Was talking today with someone who feels ready for the next step in her life. No more babies at home, so now what? She felt lost, like she'd forgotten who she was. She's an incredibly gifted and talented person who couldn't pin down what she's good at. She had a list of options - possible new careers, volunteer opportunities, maybe entrepreneurship. All good stuff, but which one? Nothing was really sticking out. She kept saying she felt "ready"; she kept saying, she felt "lost".
I stuck the kids in front of the TV while they ate lunch, because that's the sort of parent I am, and then I prayed with her, because that's just what I do.
When we sat down and put it all before God, what HE wanted was for her to just come and be with him. Just sit. Be still. Be close. I had this beautiful image of him holding my friend on his lap, and all her frustration and doubts and the hardships she endured just sort of seeped out of her and soaked into him. And she saw it too. She knew that the call was not to volunteer there or go back to school or just to get busier and better at what she's already doing, the call was to spend time with God. It wasn't what either of us was hoping for, both of us being big do-er types, but that's probably why we both heard so clearly! Come and REST, God was saying. Just come and be still and get to know me better!
A few weeks ago I was trying to cram in some prayer time in the middle of crazy busy. I wanted to do some preparation prayer for the conference I was attending and I also just wanted to... I don't know. Be devotional. Figure out how to do that! Sitting still with God - what the NDCF referred to as "Quiet Time" - is not easy for me. I need to be on the treadmill or in the car listening to Jesus music or half reading a book half thinking about God. I find that if I can distract my body, I can focus my mind. This is why I was able to become a runner for a while! (No more, alas.) But anyway, I was trying to do both things: ask God a bunch of questions and try to hear the answers, and then just BE with God. And finally he was like, "Dude. We can do one or the other." I didn't even realize I was mixing God work with God pleasure. I picked conference prep, stopped trying to also be worshipful, and just got some business done with God. That soaking in his presence thing, the meditative contemplative place, needs to be its own thing. And I need to spend more time in that place, because that's how I get to DO more stuff with God.
As God is showing me his path within the crazy Catholic charismatic crowd, he's giving me someone to hold my hand. She's lovely. I'm learning so much from her. I was telling her all the things I have going on and then stopped myself. Because sometimes I think I talk too much (I think only people who DON'T talk too much actually think this about themselves, heh) and I thought I might be infringing on time she wanted to spend on a project we want to do together. Did she have some stuff she wanted to get done?
And she was all, "You know, I think this is the stuff." What we do together, she told me, will come out of relationship. It will come out of getting to know each other better.
Doesn't it seem that that's the way it is with God too? It's about our relationship and everything else comes from that. Everything! Be with him, know him, be in that place of gathering understanding about who he is and who he made you to be. And then you'll know who you are! And what to do. I really super love the what to do part.
Well, I should say that I also love God. If that was not clear. Not just the doing. Although I truly super love the doing. I'm reminded of that time after our Europe trip when Emma and I were headed back to our mothership (Target) for the first time in weeks and I said, "EMMA! Don't we just LOVE Target?!" And she popped back, "We love JESUS."
So yes. Jesus first. Then doing things. Then Target.
Anyway. That was a nice little tangent. Sorry about that. It was a good time of prayer this morning. It was for my friend, but it was SO good for me. The closer we get to Christmas the crazier my calendar looks, but that makes it even more important that I find fifteen minutes to zone out on my bed with my brain plugged into some Pandora worship station, dwelling on who it is who loves me so.
P.S. Can I get some prayer for another special intention? Different one this time. Still can't share. But thank you.