“Without the regular experience of being received and loved by God in solitude and silence, we are vulnerable to a kind of leadership (and life) that is driven by profound emptiness that we are seeking to fill through performance and achievement.”  Ruth Haley Barton

Over the weekend I was convicted about my time in God’s Word.  Not that I hadn’t been reading my Bible daily but that I hadn’t been listening to it.  I realized that once again I had been reading my Bible to get it off my mental to do list, my spiritual “that was a good thing for me to do” list and my parental and leadership checklist to ensure that I am not asking my children or those I lead to do anything that I had not ensured I was also doing.  But what I really need is to hear from God every day.  Not for someone else, or because I should, but because my life will be dramatically better and more meaningful because of it. 

I try at all costs to avoid committing to changing a bad habit or starting a good habit without having a concrete plan as to how to actually make that change.  So I assessed my time in the morning and realized that I could fit reading my Bible for about ten to fifteen minutes before I got my kids off to school.  This would mean sacrificing a few other things but then again, what matters? This would also means reigning in my ADHD and creating an environment to help me quiet my soul and quiet my mind and truly listen while I read His Word. And although ten to fifteen minutes isn’t a huge amount of time, when I truly desire to connect with God and when I ask Him to help me focus on Him and hear from Him even when I may only have five minutes – He teaches me something.  When I am hungry for Him and for direction and wisdom from Him, He reveals it to me when I read His Word.  And for a few days, my time with Him was amazing; I was reading Matthew and I learned something even from reading the genealogy in Matthew 1 (I usually skip those).  And then there was today..,

I did not sleep well (if you take vitamin C before bed along with your other 4 vitamins, can it literally burn a hole in your stomach overnight?) so proceeded to sleep thru my alarm .  But I was determined to have my time to hear from the Lord so I sat down (bed head and all) and TRIED to read.., TRIED to hear.., but to no avail.  I had been derailed after an amazing two consecutive days of success (that didn’t take long!).  When I got back from taking my kids to school I had SO much to do before my 11:30 lunch appointment but I forced myself to take my Bible away from my office, computer and work pile and I set my timer for my ten minutes.  Ten minutes to pray and ask God to speak to me in His Word.  I asked Him to once again quiet my soul and allow me to hear what He had for me for today.  It is so easy to get derailed isn’t it?  It is so easy to throw that one more load of laundry in or send that last email out.  It is so easy to miss time with God yet keep saying and hoping that my relationship with Him would be better, more meaningful and more transforming.  But I am committed to NOT be derailed.  I am committed to not do any house cleaning, read any email or even put on my make up (gasp!) before I have time in God’s Word.  I want to read for ten to fifteen minutes until He tells me something.., not until I’m done with a chapter or until He’s given me something that my husband or kids should learn but something for me.  “Lord, thank you for being a big, amazing, generous and loving God who merits more than 15 minutes to talk to me in the 18 hours of time I am awake every day.  Thank you that you do not need three hours or a certain intellectual level or a particular methodology to tell me something.  Help me to be willing to choose to avoid distractions and be still long enough so I can listen to you. Amen.”