I have found a new place I want to hang out. Not a new, cute coffee shop, or delightful corner at a restaurant. My new place is going to be my closet That is, of course, if I can get over the smell of Brandon’s shoes. I mean really, no one should be wearing shoes without socks, especially not in a warm climate. But this is happening, regardless of that, um, minor set back. I’m not on an organizing kick, or having typical girl trouble picking out an outfit for the day (why is that so hard sometimes?!) Nope, it’s going to be dual functioning, half closet, half new place where I’m going to commit to meeting with Jesus. I’m going to start meeting with him the way Priscilla describes how her grandma meets with Jesus. “The way she’d meet with any important friend-faithfully, personally, punctually.”
I used to have a little nook in my closet. I watched the movie War Room about two years ago, and it took me a little bit to get past the warm cheesyness that I only like on my pizza. But once I did, man, it did something to me. I wanted that kind of prayer life. So I started making changes. I created a little spot in our guestroom closet in Katy. I say little, it was huge because of course even the closets are bigger in Texas. This was the place I went to for my quiet time. I cleared one wall of rubbermaids, and beneath the adorable hanging onesies, I started writing out prayers and posting them there. New prayers, old prayers. The cries of my heart. Thanking the Lord. Begging the Lord. Praising the Lord.Reminding the Lord. Reminding myself. It was a beautiful time in my life, but I immediately stopping going into that closet when my third was born. I lost all ability to find a spare moment for myself, and when those rare moments came, for my sheer survival, I slept.
However, my youngest daughter is now one. One whole year has gone by with zero time in my prayer closet. I’ve still been praying, but not nearly as regularly, and not at all strategic. And my prayers more so feel like a desperate cry. Please help me____. Please forgive me for ______ again. There is less thankfulness than there used to be. Less time just basking in His presence, and more so a feeling of just doing it because I am desperate and need Him. Which, of course, being desperate and needing Jesus isn’t a bad thing. Hello, that’s life. That’s real every day life if you are breathing. But I feel like I’ve been in this state, this pure survival mode mentality, for just a little too long. It’s almost as if the crisis has passed (ie the mayhem that was packing up life in Texas, living out of a suitcase for 3 months, and moving internationally with three little kids) and I’m still in survival mode.
It’s time to breathe. It’s time to form new habits and disciplines that my heart, mind, and body need in order to not just survive, but thrive.
I ordered Priscilla Shier’s book, Fervent, over 4 months ago. I re-discoverd it when I cleaned out my nightstand. Is anything more delightful than finding a book you’ve wanted to read just hiding and waiting for you? Okay, maybe money. Or a new nail polish. Oooo or earrings! Anyway, I digress. The book is amazing. I’m only on chapter 3, but I have a feeling it’s going to be a game changer for me. The way Priscilla talks feels like she’s speaking right to me. She’s sassy, strong, and determined. She isn’t messing around, and her desire in writing this book is to help others figure out how to find their own “Battle Plan for serious, specific and strategic prayer.” Ya, I’m going to say an emphatic YES to this.
I’m still working on Jennie Allen’s Dream Guide for the year, click here to check it out. Because man I just love it. But every time I sit down to dream and think through the year, I can’t seem to come up with anything. So, I’ll be patient and wait for that. Because right now I’m tempted to just put whatever comes to mind down, just so I can fill out that blank white paper staring back at me. But I will not succumb to my own peer pressure. I am not going to make goals that I’m not convinced are what I need to be doing for the year. So I’ll wait.
In the meantime, I’m starting the prayer closet. I’m pretty sure any time spent alone and undistracted with Jesus won’t be time wasted. Oh! And I also got a treadmill for Christmas. Does it mean I’m getting old, or am just boring, if I am really excited for this? I haven’t found my rhythm in working out yet here in Nicaragua and I have a sneaking feeling it’s messing with my mental well being! I need to get some stress relief in! I need some time to pound the preverbal rubber, and get some endorphins released!
So cheers to starting new things. Here is to creating new disciplines and habits. Here is to saying, um yes, I’d like 2018 to be different. I’d like to be a stronger, wiser, more passionate, kinder, more loving, version of myself. Who is with me?