Sleep hangs off the child as she slowly shuffles her way into the kitchen. Silent slow hugs ensue. Face buried in my chest, she murmurs, “Morning.”
“Yes it is,” I breathe in the smell of her hair. “Have you spent time with Jesus yet?” I ask, knowing the answer. “He misses you.”
“Mmm. No. Back later,” she untangles herself from my arms and slowly wanders back to her room to begin her devotional.
“What did He have to say this morning?” I smile and wait, eagerly.
Discussion follows. Today’s theme was, “Do not grumble. Do not worry.” And she sees Him after hearing His voice.
It’s an old conversation, over a decade of greeting all my kids the same way each morning.
And often, I get it right myself, but sometimes, I don’t.
Recovering from a week of drama via conflict, car accidents and deadlines, feeling over-scheduled and lacking in gratitude, Monday’s beginning came with drowning by inbox and my heart sank. So. Much. To. Do. So many people wanting this or that, commitments to keep, items to find, questions to answer, information needed, taxes looming. I just wanted to sit and read to my daughter. I wanted to bake cookies on this bleary cloudy cold day. The pressure of performing tightened my throat amidst the plethora of activity. I’m menopausal now, so pouring myself out felt very literal on this particular day as life burst out of me like the deluge of an oncoming flood, contributing to physical exhaustion wracking my body.
And the whispers of original sin licked around the edges of my psyche, drying up hope like the parched cracked earth of eastern Montana. I was ungrateful. Had Adam and Eve been grateful of what they had, they might not have wished for what they did not.
Amidst the cacophony of thoughts of self, festering disappointment, and looming stress, there was another voice.
It was small.
“Be Still,” He said.
“Know,” He whispered.
The ache to be with Him welled within. Turning from the laptop, I realized quickly how much I missed Him. An hour into a day started too soon by a phone call, He brought me back to the Most Important Conversation. The one that needed to begin each day, or I forgot how to be grace. I forgot how to be joy. I forgot how to be love. I forgot how to be loved.
And in gratitude of being remembered, I began by giving thanks.
Fifteen minutes later, my heart full, I simply waited for His teaching. His Word came to mind, and I opened my Bible and dwelled. And at the end of our time together, I emerged energized but calm, confident once again in His ability to focus me and direct my path for the day.
And when I went back to the emails, after schooling my daughter and taking care of a number of home responsibilities, I found encouragement. Confirmation.
I wasn’t crazy.
We just need to be listening.
A lovely woman named Krystal from Idaho wrote me, bursting with what He had done in her life as she completed the journey of The Respect Dare. I get a few like this a month, and consistently marvel at His relationship with others. He is a Person, yes, He is God, but it’s not a bunch of rules or an institution.
It is relationship. She knows Him, too… listen in…
I was lying in bed one night reading the chapter entitled, “The Play Set.” The chapter wanted me to ask God if there was an area in my life that needing organizing.
Afterwards, this little voice in my head said that I needed to listen to God more. Then I heard a siren outside somewhere. It kept getting louder and louder as the emergency vehicle sped on, but the Voice in my head got louder and louder too. It said, ” Listen to me, not the siren! Listen to me, not the siren!” The Voice continued till the siren had passed. I looked down at the book and the first paragraph my eyes laid on was, “God helps us in our relationships, but only when we listen to His still, soft voice. Choose to listen and your family will benefit!”
I knew, without a doubt, that God was answering my question about an area that I needed to improve. He showed me that I need to step away from the distractions in life to focus on listening for His voice. Women need to organize time out of their busy schedules to just listen to God. We also need to be patient in waiting for him to communicate to us. We shouldn’t get discouraged if he doesn’t directly talk to us. He can talk to us through people, the Bible, Christian music, and Christian books such as The Respect Dare.
The Voice of Proverbs this week keeps telling me the same things:
Proverbs 28:1 The wicked flee when no one pursues, but the righteous are as bold as a lion.
Proverbs 15:29 The Lord is far from the wicked, but He hears the prayers of the righteous.
The word, “righteous,” means “1) just, lawful, righteous 1a) just, righteous (in government) 1b) just, right (in one’s cause) 1c) just, righteous (in conduct and character) 1d) righteous (as justified and vindicated by God) 1e) right, correct, lawful” according to NetBible.org
In other words, obey God’s Word, and you can be bold (brave) and He will hear your prayers and be close to you.
Dare you to begin today. Read Proverbs 28 – today’s the 28th of the month. And then stop and pray, giving thanks first. Then LISTEN. Repeat daily – and you’ll start hearing His voice and seeing Him in the midst of everything.
Be righteous. Dare ya.
Love to you! And I’m so very glad you are on the journey with us!