It is a fantastic fall afternoon in the Missouri Ozarks. I’m having trouble comprehending that a week ago I was visiting my older son and his wife in Phoenix and it was 100 degrees. But today I am enjoying the colorful trees and the crisp afternoon air that seem especially made for football and hayrides. I just had to sit outside despite the fact that inside is still a partially unpacked suitcase (from the trip to Phoenix) and the associated dirty laundry. So I thought I could be productive while I enjoyed God’s gift.
I’m still on the mountain-top from a women’s retreat. And it’s not just because of the typical women’s retreat blessings that I’m thanking the Lord; you know, the blessings of fellowship, relaxed worship, an inspirational speaker and newly formed friendships. What great reasons for praise! Thank you, Lord, for all of these things. And thank you for allowing me to renew old friendships, as well. It was a sweet time in so many ways.
The topic for the weekend was Quest for Romance. . .Intimacy with God. The cry of my heart has often been, “Lord, I want to know you more.” But just like so many others, I let other things that are much less important get in the way of knowing him better. And that is so unfortunate in that there is nothing else that will positively impact everything else I am and do. So the encouragement to spend the time it takes to be intimate with God was timely.
I’m excited to use the 31-day challenge that speaker, Georgia Herod, gave us for developing a regular time with him. While my time is regular, I want to try the suggestions prescribed to give my time more focus. And yet, that was not the highlight, either.
Thinking back on your walk with the Lord, is there anything that has brought you more joy than being obedient to the Lord’s call on your life? Whether it was simply sitting down to spend that committed time to him rather than let something distract you yet again or to take a complete step of faith in an uncomfortable direction, can you name anything that more meaningful in your relationship with Him?
I think the Lord has been calling me for a long time to begin thinking about changing my “career.” I have worked in my family’s business for over 20 years and my job is a “known.” On the other hand, I love to write and have thought for quite some time that I would eventually like to write a book. More recently I have been considering starting to do some speaking. My husband and I had even talked about the time sacrifices that would most likely have to be made for me to establish myself as a speaker. And yet, I still hadn’t begun doing some of the things that it will take to become a writer or a speaker. And often, I think I was probably arguing with God about the feasibility of it all. After all, I’m not getting any younger; I don’t have a big, dramatic story to tell; my husband doesn’t like to travel; there are lots of other things I “should be” doing.
On September 28 I journaled the following about listening: “I think I’m like someone who asks a question but then just keeps on talking. I keep asking the Lord, “What do you want me to do?” But I don’t think I’ve stopped talking (praying for others or explaining why one solution or another won’t work) to listen to what he has to say.” What I didn’t write, but was thinking was – today is the day I relinquish and say, “Lord, I believe this is what you’ve called me to do, so give me an opportunity and I’ll obey.”
On that very same day, my brother/boss asked me to start working from home because we are growing and he needs the desk for someone else. I have telecommuted off and on over the last 15 years (even in the days of dial-up) so that doesn’t sound like that big a deal. However, I live 35 miles from work, so working from home frees up 90 minutes per day. In addition, my job doesn’t necessarily require that all my work hours be between 8 and 5, which will give me additional flexibility.
On September 30 I had a voice mail from a women’s ministry leader at a church about 35 miles away asking me to lead worship at their women’s conference in October. Now isn’t that always God’s way? He had something in mind I hadn’t even thought of yet – leading worship rather than speaking.
So my mountaintop comes as I return from that retreat where there was a great speaker, tender worship, renewed and new friendships, fellowship and exhortation; but even more than that, it comes from being obedient to the Lord and standing back to watch him at work.
Father, I thank you for this opportunity and for all that you have planned for me. I pray that I will be faithful to all you have for me.