Friday, January 30, 2009

The Beckoning

Lush pine, enticing citrus blossoms, heady fragrance of deep florals and fauna. Soft soil beneath His feet. Every step leads Him closer. The Lord. Walking through His creation - the Garden of Eden - during the cool of the day. He beckons for Adam and Eve, His children, to join Him as they had numerous times before.

... Only this time is different, Adam and Eve attempt to hide from the very One who loves them most. Drawn to Him, yet deeply ashamed. Yearning for Him, yet immobilized by their sin. Even so, pure Love in His voice drives them from their hiding place...

... into the arms of Grace.

Do you sometimes feel that way? I mean, why would the God of the Universe call for me? I'm a far, far cry from holy. Shouldn't I change some things in my life before attempting to spend quality time with Him?

Yet, I hear His call. His beckoning. Even in the middle of the mess of who I am, He still desires to LINGER with me. Oh... and how I desire to LINGER with Him. I'm so thirsty. Do you feel Him drawing you too?


Come my children and listen to me... Ps. 34:11

"Come now, let us reason together," says the Lord..." Isaiah 1:18

"Or else let them come to me for refuge..." Isaiah 27:5

"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." Matthew 11:28

"All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away." John 6:37

Do you hear Him in the rolling thunder? Do you hear Him calling on the gentle breeze? Do you hear Him in the cry of your little one? Do you hear Him in the stillness. Do you hear Him calling you through His Word? Read the above Scriptures above again. Read them as His personal invitation to you.


How can we respond to Him? The One who loves us beyond our understanding. The Holy One... Abba. Daddy God. How do we respond?

The reality is, most of us live our lives by the pages of a well-worn calendar. So many activities clutter our hours each day. How do we dare even tiptoe into the throne room? Our minds are a jumbled mess of to-do's. It's all about tomorrow. Tomorrow I'll spend time with Him. Tomorrow I'll clear my calendar. Tomorrow I'll be better prepared. Have you noticed that we don't live in the moment anymore?

How do we, as the frazzled women we are, bring Christ into our daily moments - ALL of them? There is the short answer. And that is: He IS in our daily moments. And HE IS. But let's look deeper... How do we consciously connect with His unending, always-open invitation to settle ourselves into the throne room in middle of our chaotic days?

For those of you with young children... How do you LINGER with Him while mothering? Caregivers... how do you LINGER while caring for a loved one/loved ones? Women in the workforce, how do you LINGER with your God in the middle of daily business? How creative are you in finding LINGER moments with God through the grind of each day? Will you share them here? Perhaps your encouraging words will offer an answer to the challenge of lingering for someone perusing this blog today - or tomorrow.


Janice Thompson said...

I find myself lingering in God's presence more when I'm with my grandbabies than most any other time. There's something about those amazing little cherub cheeks that just ushers me into the throneroom. How can you look at a newborn and not be reminded of our awesome Creator? And how can you watch the antics of a toddler with realizing that God is creative, imaginative and filled with wonder?

nettie-fudge said...

Lingering in His presence is imperative for my situation right now. There are questions only He can help me find. I know when I don't take time to quiet myself before the Lord, my day is filled with anxiety and concern instead of His comfort and peace.


Sharen Watson said...

Janice... Oh yes, there is something about a newborn that captivates us with God's creative genius. Grandparents seem to rush into the throne room when they interact with their grandbabies.

On the other hand, MOMS of newborns may perceive the care-taking of their new infant or active toddler (or both) as interruption, keeping them from much needed time with the Savior. I remember that struggle.

Yet, even in the midst of all that busyness, there were those cherished times I could blend the busy, hectic care of my brood into LINGER moments. Praying over them, singing with them, dancing with them, cuddling them all became acts of worship WHILE mothering.

I wonder... Do grandparents latch onto this concept inherently?

Sharen Watson said...

Janetta... Yes, LINGERing is essential, especially when challenges meet us head on, day after day. And I'm not just talking about the challenges of the busyness of life. I'm talking about the hard-hitting, happiness-quenching, gut-wrenching challenges that steal our peace from the moment we open our eyes in the morning - provided we even slept. How do we LINGER in the middle of all that?

