Read & Pray in Your ‘Walking Around Life’

I was going to subtitle this, “Will Jesus Still Love me if I Don’t Have ‘Quiet Time?” ‘cause I’ve been thinking about that question a lot lately.  Don’t get me wrong—I’ve studied Psalm 119—I know God’s word is the compass for my life, that I can’t live without it.

But sometimes life goes in a different direction.

I remember the days when I was able to sit outside on my deck for an hour at a stretch, maybe three times a week, and just listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit speak. I wrote and wrote and wrote what I heard in those whispers on the wind to me.

I recall sweet moments at my desk reading Scripture or perusing a favorite devotional—Oswald Chambers, Andrew Murray, Charles Spurgeon. The words seemed to light up the page, resonating deep in my spirit.  Time after time there would be an ‘aha’ moment when I sensed God’s presence and His pleasure as I sat to soak myself in the Word.

But I wonder about those folks like myself who find themselves in a season where quiet time is pretty much non-existent. I’m writing a book, shepherding a small group of like-minded writer folks, editing for others and caring for my kids via phone calls and texts that come all hours of the day. I need to be interruptable for that; I wouldn’t have it any other way.

So, what about this question—is there really a divide between sacred and secular? A time that is not God’s (if we belong to Him)? Is He more pleased with me because I take time for studying the word or reading a devotion? Or is He okay (because He knows this season of my life) if I lean into Him when I can, stay hungry for His presence in all the hours of my day?

My son has a new job in a Frito-Lay warehouse (yay for all-you-can-eat Doritos) and he works 60 hour weeks these days. Even on a regular day (i.e. 8 hours) his moments of alone time or quiet time vanish as he communicates with his wife or nurtures his five children. His thirst is there for God’s word—he has a seminary degree, steeped in Scripture inside and out–but the chances to drink are few and far between.

Or what about my niece’s husband, new dad of two, who works nights, sleeps days and hugs his wife and babies in between? Where or how would he, could he, find moments to spend with Jesus? Would it be before or after worship practice, where he plays drums and/or guitar?

Or what about the baristas at Starbuck’s who get up at oh dark thirty to make sure our coffee-fueled world goes on? There are plenty of Jesus-loving espresso-making folks out there—how do they manage to fit in time with God?

And is God worried about that? Really?

Here’s what Oswald himself had to say about “quiet time”; May 12th ‘My Utmost for His Highest.’

“Your god may be your little Christian habit— the habit of prayer or Bible reading at certain times of your day. Watch how your Father will upset your schedule if you begin to worship your habit instead of what the habit symbolizes. We say, “I can’t do that right now; this is my time alone with God.” No, this is your time alone with your habit. There is a quality that is still lacking in you. Identify your shortcoming and then look for opportunities to work into your life that missing quality.

Love means that there are no visible habits— that your habits are so immersed in the Lord that you practice them without realizing it. If you are consciously aware of your own holiness, you place limitations on yourself from doing certain things— things God is not restricting you from at all. This means there is a missing quality that needs to be added to your life. The only supernatural life is the life the Lord Jesus lived, and He was at home with God anywhere. Is there someplace where you are not at home with God? Then allow God to work through whatever that particular circumstance may be until you increase in Him, adding His qualities. Your life will then become the simple life of a child.”

Continue reading “Read & Pray in Your ‘Walking Around Life’”

On Prayer, Potatoes and Pulling Weeds

I have two garden beds in my back yard—one a perennial bed of flowers, the other a 12×6 rectangle of mostly weeds. The flower bed is behaving as expected this time of year–peony shoots with their magenta spikes heading skyward, the clematis tendrils beginning to twirl up and around the bird gazebo. A ‘Sombrero’ Echinacea (bright orange) is just beginning to sneak back through the … Continue reading On Prayer, Potatoes and Pulling Weeds

Wait Training {a #poem}

I want to fly these dumbbells up, down, up, down quick! The momentum of each lift rising at my side pushing past perhaps what’s safe or wise in the name of what? Speed or yes, the checklist-exercise- done! When I slow instead, face the window and raise these weighted arms slow, slow, slow-up; slow, slow, slow- down-the strain increases but the work muscle-wise is longer … Continue reading Wait Training {a #poem}

Summer is for Listening

“My soul, wait silently for God alone; for my expectation is from Him.” Psalm 62:5 “How slow many are to learn that quietness is blessing, that quietness is strength, that quietness is the source of the highest activity–the secret of all true abiding in Christ! Let us try to learn it and watch out for whatever interferes with it.  The dangers that threaten the soul’s … Continue reading Summer is for Listening

Thoughts on an Amaryllis

Dry, peeling globe, whiskered, spidery tendrils bottomside. Topside, a thumbnail pokes through, plays at growing green, threatening strong stalks up, up, up. Blooms are said to hide within– secrets in scarlet, crimson, peach pearly white, the palest pink– a plantiferous palette of possibilities.   But I do not see their beauty now Cannot feel any joy at what is there unseen. I’m feeling bulb-like these … Continue reading Thoughts on an Amaryllis

Journeying–The Romance of the Daily

Today I travel to Southern California for the wedding of the decade.   Well, for my family, it’s the wedding of the decade.    I am the oldest of 5 children and the last time my brothers and sisters and I were together with our spouses was 1999.    My sister L’s only son is being married and as happens on occasions like this, people … Continue reading Journeying–The Romance of the Daily

God in the Yard-Spiritual Practice for the Rest of Us (L.L.Barkat)

Several years ago I felt God speak to me about slowing down and Sabbathing more.  About being purposeful in my restfulness in Him. This is a story of what I discovered. In January of 2013, I ordered a book, God in the Yard by L.L. Barkat (TSPoetry Press)  I had “met” the author online in the Christian writing community. We connected, I emailed her and … Continue reading God in the Yard-Spiritual Practice for the Rest of Us (L.L.Barkat)

Leave this Land and Go!

Cascade Mountains on the Eastern horizon, WA State  j l c. My friend Debbie and I were talking about downsizing the other day.  Our husbands and we are all around the same age–60-ish–and the seasons of our life are definitely changing.  It’s time to spend with grandkids, time to care for aging parents, deal with retirement, employment changes.  Income changes. And did I mention downsizing? As … Continue reading Leave this Land and Go!

This Bears Repeating

     Several days ago I shared a passage from Psalm 103 (vv. 8-13) that has been washing me clean like fuller’s soap the last few days. (Malachi 3:2). The words are still alive, leaping off the page, rolling around in my heart.  After I read what God had to say, I wrote some of my own thoughts in between the lines.  “The LORD is … Continue reading This Bears Repeating

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