The Key to Renewal Day by Day

Seek the LORD and his strength; seek his presence continually
— Psalm 105:4

It’s an abbreviation that almost everyone is familiar with now-a-days. It’s a mission field that comes with long days, endless nights, yet kingdom rewards. With kingdom reward, we don’t always see the fruit of what the Lord is producing, but He is so faithful to reveal Himself through the good and even not so good by encouraging, lifting up, strengthening, and teaching.  

October 1st 2013, i was officially labeled a SAHM. As a look-back, i see how perfectly God interwove His plan into our lives that first year and continuing. Most people would label SAHM as the “dream job”, and I agree with them. It is such a beautiful blessing, but as with any “job” or season comes struggles that produce feeling, trials that encourage seeking, and a God who is so faithful to simply "just be" in all of it. i had a precious babe in my arms, yet i was experiencing feelings of isolation and loneliness. The transition from work and community to having hardly no adult contact per day was difficult for me. i struggled. i started to ask God how in the world could i ever feel so lonely when i sat, rocked, and looked into this precious boy’s eyes of joy? That was so selfish of me. And God, gracious and true in all His ways, gradually revealed something so precious to me. What had He been doing in all of those lonely tears, my terrified heart, and this toilsome, yet beautiful season of both trial and joy?

If i remember correctly, back when i was still working, my confession to God almost every. single. Sunday at church was nothing but a guilty plea to bring me back to Him. i was so busy. i didn't feel Him anymore. i felt so dry, like I knew where the water was, but i didn't know how to drink anymore. My prayer life consisted of one-way communication, and my Bible reading wasn’t out of a desire to be in His presence, but rather a legalistic guilt i placed upon myself of what a “good” Christian should be doing. My true desire? i wanted to experience God more, but i was too busy. 

Now, God has answered my prayer and my plea. He has created this new season of life, specifically designed for now to slow me down. For this season, He has taken me out of the world and placed me in the home. Now, don’t get me wrong, life is still crazy being at home, running a small business, and raising a sweet babe. Sometimes it gets busier and more hectic than i could have ever imaged, but He’s showing me intentionality; how to be intentional about Him and the time i have with Him. He has slowed me down to teach me some things about myself and also about Himself. He's teaching me that spending my only 2-hour free time (nap time) of the day sitting in communication with Him isn't being lazy, but it's actually providing my being the physical and spiritual renewal that it needs to keep, keeping on. Sure, it doesn't feel productive because there's tangible evidence of what we may refer to as an unproductive day (like the dirty dishes and the clean clothes still not folded on my bed), but He's teaching me that productivity isn't based on doing, but rather being. What we do each day doesn't define our success. Our accomplishments in our work day don't define our identity. Our success and accomplishments rest in who He's created us to be in Him. He’s teaching me how to rest in Him, how to follow Him, how to enjoy Him, how to trust Him, the beauty and power of His presence, and the importance of just simply delighting in who He is as my Father, Creator, King, and Lord over my life. More simply put? He’s teaching me how to simply “just be” with Him. The One who knows me better than i know myself. The One who weaved every part of my inner being in my mother’s womb. The One who created the world with just His words. The One who is teaching me that THE only way to continue carrying on through the joy and the pain of this life is to "just  be" in His presence. Our joy is renewed in His presence. Our hope is renewed by His promises. How do we build this relationship? As we do with our spouse, our loved ones, and our kids- we spend time with them in each other’s presence. Our relationship is built upon the time we invest in one another and the love that is naturally created for one another in that time. It's the same when desiring to cultivate an intimate relationship Jesus. And if you're too overwhelmed to even know where to begin cultivating this relationship...start with a simple prayer as I did. {Lord I want to be with You; I want to experience You; I want to know You more.}  Out of a desiring heart, continue to ask for this daily and be mindful of how the Lord will begin to answer this prayer for you. 

Jesus, we thank You. Thank you for who You are and who we are graciously gifted to be in You. i pray You would continue to slow us down. Slow us down so that we might experience You in a way that transforms our prayer life, our desire about reading Your word, and our heart's longing to be in Your presence and see Your work displayed in this world. We praise You that in Your presence comes a renewal, a renewal and provides peace even amongst the most challenging times in our lives. We trust You in those times. We thank You for those times. We know the key to gaining hope each day is being renewed in Your prensence. We trust the work that You are doing and we thank You for the grace You are pouring. Call us into Your presence, Lord. Let us experience Your Spirit in beautiful, Kingdom building ways. Thank You for this gift Your Spirit that goes before us each day. Thank You for all that You are and all that You’ve done to be with us. Thank you that You want to be with us. Thank you for loving us, even when we deserve it least. We love You, Lord, and it’s in Your Name that we pray. Amen