There are no easy answers, nothing anyone can offer to make LINGERing easy during these times, but there are suggestions: The Word is your lifeline, prayer is your source of strength, God is everything through you, because you alone just can't.

Trust. And that's all. Circumstances may look the same, but I guarantee you don't.

dwanreed said...

I found myself lingering with God this morning as I ran on my treadmill. As my feet pounded the belt, I reflected on the blessings of health. Isn't it wonderful to walk and run un-aided, to feel strength and vigor in one's body, and to sit down and stand up at will? These are gifts often taken for granted, but when I take time to linger with God, I remember that it is He who makes my heart beat and He who breathes life into my body each second, minute, and hour of the day.

dianne in colorado said...

Perhaps the first step in truly lingering is taking quick moments throughout the day to acknowledge God's presence in all things - playing with kids, using our bodies in physical ways, dealing with the stresses of life.

Once we develop a habit of regularly acknowledging His activity in every area of our lives, we can more easily allow ourselves to slow down enough to linger in His presence through the joys and struggles of the day-to-day.

Sharen Watson said...

Dwan... Isn't it wonderful to Linger with Him while on a treadmill? I don't have one myself, but when I walk outside, I find myself in "breathtaking moments" with the Lord. His creation deeply moves me (wildlife, nature, etc.), and I find that His creative surprises bring me into immediate dialogue with Him. I love that about the Lord, don't you? My mind will move a million little directions, and WHAM! Creation surprise! I just have to thank Him at that very moment.

From now on, I'll remember to thank Him for the same things you think about (on the treadmill) too. Thankful for a body that moves, breathes. And for a heart that beats. Thank you for that reminder, Dwan.

Sharen Watson said...

Dianne! Yes! Absolutely! thank you for your comment. Sometimes we get so caught up in the busy moments, we forget that all of our moments are from God. Integrating our daily activity with LINGER-ing is vital in constant communing with our Lord.

:-) Have you already read my book??? LOL! You're jumping ahead :-). We'll be addressing this more as we move through the weeks ahead. You... Go to the head of the class :-)

Nancy Williams, LPC said...

My days seem to turn into one big whirl as I walk one client out and the next one into my counseling office all day...many days without a break. What helps me maintain that sense of connection with God's presence is playing soft instrumental praise and worship music in the background throughout the day, in my office. While my primary attention must be with my clients, I hear the echos of praise and remember that I have a partner with me...the Master Counselor. My unconscious thoughts can linger with Him.

Sharen Watson said...

Nancy... There is something about praise music - with vocals or without - that keeps us dwelling in God's presence throughout our busy days. My body and mind may be hard at work, but my spirit is dancing with the Lord.

Thank you for your comment, and for the ensuing challenge...

Reader Challenge: Play praise music as background "noise" during the course of a busy day (if you haven't already done this). And then will you report back to the blog to share your LINGERing experience.

Robbie Iobst said...

Sharen, As I have changed my husband's dressings and given him shots and driven him to doctor's appointments, I have a clear choice. Be down and sigh and start a pity party. OR accept the situation and find joy in the little things, the moments that are funny and uplifting. I wish I could say I always choose the latter. I don't. But I know that the latter can only be chosen if I first ask for God's strength. In my own power, I am a whining baby. But in the past few weeks, I have lingered with God as I have served my husband. Making a conscious choice to "see" God right with me in the car, or fixing lunch or tapping on the end of the syringe. I wish I made this choice every time. I don't. But when I do, oh, Sharen, what fellowship. What joy comes from HIM. So much I spill onto John and we laugh through the hard moments. All because of the ONE who adores us and wants us to COME. Thank you for your blog, Sharen. What an encouragement!

Jan Parrish said...

I second Janice on her comment.

But lately, I've been hanging out with God and just being still, listening. Being still is hard for me. I'm always on the go.

I figure, if I can stop everything and be still for my grand baby, I should also be able to do that for my Abba father.

I also agree with Nettie - drawing on God for the only real peace in my life.

Sharen, as grand parent, you never forget the tender moments with your own children. Yet they are amplified, purer more sweet than they were with your own children.

