June 4, 2014

An Invitation to Change Your Summer!

I hear beeping from the other side of the bed. Loud. Unrelenting. 5:30 already? I’m so tired. Just a few more minutes. I hit the snooze button. 

Again beeping. Loud. Unrelenting. 5:40. Just a few more minutes. I hit the snooze button. 

Again beeping. Loud. Unrelenting. 5:50. Shoot. Why did I do this? I promised to wake up early. To spend time with You, Lord. I’m so sorry. Why didn’t I just get up? Now I’m late.  My heart aches. Again, I disappoint You, Lord. I’m so sorry. I’ll do it later. I promise.

“You won’t…not today. You’ve got so much on that “to do” list waiting for you.”

Stop it!! Yes, I will. I can start tomorrow. Tomorrow I’ll do it.  

Why am I such a failure at this spending time with God thing right now? Why can’t I just get up the first time the alarm goes off?

Seasons of my life go like this. I have the best of intentions to begin my day with God. But instead, I don’t. It’s a tired season. A weary season.

Discouragement fills my heart. Recently, in the midst of one of these seasons, God answered my heart’s cry, My child, you are not a failure. You are tired and thirsty. Get out of “the routine.” Let’s begin a new season together. And just so you know, time with Me doesn’t have to fit a mold. Be creative. 

Be creative…not really one of my gifts!

Then I remembered a prayer of Moses. I searched the key words on Biblegateway and  found it in Exodus 33:18:

Now show me your glory. 

Moses asked God to show him His glory…to show Moses more of Him than he had ever seen before. Moses asked God outright for a FRESH vision of His glory…of His abiding presence.

Oh, that is what I want right now! What about you?

Let’s get out of our routine. Will you join me for a new season with the Lord this summer? Let’s pray together to experience a physical manifestation of God’s presence…to experience His Shechinah Glory.

What is God’s Shechinah Glory? It’s when the INVISIBLE God becomes VISIBLE, when He LOCALIZES His presence and MANIFESTS Himself in our midst.

Let’s be creative today.

Let’s not feel tied to a daily quiet time in this season INSTEAD let’s invite God to show us in real and concrete ways the reality of His Love and Presence in our lives in a fresh way!

Ways we can do this…

Tune your heart to worship music

A few weeks ago, I started a new routine. Rather than my country playlist on Pandora, I began listening to the Passion Worship playlist. Through song lyrics, God touched deep places in my heart that needed a fresh touch from Him. Below is a beautiful song, “Oceans,” to begin your time. Find a comfortable place to sit, close your eyes, listen and invite God to invade every part of you with the POWER of His presence.

 

Read through a book of the Bible

If it’s been a while since you’ve been in the Word, choose a book, open and read…without an agenda…without a study guide…without a notebook…without a teacher. Just sit and read as little or as much as you want. No strict schedule. Simply listen for God to speak to you…to minister to you through His Word.

Read a book from a favorite author

A few months ago, I read Donna Gaines‘ (a fellow InScribed Studies author) book, Leaving Ordinary. Donna took me to the Tabernacle and gave me a fresh vision of prayer grounded in the history of God’s people…the temple…the priesthood…the Great High Priest Jesus. Such a gift to read how God spoke to Donna when she invited God to speak into her ordinary life in extraordinary ways!

Memorize a passage of Scripture

Choose a passage of Scripture or some favorite verses and commit them to memory. Be creative in how you memorize.  It’s such a blessing to hide God’s Word in your heart. Check out these creative ways of memorizing “So That” verses from my Minnesota Living So That friends (Jenn Citrowske Elness and Tera Cory Elness).

 

microwavescripturememory

 

ChalkboardScriptureMemory

 

Create a prayer journal

Pray creatively. Text verses to friends throughout the week. E-mail prayers to friends rather than just pray for them. Create a prayer journal and journal what God lays on your heart.

DO SOMETHING NEW YOU’VE NEVER DONE!

