Part 1: Learning to Listen
A new rhythm I am adding to my life is the daily rhythm of worship. While making this practice a daily rhythm will take time, I have already seen the difference it has made in my life when I have taken the time to spend time worshiping. Worship comes in many forms. For me it is listening to worship music and either listening and contemplating, or singing along as I am enveloped with the power of the music. Sometimes it just stopping and thanking God for the quiet moments, the peaceful nature surrounding me, or the precious faces of my boys.
Other times its listening to the voice inside that says to STOP when I feel overwhelmed or unbalanced, even when I feel the need to push through and be productive. I am learning to listen to what my body is saying, what I am actually feeling, and what its needing. I am learning to listen to that small voice inside, encouraging me to stop and put all aside and take a moment to breathe. And then I must be obedient to stop. The next step is to reach in, to the quiet and welcoming arms of God.
This morning I had a few hours to myself, away from kids and house chores and responsibility. As part of my self care I have scheduled in a few hours a week where I can have a break and do as I wish. Usually I use the time to write or create for rhythmsforliving.com. This is my intellectual stimulation, my creative outlet, and a way to give back. What I’ve seen clearly though is you can’t always schedule your productive times and the times you need rest.
I felt the need to get productive and make the most of my few hours to work on the many resources and posts I had on my to do list. However, my body was telling me that I needed to STOP and put that on pause. I fought the feeling for awhile, trying to get productive. However, the more I tried to keep going the more unbalanced and unclear my mind felt. By body began feeling anxious and unraveled. I finally gave in and stopped. I started by closing my eyes, breathing, and whispering a quiet prayer to God. I then put on one of my favorite worship songs and grabbed my watercolor pencils and travel art journal. For the next 15-20 minutes I lost myself in worship and drawing. I was not worried about what I was drawing, but just focused on the feeling of the pencil on the paper, the movements I was making with my hand, my color choices, and let the music lead me in the art process. I slowly felt the anxiety leave my body, my mind clear, and a sense of peace come over me. While I was attuned to being in the moment with God, I was not having a linguistic dialogue with Him, but rather just spending time with Him, letting Him meet me where I was. You see, God created me. He knows me. He knows how I feel, how I think, how I function. He knows what I need and how to connect with me. I appreciate the lesson He taught me today: that worship and time with God can come in many forms and in individualized forms. After all, He created us individually so its makes sense that we would have individual ways of meeting with Him. Its part of getting to know Him and letting him in to be fully known.
How do I know this was time with God and not just a some music on an ipod and some colored pencils and paper? Because of the encounter I had following the time. Not only did I feel refilled and revived from my negative mental and emotional state, but I saw God work and bless and give back in the following minutes.
I was at a local coffee place and happened to see a friend from church who I had not seen in awhile. I struck up a conversation with her and sat and listened as she told me about the very difficult year she has had and all the struggles it had brought. I believe she needed a sympathetic ear, a friendly face, and a non-judgemental friend to listen and encourage. I was able to encourage her and pray with her. You see in the time I spent with God He had filled me with His peace, filling me up and overflowing, literally to the person next to me. Not only did I need His love and peace but she needed it as well. Because I was obedient to stop and spend time with God, he was able to bless me AND her. I love to see how God works! He blesses and double blesses!
In what ways do you find you are able to worship God and spend time with Him?
Are there times when you feel the need to stop and pause and listen? What if you listen?
Is the idea of worship new to you or unfamiliar to you?
We would love to hear from you!