Monday, July 11, 2011

Early Mornings

So last night was the first in a four-week series that will be happening this summer at VYC. It was sooo great to get to see everyone from youth group again and just be able to re-connect. And one of my favorite parts of the night is usually at the end, after all the plans and activities are over. It's when I get a little bit of face-to-face time with a girl or two. When I get to listen and talk and pray and just walk alongside them.

And last night was a particularly good conversation. Because normally when this young lady and I talk, we just end up kinda going in circles. It seems we are often going through the same things in our relationship with Christ, which is good, but can also be difficult. It's like we're both in a pit at the same time and can't get out or even see anything above... it would be so much more helpful if one of us was at the top of the pit offering a hand up! But that's not how it's been, so we normally just ask each other a lot of questions and don't come up with a whole lotta answers.

We've both been frustrated with how we live our lives vs. how we know how our lives could be. We've struggled through praying and being in the word with our short attention spans and constant distractions. We yearn for deep intimacy with Christ while striving to figure out how to get it. So last night I decided that I'd had enough of talking in circles and questions with no answers. I proposed one week of spending at least 2 hours with Jesus in the morning.

So this morning my alarm went off at 6 am. And wow am I not a morning person. So my first two hours went a little like this:

Do my Experiencing God study. Get distracted by my toenail. Clip it. Read the Bible. My finger hurts. What is that? A sliver? Oh... back to reading. I'm hungry. Ok let's journal now. Put the date... 7/11. OH! It's my friend's birthday. Well that's distracting. Text them to get it off my mind. Continue journaling. Wow I'm really hungry. Get a bagel from the fridge, toast it, and lather on some good ol' cream cheese. Back to Jesus. Attempt a "Pray for an Hour" little hand-out I have. 15 minutes later apparently my eyes think it's nap time. Shake myself awake, go to the bathroom to wash my face in hopes that will wake me up. Come back. Finish praying. DONE.

Wow. It was a little hectic to say the least. I find myself getting so distracted, and then getting frustrated with myself when I do! But then after all this, I had a bit of time after getting ready for work, so I read a bit of a "The Me I Want to Be" by John Ortberg... and it was talking about just that! Ortberg suggested that instead of getting frustrated, you use them as prayers!
 "I used to think of those kind of thoughts [distractions, worries, etc.] as obstacles to prayer, but I have come to think of them as prayers waiting to be offered. Maybe the reason they pop into my mind is not simply my short attention span, but rather what my mind is really concerned about. Instead of trying to suppress these thoughts, it is better to begin to talk to God about them."

So I will be applying this new-found theory to my date with Jesus tomorrow. And I will also will be going to bed earlier.


  1. Good thoughts! I haven't prayed that way all the time, so good reminder! I also get distracted...did you catch it from me? I hope you feel focused this coming morning (I'm writing on 7/12/2011 because I got distracted in my sleep and woke up and thought I'd read your blog!). You can pray for me because I'm feeling distracted with thoughts about moving back to Mongolia...looking forward to it, but groaning at how fast our time here has gone. I love you! Thank you for challenging me to a focused time with HIM!

  2. Yea! What is amazing about this also is that Jesus simply smiled and enjoyed your heart's passion to meet with Him and yet also be distracted. He was not irritated by it (as I would have been) nor was He disappointed in you (as I would have been) but simply was with you in and through each distraction...which to Him was not distractions but invitations to LIFE. I so identified with all you said/wrote. Thanks for putting on paper-kind of-what I too experience...and inviting me to think about it in a different way. May the Spirit flow into you and through you like waves of liquid LOVE. With much love!

  3. thanks dad! i actually really needed to hear this, because without really meaning to, or even realizing it, i think i felt like he was getting irritated/disappointed. i KNOW he isn't, i just forget to believe it. so thanks for the reminder!


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