My, how a year can fly by! There’s been much going on in my world, just as I’m sure it has been in yours. My second-born had a full and wonderful senior year of high school since the last post, and that certainly kept us all busy.
I’ve also been very blessed to be part of some incredible studies over the last year. My only regret being that I never took the time to write on this site about them.
I read Jennie Allen’s book Anything at least twice, which took me through some deep soul-searching, and my journaling time with that book was some I’ll always treasure. I enjoyed reading it with a group of friends the last time — there’s something special about sitting down with a group of sisters in the faith and having gut-honest discussions about what we’re reading/studying…which is the heart behind this site.
It’s been a long time since a Bible study grabbed hold of me like Epic of Eden did this past spring. The same group of friends and I read the book initially together and just devoured it (we got the idea of reading it in the Sabbath study from Priscilla Shirer I last posted on). Then Seedbed came out with a video-based study on it, so we were quick to order it and do it with our Monday group. AND…they devoured it too.
In fact, we all loved it so much that I’ll be co-leading another Epic of Eden class in January with our Associate Pastor. Can’t wait! And I promise to post on it. I know you’ll love it!
The summer study I’m in now, Lisa Harper’s The Gospel of Mark, is a good one. It’s hard to beat the mix of deep biblical teaching and the laugh-out-loud humor Lisa brings. I was just working on this week’s homework when she asked a really great question — How would you define being satisfied, spiritually-speaking?
Spiritual satisfaction. I’m not sure I’ve ever heard those terms together before, but when I consider where God has me right now and all that He’s been trying to show/teach me over the last couple of years, I must admit I have mixed emotions.
Let me explain. I often feel like a human roller coaster. In some seasons I’m most engaged with the Holy Spirit and God’s Word. I’m consistent to read, study, and pray. I’m taking time out each week for some solitude and “God & Me” time. I even journal or write (as I’m doing here). In those seasons, I feel much spiritual satisfaction. I’m content. I’m FULL. I’m as sure as humanly possible that I’m on the path God has for me in that season.
Then there are those seasons where I unintentionally disengage. My prayers are spotty and quick. My time in the Word is limited to what I’m studying at the time. And I make little time for that God & Me time. The result is I’m dry, restless, and out of focus. And I”m not energized by the Holy Spirit — I’m trying to do life on my own.
And this has been my pattern for all my adult life. I think I can say that those seasons of disconnect happen with less frequency and for shorter durations. I think I’m getting better at recognizing those symptoms of disengagement sooner and am more willing to re-engage.
Any thoughts as to why this pattern re-occurs in my life? Does it happen in yours?
Have you discovered spiritual satisfaction in your walk with Christ? What are the circumstances in your life when that spiritual satisfaction gauge hits HIGH? What are the circumstances when its LOW?
I really believe that when we discover the pattern and recognize the things that lead us to deeper spiritual satisfaction, we are able to be more intentional in what we do (and don’t do) so that we stay in that spiritual state of satisfaction more times than not.
In my homework this morning, Lisa had us digging into Mark 6 where Jesus is teaching his disciples much about faith and respite. It’s in this chapter that the disciples find themselves worn out — they’ve been ministering to huge crowds for a long time. In verses 30-32 Jesus tells them to come away with Him to a quiet place and get some rest.
I love this! Jesus knows us well. He knows that if we don’t come away with Him to a quiet place and get some rest, we’ll run dry. We’ll get grumpy and anxious and burned-out.
So, let’s encourage one another to be consistent in making time to get to a quiet place — maybe it’s a coffee shop with head phones playing favorite music, or maybe it’s a park with a great walking trail, or maybe it’s the back porch in the evening shade — but we get to that quiet place. Then we rest. In Him. We engage with Him and let Him fill us back up.
It just doesn’t seem that hard. But it takes a lot of effort and planning and time-management to get to the place that we can say — stop! I need to get to that quiet place and just BE with Him.
I hope this summer affords you some of those opportunities, but if it doesn’t, I pray you’ll make that time.
Resting in Him,