Sunday, June 26, 2016

The Years Of Not-So-Quiet, Quiet Times

In the thick of winter I bought myself a new journal, one covered in everything spring, a spiraled stack of blank papers covered in bright colored flowers.

It's hard in a world of social media and blogs to discern which of the things that He's revealing to me in my little world are to be shared and which things are meant to be just between Him and I as He carries me through the ebbs and flows of my life.

But sometimes the things He walks us through forge this intimacy with Him that wouldn't be near as intimate if tacked on the door of the Wittenberg Castle church like Luther's 95 theses, which the Lord knew the world needed to hear.

The world doesn't need to hear my every thought.

In fact much of my thought life could be labeled an internal battle, a wrestling through things that I read in His word; many things that make little sense to my childlike mind, and equally as many things that captivate my heart, things  I long to know in the depths of me. Some of the most necessary soul struggles need to be fought in the secret places__ places like spring covered journals in the thick of farmhouse winters.

Over the past decade my life with the Lord has been surround by tiny toes and toddler fits and middle kid quarrels. When did I ever get the notion that time alone with the Lord means a recliner, a cup of tea, and silence? I have often thought of Paul and his journey with the Lord and how his most intimate moments were spent in places like prison and shipwrecks.

I long for quiet, but I live in the loud.

So all winter long and into the summer, I wake up in the wee hours and I pull out that spring covered journal and His Love Letter to me. The sunlight spills in through the farmhouse windows and the baby coos loudly next to me on the bed.

The toddler toddles in minutes after my hunt through the Word has begun. I walk to the kitchen, whip the little lad up some eggs and sit next to him at the long farmhouse table. I read another line, write down another thought, another prayer.

A third child stumbles down the stairs. I close my journal and my prayers become verbal as I walk back into the kitchen to fill another cup of water and pour another bowl of cereal.

One by one, all six end up around the table. A quarrel breaks out. I walk them through it. Hearts soften. The offender makes it right, apologizes, asks for forgiveness.

Our day keeps moving forward.   I pick my favorite line from His Love Letter and I read it out loud to all my treasures, knowing full well that half of them didn't even hear a single word and the other half are only beginning to ponder His words__ I read anyway and I pour out in small portions and I whisper to Him my desires for all six to know Him a million times more intimately than their Mama knows Him.

This morning's favorite__
 "And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.  To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen." 1 Peter 5:10-11

He is at work in this place. 

He is at work through the noise and the quarrels and the dismembered moments of this Mama's eyes scanning the pages. 

It's in our longing to know Him that He is faithful to make us strong, firm, and steadfast__ not necessarily in our recliner, with our cup of tea, in a silent room. 

It's not a location or a circumstance that creates intimacy__ Intimacy can come even on the days when all we can manage to do is whisper  His name and acknowledge with a deep breath in, our never ending need for Him.

Our days begin and end with Him, in all of our mess, in all the loud__ Him bringing hope and amity to all these longing souls under this farmhouse roof.