July 23, 2010

Enough already... Snap out of it!

I’m in a funk.

Maybe it’s because I can’t get a grasp on the chaotic schedule of the summer and it’s making me a little nuts. Whoever waxed nostalgic about the “lazy, hazy days of summer” was obviously under the age of 18, living at the beach and unemployed. With my kids’ drop offs and pick ups starting at 7:40 a.m., Mom’s taxi is “on call” all day—to and from the pool for swim team, the high school for theater camp and friends’ houses. I’m happy my kids are involved in wonderful things, but every day brings a new agenda. I struggle with time management on a good day so tossing about in an ocean of scheduling uncertainty has turned my brain into scrambled eggs.

Maybe I’m off-kilter because I’m not a huge fan of summer…at least not twelve weeks of it. I like the rhythm of my school-year days. Given my choice, I’d nip six weeks off this season and add the excess to fall and spring. Or I’d fill up the entire summer with non-stop travel and mission trips. During this in-between time I feel the loss of connections as Bible studies, activities and even friendships (my mom friends are pretty much in the same boat as I am) get put on hold until fall.

I’m adrift in a sea of ennui. An ugliness is creeping into my soul. It’s leaking into my spiritual life too. I feel blah—disconnected from God, from quiet time, from worship. I confess the vibrancy of my faith so often follows my emotions and circumstances. Of course I see this is where the real problem (and solution) lies.

Honestly, right about now I want to smack myself and yell, “Enough already, snap out of it!” (You might be thinking similar thoughts. I wouldn’t hold it against you.) I know I can’t really change my circumstances. And I know I can't fix this on my own. But I can't spend the rest of the summer with my head down waiting for time to pass.

"Coincidentally," a solution came to me the other day while reading a friend’s blog—deliberately seeking God every day for an entire month. It struck me as brilliantly spot on. 

So, for the next 30 days (give or take) I’m going to lift my head up and intentionally seek God in my day-to-day. I want to keep my eyes and ears open to see, hear and experience the Almighty in the quiet, the hidden and the ordinary. I’m going to look for those in-between moments where I get a glimpse of His holiness and my spirit stirs in recognition. I pray the attitude of my heart follows.

I started two days ago and you know what? God’s not so far away after all. I’m seeing Him and experiencing Him in ways I’d missed before. My goal is to record here daily how I’m experiencing our marvelous Creator, Savior, Redeemer and Bread of Life. I hope that in these small revelations you’ll get a glimpse of Him too.

Thirty-ish Days of Experiencing God
Here’s how I saw God today:

Day 1: Wednesday 7/21
Lord, today I saw You in an email from a friend—in her wise words and compassionate heart. I know you’ve brought this person into my life to speak truth and encouragement. Thank you for her friendship and for all the amazing Christian brothers and sisters you’ve blessed me with.

I also saw You in Bible study tonight…in talk of You as our hiding place…in Your names— Jehovah Jireh, Yahweh, El Shaddai …in the beautiful words of our closing prayers. Thank you for this study (and my sisters in it) that are manna all year, but especially right now in the drought of summer.

Day 2: Thursday 7/22
Father God, I saw you today while Connor and I walked home from his swim practice. Even though he wasn’t happy about walking all the way home, You used this time for us to talk and just enjoy each other's company.

I experienced your nearness this evening while listening to the missionary visiting from Haiti. I felt the love you’ve put in my heart for these people flame up. I felt your hand pressing me to continue to help them. Where I see an overwhelmingly hopeless situation, you reminded me of the impact of loving one person at a time. 

How have you experienced God today?


k80 @ onegirlsjourney said...

Love this post. Thank you. I feel the same about the lack of routine and the blahs of summer, even though I love the break from teaching. It is a great challenge and I think I'll jump on. I wish I could be doing traveling or missions trips all summer too :( But God is here as He is there, right?


Terri Tiffany said...

Oh Keli, this was wonderful. It motivates me to seek God in the same way. It's the looking we sometimes have to do and the listening.

brooke said...

Love this post, Kelli. Thanks for helping me look at things from a different perspective. Hope to see you soon!

Kelly said...

I've heard that this restless, disconnected, blah feeling is our spirit letting us know that it is time to grow again, reaching out for God in new ways. And I believe it. Otherwise we would connect with God the same way, every day, for ever and I don't think there is much growth in that.

I like this idea. Keeping a 'God list' of how you see God each day. Kind of like a gratitude list, but better.

This summer has been hard for me, too, and I am trying new things to nurture my spirit and reconnect with God in a new way. I think it is working for me, I pray it works for you.

Love, hugs, support and prayers-

APowers said...

Great post. It is hard when activities consume the day and kids never want to take a break from the action. Your suggestions are wonderful. God also wants us to participate in life not sit on the sidelines and so if your kids are taking you for a ride its pretty much as planned.....he knows that when you have a quiet moment you will come back to Him since at this point he has given you your foundation.xo

Sue J. said...

I have to remind myself, often, that having as much time with my girls as I do this summer is a blessing. We are driving a lot, too, and we do the exact same activities four days a week, which can be draining on my brain! (But my structure-loving girls thrive in it.)

I get to the end of the day, and say good night to my little one. She has those glowing stars in her room. As we say our "Good nights" and "I love you's," I look up at those stars, and recall that awesome Creator who gave me today, and I think back on the day that was, and what was there for me to discover and reflect upon.

It's definitely not the same, but it doesn't mean we aren't growing, necessarily. It's like taking a break from writing to experience life. Sometimes, we just need to experience life in a new way to be motivated....or to realize how much we need to see God in our lives.

You will not be disappointed in this effort. Not possible!

Anonymous said...

You put me to work today, looking for a small book that was given to us (maybe 4 years ago)in a Friday morning bible study at church. On the front cover was written, "God stops".
I started to read the entries I had put in it and then said to myself that I need to do this again. Today will be my first new entry in this book in many years.
The first entry is to thank God for the new life He has allowed me to have !!!!!!!
Blessings and Love....Peggy

Runner Mom said...

I just have to say...that bread is the cutest thing ever!!!! Love that picture! Ok.

I love the summer! Except the extreme heat that we are now having! Sorta disrupts my running later in the morning. Since Austin has a car this summer, that has made Susan's taxi less needed. Your day is coming!! Promise!

I think that I want to take this 30 day challenge too! And, I want to mention it to the family so we can all be on the lookout for God each day! Thanks so much!!
**BTW, my friend in the black with the great arms is a personal trainer and teaches at the Y! She gets paid for that! Mercy!! I would love killer triceps too!

Carmen said...

This is a wonderful post! It is exactly what I need to do. We overlook so many of God's miracles because we just do not see or hear them. It does take a godly focus to be able to appreciate all of His blessings to us. Thanks!


I, too am enjoying the 30 days of hearing God's voice. Glad your spirit no longer matches your Starbucks picture :-).


Laura said...

I love this, Kelli. I've been "in a funk" all summer too. For many of the same reasons. Everyone gets a vacation except mom! But...no whining aloud. I'm going to take a cue from you and try to turn this thing around. Thanks for the inspiration.

Cheryl Barker said...

Kelli, love the idea of intentionally seeking God. My gratitude journal that I keep daily is along the same line. Makes a difference!