Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Finding God among kids, dishes and dirty laundry...

One of the challenges I face on a daily basis is keeping myself focused on God. I have 4 children under the age of 11 and my life is far from peaceful. When I hear of people being able to take an hour or more a day away in solitude for prayer and Bible study, I can't help but chuckle. I would really just like to have an uninterrupted shower now and then! I can't help but laugh when I think of one of my Bible study times this month. I was sitting at the dining room table with my materials all spread out and was very enthusiastic about studying God's word. There was only one problem. My 16-month-old son, Nathaniel, wouldn't stay out of the way. He was crawling up on top of the table and sitting directly on top of my Bible. I tried to distract him and redirect him, but nothing worked. I would put him down, and he would climb right back up and sit there again. So after about 30 minutes of getting frustrated, I just stopped and laughed and told God, "Well, I guess you are going to have to just tell me what you want me to hear because I can't seem to see it very well for myself right now!"

And God has done just that over the last few weeks. He has become alive in my life again after what has seemed to be such a long and lonely time. I had drifted away from God because of frustrations I had with my particular church. I had allowed disappointment and resentment to distance me from God. I had been running the sound and media presentations during our contemporary service. But after I had Nathaniel, there was no one I could depend on to watch my children so that I could concentrate on the sound cues. I tried for several months to hold my baby and answer my four year old's questions while keeping up with the service, but that proved to be just too stressful for me. So I had to resign and my husband had to take back the responsibility for running the music while he led the service. I became embittered and soon could no longer listen to the praise music that I had used as meditation for so long. I gradually got further and further from God until I arrived at the point of not even being able to pray anymore. I wanted very little to do with our small church that had agreed to relocate but had seemed to sit down on the job. It stayed that way for almost 9 months. It has taken time to reconnect with God. It has been painful to have to examine my life and my reactions to see what might have caused this kind of separation. It is hard to identify your own sins.

We have been in the ministry for 14 years and this is the longest time that I can remember that I felt so distant from God. My life was incredibly full of appointments and meetings and church work but lacked a close relationship to the source of the strength I so badly needed. And without the everpresent Spirit that renews and focuses me, I was frustrated that there was so much ministry to do that we couldn't take time for ourselves and our family.

But what I am beginning to realize more and more is that we are going to have to find a special way to abide in Christ so that He can carry us through the tasks and trials we face on a daily basis.

I have tried anew this last month to set aside time for Bible study and have even found a group of ladies in a church near me. We are studying Beth Moore's The Patriarchs. I am gaining much from the reading and the discussion. But I still find it difficult to be able to focus without being interrupted.

This is where God has been speaking to me lately. He is telling me that at this stage of my life I will not have much uninterrupted time. I will not have an hour every day to spend in meditation or in reading. But He is here in my home and is ready to share Himself with me. If I draw close to Him then he will fill my days and nights with His energy and His peace.

So, I will continue to think about God as I do load after load of laundry. I will sing His praises as I load the dishwasher and vacuum the floors. I will pray for loved ones, church members and others I have yet to meet as I take care of the tasks involved in daily living. I will write a note here and there and maybe in the end I will have the devotional book I have longed to write. I will share the things I am learning along the way and maybe God can use the time I spend caring for my family as a way to touch others.

Holy and Creating God, I give my home and my time I spend caring for my family to you. I ask you to use the gifts that You have given to me in a way that is pleasing to you. I thank you for allowing me to serve You and to praise You. Amen.

1 comment:

  1. Kelley

    If type the words "Dear Jesus" at the beginning, and "Amen" at the end of each blog you write, then the blog will be a prayer.

    Then you can be one of those people who you use to chuckle at for having "an hour or more a day away in solitude for prayer."

    You just don't realize how blessed you are to have the time to write the blog.

    Turn it into a prayer.