Journey Back Home

If we are faithless, He remains faithful; He cannot deny Himself. 2 Timothy 2:13 (NKJV)

I got up this morning at 5:30—a good hour and a half before my scheduled “rise and shine” time. At first I thought I’d go back to bed after my bathroom trek, but my already too-long do-list got longer yesterday when I added an ambitious project with a Nov. 30 deadline. So I knew snuggling back under the covers would be futile. I’d just toss and turn and think and think and think. Body tired, mind wired. You know the feeling.

So I made my cup of caffeine, dressed, and headed to my study.

Since I was up early, I decided to have my quiet time, which, I’m ashamed to admit, has been sorely lacking. I opened my prayer notebook first. My last entry was Feb. 10. And the time before that was Jan. 17. Well, at least it was this year. When I opened my spiritual journal, I was aghast when I saw the date of the last entry: Dec. 14. My Bible study notebook was just as pathetically neglected. I used to write in them every day.

No wonder I’d been feeling adrift, mentally and spiritually.

Last year I blamed my dwindling time with God on life issues, particularly health challenges and family relationships, the latter undergoing tumultuous changes.

Have you ever felt like you’re standing in the midst of fallout you didn’t create? Yet there you are, stuck in the middle of it all, hanging on to a diminishing sense of direction. Well, that’s where I was last year.

This year, as those issues began to smooth out, a monster project took over my life: planning a month-long trip with our fifth-wheel camper to the Pacific Northwest with two other couples. Not an undertaking to sneeze at. Coordinating schedules, planning routes and stops and meals and clothes, getting the camper and truck ready for a 7,000-mile trip, downloading and learning to use travel apps we’d use on the journey—chunk by chunk usurped my time. Small wonder I’m way behind on my novel-writing schedule.

But I shouldn’t blame busyness for not taking time with God. I mean, who really sets my schedule? I’m my own worst taskmaster—slave driver is a better term.

But the more I got done, the less fulfilled and more empty I felt.

You can’t replace God with busyness, no matter how urgent or necessary your activities are. Only God can satisfy your soul. And if your spirit is empty of Him, your entire being—physical, mental, and emotional—is affected. It’s like you’re on a journey with no destination, without a map or app or plan, and are running on fumes.

So this morning, when I finally took quality time to meet with God (and not with one eye on the clock), God met with me. He had, after all, been patiently waiting for me to stop manufacturing excuses and make time with Him my top priority once again.

I opened my Bible to where I’d left off with my personal (and also sporadic) Bible study two months ago, Psalm 37: “Consider the staggering fact that the Creator of time and eternity loves you,” I read in the warm up section. “Write down 10 things you can think of about the love of God.”

Wow! What a place to begin my journey back to God—His love for me. The first three came easily—I’d been pondering them all year: Unconditional. Undeserved. Unlimited. Then, like water sputtering from a hand pump, more words to describe God’s incredible love for me poured forth: steadfast, eternal, healing, unchanging, sacrificial, reliable.

God’s love—the more I meditated on it, the harder it was to wrap my mind around it.

I hadn’t been faithful to Him, but He’d remained faithful to me.

As I wrote the words of Lamentations 3:21–23 in my spiritual journal and the words of Psalm 51:10–12 in my prayer notebook, I knew I’d finally returned home.

Thank you, Father, for Your steadfast, unlimited love. I don’t deserve it, but that’s what unconditional means, doesn’t it? Thank You for pouring its healing grace into my thirsty, travel-weary soul. Amen.

Read and meditate on Lamentations 3:21–23

(c) 2017 Michele Huey. All rights reserved.

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Thanksgiving – Then and Now

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For I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. – Philippians 4:11 (KJV)

I’m thankful for the muddy floor that greets me every day.

I’m thankful for the dirty socks that on the floor doth lay.

I’m thankful for the fingerprints that deck both chair and wall.

I’m thankful for the daily dust that on the desk doth fall.

I’m thankful for my kitchen sink that hides the dirty dish.

I’m thankful for the splattered wall from when I fried the fish.

I’m thankful for the Cheerios, Playdoh, and other yuck,

And all the stones and crayons that plug my sweeper up.

I’m thankful for the toothpaste smeared on the bathroom door.

I’m thankful for the wad of gum stuck to the kitchen floor.

I’m thankful for the scattered toys that often piece my feet

When I must run to get the phone before I’ve time to sweep.

I’m thankful for the mending I love so much to do

That I hide it in the corner and buy them something new.

I’m thankful for the unmade beds – they mean I’m not alone.

I’m thankful for so many things that make our house a home.

I wrote the above poem years ago when the kids were still home and driving me crazy. Oh, how I longed for the time they’d be all grown up and on their own! Oh, how I craved a house that stayed clean and “red up.”

Now the kids are grown and gone, raising families of their own. The house stays clean – and too quiet. I miss the noise and chaos that come with raising a family.

Can’t we humans ever be happy? When we have one thing, we yearn for something else. When we have that something else, we want what we had.

Why, I wonder, can’t I be like the Apostle Paul, who said he was content whatever the circumstances of life (Philippians 4:11)? And he wrote those words while under house arrest. Haha – I felt like I was under house arrest back when I wrote that poem.

But time moves on, doesn’t it?

I’m learning to embrace each season of my life as it unfolds, whether or not it unfolds the way I’d planned and dreamed.

You see, God is in control, and He has a purpose for each of us in every season of life. He knows the end from the beginning. “All the days ordained for me were written in Your book before one of them came to be,” the psalmist wrote (Psalm 139:16).

This year we’ll celebrate Thanksgiving the Saturday following the holiday. Our oldest son, who loves to cook, will prepare a turkey dinner. Our youngest son and his girlfriend will drive home from Ebensburg for the day. Three of our five grandchildren will be here. Sometime during the chaos, our daughter, who lives 650 miles away, will call and the phone will be passed around.

The house will ring with laughter and conversation and family love—and remind me that my house is still a home.

You have blessed me with so much, Lord. Remind me in my disgruntled moments to be content with whatever I have—because whatever I have comes from You, the giver of every perfect gift (James 1:17). Amen.

Extra tea: Read and meditate on Philippians 4:4–13

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Happy Thanksgiving to my readers!

May God open the windows of heaven and pour out His abundant blessings on you and your families —  a good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over — so much you will not have room enough for it!

Love, Michele