Today I'm praying for/about:

Today, (in no particular order) I'm praying for...
- Fresh ideas, inspiration and diligence to post regularly again

- My dad fighting mesothelioma too far away for me to hug him

- Children, parents, and teachers everywhere preparing to return to school

- My single friends as they seek God for His guidance in relationships

- Broken relationships; for grace to abound where grace has been withheld

- You; I'm praying for every single person who views this blog.

Thank you for standing in agreement with me for these precious souls!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Look at Me

I mentioned in another post a speculation I have that my eldest son and I share a generational issue of mild attachment disorder.  One of the "symptoms" of it is an avoidance (possibly even inability) at making solid eye contact when talking with someone.  I've been researching activities and exercises that, with God, will help the two of us restore what was robbed from us.  One such exercise is staring contests and another is making extra effort at eye contact during all communication.  Because of that I've found myself almost constantly saying "Look at me; look at my eyes."  It seems very easy for him to miss what I'm saying when he's looking all over the room.  It leaves him open to distractions and hinders him hearing my full message.

During a phone call with one of my dearest mentors this morning I shared some of my current struggles.  She told me to "keep looking at Him; look only to Jesus."  It hit me in that moment that God's been trying to tell me the same thing I've been trying to tell my son.  "Look at me and only me... so you hear only me, only what I have to say and so you don't miss any of the message."

How easy it is for us to get distracted and begin looking all around us and only (maybe) half-listen to the Holy Spirit's voice.  There's the phone, now rehearsal, TV, Facebook, tweets, texts, doorbell, Ipod, new release movie, committee meeting, lesson plan, shopping, playdate, orientation, audition...  Noise.  Demands and distractions all pulling us in different directions, all for justifiable, healthy (ish) reasons but all of them detracting from what we NEED to hear.

I love my children.  They are amazing, full of adventure, always ready for a wrestling match or some form of chasing game (usually through my kitchen).  As happens though, the rough-housing gets too rough and someone's crying, now it's snack time, the baby's ready for a nap, he took my toy, I'm bored, someone spilled, or any other litany of grade/pre-school dilemas and only I seem hold the solutions to everyone's problem.  It can get overwhelming and the "noise" (often literally) of my life gets to me.  Today I found myself in the middle of one such moment.  I knew I needed a few moments of peace, to seek God, to "reset" my spirit.  I also knew there was NOWHERE I could go that the "noise" wouldn't follow.  I had to get out my ipod and my noise-cancelling headphones and turn Michael W. Smith's "Freedom" album up LOUD.  Some of his compositions are "powerfully peaceful" and I found myself just a few minutes of "quiet time" as I hid under some music.  I had to create a curtain or shroud of peace, a closet, where I could go seek His face, to breath deeply, cry two or three tears, release the tension and emerge refreshed enough to get through the rest of the day.

Thankfully, God meets every one of us right where we are.  Rituals are not required; only a desire to seek and find.  No matter where we are, He is.  All we have to do is find a way to tune out the world so we can tune into Him.  Think of where you find the most peace; maybe it's listening to crickets in the dark, relaxing in a hot bath, under a veil of blaring praise songs, watching a sunset, cuddling your child, or lying still in utter silence.  Matthew 7:7 says "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you."  Just like any loving father, our Holy, All-knowing God is so personal that He knows what your heart needs.  Sometimes you just need to cry, sometimes to vent, sometimes scream, sometimes praise; all He asks in return is that we look to Him and listen.

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