The tree is down, the sparkly ornaments put away. The memories are made and I seek normalcy.
A normalcy that’s been delayed due to the crazy winter storm – just an aside. After three snow days tacked-on to the end of Winter Break, I’m twitching a bit.
It’s now that I often find myself spiritually dry. Ironic, since it’s on the heels of a season when we’re supposed to be filled with Him.
Yes, I know the reason for the season. But sometimes it feels different for a mama because at the end of the day, we are the gatekeepers of detail. Details that invade brain cells holding information such as where I left my cell phone, when my chiropractor appointment is supposed to be, and if we have milk or not. Another aside.
So today, I take my spiritually-dry self and pad to the kitchen table where my Bible awaits, lonely. Deserted for two weeks.
I pray for Him to fill me, to breathe new life into my weary bones that are caring for children and wife-ing a husband with no break during the storm. And while I don’t dare whine of that very often – there are far greater challenges to overcome in this world – it’s all relative. Just because there’s suffering elsewhere in the world doesn’t mean God doesn’t care about what we feel and think.
He works on each of us right where we are.
He guides me to Genesis 16, where Hagar has fled a grumpy mistress who was treating her terribly for doing simply what she was told to do.
“You are the God who sees me,” for she said, “I have now seen the One who sees me.” (Genesis 16:13)
And I am reminded. He sees me.
Even when I feel like what I’m doing doesn’t matter. Even when I feel so very unseen. Even when all I get accomplished in a day is run a million carpools, fold laundry, and make food. Rewind and repeat.
After a few weeks away from the words that breathe life, He is there. Of course. He isn’t the one that goes anywhere.
So as we delve into the “Love Well Project” and focus this first week on loving God above all else, I felt led to compile a list of five ways to put Him back where He’s supposed to be – at the top:
1. Pray. Without ceasing. It doesn’t have to be formal or follow a specific format. It just needs to be real, raw, and repentant. He already knows what’s on our hearts – He just wants to hear it from you. And there’s nothing He can’t handle so let it go, friends.
2. Immerse yourself in His word. I once rolled my eyes at this because I was in a mothering season of very (very) young babies and could hardly even find time to shower let alone sit down in peace without falling asleep. In those days, I repeatedly read the Jesus Calling devotional and looked up the scriptures – that’s all I could muster. But guess what? His word is His word is His word. He gently leads those with young. Now, I’m able to be a part of Bible Study Fellowship and I’m in in-depth study because the season of those very early years has passed. The point is – get in His word and give yourself grace. Your quiet time might look different from someone else’s quiet time but at the end of the day, it’s about hearing truth and communing with Him. Truth transforms. Don’t look sideways – just do it.
3. Guard yourself against what’s out there. Oy vey . . . this is a slippery slope. There’s alot of stuff in this world that doesn’t encourage us to be the best we can be. Confession: I love People magazine. Personally, I don’t think it’s wrong to read People magazine UNLESS . . . you aren’t balancing it out with some fruit. People is like a bag of peanut M&M’s – a guilty pleasure, for sure, but if we live on peanut M&M’s alone, we’ll be quite malnourished. Get my drift? It’s the balance between being IN the world but not OF the world.
4. Worship Him. Worship doesn’t have to happen just on Sunday mornings before the sermon. Worship can happen when you use the gift He gave you for glorifying Him. Or when you sing at the top of your lungs while unloading the dishwasher. Or when you sing “Jesus Loves Me” with your child’s preschool class. It isn’t about us – it’s about Him. Yet when I worship, goodness happens within me as well because I’m nurturing the Holy Spirit who lives within. It’s a symbiotic relationship (and yes, I recognize He has authority over me. I just like to use high school biology terms when I can.) I should also mention here that if we are worshiping something other than Him, it’s time to lay it down. We won’t get very far if we don’t.
5. Love well. When we love others well, we show the world who lives within us – and that’s Him.
Love Well Project Assignment: How will you love God above all else from now until Monday? What practices will you add or continue (or stop!) to focus more on putting Him where He needs to be? Share in the comments (I love to hear from you!) and write it on your calendar or wherever you will see it often.