be getting into a routine of sorts and we are adjusting.

I have noticed that this year has been a year of growth and change. I have noticed that my children have grown not only physically but emotionally and spiritually. My oldest has asked that she be baptized and we are going through the meaning of that with her before proceeding, but it has been very exciting. My middle child has started initiating prayer with our family and it has been a beautiful thing to watch.

I know that God is moving in our family and we are going to see some amazing things in the future. I am very excited about the things we can watch happen.