A Place for All Women

Posts tagged ‘Study’

Some Smelly Socks

          A silly little saying can sometimes stick in my head longer than the words of wisdom from a deep theological study. 

           When I was a teenager, my friends and I had a catchphrase we would use whenever we were embarrassed.

            “I’m just gonna go crawl into my socks… and peep out.”

            It helps if you imagine it being said with a bit of a Southern drawl. 

           I most often found the saying useful after I had offered up my opinion and unsolicited advice to someone, then later found myself in the very same situation, reacting exactly as they had.  My sisters and sister-in-law can certainly testify here for all the times I questioned or criticized their parenting skills before becoming a mom myself.  And I fully acknowledge after this confession that some of my current friends are about to raise their hands in agreement that I should go get my socks.

           As a full-time mom for the last 13 years, finding time to read my Bible, study, pray and spend quiet time with God, has been a breeze.  The more often I relaxed on the front porch swing, in the big mama chair or in total hammock heaven, the more I thought everyone should be doing the same thing.  My working friends would drop behind in group Bible studies and I would think they were just slacking… succumbing to the pressure of a paycheck and giving God less time than He deserved.  But now, here I am, operating most days on four hours of sleep, praying in the car on the way to work, grabbing a quick verse from my new daily devotional and looking longingly at the Beth Moore study collecting dust on the headboard of my bed. 

           While I miss the time I used to have with my family, I feel far more desperate for my quiet time with God.  But He did try to warn me.

           Before I walked reluctantly back into the working world, I kept seeing and hearing the word “sacrifice” in studies, on signs and in sermons.  Now that I can look back and sort of understand what was about to happen, the words “self righteous” are beginning to appear.  The words came to me again this morning while praying on my way to work.  The Spirit was pretty clear on how little I really comprehend the stress, struggles and tight schedules of other people’s lives.  I felt sad and sorry, though I still felt a little entitled.  That is one of the problems with our flesh… and a good God doesn’t want us to stay that way.

             So, it’s a Saturday and I’m at work.  But when I get home, I’m going to find a pair of socks and, if you look closely my friends, you will be able to see me peeping out.

 

“Do not judge so that you will not be judged.  For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you.”

Matthew 7:1 

Yep I see that a bit more clearly now. 

For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin.  Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”

Hebrews 4:15-16 

In addition to mercy and grace, what I need is more time to do that study.  But in honor of all working women  I’m going to try to keep quiet about that for a little while.

🙂

 

© Copyright 2011, KeziahCarrie.  All Rights Reserved

Quiet Time

“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness;

and all these things shall be added unto you.”

Matthew 6:33 (KJV)  

            She was a tiny little woman with long black hair showing significant signs of graying at the roots.  A maternal looking lady, with a baby wrapped around her body in one of those sling things, the first time we met.

            She handed out workbooks and told all those gathered together in a semi-circle that homework would require 30 to 45 minutes, maybe even an hour each day for five days.  We would have one day off.  Then we would meet again.

           This mama say, “What?!” 

           Seriously, a ladies Bible study takes that kind of time?

            Someone should have clued me on this before I showed up for the free food and child care.

            But as I started to look around, and listen more closely,  I heard some of the women, clearly Bible study veterans, talking about the importance of even taking time for an occasional afternoon tea.  Okay, well if that’s what works for them, I guess that’s cool.  I get that.  I wish I felt that way.  But at the time, I saw myself as way too busy…more of a grab a coffee and go, kind of girl.   A people pleaser on a manic mission.

            She had certainly expected such reactions.  In her calm, relaxed tone, which I already envied, she expressed a complete understanding of the internal conflict.  As the mother to a house full of boys and an unexpected baby at 40-something, she knew how hard it could be to carve out any time for ourselves.

            But this was different.

            This was time we would spend one-on-one with God.  She assured us that if we would make an effort, God would respond and reward us with more time than we really knew we had.  

          It was easy to contemplate, hard to believe. 

          But she was right.

          It was a little rocky at first, roughing up the family routine so “I” could have a little “me” time.  But it didn’t take long to figure out this is a bit of a faith-based formula that should probably be scientifically tested. 

            It’s been FIVE years since I first got out of bed, headed to the front porch swing and spent time putting God first.  What started as “Okay, Okay, all right, I’ll give it a try” quickly turned to a life-changing, life-altering, gratifying, fulfilling, successful bit of quality time.  My husband wishes he had it, my children help me guard it and some of my friends sort of hate me for it.  But it’s available to everyone. 

            I’m not a tiny little woman like the lady who gave me such great advice.  I don’t have a sling thing with a baby in it.  And my hair is not black, though it does have significant graying at the roots.  But I am full of opinions and often feel the need to offer them without request. So listen up ladies, take some time for yourself…for you and God…just the two of you.  Sit there in the silence, pray, read or study.  It’s easier than you think.  And, God will respond and reward you with more time than you thought you had.  

             I predict, your quiet time will very quickly go from something you’re trying to do, to something you have to do. 

 

“Now you come on and get up out of that bed. You know any time you give to God he will give it back to you”

~Myrtle Alexander

 (My friend Marny’s grandmother who lived 83 years) 

“Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good.”

Titus 2:3 (NIV) 

“God doesn’t tell you to do hard things so He can stand back and laugh and watch you struggle.  He tells you to do things that He knows are gonna work out to your good in the end.”

–Joyce Meyer 

“Try a thing you haven’t done three times.  Once to get over the fear of doing it, twice to learn how to do it, and a third time to figure out whether you like it or not.”

–Joyce Meyer     

 

If you already take quiet time, tell us how it works in your life.  If you haven’t tried putting God first,  try it and let us know if things change for you. 

We would love to hear.   

  🙂   

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