Internet Cafe

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Be Still and Know...

Be still, and know that I am God…”
Psalm 46:10a NIV

The sunshine peeked through the curtains and the smell of percolating coffee wafted into my room. As I rose, I checked the clock: 6:04. Good. I would have time to read and study God’s Word before the kids got up. I curled up on the corner of the couch with my mug of coffee, journal, highlighters, and worn Bible. This was my favorite time of the day. A time to meditate upon God’s truth and soak in His words in the silence of the morning.

“The name of the Lord is…” interrupted by a snuggly pajama-clad boy. I tried to continue reading but soon he wanted a cup of juice, a blankie, an apple, a book…I had imagined a morning spent like a monk in solitude, but instead it was the morning of a menial servant. How could I spend my mornings becoming a deeply spiritual person if my kids kept getting in the way?!? My oh-so-godly attitude turned sour.

Brother Lawrence (a seventeenth century monk) spoke about practicing the presence of God – a practical kind of meditation upon God’s truth. He found God in peeling potatoes and washing dishes. Could my relationship with Jesus be more static than just reading from the Bible and bowing my head?

I have a tendency to think that if something is not blatantly spiritual, it is not worthwhile. How could potato peeling be spiritual? Or changing dirty diapers? How in the world am I supposed to hear the voice of the Lord over the ruckus of a full household? I have mistakenly assigned different values to different tasks in my daily routine. Quiet time: spiritual. Washing dishes: not so much. Preparing my Bible study: godly. Cleaning toilets: anawfulchoreImustperform with no intrinsic value.

I compartmentalized my life into spiritual and non-spiritual, but Jesus never did. He called us to follow His example as a servant – letting God saturate every part of His life. Could I focus on eternal things while I perform mundane tasks? I discovered that acts of service provide an inner silence and solitude because worries drain out of my mind as I focus on a menial task.

Unlike a monk, I cannot escape the worries of this world to seek solitude. Meditation for me as a mommy may look different from what I expected. Meditation means to focus and concentrate on truth. As I wash the dishes, I look out the window and see my children chasing birds in the backyard. I meditate on how God chases us until we surrender to His love.

Scrubbing off the remainders of burnt cookies, I meditate on God’s cleansing power to eradicate my mistakes. As I do my menial chores each day, could I concentrate on making it a spiritual moment by singing praise songs, reciting favorite verses or praying aloud?

Even though I imagine a monk sequestered in a cloister has more time for silence and solitude, a “Mommy Monk” can focus on God’s presence in every moment of an often-chaotic life. To begin, I invite God to speak to me in the daily activities of life. I pray that the eyes of my heart might be open to see the depth of His love for me each moment of my day.

A “Mommy Monk” may not lead a quiet lifestyle, but her heart is quieted before the Lord. Silence may only be temporary but meditation can be unceasing.

Psalm 1:2
“But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on His law he meditates day and night.”

Questions for meditation:

1. Have you ever deemed something as unspiritual and then later discovered just how spiritual it could be?

2. What are some ways that you have adapted to in order to meditate on His Word?

Come visit me...

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Blogger lori said...

What a perfect post for our FIRST official day! It's often chaotic and "I invite God to speak to me in the daily activities of life."

That is beautiful and exactly what I needed tonight!


April 30, 2008 at 8:58 PM  
Blogger twinklemom said...

I love how you describe the simplest ways to meet God. It was such a beautiful and encouraging post and a great way to start off the new Internet Cafe with!

April 30, 2008 at 9:10 PM  
Blogger Carol said...

Great job, Heather. How true that we can worship and walk with Him all day long no matter what we are doing. Thanks for the reminder!

April 30, 2008 at 10:18 PM  
Blogger Denise said...

Awesome my friend.

May 1, 2008 at 12:23 AM  
Blogger Buffy said...

Lovely post, I'll be back!

May 1, 2008 at 6:38 AM  
Blogger Robyn said...

Heather, you speak my heart, girl!! I cannot tell you how many times I have these same thoughts (& frustrations!!).

Being an extreme morning person, I love that special time in the morning with the Lord. A couple of months ago my oldest started getting up pretty early, too. It shattered that time I had reserved for God. I did not have the best attitude about it. But his loving the mornings too must surely be inherited from me!!

My husband reminded me that during this season of my life God does not expect me to spend hours with Him (even though I want to!!). It's a unique time and the challenge becomes exactly what you are talking about: finding Him in the most unexpected places. In the end, I'm developing an awareness of Him I did not have before. How can I complain about that??

Great job Heather!! This was perfect for our first post!!

May 1, 2008 at 7:05 AM  
Blogger Mocha with Linda said...

This is a great encouragement. I need to set my mind on things above even when enmeshed in things here on earth.

Love the new look and the coffee shop/care theme!

May 1, 2008 at 8:21 AM  
Blogger Mocha with Linda said...

Oops, that's coffee shop/CAFE theme! :-)

May 1, 2008 at 8:22 AM  
OpenID darnelle said...

This is one lesson I wish I'd learned earlier. I prized my 'alone time' with God - and needed it desperately. But in doing so, I think I missed some moments to just love on my kids during their "interruptions". Thankfully someone who loved me stepped in and told me just what you've said here! We are never more like Jesus than when we are actively serving and loving someone. God can more than 'make up' for the interruptions when we view them differently.
Such a great reminder of a very important thing! Awesome.

May 1, 2008 at 9:26 AM  
Blogger Allison said...

"Mommy Monk" I love that :) I love your perspective sister! God bless!

May 1, 2008 at 9:28 AM  
Blogger Staci said...

