Sitting with Jesus for normal people

A few weeks ago I wrote on Habits and I thought I would delve deeper into my habit of spending time with Jesus today….

Most mornings one of the first things that I do is to sit up in bed and sit with God.   I need his presence.  I need to know that I am not alone and by sitting with him I remember that He is with me.  I slowly wake up, allowing myself to stay under my covers probably too long, and then after a trip to the potty(as quietly as I can tip toe so I don’t wake up my kiddos),  I sit up in bed.  I slowly allow my mind to wake up as I stare out the window in front of me.  Sometimes I have an hour (these are my favorite times) and other times I have five minutes because my children are already awake and I have told them that Mommy needs at least five minutes with Jesus.

 

This morning, I finished my time with both of my children on my lap.  I say this to let you know that this is not a perfect process.  Far from it.  I am not the devotion Queen.  Actually,  I don’t even like calling it that.  I am a quality time and words of affirmation in the love languages that most fill me up.  Spending time with Jesus covers both of those love languages.  It is something I have decided is important so I try to do it everyday.

 

It now feels like a special time that is just mine and His.  Sometimes I feel a smile come to my face simply sitting up and doing nothing for a few minutes.  It can be hard to just sit, but even if it’s for a moment, its powerful.  Honestly, I can get more from letting Him be God by sitting, its as if He is infusing me with strength.  “Be still and know He is God” this is how I begin.

 

Then, I usually have a book or a bible study to go through.  I am better with a loose plan because then I stay with it.  I have something to tangibly hold.  I have something that might even have fill in the blanks and being a natural student this works for me.  There usually is a scripture within the material that jumps off the page to me and then I will stay with it longer.

 

Last week I remembered how much I have liked meditating on scripture in the past.  I haven’t done it in a while so why not return to it?  I wondered what to meditate on.  I always seem to return to John 15.  I get the basic gist of the passage but the details are still a mystery to me.   John 15 it was.

 

He says, “Abide in me and I will abide in you.”  I have tried to wrap my mind around this for awhile to no avail.  Then, I came to this version, “Live in me, as I live in you.”  This is more relatable to me.

 

Live in me.

 

Generally, I wonder, how in the world can I live in God?  Live in me.  I have repeated this phrase when I remember it through the day.  Often, it is when I am on the toilet!  Being honest here.  I am a mom and sometimes the bathroom is a quiet place, where I stop and actually remember to meditate on this verse!  As I have, it has become less overwhelming or impossible feeling.  Live in me as I teach my kids.  Live in me as I wash the dishes.  Live with me.  Allow your Father God to join you as you do your daily things and you are with your people.  Give your Father permission to be your homebase.  He is your beginning place and your end.  He is your all.  Live in me.

 

As I live in you.  The God of the universe lives IN me.  I believe this is something we are never meant to wrap my mind around.  It is something to sit in awe with.  It is something to figuratively hold hands with and take comfort in.  He lives in me.  This is why I am never alone, because I really am not.  As I live in you.  As I try to new things or walk through new territory for me, He is with me.  I have his power in me.  The other day was one of those overwhelming days with my kids where I had to remember this parenting gig is a process, and not done in a day.  It was during this day that I remembered God has patience as one of his fruit and since He is in me, I have it too.  His patience is in me.  As I live in you.

 

The crazy thing is the more I live in God, such as meditating on this verse, the more He lives in me, because His words, His heart is in me.   I am not here to talk theology, my mind is not wired that way but more in relationship.  What I do know is the more of me, the more time I spend with God, the more He is realized in me.

 

This relationship is worth pursuing is basically what I am using all of these words to tell you.

 

Wondering how you can fit time in your day to sit with God?

 

Begin small.  Give what time you have.  I have sat with God during my first child’s naptime.  At that time I had never had a regular morning habit.  When I had my second child, that time disappeared, so in one stage I would put my baby in her baby swing while my older one napped so I could have that time.  When the kids are eating breakfast or right after you put the kids in bed could be other times.  Do you commute?  Listen to a audio Bible, then stop it and meditate on it.  Pray from it.  See where there is a crack in your day and begin with five minutes for a month.  Then move on from there.  Try different times until one sticks.

 

Be You.  You may not be a sitting type of person.  Go on a walk with worship music or an audio bible and stop it when a line or verse feels like what you need right now.  Turn it off and as you walk or run meditate on it.  Then, pray it.  Perhaps you like using your hands.  Have a Bible close by to your craft project or your kitchen sink.  As you are washing dishes or knitting that line, read a verse, meditate on it and pray.  Remember who you are, what you love and meet with God right there.

 

Be forgiving. There will be days you sleep too late.  That is me.  There will be days you may forget or days that are so very full.  Forgive yourself.  Do not linger in shame but wrap yourself in grace.  You are ok.  You are still loved by your Father.  It’s not about performance or accomplishment but about being present with God.  So, right when you feel the yuck of shame, begin again right there.  You can always begin again.

