I haven't been out speaking in about six months.
It's been a long time, and I have been able to tell. However, God knew exactly what my life would become and I believe it was intentional. There was no space in my life, my head, or my heart to be a leader to others. To inspire others. To even put normal clothes for others. It wasn't my time.
This past weekend I got to go away to MO to a camp and retreat I have spoken at before. I fly into KC and then drive for three hours down to camp. This not only provided an opportunity to do what I love, but to also reconnect, refresh, and unwind my soul.
I decided to only bring my bible, Thomas Merton's, "No man is an Island" and "The Shack" as reading material. I was hoping, planning, and expecting to get some good time talking and listening and reconnecting with God. My daily life provides a whirlwind of activity and constant cry's out to God, but this was going to be long winded and dedicated time. I was excited and nervous, as I always am when I try to listen as God speaks. He usually has love to pour on me, but I haven't ever come away from time listening to God where I haven't seen some place in my life that could change for the better.
This is what I learned this weekend.
I have noticed how often I pray for wisdom. I pray for myself, my Paul and I as parents and I especially pray it over my children. I want them to be wise in their choices and living. As I was reading scripture in my cabin, I realized while praying over what I was reading that as much as I ask God for wisdom, I am not searching his word for it. When I read scripture most often it is for praise or encouragement or just to read anything to get his word in my heart. I don't intentionally seek it and search it for wisdom. It seems kind of elementary, but God revealed to me that he wants to speak wisdom into my heart and into my parenting, but I need to be reading and searching for his wisdom.
Lesson learned. God was kind as he showed me my missing piece to this puzzle.
The second thing was how often I pray for myself or my issues. This came about in two parts. First, that it would be good to pray not only for myself and my family but for all of those who I love and even those I don't know. I need to be pulled out of my own little life and remember so many others who need to be lifted up in prayer.
The other piece of this is that I often struggle alone, talk to God alone and pray alone over my issues. This leaves out my partner and best friend. After I have struggled with an issue and God has helped point me to an answer, that is when I inform my husband. He usually gets taken off guard and it's hard for him to catch up. I want to remember and need to include in my struggles. But more than that, I want to invite him in the prayer process with me. When we pray, it is most often just for our children and daily strength. I want to pray over things that God is doing in my heart, open our conversation to see what he is doing in our marriage, and if one of us is being led in a specific way, that God would keep us united in that process.
I can't just assume that what God has told me, he has told my husband, unless we are talking and praying together.
Two fundamental foundational practices, but I had forgotten. Time away this weekend, provided the opportunity to reconnect with the basics, and fall in love with the Lord all over again. I mean this in a way of spending quality time with someone, not just frantic, crazed, cry out for help kind of way, even though that is still good, it's not the same.
God has a way of providing what we need to keep taking the next step. One step at a time.