Freedom From "Quiet Times"

“Quiet times”. Quite the buzz word for Christians these days huh?

We seem to think we are all good with God if we are keeping up with our daily devotionals, making sure we at least read one verse of the Bible, and not forgetting pray at the end.

the view off my back deck at home

I find myself thinking that my time with God should look a certain way and if it doesn’t then it is not sufficient, like I didn’t do it right.

My friend Corinne and I got to spend some time together in her cute little house the other night and the subject of “quiet times” came up. She said that she has been in conversations before where she has said, “ I don’t call it a quiet time. I call it quality time, because I sure don’t except for God to be quiet and I am not going to be quiet either!”

I cracked up! Corinne has this spitfire side of her that you wouldn’t expect, but its awesome and I love when it comes out. But how truthful is that!?

sweet Booger dog all curled up 

I do not want to be quiet. I want the Lord to hear me. I want to sit bare in front of Him, giving Him my whole heart. And if by doing that I am no longer “quiet”, then sorry about it. I do not want the Lord to be quiet either. I want to hear His roars for me. I want to see and feel Aslan doing His thing. In my mind the best “quiet times” are full of emotion, movement, and presence; all of which don’t make me think of quietness.

I think what the label "quiet times" is getting at is a time in your day where you can sit, alone, and simply be with God. For you to get away from distractions, from the noise that so easily fills our days. For us to observe the fact that God is by our side at all times. I know I am a happier and more at peace when I engage in this time, I know I trust God more when I've spent more time praying to Him. So it is not that I do not agree with the idea of "quiet times", I just don't want us to be confined by it.

God is ALL around us. God is not confined to a devotional book, to the Bible, or to a prayer journal. He is so, so much bigger than that. We can engage in His presence at any time and in any place. We can have beautiful rich moments with God whenever and wherever we want! 

running down by the river yesterday afternoon
He does not keep a tally of how many good “quiet times” we have with Him. That isn't even a thing. He just wants US. Whatever we do to give a little bit ourselves to Him, he gives us back ten fold. He wants us to see Him so that we will fall more in love with Him. Reading your devotional every morning does not necessarily equal loving God more or knowing Him better.

I have found that by observing His presence and engaging in His goodness that is constantly wooing me, I love Him more at the end of the day – and that is ALL He wants. He wants more of our love cause there is a snowball-affect after you start loving Him. Crazy stuff happens, all by the work of His hands, and it is always good.

Last weekend in the mountains
So I challenge you to move beyond the boundaries of your devotional, your bible, and your journal. I am not saying those are not good enough I am just saying there is so much freedom in the way we can worship and get to know our Lord that I don’t want y’all to miss out on! Listen to Judah & The Lion in the car, pray aloud on a walk alone, look for where you see His love and write it down, lay on the ground and breathe deeply, listen to a sermon while you cook or run… and those are just things that came to my head.

I don’t want to feel trapped by the words “quiet time”. I don’t think our God wants us to either. So run wild and free kids! Because our God loves us and that is never going to change.


the moments that make up our days // october 2013

So I got this idea from Shanna over at Food Loves Writing. The idea is to show you what my everyday looks like and to remind myself of the beauty that fills all my days. My goal is to do this once a month on the 10th day of each month.

Yesterday: Thursday, October 10, 2013

8:30 am // my day already well on its way, I parked by bike at Lea's house to walk with her to an info. meeting/coffee for Teach For America //

11:30 am // just to give proof that I wore cute clothes to school... which NEVER happens. I felt all professional going to a 'big girl' meeting, packing my breakfast, and wearing a dress. Except, note to self, bikes and dresses don't really work. 

2:00 pm // good ole italian homework at my messy desk.

3:30 pm // my drive out to North Oconee High School, most every day. I love old barns in grassy fields, I love the south, and the country sure is growing on me. 

5:30 pm // after cross country practice... the wonder that is the sky. the warmth that is the sun. 

6:40 pm // friends. a mattress on the ground. Dory as the best Russell i've ever seen and her sweet boyfriend as the old man from "Up" for our famous couples date night.

8:30 pm // my first corn maze experience out in Bogart, Georgia.

9:30 pm // at the end of the hay ride. from left to right: the old man, Russell, Mario, Luigi

11.30 pm // our break from boogy'in on the dance floor. mint chocolate chunk for me. coffee, coffee, buzz buzz buzz for him.

Yesterday was a good day. Full of laughter, dreaming, and beauty.


Count It All As Joy

I’ve been working through so much stuff these past two weeks; both good and messy, hard and necessary, joyous and exhausting. With each new day I note thoughts that I want to share on this space and that day ends up coming to close without me getting those thoughts expressed onto a physical piece of paper, much less, this blog.  The beautiful thing though is that the important stuff, somehow, sticks with you. The important stuff is whispered over and over again into my ears.

I keep hearing…

“Count it all as joy, daughter.  Count it ALL as joy”

Last Thursday I got to hear one of my favorite bands play here in Athens. I went with some friends, excited, but rather exhausted from all the week had brought my way. I could feel the heaviness inside me, pushing me…caging me. I knew this concert was going to be good. I thought it would make me feel better, lighter, at ease.

We got there pretty early and I wasn’t really in the mood to mingle. Avoiding many familiar faces, I scooted my way to the side of the venue. Trying to not be too antisocial and pissy I engaged my friend’s boyfriend who was standing near us. The conversation went well for a little bit and then it spoiled, quickly. Some words were said that ended up being what broke me, like my last straw was pulled. Bless that sweet boyfriend though, because he really is a good guy and meant well. I was just fragile, and I broke.

I walked away, not having too many options of where to go. I ran into some other friends, immediately telling them how insensitve that boyfriend had been, wanting them to sympathize, wanting them to tell me it was okay that I was upset and that he was in the wrong. Again, I was broken. I was reaching for something or someone to patch me back up so I could get through the night. I wanted approval for the way I was acting and feeling, I wanted someone to be on my page, to say “ I get it, Katie and I’m right there with ya”

Then I saw my sweet friend Katie. I was excited to see her, we hugged, and then something clicked. We both felt it. We knew that we were sitting in the same boat.

We walked outside of the venue and sat on the benches. We talked, pouring out the junk in our hearts. My heart broke for Katie. I no longer felt alone. I saw that I was not the only one walking through hard stuff just to be able share Jesus with high school girls. I saw how much the Evil one is working against us and attacking the heck out of us just so the power of the Lord inside of us wont reach these girls. 

We walked across the street to pray. Sitting on a ledge outside of a closed restaurant we proclaimed the goodness of our God, out loud. And dang, did it feel good!

We walked back into the concert just in time to hear the band we actually came to see. I was healed. The rest of the night felt like worship. The music filled my soul. Having Katie by my side filled my heart.

The band, Judah and The Lion, sang a new song of theirs and it was all about “counting it all as joy”. The main dude, Judah, introduced the song and gave a little background on why he wrote it. He told us he remembered telling his Grandpa about not liking hard and icky stuff in life. Granpa’s response was always, “count it all as joy, son”

Katie and I turned to each other, smiled, and pretty much communicated “YES. THAT’S IT! That is what Jesus is telling us” without saying any words to each other. We hugged, again, and kept listening and dancing like we could stay there forever.

Consider it pure joy my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything             James 1:2-4