You know that little hamster running his little heart out on that little wheel? That is pretty similar to how my mind works. It just spins away...constantly. Seriously, it never stops.
Sometimes I will ask my husband what he is thinking about. There are times when he says, "nothing"...and means it. What?
I simply don't understand this.
My mind always has something to think about. The nights are the worst. No children to interrupt and distract my whirling mind.
And not to sound all crazy...but conversations? Yes, I have them in my mind sometimes too. Maybe it is because of the lack of adult interaction on a day to day basis. Who knows.
In case you are wondering, I have mentally planned conversations for, but not limited to, the following situations -
1. If I should be chosen to be on The Voice. I still haven't decided whose team I will be on...decisions, decisions.
2. Acceptance speech for when I make head detective (based on my countless years of watching Law and Order).
3. My interview with Matt Lauer about my new best-selling book.
4. The witty banter that will be had when Jimmy Fallon decides to have me on as a guest...no reason, just because.
5. When I give my "about me" speech while participating on Wheel of Fortune.
Embarrassing? Yes, I'm sure it is. Oh well, it keeps me entertained while I am cleaning out the chicken coop and goat barn.
A few weeks ago in my Bible study (Called to be a Keeper by Lori Merrill) we covered the topic of prayer. While I initially felt pretty good going into that week's particular topic...it only took me a minute to realize I was missing a pretty big and important piece.
The last year or so, I made it a point to focus more on my prayer life. Talking to God was going to be more of a priority. I didn't want it to be just after devotions, before meals and at bedtime.
It has been awesome. Because now, I talk to God...a lot. And, y'all, it is so good.
In fact, I am ever so thankful that He is God and is not like me. If I had to listen to me as often as He does...I would probably hit the mute button and let me ramble on while I go and take care of other pressing matters.
I'm thankful that He, instead, wants to hear from me...and often.
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)
So now, that little mind of mine is still constantly going. But more often than not, now I am having many little conversations with God. You know, instead of with the coaches from The Voice or Mariska Hargitay.
Which brings me back to the thing which is listening.
You see, in my valiant effort to talk to God more, I was neglecting the whole listening part of the conversation. Mainly, because it is hard. Making time to do nothing but listen, is hard. Waiting for God, sometimes, is hard.
Over the last few weeks I have made a conscious effort to make time in my crazy day to just sit and be silent. Clearing my mind of all the thoughts that are running around and not trying to "speak" for God, but to just be still before the Lord.
I am learning that no matter what I have going on or no matter what I am doing making that time for Him is worth it. The value of that time with Him is immeasurable.
One whisper from God is more precious than any stone you may ever be given.
He is so good. I already knew this. I am still awed, though, by the ways in which He has revealed Himself to me these last few weeks. It has been nothing short of amazing.
I think we sometimes equate waiting to hear from God with some sort of major life decision. It often comes naturally to make time to listen to God when big decisions are being made...such as - if it is time to buy a house, go on a missions trip, add to your family, move states, get a new job, and the list goes on and on. What we miss, is all the other times He is wanting to talk to us.
He wants to be a part of our whole life...not just the decision making part of our life. He has shown me that He cares. Even in the little mundane things of life, He cares and is faithful.
I know it is so hard sometimes (most of the time). Believe me, I get it. I have a husband, three kids, 8 chickens and two goats. Time for listening seems unattainable.
Here are some ways I have found to make time to listen that work for me. Not every way will work every time. That is why I have a list (one that will continue to grow, I'm sure).
1. Get up earlier. Before the hustle and bustle of the day begins, I just focus on Him. Clearing my mind of all other thoughts and listen.
2. In the evening, after everyone is fed and in bed, I take a long hot shower and do nothing but listen.
3. Washing dishes is a mindless task. I have found this to be a good time as well to just listen.
4. Driving in the car. I put the kid's music on in the back of the car and I clear my mind and listen.
5. Late at night when I can't fall asleep, rather than turn on Netflix or peruse through my Facebook feed; I listen.
What are some of the ways you make time to just be still and listen? Please, share! I am always looking for ways where I can make time to just...listen.