June 22, 2012

Practicing God's Presence {as a busy mom}


Weaving my way through a field of flowers, I feel the close presence of God. As I walk, I begin to share my thoughts, my fears, my joys...

Growing up on a small family farm, nestled deep in the countryside of rural America, I was very familiar with stillness. It was easy to go on walks and feel isolated from the cares of the world. My favorite conversations with God were on those walks.


So as I steal away from the busyness of the day, I am reunited with my Friend who I have come to know deeply through our many quiet times together. But this time, interestingly, I became a little sad. I know that God is with me throughout my busy day, amidst the never-ending to-do lists and demands of mothering, but why can't I experience the same closeness?

You can, He whispers to my soul.

My mind drifts to the writings in Practicing the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence (a short but very powerful book). Brother Lawrence, who lived as a monk in the 17th century, was assigned to work as a cook in a bustling monastery kitchen. In spite of the daily demands and his own insecurities, "Brother Lawrence learned to retreat to a place in his heart where the love of God made every detail of his life of surpassing value."

"There is not in the world a kind of life more sweet and delightful, than that of a continual conversation with God; those only can comprehend it who practice and experience it." 
~ Brother Lawrence

Continual conversation with God... My first reaction to such an idea was one of amazement. Then I was filled with doubt. I mean, that's all well and good for a monk, but seriously, how can I, a mother of two little boys (and one with significant special needs), continuously practice God's presence?

The more I thought about it the more I wanted it. So I made a list of ways I could begin practicing the presence of God as a busy mom. And let me say, I have been greatly rewarded. 


1. Acknowledge His presence: I find just simply reminding myself that God is omnipresent makes me more aware of His presence. Truly, He is here beside me. Also, I try to talk aloud of His power and majesty so my children can hear; to voice how nature reflects His glory. It is incredible how that puts my whole family in a "praising mood".

2. Worship/Thanksgiving: Praising God and recounting His provisions adjusts my heart to a state of humility and intense adoration - setting the stage for trust, joy, and wonderful conversation. I love to sing hymns as I work and sing praise songs with my children. 

3. Eliminate unnecessary distraction: Turning off the TV, putting away the cell phone, and shutting down the computer all help to ease the level of distraction around me so I can converse with God while checking off the items on my to-do list. Plus, eliminating those distractions help me to get my work done faster so I am able to have a time of quiet with God. 

4. Spend time in the Word/Memorize & Quote Scripture: What is better than leaning on God's words of truth and vocalizing His promises?! Scripture memorization is one area where I very much lack. I often put verses around the house but rarely do I commit them to memory... I am going to change that.

5. Pray: Just like dialoging with a friend, coming before the throne of God throughout the day and sharing my thoughts with God fuels growth in our relationship and foster my awareness of His presence. How wonderful and amazing it is that we, thanks to Christ, can openly converse with God! 

5b. Repent: Remove the barrier that hinders growth of the relationship. There is no greater thing than receiving God's beautiful, faithful grace after confessing my sin. This is the very reason why Christ died and defeated death - to restore a broken relationship. 

"We should fix ourselves firmly in the presence of God by conversing all the time with Him...we should feed our soul with a lofty conception of God and from that derive great joy in being his. We should put life in our faith. We should give ourselves utterly to God in pure abandonment, in temporal and spiritual matters alike, and find contentment in the doing of His will, whether he takes us through sufferings or consolations." ~ Brother Lawrence

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

But yet, I will always see my walks as a special time with my Friend...





6 comments:

  1. For someone who has the foundation of faith, but is starting to renew and improve my personal relationship with God...your blog post was a source of inspiration. It's so easy to get caught up in the ways of the world and forget where our priorities lie. I have a child with sensory challenges and while that consumes a lot of my time, I know God has a plan for her life and for mine. I simply need to take the time to savor those moments with the Lord. So thank you for reminding me how important it is to find those precious moments each day to reconnect and deepen my relationship with the heavenly Father :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Jessie:

    Boy do I understand! It is so very easy to get caught up in the busyness of the day - especially when you have a child that requires extra special attention. I am so glad you are beginning to renew your personal relationship with God! You will be blessed. One thing I notice almost immediately when I am "enjoying the presence of God" throughout the day is how calm my children become... a peace covers my whole household and it seems to ease my Grant's anxiety level.

    Thank you for stopping by and commenting! I appreciate everything you said!

    Look to the LORD and His strength;
    seek His face always. Psalm 105:4

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thank you for these thoughts. They instill in me a desire to pursue God more fully each day! The photographs reminded me how much being in nature brings me closer to God. Blessings to you and your family. Beth, NY

    ReplyDelete
  4. Beth:

    Thank you for your kind words! My favorite moments are when I am mingling with creation. I pray that we, who were made in God's image, also reflect God's glory. :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. I love this Karen! Thank you for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hello Karen,

    I don't know if you will see this or not, but I just wanted to thank you for following God and blogging. It is so exciting to me to see others who desire to know God's presence in their daily living.

