Tuesday, May 26, 2015

making use of the time God provides

Are you like me, and aim to wake up early and spend quality time with God, and then fail in epic ways most mornings?  I'm just keeping it real, friends.  If you are like me in that way, know that you are not alone in this.  I used to be so good at waking up extra early for quiet time, and little by little, I started sleeping in a little later each day.  Which would be okay, except for that I always have a house full of kids who get up right after I do.

That is why, when I woke up at four a.m. this morning and laid there for an hour, I got up and came downstairs.  I started the coffee pot, but I didn't pour a cup until just about ten minutes ago. Last night I started the third installment (for the third time) in the series by Neta Jackson that I so love, The Yada Yada Prayer Group, and one of the last things I read was an excerpt out of Isaiah 43.

"Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have summoned you by name; you are Mine;
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze.
For I am the LORD your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior..."

(Verses 1-3)

I sat down with my Bible and my journal, and I read all of that chapter.  And then I started praying, because I felt a burden to pray for the counselors and students going to camps from our church over the next seven days, all of my family and myself included.

I don't always wake up so early and I certainly don't always feel such a heavy burden to pray, but when I do, I figured I had better do something about it, and the only thing I know to do in these times is to pray.  I feel like that's probably the whole reason I woke up in the first place.

Do you have moments like this?  Do you ever wonder why you suddenly wake up in the middle of a really great night of sleep?  I occasionally do this, but rarely do I feel the need to actually get out of my bed and come downstairs.  This morning I was praying specifically for a few girls by name, but in general, I prayed for all of us who are going to camp.  If you would like to join me in prayer, I would appreciate it!  Todd, Jonah and Noah are leaving at one a.m. on Friday morning, for camp in Panama City Beach, Florida.  Monday morning, Graham, Drew, and I will be leaving for Student Life camp near Asheville, North Carolina.  I already know that I will be with and will be teaching the eleventh grade girls during our small group time.

I just pray that these girls (and my own kids) get the goodness of God, and that He draws them to Him.  I know that not all of them are where they need to be, in regards to their relationship with God, and I want that so much for them.  Especially because these girls are about to be seniors in high school, and statistics say that the years from 18-23 are the hardest, and it's in that time, usually, that they pull away from God.

Please, please, please help me pray for them.

I decided that since I was already up, and will be teaching them during our small group time, that I would take some time to study.  I had already looked it all over and gotten through part of day two, but I needed to finish.  I wish I could just share all of what the lessons are, on here.  I might do that after camp~share some notes, or some of the highlights.  The lessons are amazing and I know they have the potential to be life-changing for the students.  I am praying that God will work in all of their hearts while they're at camp.

It's not often that I get such awesome time alone with God.  I am almost ashamed to admit that, but I do sometimes let busy-ness and other things creep in and steal that time.  (Email.  Facebook.  Extra sleep.)  I pray that this changes, and that He will start to wake me up each morning.  It's crucial to spend time alone with Him, reading His word, reflecting on it, (for me) journaling about what I've read, and then spending time praying.  I know all of this, but knowing it and following through are two totally different things.  That is why I thought it was so important to make the most of the time God gave me this morning.  I know He doesn't just do this for me, but for a lot of you as well, and I challenge you to look for those moments and then act on them.

I promise you, your day will not be the same.

Love to all.

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