21 days

January 10, 2012

To kick off the new year,
our church is doing a new message series entitled "habitual".
And we are being challenged to make a 21 day commitment to SOMETHING.
Contemplation.
Confession.
Simplicity.
Service.
Worship.
Study.
And to hopefully make it a new habit once the 21 days are over.
People are fasting
(my pastor is consuming nothing but water for 21 days!),
cutting out unnecessary habits, and finding ways
to spend more face-time with God - whatever that may look like.

For a week,
I labored over what it was that I needed to do.
Sought advice and resources from friends.
And one friend made an important point...
In order to have room for something new,
you have to cut something out.
Finally, on the day we were to begin this journey,
God revealed to me an area of our relationship
where I am seriously, seriously lacking.
Prayer.

There have been times in the last few months,
where I have actually asked myself, when was the last time I spoke to God
in a meaningful, intimate, non-distracted way?
And I was appalled at the thought that my recent "conversations"
with Him consisted of me laying down to go to bed,
starting out a prayer with maybe some thanksgiving and possible petitions,
and the next thing I know its morning.
That just doesn't even count.
Scripture says that our God is a jealous God.
He is JEALOUS for me.
So how must those pathetic prayers feel to Him?
If I spoke to my husband as little as I've been speaking to God,
or with as little connection and intimacy,
we would probably be divorced by now.
Thankfully, my God is not only jealous, He is merciful.
And has patiently been awaiting my return.

But the challenge was figuring out when I could give God all of me.
When am I at my best?
That's what I should give Him, cause that is what He deserves.
Just like tithe - you give Him the first, the best of your "harvest".
Morning...before the kids wake up...I'm absolutely worthless.
For some, this is when they are the freshest - so not me.
Nighttime...yeah, we all know how well that works out.
The fastest way to fall asleep is to start praying.
Then it dawned on me.
I am at my best in the afternoon.
But what else is happening in the afternoon?
Naptime.
Glorious, priceless, diamond encrusted naptime.
Yep.
That's what He wanted from me.
Sacrifice.
A sacrifice of MY time,
my special time, my quiet time, my mommy time, my break time.
My time to play, work or nap.
Or to just enjoy the quiet that falls over our house,
as the screaming and fighting ceases & the demands momentarily stop.
So yes, this means I will have less time to peruse blogs,
check out facebook, chat with girlfriends, return emails, CRAFT.
But that is part of what I'm giving up
to carve just a little bit of time out of my day for a God
who is worth so much more.
So prayer is my offering.
Naptime is my sacrifice.

I decided 30 {precious} minutes was a good place to start.
The message on Sunday was about prayer and we were given a diagram
that broke down 12 different ways to pray in an hour.
I picked 6 that I felt were the most needed in my prayer time right now.
- Praise to Him
- Confession
- Thanksgiving
- Petitions
- Intercession
- Listening

Yesterday was my first day.
And it went pretty well...
It was interesting how, even during our quiet naptime,
everything sounded like it was amplified times a thousand.
Jett's coughing.
Jeff making his lunch in the kitchen.
Jaymin going to the bathroom 7 times.
Cars starting & driving outside my window.
But I had to laugh a little as I realized the enemy
wasn't so thrilled about this commitment I made
and was doing everything he could to distract me.
It almost worked, but I persevered,
and found that I was even going OVER my 30 minutes.
Of course Jett took a short nap and I didn't get all my work done.
But I won't let that discourage me.
I know that as long as I'm giving God all that He asks for,
which is way less than He deserves,
He will give me the time to get done what really needs to be done.
Again, just like tithing - we have more because we give to Him first.

Today, my heart is heavy with the first prayer burden God has given me.
An important part of a healthy prayer life with Jesus is praying for others.
Something we all say we're going to do...
"I'll pray for you!"
"I'm so sorry, we'll be praying."
"You'll be in our prayers!"
...and rarely follow through with.
I am one of those people.
Not out of lack of caring by any means.
But out of forgetfulness.
Other things in life consume my thoughts,
change my path of thinking, and that promise to lift someone up to Lord,
swiftly drifts out of my mind as if the thought never existed.
Is forgetfulness a sin? No, probably not.
But selfishness is.
And to me, this means I'm being selfish with my time & energy
and things that are apparently more important.

So yesterday during my time of "intercession"
there wasn't anyone specifically on my heart that needed prayer.
So I asked God to show me people that I needed to pray for
over these next 21 days.
Today, I found out that a dear friend of mine lost her baby.
Her story sounds so similar to mine and my heart breaks for her.
But I am glad I have such a specific time of my day carved out just for her.

I'm hoping that these next 21 days
are a time of tremendous growth for me in my walk with Christ.
And that my time with Him becomes so pertinent to my functioning,
to my surviving the day,
that it becomes something I will carry on indefinitely.

No comments:

CopyRight © | Theme Designed By Hello Manhattan