Jul 20

Quiet Time~You Need Space

***This was originally posted in January, 2011.

 

Many years ago, I was trying to establish a daily quiet time. There was only 1 problem.  There was no quiet place in my house.

We have 6 people living here, 4 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, a den, a kitchen, and a laundry room.  For me, in order to have  a quiet time that I can have consistently, it has to be early in the morning.  I can’t use my own bedroom because my husband is still sleeping. I can’t use the den because inevitably one of the kids will wake up and want mom for something. When I’m having my quiet time, which equals my time alone with God time, I can’t be disturbed. So, my creative husband, knowing how badly I needed a space to call my own, created that space for me in a very unlikely place.

My quiet time area, or Mama’s Cubby, as it is lovingly referred to at our home, is located in the back of our…laundry room.  Yep, my sweet space is shared with a washer and dryer.  “Lovely” you might say, sarcastically. It’s not the ideal space, but it works. And it’s worked well for ten years.

I think every girl needs her space. A space where you can call your own and you cannot be disturbed unless the person needing you is in severe pain or bleeding. (that’s our rule!)  So ladies, I’d like to share with you, my quiet time area…my cubby…my space:

Just beyond the washer and dryer, lift up the clothes, hanging to dry after being washed, to reveal my space.  This was nonfunctional space. A small narrow area that could not be used for anything really. So, Jeff, put a piece of wood between the 2 walls to make me a desk. On the wall in front of the desk, I have posted pictures, verses, and other inspirations.

Here is a closer look at my work space today. My Bible, my journal, and my cup of coffee.

The wall in front of me.  Pictures, artwork, and many index cards affixed with tape containing verses that keep me going.

Here is one of the index cards with my Grammy’s favorite verse. She died a few years ago.  She was a major influence in my life.

Not everything in my cubby is spiritual.  Here is a newspaper article about the Brad Paisley concert that I attended.  :)

And Duran Duran.  :)  (don’t judge me for my taste in music)

Well, lookie here.  My contract that I signed with L.A. Weight Loss 4 years ago.  (great and healthy plan btw…I lost 20 pounds. Unfortunately, when it was all over, I gained the 20 back.  Plus 25 more. Not the plan’s fault. )

I love this.  I know it’s hard to see. It’s a note that my oldest son, Blake, left me to find in the morning when I go to my space.  Can you read what it says?  “Mom, Have a Great Quiet Time This Morning…”  Ain’t he sweet?

That same sweet child, who is now 17, is pictured here with my cutie pie husband.  I love this pic.

And here’s another note of encouragement. This one is from my youngest, Hayley Grace.

Blake wrote this about 5 years ago.  It states what our family believes. I love this because, I communicate this to our kids and hope they get a little of it.  But Blake took it one step further and wrote it all down. We had this on our fridge for about 2 years.

This picture is hanging up in my space. It’s when Hayley Grace was born. This was the first time she met her brothers.

Here is what this space is really all about. A place where I can go and everyone knows not to interrupt me.  I read the Word of God, study it, and discover how it applies to my life. I treasure this.

These are my notes on the Made to Crave study.  I’ve already started preparing.

And from the chair I sit in as I have my quiet time, if I turn around, this is what I see. Clothes hanging up to dry. Beyond these clothes are the washer, dryer, and storage spaces for our family.

I am sharing this with you to hopefully inspire you to find a place of your own. Maybe you already have one. But if you don’t, look for one. You need your own space.  A place where you can meet with God, do your Bible study, pray, and think.

So where do you have your quiet time?  Where do you find some uninterrupted peace and quiet?  If you have a space, please comment and tell us about it.  And if you don’t why not?  What’s keeping you from it?  Kids?  Time?  Space?

Maybe we can share ideas and encourage each other here.

You need your own space. You deserve it.  So find it and claim it!