I love this, i was just thinking "GREAT, i have sooo much work to do, and not an ounce of time to just sit and read." Thanks for this advice....really helps me put the focus where it is important!!

May 1, 2008 at 10:06 AM  
Blogger Sheila said...

This has been one of the greatest discoveries in my walk with God...that "spiritual" things are ALL things I do in response to the love of Christ which has been poured out into my heart. I find myself more and more (this is gonna sound crazy) looking for the most rejected "chores" and slave-like duties to do because I keep finding that Jesus is there. He's washing feet not sitting in the corner whining at His kids for not giving Him His quiet time. And that's where for sometime I was, wondering why Jesus wasn't meeting me or letting me have my quiet time with Him. He was waiting for me all along in the bathroom next to the dirty toilet and on the floor playing legos with my kids, just waiting to use me to teach them about His humble, saving love!

Oh! This post strikes an infinity of Amens with me!

Thank you thank you thank you!

I'm so glad this cafe is continuing. And I'll be adding your blog to my bloglines.

Bless you!

May 1, 2008 at 10:24 AM  
Anonymous Sallie said...

I love to sing praises to God.. If I had to sing a solo in front of people I'd faint BUT when it is just me and God He understands the noise I make cause its the voice he gave me :-) I love to sing songs that quote scripture and I pray often during the day.

I told my husband last night it is so hard for me to pray at bedtime because I am so used to praying all day. My quiet time is the morning and so the evening just feels weird for me for praying. BUT, I can't imagine NOT praying all throughout the day... I would be LOST!!

God bless,

May 1, 2008 at 10:51 AM  
Blogger Tracy Berta-daughter to the King, wife, mother, speaker, writer said...

Heather, this was exactly what I needed to be reminded of today!!!

I was LOL when I read the first paragraph because it so "where I'm at!" I would comment more, but Jesus beckons throught the pile of dirty dishes and laundry! :)

Great job on the 1st day! Homerun!

Praise God!

May 1, 2008 at 11:13 AM  
Blogger Vicki said...

Heather, a good word for us all. Just perfect!

May 1, 2008 at 12:05 PM  
Blogger ValleyGirl said...

Oh my goodness, this is exactly the attitude adjustment I need. Great devotional. Thank you.

May 1, 2008 at 12:20 PM  
Blogger Leti said...

I used to be involed in "prayer meetings", but when the LORD beckoned me to care for my elderly, very-ill mother all the "official prayer meetings" ended. There were (and are) days where my prayers are simple sighs. I had to accept that the "menial tasks" that I now was doing were just as important, and that this was God's call for my life for this season of life. I too have read Brother Lawrence's book and it challenges me to no end. How funny we are, well I am, that if I wasn't involved in a "ministry", I must not be serving. But God showed me that I was fully seeped in ministry by caring for Mom.

Blessings and thank you.

May 1, 2008 at 12:24 PM  
Blogger Angie said...

Heather...this was beautiful. Exactly what this child needed today. How is that? The Father knows what we have need of....and He needed to remind me that He will speak to me in everything...if I am looking and listening. He did so just today.
You are incredible. Thank you for the obedience behind your words.
Love you!

May 1, 2008 at 2:37 PM  
Blogger Amy L Brooke said...

Nice job Heather! Thanks for kicking things off.

May 1, 2008 at 3:45 PM  
Anonymous Becky said...

As Mother's day quickly approaches. This devotion is a reminder of how we can model God's love and experience that Love as we live out the role of Mom.

May 1, 2008 at 5:26 PM  
Blogger Joy @ Joy in the Journey said...

This is a wonderful, wonderful post! It speaks to my heart! Thank you for sharing, and for getting us off to a great start!
I look forward to hearing more from you!

May 1, 2008 at 5:34 PM  
Blogger windycindy said...

Hi, I recently read that one should enjoy the littlest of tasks and that they should be seen as spiritual. Maybe, it is like everything else, really all of life is sacred. Cindi

May 1, 2008 at 9:36 PM  
Blogger Sandy said...

Thanks so much for pointing this out. I had just finished Nursing school and had worked for about 6 mths. when my MIL got sick with cancer and she was the one who took care of my son and helped get him to school etc. while I worked at my "career". I had to quit my job and remember being so sad that I'd worked so hard to get my Nursing liscense and now I couldn't "Nurse" but had to be a SAHM which didn't take a degree to do. My MIL passed away last August and I miss her everyday, she taught me so much and I loved her and always will. She was a wonderful person. Your post made me realize that being a SAHM is so much more important than a career and what I'm doing for my family right now is more important. I have 4 more years and my son will graduate and I'll never get those back. I believe I will make the most of all the housework and "meanial" chores instead of complaining so much about them and praise God while I'm doing it.

May 2, 2008 at 2:35 AM  
Blogger Tanya said...

This is a great post and a wonderful reminder. I try to do just this, sometimes successfully, most times I'm just a whiner. But God works on us daily and speaks to us daily. Sometimes that still small Voice is found in the casseroles of life.

May 2, 2008 at 10:53 AM  
Blogger Julie said...

That's it, dear one, that's it. It is what I wished I had known in the early years of raising my children.

I am so blessed by your post. God showed me this after my children got past the age...He has allowed me to share it with younger mothers. But to be a young mother and see it, and give it to other young mothers... How beautiful.

You are right on with what you see. He's all around us, speaking, blessing us with revelations of His heart. It's not just in the written Word, it's everywhere. Savor the moments....the little ones will be gone in a blink of an eye.


May 3, 2008 at 1:22 PM  

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