God is speaking...but, am I listening?

Richard and I found a wonderful church around this time last year and have been blessed to become a part of this church family. It really is only recently that I've joined a bible study and a small group and I am really enjoying them both. In the bible study we're going through the book "Journey to Wholeness" by Signa Bodishbaugh and it teaches you how to keep a listening prayer journal...how to truly hear God's word, to open your heart to receive what he's trying to tell you and how he is guiding you. At first I was sure that God didn't really talk to me, and it would probably be just once in a blue moon that I would actually hear him. Well, I've been proven wrong, over and over in just a few short weeks. I have learned that...as my pastor said months ago...it is in the ignoble that we truly see and hear God. And it's true...it is when we can quiet ourselves...that is when we hear that still voice inside and that voice is God's voice. We just too often dismiss it, at least I know I did.

I actually wrote that I didn't think I'd hear Him speak to me in my listening prayer journal. On that day we read the story of Noah and the great flood. The next day we read Revelations chapter 4 and the author asked us to use our imagination to hear God, to use our internal visual sense to connect to Him. She asked us to write out the image that most captivated us. For me it was this:

Revelations 4:3 "The one sitting on the throne was as brilliant as gemstones - jasper & carnelian. And the glow of an emerald circled His throne like a rainbow."

The instant I wrote this in my prayer journal I could see this incredibly vibrant picture in my head and as soon as I wrote the word "rainbow" my mind went right back to what I had read the day before...

Genesis 9:12-13 "And God said 'I am giving you a sign as evidence of my eternal covenant with you and all living creatures. I have placed my rainbow in the clouds. It is the sign of my permanent promise to you and to all the Earth."

I got so excited and thanked Him for reminding me of His permanent promise and telling me quite quickly that yes, I will indeed hear Him speak to me.

Another instance happened in terms of my girls. They've been fighting their naps and naptime has become a very unpleasant, stressful part of the day that usually leaves me angry and frustrated beyond what I should feel. I hate feeling like this, I hate getting angry for something so trivial and so I prayed about it. I asked for Him to fill my heart with His infinite grace and calm. I have also been praying for Him to help me teach my girls to have a relationship with Him. You see I grew up with loving parents, but it was not a Christian home. I want my girls to grow up in a Christian home, but I don't know how to teach them something that I feel like I'm still just learning about. I have also been praying to find a perfect time of day to do my daily quiet time. As most moms, it's tough when you hit the ground running first thing in the morning. I'm not a morning person...I simply couldn't wake up at 5:30 or 6:00 unless the house was on fire! So early morning devotional time just won't work for me :)

Well...I was again, listening for God's word and the idea popped into my head..."Keira, instead of fighting with Avery and Lily to take their naps, try concentrated quiet time instead. Keep it peaceful and calm and use that quiet time to teach them about Me." So I ran right out and got two great toddler bibles that go through the stories in the bible, give you questions and points so you can discuss the story on their level and bring it into their lives today. There are songs and poems throughout and craft and art projects to do as well. Granted, it isn't the quiet time I specifically need by myself...but I think it's important time during the day that should not be wasted or end up with all three of us pulling our hair out!

The other part of this is that I'm in a small group just for moms and we're reading a book called Family Driven Faith and one of the things the author talks about is how important our roles as parents are. Just as we can't expect our teachers to do it all for our kids in terms of their academic achievements...the same holds true for Sunday school. We can't just leave it up to the Sunday school teacher to teach them something on Sunday and then go all week without discussing it or reinforcing it. God has really used these books and these groups to help me begin a pattern of very special, very intimate time with my precious, amazingly wonderful little girls.

So today was our first toddler bible study. We read about creation and they wanted to read about baby Moses. We read it together and we talked about it and they were calm. We then were going to read a couple of books and they started to do their "rowdy routine", which I know they do specifically because they know they'll get a reaction out of me. So I said to them "Mommy can stay in here with you if you can be quiet and calm. If you need to be noisy I'm going to leave for a little while." So I walked out and within 5 minutes they had gone from giggling to crying. So I came back in and it was clear that Lily wanted to rest and Avery was just being rambunctious...no doubt trying to keep herself awake! I took Avery and laid her in the guest bedroom bed and told her she could read some books quietly. I went back to Lily and told her the same thing. Then I sat in the hallway between the two rooms with both doors open so I could hear and see them. Lily came to the door once and then quietly went back to her bed. Within five more minutes she was asleep. Avery climbed out of her bed two times...the threat of no dessert after dinner is what got her to stay in bed (Richard was due home this evening after being out of town so we had planned to make special cupcakes together after quiet time for him). Ten more minutes went by and she was asleep too.

Thank you God!


Jennifer said...

Good work, Keira, God's work! Enjoy the peace!

Naomi Levit said...

i miss you, sis....you continue to amaze and inspire me:) i love you and think of you always!
aunt no-no

All time favorite video of Zoe!

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Bible verses that comfort me

"Yes, we are fully confident, and we would rather be away from these earthly bodies, for then we will be at home with the Lord."
~ 2 Corinthians 5:8

"Let the children come to me. Don't stop them! For the Kingdom of God belongs to those who are like these children....Then he took the children in his arms and placed his hands on their heads and blessed them"
~ Mark10:14 & 10:16

"...those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint"~ Isaiah40:31