And whatever you choose, EXPECT God to be a part and INVITE Him to show up IN ALL HIS GLORY!

Heavenly Father, forgive us for not inviting You into our lives each and every day. I ask that  for each one of us inviting You  to show us Your Shechinah Glory, You show up in very personal ways, manifest Yourself in ways that each of us will KNOW that it is You. In big and small ways show Yourself. Give us a word, a touch, a whisper, anything we need to experience You in a fresh way. Thank You for Your promise that when we seek You with all our hearts, we will find You. Today we claim that promise and invite You to show up BIG. Thank You that You will do great and mighty works in our midst. Show us Your glory, Lord, show us Your glory! I ask all this in Jesus’ powerful Name. AMEN

Share your invitation with us! Let us know how YOU are going to invite God’s Shechinah Glory into your summer.

Blessings,

Comments

  1. Wendy,
    Thank you for this post!! Your opening few paragraphs were ones straight from my morning…our summer routine is changing things and I too feel there is no time and I’m tired. I so appreciate your encouragement and reminder of God’s grace.
    One thing I’d like to work on this summer is memorizing Scripture as a family…through the school year they are all busy with their own Awana verses so I’m thinking this would be a good time to work on some together.
    The other thing I’m praying about is asking God to help me be more disciplined…the summer brings a little less structure, but I need to use the time wisely. And simply be content when I get 10 minutes instead of an hour…knowing He will multiply the time if I’m diligent with what I already have.
    Thank you for this Wendy…it was just the balance of conviction and encouragement that I needed!! Blessings to you!

    • Jill, love that you want to memorize Scripture with your kids. I did that with mine for years. We had a plate in our kitchen that we put our weekly verse on and worked on it each morning before school. We divided it into sections. It was a fun way to memorize Scripture cuz we did it together!! And now I continue to do it on my own. :)

      Blessings,

      Wendy

  2. Wendy – Once again you have touched my heart where it needed it.
    I have been out of sync the past 2 weeks and each day I say to day is the day.

    I love your ideas – I think I will go back to my reading a book at a time and when my grand daughter is with me (throws this Grandma off – but would not change the time I have with her – it is such a blessing!) read to her from her Bible. If that is all I get (I do still work) then I will cherish the words I read to her and the example I am setting. Oh how Blessed we are to have GRACE!

    • Carol, what a gift you will give your grand daughter…to read the Bible with her. In fact, you may want to find a kid’s Bible and read from that. Sometimes the Bibles will even have great questions within them that you can ask the child when the story is done to bring it alive in her life and show her how the Bible applies today in her little life. I pray you will have precious conversations and prayer time as you live out Deuteronomy 6 with your sweet girl.

      Blessings,

      Wendy

  3. Thank you for this post, Wendy! A friend of mine and sister in Christ has been praying through my chronic illness with me and she text me one day a while back “are you ready to see the Glory of God?” When I read those words today on your blog it took me back to her text and I am ready to see His glory!! I think I will begin by praying Moses’ prayer every morning! I’m turning on the praise music right now and am getting excited for Him to reveal Himself to me!!

    • Christine, I’m so excited you want to pray this prayer every morning. God promises that when you seek Him with all your heart, you will find Him AND that He will give you the desires of your heart when they align with His will. Inviting Him to show you His glory is definitely within His will!!

      Can’t wait to see how He shows up!

      Blessings,

      Wendy

  4. Melissa says:

    Wendy, this is great! Thank you so much for sharing. God Bless You! :-)

  5. Mitzii Roughface says:

    THANK YOU!!!!!

    I have been struggling with not being able to get up to have my quiet time in the mornings like so many teach us to do. I love your suggestions on ways to get in time with Him, as I have been doing some of those….just not in a routine pattern. Thank you so much for your encouragements!

    • Thanks for leaving a comment, Mitzii!! I’m excited to hear how God will use your creativity to break your routine and SHOW YOU HIS GLORY!

