Friday, September 25, 2015

Quality Time With God...

It's ironic how I find time to pray and really read (study) my Bible or a study-book about getting closer to God and discerning his voice when I'm on business travel. I use the term "ironic" because it's not that I'm any less busy, if anything I'm busier, because I've been in the conference/training all day and still have work to do in the evenings. I sleep less because I miss my daughter and husband like crazy, and just because I'm not in my own bed, so I'm actually more tired too; yet I make it a point to carve out time every morning and evening to pray and read my Bible or study books.

(Squirrel = this is a word we use as a joke around my home when we are in the middle of a conversation and someone digresses completely off topic, which is what I'm doing here...{smile})

I am so thankful for my sister & niece -- they're helping my husband take care of my daughter this week and I'm so grateful that my sister sends me pictures, videos and make sure I get to Face Time with her daily. Being away from my husband is one thing, and yes, I miss him terribly, but sorry honey, not near as much as I do my daughter. I mean, after all, she is the only one that has actually heard my heart beat from the inside and when she says, "Mommy, I need you!" it just pings my heart like nothing else. I never knew I could love another human being the way I love her....it truly is an indescribable love. Okay, back to the purpose of this blog....

Wednesday in our opening session [here at the conference] the topic was on "HappYness." It was a gentleman (business owner) that shared the story of how his company treats their employees and how they deal with real life issues. He used the "HappYness" spelling from the movie "Pursuit of Happiness" and it was sincerely one of the best sessions I have sat through in a very long time.  What really stood out to me, and touched me the most, was the fact that he pointed out that we all have issues and life is messy, but we often don't talk about it or share with others these issues for one reason or another. He ended by challenging for each one of us to really share our story of who we are with others and then "listen" when they share with us. We did not go into "sharing mode" at that time, but I felt in my spirit at that moment that "this one session is the exact reason I was meant to be at this conference, period."

I am in the midst of reading a book by Priscilla Shirer titled "Discerning The Voice Of God" as I truly want to draw closer to my Lord & Savior and I often question if I am really hearing the voice of the Lord or not. I'm sure others have had that same thought and feeling too so I thought it would be beneficial for me to share with you what I'm learning through my journey. One of the hardest things I am learning is that I MUST learn to stop and listen. Really listen, which means I have to be quiet.  Historically, that would have been hard for me. However, as I get older (and wiser) I find that it's not hard to not talk, but what is hard for me is to FOCUS on one thing. My mind often does not stop and it's continually processing, or trying to process several things at once, like what I need to be doing next, what I forgot to do, did I turn off the iron, did I set the alarm, etc....and the list just goes on and on and on. That is where I am finding I struggle. Sooooo, over the last couple of months I have made it a goal to try to be attentive and listen with a purpose to understand and process instead of listening to formulate in my mind a response or what I need to be doing next.  This is going to be a little harder for me so I may need to find me some self-help books...LOL!

In this book I'm reading, she uses a Bible verse "As you enter the house of God, keep your ears open and your mouth shut...After all, God is in heaven, and you are here on earth. So let your words be few." (Ecclesiastes 5:1-2, NLT)  i found this to be so powerful! We've probably all heard the old saying, 'we have 2 ears and one mouth for a reason,' and that's what I'm reminding myself often of late. So during that opening session I really put that to use and I used the time to listen intently to every word he said. I focused on the content and not the other things trying to break into my mind and side track me. I have not perfected that yet, but at least I am trying.  What did happen during that session that really grabbed my attention and tugged at my heart was when he continued to hammer home the concept of "sharing your story." See, a few years back I felt like God was guiding me to write a book about the Grace and Mercy He's bestowed upon my life, to share our heartaches and triumph, to tell others about Him and what He has done for us.  However, what I've found is that I've questioned whether or not it was really from God or if it was just me wanting to shout from the mountain tops and brag about this wonderful daughter He's given us.

I don't have the answers, but what I do know is that life is so full of mercy and grace from our Lord; whether you're walking close to Him now or not, you have no idea the protection that is placed over your life because of someone else's prayers. Take today to examine your heart, think about what your mind is focusing on, and learn to be still and really listen -- whether it's to the Lord, or simply to the person speaking to you. Realize there IS "HappYness" you just have to open your heart and mind and learn to find the good in every situation you're going through.....don't think of your glass as half full - instead I challenge you to just be thankful you have anything in your glass, period!

May God Richly Bless You!!

~Candye