|

How it starts <3

Someone who reads this fairly regularly asked me what I read; as in, who I would recommend as solid faith writers.

It was an interesting question and given the fact that we currently have five open book shelves and some unknown number of hidden book depositories in various closets and boxes that I am too embarrassed to show my husband…

and perhaps an order or two on the way as we speak…

just kidding…

it was fun to think about what my answer to that might be.

As I continue to gather my thoughts on that…

because…

never in a hurry to actually answer in a concise way and I am still formulating my response…

I thought I would just give you my current ingredients for an “ideal quiet time” these days of summer 2017.

And by ideal, I mean that I don’t have to rush around to get out the door and be somewhere before 9 AM.

First off, I do rise early and start in with…

I have done this for years and gone through gallons of coffee, a forest worth of Kleenex, multiple pairs of readers as the eyes have dwindled in strength…

and enough notebooks to…

well…

fill a bookshelf or two.

In all of them, there is nothing routine about the entries except the date.

I always start with the day and the date..and then some days I pour out what’s on my heart.

Some days I start right in with notes from what I read.

And some days…a lot of days in this season…all that is there… is just the day and the date because words have never formed.

It’s called a dry season, people.

And when we have them…we just keep doing the thing until the drought ends.

So in my summer stack of 2017, here is where I connect with God and get fed from the words and writings and thoughts of others on a daily basis…

<3 Current devotional reading is including a “girlfriend” devotion, that two other friends are also reading, called…

The biggest value to this…

besides what God might say on a particular day that I need to hear, in a way I might not think to say it…

is the connectedness I experience knowing my two friends are somewhere reading the same thought.

We don’t talk about it every day, but from time to time will share a text comment or thought about how it hit us.

We are busy, my friends and me…busy with house maintenance and responsibilities of ministry and work and tending to our families that are now navigating adult years as well as loving and caring for extended family.

So sharing a study with a friend or two is a sweet way to embrace a deeper level of friendship as you grow closer to Jesus together. Even if it is long-distance.

<3 I am also reading a collection of daily devotions from A. W. Tozer that are exerts from some of his longer writings.

Tozer was a pastor in the early 1900’s and yet his words are relevant as they inspire me to a deeper level of love and devotion to Jesus.

I do believe he was a coffee drinker and journal writing kind of guy and his words challenge me each morning and lead me from study into worship.

<3 For actual Bible reading and focus, I am continuing to visit and meditate and chew on those Proverbs from earlier this summer.

I was delighted to discover a treasure on our book shelf called Ancient Wisdom The Book of Proverbs with Devotions for Today by James MacDonald. Thirty days of thoughtful applications based on various themes of Proverbs.

Each day ends with a few questions to help me respond and apply the teaching.

It has been encouraging and also a bit painful…

for example…

the teachings on “laziness” have revealed some areas where I have allowed circumstances to overwhelm me.

This morning I had to face a hard truth that I have slipped into an attitude of numbness about things.

He writes, “It’s also very easy to lose the will to care about God and other people when life gets hard and the burdens of the day seem too heavy to bear.” page 39

I may have written “OUCH” in the margin.

<3 Which brings me to the final ingredient of my “dailies” …

I have been using my beloved Prayers that Avail Much collection of Scripture based prayers compiled by Germaine Copeland.

I wore out paper back copies of Volumes 1, 2 and 3 YEARS ago…so eventually purchased the leather bound set of all of her prayers.

Lately, when I realized my prayers had just become venting, griping and whining…

I pulled this old friend off the shelves and have literally been reading through the prayers to end my daily quiet time with God.

If His Word is a sword, then this is one powerful weapon because Copeland has simply taken line after line of God’s written word and woven powerful, mind-changing, attitude transforming prayers that renew my soul to be God-aligned.

And as only He can do…today’s entry was about casting my cares and burdens on Him…

which tied beautifully with the conviction I received in Proverbs.

<3 And then I close up my books and lay down my pen and listen.

This morning the Spirit led me to sing what I can remember of Blessed Assurance and since I love music but am ill-equipped to produce it, I pulled up Third Day’s version on my iPhone and just sat with tears streaming down my face and let them sing to the glory of God while my soul rode along with them.

When I opened my eyes, a little bunny was snacking on our petunias and I felt God smile as I opened the door and the critter just kept munching as he gazed over the top of the pink bloom at my bed-head hair and mascara streaked cheeks.

So that’s how I start my day.

Tomorrow I will give you some other resources I have found to be good food for spirit and soul.

In the meantime…God bless and I would love to hear what YOU do to start your day <3

Share and Save:

2 Comments

  1. Well we both had music and tears this morning. I love the way God connects with me through music! I listened to Chris Rice’s Untitled Hymn (Come to Jesus)- which I believe I want played at my memorial service (when that day comes), and also Crowder’s How He Loves. My standard for some time has been My Utmost For His Highest by Oswald Chambers – a classic. I too am reading Tozer, The Pursuit of God, and probably 7 other books alternately- enjoying Ann Voskamp and Lisa Harper. But I have to ask, how often do you go back and dig into your journals? Is it your hope that others will read them when you are gone? I have been very sporadic at journaling, but have definitely found it to be meaningful – S O A P ( you know , right?) I would definitely benefit from making it a daily thing. Thanks for sharing how you spend your quiet time with Jesus.

    1. Thank you Susan for sharing a glimpse of your quiet time! Oh yes, Oswald! I used that every morning for so many years – and still go back to it … realizing how much his reflections helped point me to Christ. I often find myself quoting his much loved, tear and coffee stained pages in my daily life <3 May have to get that one out again!! My journals...I have some pretty gut-honest things penned on those pages...so not sure who would ever want to read them, but sometimes I have pulled out of those to write the posts. God-time words that He uses to encourage and edify others, I pray <3

Comments are closed.