Saturday, July 30, 2011

Coffee with Christ

I was reminded this week of how hard it is to have a commitment that takes you and your children up and out of your home by 7am every morning. Even though that commitment was church camp.

This week was Winshape. My girls look forward to it all year. In order for them to attend we had to be up at 6am and out the door by 7am in order to meet the bus to get to camp on time. It has been a while since I have had a daily morning commitment other than spending my mornings with my God. Even VBS is not a disruption to this time because my children can sleep until around 8am.
I am very blessed and very spoiled to this time. I regularly wake up around 6am and have the joy of usually spending time in the Word until around 9am. I usually am able to have at least three precious hours every morning in the Word. I get up earlier on those mornings that I have a commitment so that I do not lose that time. I love this time. It is a priority.   

I was reminded this week how blessed I am to have this time, this privilege. I was also reminded how much I need to encourage those women who have this commitment of having themselves and their children out of the house every morning and still try to spend daily committed time in the Word with their God.

This week I failed to have unrushed time. This week I was not able to be as still before my God as I like, I was not able to focus on each individual lesson plan that I have to teach on Sunday's and as for working on Devotions from Exodus, well that didn't happen at all.

What I learned was that quality is better than quantity when it comes to study in the Word. If I had only one book to be diligently digging in, then I could have accomplished my priority and time and still managed to get me and the children out of the house this week. But with so much to study and so little time, the focus was lost and I also lost the intimacy of this time this week. It became more of accomplishing the task rather than basking in the beauty of my God.

So for the young woman, who has to work outside the home, the woman who desires to spend time with her Saviour basking in the beauty of His word and digging diligently into His truth, be encouraged. I was reminded this week of the struggle you regularly face.

If I could make any recommendation, any suggestion it would be this. Do not forsake that morning time with the Lord. I truly believe it is crucial.

"Now Abraham arose early in the morning
and went to the place where he had stood before the LORD;"
Genesis 19:27

"So be ready by morning,
and come up in the morning to Mount Sinai,
and present yourself there to Me on the top of the mountain."
Exodus 34:2

"In the morning, O LORD, You will hear my voice;
In the morning I will order my prayer to You and eagerly watch."
Psalm 5:3

"He awakens Me morning by morning,
He awakens My ear to listen as a disciple."

Isaiah 50:4 

 In the early morning, while it was still dark,
Jesus got up, left the house, and went away to a secluded place,
and was praying there.
Mark 1:35

 "Early in the morning
He came again into the temple,
and all the people were coming to Him;
and He sat down and began to teach them."
John 8:2 

Abraham is our example
David is our example.
Jesus is our example.

His mercies are new every morning (Lamentation 3:23). I believe that in the morning is when our ears are most ready to hear and our hearts most ready to listen. It is at this time that yesterday is behind us and we have the opportunity of a new beginning. It is a new day. And all things new are of God.

I just can't believe that God would give us example after example and Scripture after Scripture about spending our mornings with Him if it were not important. God only needs to say something once for it to be worthy of notice, so if He goes to the trouble to repeat Himself... well how well do we like to repeat our instructions, our word to our kids... think about it.

So if you can't give Him anything else... give Him this: your morning.

Please know that I am indeed a mother. I have gotten up at 5am to spend my mornings with God to only have a baby start screaming at 5:05am...

(When this used to happen, I would get irritated. I would blame the devil for taking this time from me and accuse him of stealing it. I would even be upset with this poor child who was the innocent victim of having something wake them this early, whether it be a sickness or a neighbors dog barking. I have learned with time and growing closer with my God that He is even soveriegn over these moments. I still struggle here... but I am learning and growing in grace every morning...) 

I have learned that 5 minutes was what I was able to give that morning...
God was fully aware that my heart was to give Him my morning. He treasured those 5 minutes and in and through Him those 5 minutes will bear fruit. 

There were even times when a screaming baby was what awoke me to my morning, sometimes a child is still what awakes me...
It is at that time that my morning still belongs to my God, but in a different way. I have learned to spend these times praising Him for what I learned in the other mornings and giving this child the same mercies that my God has given me.

Depending on the child, the age, the reason of the awaking, I have used these mornings to sooth with songs of praise sang softly into an ear while my cool cheek was pressed up against a fevered forehead. And sometimes it was spent gathering a little eager heart up into my lap and teaching them what I was doing that morning and sharing that time with them and my God.

Had they not awoke would they know that this is what I was doing while they were sleeping?   

Also another recommendation, suggestion... instead of trying to have half a dozen studies goings at once... pick one to focus on. One book of the Bible. One subject. One struggle. One thing and seek God. Seek Him with all your heart. Seek Him every morning and look for Him with hopeful expectation and strive to walk in what He has revealed to you. Learning to walk according to obedience of faith and not feelings or sight. Choose His word, not a book on someone else's opinion of His word. I love devotionals. I write devotionals, so I of course want people to read devotionals, but as a supplement snack not the main dish.

Don't put off this time with the Creator until you get home from work or until after the kids are in the bed. Yes plan for that time too! You can NEVER spend too much time in the Word, but make your mornings with Him priority. If you can't give Him anything else give Him this.

Don't have coffee with the morning show... have coffee with Christ.

"Let me hear Your lovingkindness in the morning;
For I trust in You;
Teach me the way in which I should walk;
For to You I lift up my soul."
Psalm 143:8 


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