      Blessings,

      Wendy

  6. I so needed this today!!! I have tried to figure out how I can find a specific “time” to spend with God. In the morning I work out early, work many hours, have kids etc. Then I feel like I spend more time finding an excuse then just doing it!!

    It hit me one day when a friend said they talk to God while driving in their car just as he was a passenger. While God won’t necessarily qualify you to drive in the express lanes, we have an express pass to Him!! I drive one hour each way to work. I can thank him for the beautiful sunrises, the trees, hills, etc. The opportunities to spend time is endless for me if I get past thinking I have to have a pre-defined time and that I fail if I miss it!!

    • Wendy, what a great analogy…we have an “express pass to God!” LOVE THAT!! An hour in a car has so many options for us…praying, praising, worship music, sermons/books on tape, radio talk shows.

      Blessings,

      Wendy

  7. Thank you! This was a needed encouragement today!

  8. Looks like I’m not the only one needing this today! I’m putting praise music on right now!

    • Yes, I have loved reading these responses. It always feels good to know that we are not alone in our struggle with quiet time!!

      blessings,

      wendy

  9. Thank you Wendy for your timing is perfect. My brother died of cancer 5 years ago this month after his 4 yr battle at 49 yrs old. Before he died I listened to lots of Worship music but I realize I stopped when he died. I sing at church but the last year have had to walk out as it is too loud. As I’ve come to this month I realized my husband’s 6 month check up to see if his cancer is still smoldering since 2002. God has been gracious to not take him the first 18 months the Doctors said he had and he has had no treatment.

    As I read through your post my spirit jumped at “worship” and “Leaving Ordinary” and I was so blessed going through “Living So That”. At the time I could only afford the special Kindle price but I to this day say daily I’m Living So That…..I just received a copy of the book and my summer activity is taking time to go through it again and really dig deep with God. I am so blessed by God through you and your heart.

    • Tracy, I’m so sorry for the loss of your brother. And I am praying now for your husband’s continued healing!!

      The Lord is calling you back, sweet friend. You clearly have a heart and love for worship music. I pray that as you begin to listen again, the Lord will draw you back to that intimate, personal place with Him that fills and refreshes you.

      And I’m excited you are going back through Living So That. I pray He will speak fresh new truths as you dig in again!

      Blessings,

      Wendy

  10. Happy Wednesday:)
    Yes Lord, show me Your glory! Ta DA
    Wendy I am so glad it’s not just me Lol.

  11. Cynthia says:

    I am trying to get myself back on track! I am going outside on my patio to dive into God’s Word. This is a great place to give thanks to God for all His wonders of nature.

    I am listening to the soundtrack now you gave us. So beautiful! This is definately going to be added to my routine. Thank you so much for your words of encouragement.

    I love Wendy’s idea of using your driving time.

    I love the micowave. That’s a hoot!

    • Cynthia, I agree; it’s fun to hear other women’s creative ideas…especially for me since I am not that creative!! Two other fun Scripture memory ideas are writing it on the bathroom mirror or on a scripture memory plate. Our family used the plate when my kids were younger and I still use it today!!

      Blessings,

      Wendy

  12. Tanisha G. says:

    Thanks Wendy!!! I am loving this new idea. I stand in agreement with you. :)

  13. Oh this is just what I needed to hear today. I struggle with quiet time. I would like to memorize scripture and just read in God’s word to see what He has to say to me. Thank you for encouraging me today.

  14. Debbie Madison says:

    Thank you so much for this, Wendy! This is my struggle on too many days. So often in my busyness I’m listening to K-Love and I will feel a nudge to really listen to the words. I usually end up with hands raised and tears pouring down my face and I know He is ministering to me -showing me His Shechinah glory! And showing me there is more than one way to spend time with Him.

  15. Thank you Wendy! This is such a breath of fresh air… Especially for people like me who find comfort in structure. It can be a challenge for me to hear where the Holy Spirit wants to spend our date time and how He wants to spend that time. I can so easily overpower His voice with my organization. This is SUCH a gift!
    Love you!