Have a fabulous day!   :)

***To get the latest Online Bible Study news, check out the new Online Bible Studies Facebook page.

Melissa
Jul 19

Hearing the Coach’s Voice

This devotion was written by me eight years ago. I think it goes well with our study this week.  Hope you enjoy….

 

Hearing the Coach’s Voice


“Come here and listen to me!  I’ll pour out the spirit of wisdom upon you and make you wise.”  Proverbs 1:23 (NLT)


Devotion:

I was recently attending a soccer game of my eight year old son, Hayden. He prefers to play offense, in hopes of scoring a goal, but on this particular day, his coach had him playing defense for the majority of the game.  His coach had recognized that even though Hayden was good at playing offense, he was even better defending the goal as a defensive player.  The game was very close and our team was down by one.  Everyone was excited and many of the parents were a little vocal to say the least.  I noticed the coach shouting to Hayden, “Back up and play your position”.  Another adult spoke up saying, “Kick the ball and follow through”.  Still another voice urged, “Come on #9, chase that ball, go for the goal!”  “Move up”, “Go right”, “You can get it”!  The coach was beginning to get impatient and finally said, “Come on Hayden!  Listen to me!”  I noticed the look of frustration on my son’s face.  He looked as if he were about to cry.  When the game ended, I asked Hayden what was wrong.  He simply replied, “I couldn’t make up my mind who to listen to!  I couldn’t tell which one was the coach’s voice.”

 

This situation provided me with two important lessons – one for my son and one for me.  For my son, I explained that in order to discern the coach’s voice, he needed to stop, be still, and look at his coach. I encouraged him to listen to that voice only and learn to recognize it so he could always hear it above the rest.  And then, the most important part, to obey his coach’s words.  Even though all the others meant well, it was his coach that he needed to listen to and obey.  Then he would be a wiser and better soccer player.

 

My lesson was much like my son’s but with eternal ramifications. How often am I guilty of not listening to my Coach’s voice?   In the book of Proverbs, God says “Come here and listen to me!  I’ll pour out the spirit of wisdom upon you and make you wise.”  So often I get busy…too busy to stop and “come here and listen” to the voice of my Coach, my God, whose voice is the only one that matters.  Just like Hayden, sometimes when I do not slow down, I hear many voices.  Friends, family, books, television, and others mean well but can never take the place of He who is in authority of me.  In Hebrews 2:1, we are told to listen very carefully to the truth we have heard, or we may drift away from it.  In order to listen very carefully to anyone, I must first silence everything else around me.  Then and only then can I determine the one and only voice of my Coach.


This situation, an ordinary soccer game, proved to be such an important life lesson for both me and Hayden.  I shared the lesson I had learned with my son.  I confessed that I had been way too busy and that God was calling me to slow down so that I could hear His voice.  I also told Hayden that the next step was for me to demonstrate the truth I had learned by actually obeying God.  I committed to guarding my quiet time with the Lord, reading and obeying His Word, and being still enough to hear what He had to say.  A story from the Old Testament came to mind and drove this truth home.

 

In the book of Deuteronomy Moses is recounting the Ten Commandments for all of the Israelites.  He needed their attention, so he “summoned them” (NIV), he “called all of the people of Israel together” (NCV and NLT).  In other words, he gathered them so he would have a captive audience – an audience that would be sure to hear him. Chapter five begins with Moses saying, “Listen carefully to all the laws and regulations that I am giving you today.  Learn them and be sure to obey them!”

 

Listen, learn and obey.  Just as Hayden’s soccer coach called him to listen, learn and obey, Moses called the Israelites to do the same.  And our Lord is calling us all to an obedience that always begins with hearing the Coach’s voice and culminates in wisdom. “Come here and listen to me!  I’ll pour out my spirit of wisdom upon you and make you wise.”


My Prayer for Today:

Dear Lord, help me to guard my time and focus on what You are saying to me.  Slow me down when I get too busy to hear Your voice.  I trust You to give me the wisdom I need in this game of life.  Help me to listen, learn and obey Your Word.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Application Steps:

Recount the order of your daily schedule.  Are you taking time to hear the voice of the Almighty Coach?  Evaluate how well you are listening, learning, and obeying His voice.