 

I will say that again, you can always begin again.

Live in me, and I live with you.  There, that is your invitation.

a permission slip for you

As I sat reading, a thought began to form in my brain.  It was actually a grand realization.  I love it when an idea seems to grab you and it won’t let you go.  Slowly, the thought came into words.   I don’t have to have an answer.  I really don’t.  I don’t always have to have an answer to give people or even myself.  I do not have to know everything.  Gosh, when did I begin to think that I had to?!

That is so freeing because normally I feel like I need to have an answer.   I feel like I need to have an answer to what we are doing in the future or where we are going to live.  I need to have an answer to my whole thought process toward our homeschooling journey or to some other area in life.  I feel like I need to explain myself to everyone.  And I don’t.

 

Recently, I felt like I needed to have a final end date to our homeschool year.  Since my husband has been a teacher for the last six years and I have lived most of my life with the school calendar I think this felt like a given.  But, it doesn’t have to be!  Whoa.  So, I have surrendered a concrete end date to our year.  I have realized since education is a lifestyle it will be more of a flowy thing, with rather blurry ending and starting dates.  We will go on our road trip, which will be one big learning experience.  When we come back, we will continue where we left off, coming inside when its too hot to be outside.  We can follow the natural season and be still to listen to the season that God has us in as well.  We will keep on going and finish the books we have begun and then move on.  Every summer, I want this neat and tidy plan, and it never works that way.   But, we do find ourselves into a rhythm.  So, I won’t know all the answers for this summer, and I don’t have to.  I can have some dreams, hopes, goals and must finish items.  And that is ok too.

 

Sometimes I need to give myself a giant permission slip.  This is what this essay is, a permission slip for you to not have an answer when you think you need to.  You don’t.  Amen.

a morning habit

Habits.  This has been a word on my heart and mind for the last couple of years.  I desire healthy habits for my children AND myself.  Habits are wonderful.  The day to day building of these habits?  Perhaps not as wonderful!  😉  Habits take dedication, discipline and doing things you sometimes don’t want to do.  Don’t tell my children I just said that.

Slowly, I have built a morning rhythm.  One habit on top of each other.  I make my bed, wash my face and do yoga, most days.  Sometimes I trade yoga for a shower.

My most important habit though?  It is what I do, first thing, after I have allowed my mind and body to wake up.  This sometimes takes long or short, it depends on the day.  I am a slow morning person.  I sit up in my bed.  Sometimes I light a candle and most days I open my curtains so I can stare at the world outside.  I sit back down and reach for my Bible, journal and current bible study.  I sit with Jesus.

When my first was little I would sit with Jesus during his first morning nap.  He was a glorious nap-taker and I would have one nap to sit with Jesus, one nap for something creative and then sometimes another one to do, I cannot even remember anymore!  So much free time!  It was when I had my second child that this all changed.  She was an early riser and not much of a nap taker.  Sometimes I would put her in the baby swing during my son’s nap so I could look at my bible then.  It was when she was one, that I realized if I wanted to fit in things that were important to me, I would have to start making new time for them, I would have to begin new habits.  I began with five minute yoga routines and even then my kids were crawling over me!  I learned that I could not even get out of bed to do my time with Jesus because otherwise I would get distracted and start cleaning something.  It was then, that I put my Bible and journal right by my bed.  Genius, right?!

Sometimes I wake up an hour before my kids get up.  Sometimes it is five minutes.  Sometimes I have to tell them to play for ten minutes while I sit with Jesus.  I love the hour times with God, they are amazing.  This year has not been a regular one hour times with God and I have had to give myself grace.  But, guess what?  Even, if I only have five minutes with Him, the verse I read, has power.  I can feel his presence, and just knowing or remembering with me, makes all the difference.  I need this long or short time of remembering that my Father is with me and remembers me.

This verse from the Psalms has shouted to me this week, “Let the Morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you.  Show me the way I should go, for to you I entrust my Life.”  Each morning, by showing up, I allow my Father to bring me word of his unfailing love.  I need to hear it every morning.

Building habits allow space for God to speak in them.  Building habits is a process, day by day.  Building habits are so worth it.  Give yourself room to mess up (I am speaking to myself here too) and allow room to see what beauty grows out of these habits.  Amen.

Words for Today.

“Start by doing what is necessary, then, what is possible, and suddenly you are doing the IMPOSSIBLE.”     – St. Francis of Assisi

“Our goal should be to live life in radical amazement, to get up in the morning and look at the world in a way that takes nothing for granted.  Everything is phenomenal; everything is incredible; never treat life casually.  To be spiritual is to be amazed.” – Abraham Joshua Heschel

😉