30 Hours That Changed My Life
and know that
I am God
I recently came off a month long blogging hiatus. Several bloggers had written about the benefits of taking a hiatus during the summer to "just be" and reconnect with the Lord. At first I thought, but aren't we always "with the Lord" as we pray over and prepare our blog posts? Indeed we are, but like Pastor's who prepare sermons, it is of utmost important to have personal time with the Lord in addition to time seeking Him when preparing a blog post.
I still hesitated about whether I should take a month off from blogging because the Lord has blessed me with a season where I have been able to have rich personal Bible and prayer time with the Lord as well as time to prepare blog posts - with Him.
As I reflected upon this idea of a blogging hiatus, I felt the Lord leading me to do so. Of late, my life has been quite hectic, going from one activity to the next. It was then that I realized, I'm not "just being", but am "just running!"
It is soo important to "just be", living present in the moment. For in every moment, the Lord is present.
To "just be" isn't about living for oneself, it is about living for Christ, in His identity.
I have been crucified with Christ.
It is no longer I who live,
but Christ who lives in me.
And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God,
who loved me and gave himself for me.
To "just be" is to allow Christ to have ALL of us. - heart, mind, body and soul.
Being present in every moment brings us into the presence of the Savior.
We will begin to see Him in every bird song and through every living creature, in every sunrise and sunset, in every gentle breeze and every gusty wind, in the sunshine and in the rain, at work and at play, in sickness and in health, in joys and trials.
And it was during this blogging hiatus that I learned to do just that - to just be and be present with Him...
In last week's post, I mentioned that I would share how the Lord blessed me during my "free time". It was during this down time that I learned to "just be".
It all began at the start of my hiatus when my husband and I went on a 30 hour trip to New Hampshire to visit my brother and his family to a lake house they were renting and to enjoy their new boat. On the ride up, we live-streamed a sermon from the church my daughter attends. There was a key insight the Pastor shared that was spiritually life altering for me. He said...
"Stop listening to yourself and start talking to yourself."
He went on to say that we spend too much time listening to the thoughts in our heads, thoughts that aren't based on God's truth, but Satan's lies. From self-loathing, to fearfulness, to selfishness, to many other negative harmful mindsets.
Instead, the Pastor said we should speak God's Truth to ourselves. Proclaim it and believe it.
Little did I know how the Lord was going to use this new insight in my life in a couple of hours...
We arrived at my brother's lake house and the first thing Karen notices (because Karen decided to be Karen), was that my brother's boat seemed smaller than I realized and it was rocking and rolling like crazy as the waves were crashing up against the dock. I've never had an issue with sea sickness and could write a whole blog post about a cruise my husband and I were on in thunderstorms that were on the outskirts of Hurricane Hugo where I was essentially the last man standing with no sea sickness, but I digress... lol. Right then I realized I was listening to myself and began instead talking to myself - thinking upon how blessed I was to have this opportunity. Right after I spoke to myself, my brother, sister-in-law and niece and my puppy nephew came bounding up the stairs to greet us. It was just so wonderful to be at a lake house once again with my brother and his family.
We were in the Alton Bay area of Lake Winnipesaukee which is usually a bit calmer than the rest of the lake, but because it was Sunday and a beautiful day at that, all the speedboats were out really kicking up the water making the waves quite big.
So we all hopped into the boat and headed out for a little afternoon cruise. My husband and I sat in the very back. As we were going faster, the front of the boat was straight up out of the water. I had one of those moments like the very first time I went on a jet when I thought to myself, "I didn't know the plane would go up like a rocket." HaHa. I guess I thought jets levitated. lol. Well, I had a similar thought when the boat did that. And, of course, they all do that. I just apparently didn't pay much attention to it until I actually experienced it for myself. lol
But something happened as we were cruising along, out of nowhere I had a mini panic attack. I haven't had a panic attack in probably a decade. And the weird thing was, I was enjoying the scenery, and was so happy to be out on the water. Immediately, I looked over at the beautiful clouds and realized I was listening to myself again. So I began to speak God's Word to myself and immediately began to feel calm and happy.
But here's the kicker. Soon after this mini panic attack, which my brother knew nothing about, he decided to turn around and head toward the calmer area of the bay because there were so many boats out which was causing our boat to really rock. As we were going along, all of a sudden we weren't. The boat had stopped running. It was then that my brother realized that his gas gauge must be broken because it appeared we ran out of gas even though the gauge said otherwise. And indeed we had. We were right in the line of boats speeding by and now that we were sitting ducks, so to speak, the waves rocked us even more. But I didn't panic, not at all. I just began to pray that the Lord would "do something!". Right after I silently prayed, my brother got his horn out because he happened to notice the harbor patrol a little ways behind us. Wow!! Lake Winnipesaukee is a HUGE lake and for a harbor patrol boat to be right near us - that was no coincidence. That was the Lord!
We were towed back in and had a great story to tell.
But I had an even greater story to tell - of God's faithfulness and tender mercies.
We went out again later that evening and enjoyed a beautiful moonlit ride. It was magnificent!
The next morning we relaxed by the lake and enjoyed each other's company. In the afternoon, we headed out again to explore another part of the lake.
After dinner, we said our goodbyes to my brother and his family and headed back home.
But I can honestly say, those 30 hours truly felt like I had enjoyed a week away on vacation. I lived in every moment. Even up to the few hours before we were due to leave, I didn't let myself go there, but just stayed present, as if I was going to be there 6 more days. Those 30 hours refreshed me both spiritually and emotionally.
I am in awe of how the Lord rewired me in that short amount of time - I didn't recognized myself! And oh the blessings I enjoyed by "just being". It was truly life changing.
And I continued to "just be" during our vacation in Lancaster, Pennsylvania...
Our first night, the Lord treated us to the most amazing light show. A cloud filled with lightening while lightening bugs were taking off from the corn field. I was giddy!! I felt like a small child as I took in all the beauty of God's creation.
And my most precious place to "just be" -- with my precious granddaughter who is starting to say sentences and who has been full of hugs and kisses lately. We have our special place on my deck stairs where she sits down and then pats the seat next to her and says, "Sitz Mimi, Sitz". And I sit next to her, and she talks to me in her own language and with her ever increasing vocabulary about the birds and the bugs and the planes and the garden and all of God's creation, and I talk about Him...
Grandchildren truly teach you what it means to "just be"...
This past month I experienced first hand the blessings of living in the moment, to "just be" - just be present - in the presence of my Savior.
And these are just a few highlights. There were many more...
I can absolutely testify that the Lord truly blesses abundantly when we live in the moment.
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