We had our next to last meeting of Every Thought Captive. I was driving to group thinking about how tired I was. I parked my car and just sat there since I got there a bit early. I don't know when the last time I had a quiet moment was. I found myself longing for more quiet moments like that. I've missed spending time with God. I've been drained but don't have a second to catch my breath and assess how I'm doing. I haven't journaled, I haven't had any getaways with God, I haven't even had a quiet time in a week! But, I picked myself up and got ready to go inside. I peaked at the chapter we were going to be reading tonight and discovered it was about being busy. I literally said, "dang it!" to God and laughed because that always seems to happen to me! So, we read the chapter together. It was good, I had lots to highlight, things like: "The Lord of all things has the right to determine my schedule and my priorities. And He'll give me the strength to do what really matters to Him."
"Only one thing brings true fulfillment, full and lasting joy. Being in the present stillness with God."
"The choices we make every day--where we shop, what we do with our bodies, how we pass our time--form us. They shape the type of Christians we become. . .[Each choice] creates certain expectations in us, teaches us certain lessons."
"When women become consumed by their past mistakes, they often figure, 'If I can't live without messing up, I might as well stop trying.'
"When I embrace an 'I don't have time for this right now' attitude, my life and my heart breaks down. God becomes a familiar pastime rather than a trusted friend and counselor. My faith becomes a religious hobby rather than a consuming passion."
"It's tragically ironic that we allow ourselves to become bored with God, for it is apathetic Christianity that creates the most joyless living imaginable. We cannot take true pleasure in our efforts or out leisure when disconnected from Joy Himself. We do not have the strength or courage to try new things when neglecting our walk with Christ. And we cannot find peace with ourselves, whether succeeding or failing at any given moment, if we have forsaken our first love."
"He craves your presence, your intimacy, your love."
"Life is not about learning better time management but about learning to let God manage our time."
So many important things to remember! How often do I ask God what I should do with my day? Probably never. :-/ I was telling the girls that I feel so trapped in my schedule. I'm busy all the time but I've looked at my schedule and I don't see how I can give up anything that I do. I work and have church activities and friends and school sometimes. Those aren't really things that I can just stop doing. On the other hand, I long for more time with my relationships and with God. I keep putting it off. I tell myself "once I go to Briefing, I'll have that alone time to get things right with God." or "once I move up to Orange County things will be less chaotic and I will finally have time to sit and journal and figure out how I'm doing inside." I come up with excuses, but deep down, I know that procrastinating won't solve the problem. We finished sharing our thoughts and as we were going through the questions at the end when Fallon decided that we all should take some time on our own, alone with God, for as long as we wanted. I was so grateful! I had been wanting to do that so badly, and was thankful for some designated time to do so. I grabbed my pack of colorful pocket tissues because when I get like this, I always seem to come before God feeling all emotions piled up and they just seem to flow along with the tears as I express my longing and frustration to him. Sure enough, I sniffled my way through my time with God, and came away feeling so refreshed to have poured out my heart to him. It was a good time. I felt I could breathe again. There was one instance when I was sitting outside talking to him that a rush of wind came through the trees, making the leaves dance and playing with my hair. Nature is one of the places I feel closest to God. I associated that wind with the descriptions of God as a breath. It was a beautiful moment. So, as I continue my busy week, I look for those quiet moments and rest in his peace. Take a moment away with him this week. Ask him how he would have you spend that extra ten minutes that comes up in your daily routine. That's what I'm going to do!