  16. Donna Torrado says:

    Wendy, I once again your writing has blessed me. I just read your blog and I have not been feeling well and I have felt like a failure not spending the time with Him as I truly want to. I felt the little I was doing wasn’t enough. God has used your hands to provide me with guidance from Him as I longed to be “perfect” and I don’t have to be. Only He is perfect.
    Thank you for being obedient to Him and sharing from your heart.
    I truly love your work.

  17. Aunt Sal says:

    Love your blog post today, although I read it yesterday. I continue to thank you for writing “living so that” and sending me a copy because it has truly made the biggest positive change in my life that I can remember.

    Thank you also for giving us permission and for encouraging us to take God with us wherever we go and in whatever we do.

    Love, AS

  18. Love this!!!! Awe! Thanking God for your ministry! I feel it is exactly what I needed to hear today. Thank you for following the Lord. He is speaking through you. I am going to start praying that “Lord show me your glory!”. That’s funny your alarm goes off at 5:30am, that’s the time I usually get up. Although sometimes if I wake up naturally I just get up if it’s near close to the time of my alarm. I find if I get up for the day when I wake up naturally, I am energized. For example the other day, I woke up at 4:06am, I was wide awake so I popped out of bed and had AWESOME God time. Another thing I am going to do is not be “so religious” with my God time. I feel I do the same routine daily/weekly and I am sure it would be more refreshing if I did asked God “how do You want to guide my time with You this morning, Lord?! Please make it good and intimate because I need you more than anything! Bless me, in Jesus’ name, Amen!” God bless you and all the women you minister to, Wendy!
    p.s. I posted the same video on Facebook a few months ago. LOVE the song and this live version.

  19. Love this post!

    Last year around this same time, I distinctly remember having a discussion with my online Bible study sisters about my lack of a consistent time with God. Hello…I’m a wife, mom of three very young boys and stopping in itself is a miracle. Truthfully, I now realize I didn’t trust God enough to hold me that close to stop running, avoiding and pretending that everything was simply “ok.”

    This past year has been life-changing and your post really helped me realize how badly I needed to break out of the idea of a traditional “quiet time” that I had concreted in my mind. This past year, I’ve seen Him and His presence simply overwhelm my little normal life. The more I saw Him, the more I wanted to be with Him, in His Word, hearing His voice, in His lap…it redefines “quiet time.”

    A year later, I’m a renewed child of God, a better wife and mom. My quiet time looks different almost everyday. I run three days out of the week and rising at 5:30 to run with my Abba has literally kept me going. I’ve made it through so many audiobooks, found amazing worship music and have even ran once a week in complete silence just to hear His voice…and it’s AWESOME!!!

    Breaking away from my little “quiet time in a box” routine allowed God to blast out of the boundaries I had limited Him to be…not that He was limited, but I wasn’t able to see Him beyond the comfort of my little highlighter and devotional. It’s now a real relationship…growing, living, being. It’s so much more than I could have ever wanted, yet have searched for my entire life.

    Thank you for posting this at just this point and time! God has used it to speak to me in a huge way today! Thank you!

  20. Annalisa (Proverbs 31 OBS Volunteer) says:

    Wendy! I am so encouraged by your post! I have been having a difficult time this week as well. I feel weary and tired. This is right on time. God, show me Your glory and help me to shake our time up together! Thank you for the suggestions…and I will try them out! Seeking Him in a new way is so necessary for me. I desire Him and need Him.
    Thank you so much, Wendy for sharing your heart and may the Lord bless you and keep you!

  21. Jessica Davis says:

    Thank you so much for this encouragement. I am having a difficult time with life. I am struggling with my time with God. Thank you for these ideas on spending time with the Lord. I ask for prayer also that my relationship with the Lord will become my number one priority!

    Blessings

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