Holding a newborn is like holding a finely chiseled sculpture, straight from the hands of God.

Sharen Watson said...

Lucille, thank you... Worship music preference from Lucille via Twitter: "@SharenWatson - Klaus Keuhn puts me in the mood to worship."

All I can say is WOW! I went to his website. Powerful Battle Hymn of the Republic as soon as I visited. WOW! I highly recommend it.

Sharen Watson said...

Thank you, Kay... For Twittering: "@SharenWatson almost any song about His holiness or about Grace. You Sang to Me by Mark Anthony, Remember When it Rained by Josh Groban." songs that encourage worship. Must google these too.

Ronie Kendig said...

I used to be very insecure about worshiping--afraid someone would hear me and make fun of me. But with four kids and homeschooling, I lost my fear of being made fun of. Now, I worship with headphones on, music cranked, and since I don't have an office now, I just worship in my bedroom or the playroom. My kids hear me. They know what I'm doing (I figure that's a good example) and leave me to God. LOL

And the one artist that always helps me linger is Chris Tomlin. Always.

D. Gudger said...

Because I need structure, I do my Sunday School homework or I come here to linger with premeditated intent.

As a mom of a preschooler, it's nearly impossible to linger w/o some kind of interruption.

It's been in the 70 here in Denver for the past few days so I was outside...
"Mommy, what's on my finger?"
"Mommy, are you doing JesusGod?"
"Caleb, he's a dog. Yeah. A dog."
"Hey Mommy, I need to go get my dump truck."
"Look Mommy, I drinking out of Caleb's water!"

or, "Hey Mommy, I got hand cream!" I just started selling AVON. Booger dug through my stuff, found two unopened jars of face cream and slathered himself from head to toe, sharing with my leather chair and carpet.

But there was one time this week where Booger begged me to linger with him. "Mommy, I want to play Halleyooya song on my drums!" Tugging on my sleeve, he lead me to his room. I pulled out a rehearsal CD from the vocal group I sing in and turned up the volume.

Booger sat at his tiny drum set and his stick flew in a blur across drumheads and cymbals. He sang at the top of his lungs, I danced and joined in (I have to memorize the song anyway).

It was a precious time of worship. "We sing to JesusGod!" Kyle said whirling a stick in the air.

I think Chris Tomlin and Matt Redman better watch out... Booger will be taking over their jobs someday.

Sharen Watson said...

Ronie... Like you, worship used to be a private venture for me, however, the day the cable workers came over my fence to make repairs (and I was in a dancing sort of worship mood w/blinds wide open), I decided that private worship was nearly impossible to attain. So why even try, huh?

And, I do believe that worshipping with our families watching is a great example for kids. It shows them that relationship with Christ doesn't stop when we step out of church.

Thank you for mentioning Chris Tomlin as a home worship partner. LIngering with His music is a delight. The words of his music speak THE WORD into my spirit.

Sharen Watson said...

Darcie... I'm so glad you're Lingering here with us. I love your authentic comments. As the mother of an active preschooler, you offer a great perspective to others experiencing the same.

Not only that, but as you've mentioned before, you struggle with focus-in the form of ADHD. I DO believe that your little man, Kyle, is your worship prompt for a purpose. God knew you would dance and sing with this little drummer boy long, long ago. It's a part of who you are, and He wouldn't have it any other way.

Thank you for posting...

Sharen Watson said...

Jan... Oh my goodness. LOVE your comment -

"I figure, if I can stop everything and be still for my grand baby, I should also be able to do that for my Abba father."

Amazing how life experiences teach us God lessons. And I love it when those experiences lead us to Linger.

Thank you for posting...

Sharen Watson said...

OH, Robbie! Thank you for posting in the middle of all the craziness of your life. I'm amazed at how God has provided new and unique Linger moments for you through a difficult season.

You know though, it doesn't surprise me at all. Jesus served in the midst of His own human suffering season, up until His dying breath... And then into eternity. And He still serves (getting our home ready, interceding for us in prayer etc...) Lingering with the Father.

Thank you for taking the time to share, Robbie.