What life lessons from God can you teach your child (ren) today?  Take the time to nurture your children by sharing daily what God is doing in your life and theirs.

Wisdom is knowledge in action.  Write down one way that you can put into action something you know that God wants you to do.  Then be obedient and do it!

Reflection Points:

Am I spending time with God so I can be sure it is His voice that I am hearing?

Do I seek advice from friends, family, or popular personalities before going to my Heavenly Father?

Are my children learning how to determine the voice of God?  Am I taking the time to teach them?  Am I showing them by doing this in my own life?

Power Verses:

Psalm 46:10, “Be still and know that I am God.”

Hebrews 2:1, ” So we must listen very carefully to the truth we have heard, or we may drift away from it.” (NLT)

Deuteronomy 6:4,  “Hear O Israel!  The Lord is our God, the Lord alone.” (NLT)

Mark 4:9,  “Anyone who is willing to hear should listen and understand.” (NLT)

Luke 6:49,  “But the one who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation.  The moment the torrent struck that house, it collapsed and its destruction was complete.” (NIV)

 

Melissa
Jul 17

Hidden Joy~Week 8

Winner Announcement:  Congrats to Veronica H!!!  You won Mandisa’s CD “If We Were Real.” You will LOVE IT!!!  Email me your address and I’ll get it in the mail to you!

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While the past 2 weeks have been extremely challenging, I think you will be so excited to know that we are embarking on a heart filling next few weeks.

I am super pumped about Chapter 8 in Hidden Joy, Quiet Time. I love it so much that our Word of the Week is:

Quiet Time

 

Many years ago, I made a decision that greatly impacted my life. It also impacted my family’s life. I began a daily quiet time…well almost daily (a work in progress always). I never imagined how great the impact would be. I blogged about it last January. Please take the time to read this post:

You Need Space

Hope that inspires you. And now here are this week’s assignments.  You may want to print the rest of this post.

Sunday– Prepare for your week. Do you have a daily quiet time area?

Monday– Read Chapter 8, Quiet Time on p. 109 in the Hidden Joy book.

Tuesday– Memory verse!!! This is an easy one y’all, but so powerful! Psalm 46:10 says to “Be still, and know that I am God.” And check out The Message wording of this one:  “Step out of the traffic! Take a long, loving look at me, your High God, above politics, above everything.” I just love that. In other words, take a step out of our busy lives so we can HEAR God. He’s often speaking to us, but we are just to busy to hear Him.  Commit this simple verse to memory and then commit to practice it. Read “Hearing the Coach’s Voice” on my blog today.

Wednesday– Complete #1-4 on p. 196 of the Hidden Joy book.  Write Psalm 46:10 in various places to help you remember and focus.  Quiet Time Space blog post is up again today.  If you don’t have a space yet, try to figure out how you can create one. Share today with our group where and when you have quiet time.

Thursday– Complete #5-8.  Can you write or say Psalm 46:10 by memory yet?  Give it a try.

Friday– Pray with Wendy her prayer on p. 198.  In the comment section of my blog today, list 3 ways you can put Psalm 46:10 into practice.  I’m giving a way a journal one lucky winner who shares today!

Also any of you going to the She Speaks Conference?  I’ll be behind the registration desk most of today (Friday). PLEASE COME SEE ME SO I CAN HUG YOU!!!!  I can’t wait to meet many of you in person.  Also make sure to stop by the Gather and Grow/Online Bible Studies table during your free time at the conference. Stephanie and I will be there off and on all weekend long! We both are so excited to meet those of you coming!

Speaking of Stephanie…if you haven’t already, make sure to visit and like her new Facebook writer and encouragement page, Stephanie Clayton . You will be so blessed, inspired, and encouraged on her page. I plan to make it a daily place to visit.

Melissa