Thursday, March 22, 2012

Thoughtful Thursday :: Jesus Calling by Sarah Young

I'm a big fan of digging into the Word.

But I'm also a mom of three. There are some days where the only things I dig into are mounds of laundry, piles of toys, and heaps of diapers.

So, am I off the hook? Does God understand?

Yes and no.

Does He understand? Absolutely. Am I off the hook? Absolutely not!

I know in my own life, the busier I am, the more desperate my need for time with my Father. And the crazier the schedule, the more I crave His presence.

But it hasn't always been that way.

It's easy to buy into the lie that we are too busy. Or that if we don't have thirty minutes, there's no point in starting. And if your life is anything like mine, you're lucky if you get three minutes to yourself during daylight hours.

So, what can you do? What if you want to spend more time with God, but you don't know where to start?

A few months ago, I joined the ranks of the thousands of people who use the Jesus Calling devotional as a part of their private worship. And I love it.

While I don't believe that this or any devotional can or should take the place of a more in depth study of the Word, it's a wonderful launch pad.

The devotions are short. Most are no more than a couple of paragraphs...which means no excuses.

I don't know anyone who doesn't have time to read two paragraphs before breakfast. Even people with crying babies and hormonal teenagers can squeeze this into their routine.

The devotions are written from Jesus' point of view. Now before that freaks you out, please keep in mind that the author, Sarah Young, makes it clear in the introduction that she is not implying that these devotions are inspired. Simply that she wrote down what she felt the Lord was saying to her.

They are intensely personal. And they resonate with me because they mirror some of my own conversations with the Lord.

I see these devotions as an appetizer for the main course.

Are there times when I run all day on the appetizer? Yep. It's not ideal. But it does make me hungry for more.

I also like to use this devotional as a "dessert" that I enjoy before diving into the chaos of the morning, or sometimes as a "snack" in the middle of the day when I need a time of refreshment and refocus. I don't read it every day, but it's been fun to see how often the devotions, and even more often the Scripture, is exactly what I need, precisely when I need it.

So what about you? Do you struggle to "find time" to spend with God? Are you reading a chapter to check it off your list, or are you listening for what He wants to talk to you about? Do you use the Jesus Calling devotional? I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Bethany Kaczmarek
Congratulations Bethany!!!

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Bethany Kaczmarek said...

First of all, I do exactly the same thing with Jesus Calling. I find it encouraging and challenging, and it ALWAYS brings Scripture to mind which keeps me meditating on the Word throughout my day.It whets my appetite for the Word. My kids have an afternoon "quiet time" during which they each play independently (no screens) while I take an hour to spend with Christ. They look forward to it, because they enjoy alone time (a learned skill for them) and because they see that it helps me be a better mom and wife.

Second, I won the autographed copy of Firethorn? Seriously? Score! Thank you, Lynn!

Vonda Skelton said...

I read Jesus Calling last year and thoroughly enjoyed it. I underlined the sentence(s) that particularly spoke to me. Looking forward to reading it again in the future, seeing what God showed me years earlier.

Sandra said...

I totally of my friends gave me a copy and I have enjoyed it thoroughly.

Lynn Huggins Blackburn said...

Bethany - I love that. As my 3 year old is beginning to need his afternoon nap, we're working on quiet time. Playing alone is definitely a learned skill for him, too! And yes, you won!!
Vonda - What a great idea...I need to get a highlighter!
Sandra - I think it would make a wonderful gift! So glad you are enjoying it, too.