    In His Grace,
    Michelle

    ReplyDelete

June 22, 2012

Practicing God's Presence {as a busy mom}


Weaving my way through a field of flowers, I feel the close presence of God. As I walk, I begin to share my thoughts, my fears, my joys...

Growing up on a small family farm, nestled deep in the countryside of rural America, I was very familiar with stillness. It was easy to go on walks and feel isolated from the cares of the world. My favorite conversations with God were on those walks.


So as I steal away from the busyness of the day, I am reunited with my Friend who I have come to know deeply through our many quiet times together. But this time, interestingly, I became a little sad. I know that God is with me throughout my busy day, amidst the never-ending to-do lists and demands of mothering, but why can't I experience the same closeness?

You can, He whispers to my soul.

My mind drifts to the writings in Practicing the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence (a short but very powerful book). Brother Lawrence, who lived as a monk in the 17th century, was assigned to work as a cook in a bustling monastery kitchen. In spite of the daily demands and his own insecurities, "Brother Lawrence learned to retreat to a place in his heart where the love of God made every detail of his life of surpassing value."

"There is not in the world a kind of life more sweet and delightful, than that of a continual conversation with God; those only can comprehend it who practice and experience it." 
~ Brother Lawrence

Continual conversation with God... My first reaction to such an idea was one of amazement. Then I was filled with doubt. I mean, that's all well and good for a monk, but seriously, how can I, a mother of two little boys (and one with significant special needs), continuously practice God's presence?

The more I thought about it the more I wanted it. So I made a list of ways I could begin practicing the presence of God as a busy mom. And let me say, I have been greatly rewarded. 


1. Acknowledge His presence: I find just simply reminding myself that God is omnipresent makes me more aware of His presence. Truly, He is here beside me. Also, I try to talk aloud of His power and majesty so my children can hear; to voice how nature reflects His glory. It is incredible how that puts my whole family in a "praising mood".

2. Worship/Thanksgiving: Praising God and recounting His provisions adjusts my heart to a state of humility and intense adoration - setting the stage for trust, joy, and wonderful conversation. I love to sing hymns as I work and sing praise songs with my children. 

3. Eliminate unnecessary distraction: Turning off the TV, putting away the cell phone, and shutting down the computer all help to ease the level of distraction around me so I can converse with God while checking off the items on my to-do list. Plus, eliminating those distractions help me to get my work done faster so I am able to have a time of quiet with God. 

4. Spend time in the Word/Memorize & Quote Scripture: What is better than leaning on God's words of truth and vocalizing His promises?! Scripture memorization is one area where I very much lack. I often put verses around the house but rarely do I commit them to memory... I am going to change that.

5. Pray: Just like dialoging with a friend, coming before the throne of God throughout the day and sharing my thoughts with God fuels growth in our relationship and foster my awareness of His presence. How wonderful and amazing it is that we, thanks to Christ, can openly converse with God! 

5b. Repent: Remove the barrier that hinders growth of the relationship. There is no greater thing than receiving God's beautiful, faithful grace after confessing my sin. This is the very reason why Christ died and defeated death - to restore a broken relationship. 

"We should fix ourselves firmly in the presence of God by conversing all the time with Him...we should feed our soul with a lofty conception of God and from that derive great joy in being his. We should put life in our faith. We should give ourselves utterly to God in pure abandonment, in temporal and spiritual matters alike, and find contentment in the doing of His will, whether he takes us through sufferings or consolations." ~ Brother Lawrence

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

But yet, I will always see my walks as a special time with my Friend...






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6 comments:

  1. For someone who has the foundation of faith, but is starting to renew and improve my personal relationship with God...your blog post was a source of inspiration. It's so easy to get caught up in the ways of the world and forget where our priorities lie. I have a child with sensory challenges and while that consumes a lot of my time, I know God has a plan for her life and for mine. I simply need to take the time to savor those moments with the Lord. So thank you for reminding me how important it is to find those precious moments each day to reconnect and deepen my relationship with the heavenly Father :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Jessie:

    Boy do I understand! It is so very easy to get caught up in the busyness of the day - especially when you have a child that requires extra special attention. I am so glad you are beginning to renew your personal relationship with God! You will be blessed. One thing I notice almost immediately when I am "enjoying the presence of God" throughout the day is how calm my children become... a peace covers my whole household and it seems to ease my Grant's anxiety level.

    Thank you for stopping by and commenting! I appreciate everything you said!

    Look to the LORD and His strength;
    seek His face always. Psalm 105:4

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thank you for these thoughts. They instill in me a desire to pursue God more fully each day! The photographs reminded me how much being in nature brings me closer to God. Blessings to you and your family. Beth, NY

    ReplyDelete
  4. Beth:

    Thank you for your kind words! My favorite moments are when I am mingling with creation. I pray that we, who were made in God's image, also reflect God's glory. :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. I love this Karen! Thank you for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hello Karen,

    I don't know if you will see this or not, but I just wanted to thank you for following God and blogging. It is so exciting to me to see others who desire to know God's presence in their daily living.

    In His Grace,
    Michelle

    ReplyDelete