Thursday, September 10, 2009

A Sweet Note

I recently received the sweetest note from a new Bloggy friend. She was so kind and gracious, and also asked some really great questions that made me think! Today I'll share her note (anonymously) and my response to her with you. I would also love to hear how YOU would answer her questions. Here is her e-mail...

Hi Cindy. I have been reading your blog recently, and today I read several old posts and just really felt so blessed by your amazing and obvious love for the Lord. I myself have been a Christian since I was a child and I love the Lord too. However, I feel my walk with Him is often so dry . . . my life in general often feels that way.

Anyways, I wondered if you would be willing to share how you structure your quiet times - how do you fit them into your hectic life, how do you know what to read/study/do to really grow and walk with Him? I feel like I really need some input from someone who seems to be thriving in their relationship with the Lord. I'd appreciate your advice. I know the Lord doesn't promise us an easy life with Him, but I know it's supposed to be more "abundant" than I'm experiencing lately.

Thank you for not "judging" me and for modeling a godly life through your blog entries. I so look forward to them.

God bless you and your family

And for my response...

Hello dear one ~
You are so sweet. Thank you for your kind words and encouragement.

I certainly don’t have all the answers, but I’m always blessed to share what I am learning!

You are right…my life is hectic! With 4 kids (5, 6, 8,and 15) I’ve learned I definitely MUST make time in the Word a priority. And first thing. For me personally, (in the summer) I let my kids have some TV time in the morning while I read the Word. Not all moms would agree with this approach. My spiritual mentor (whom I dearly love and value her insight) let her 6 kids watch Sesame Street from 9-10 every morning when they were little. They all now love and serve the Lord. So I make sure every morning I sit with the Word and let it wash over me. (And my kids are thrilled to have some early morning TV time). I study the Word, write verses on index cards and carry them with me throughout the day, pray, and try to start my day with my eyes focused Up.

As for studies, I have such a hard time sticking with one study. (I drive myself crazy!). Thankfully I’ve been leading studies lately, because it then forces me to stick with the study until the end. If you are ever looking for a study, I would be happy to recommend some to you.

Besides being in the Word, I always make sure to spend time memorizing scripture. I do this whenever I have spare time. I have index cards by my bathroom sink, on my kitchen cupboards, by my computer, in my gym bag, EVERYWHERE!! When I walk the dog, I go over my verses. My life has been transformed because my mind has been transformed. And this has come by renewing my mind with the Truth of God’s Word. I was such a mess before Jesus. A real mess. But Jesus has set me free…and I don’t ever want to go back (I won’t ~ Lord willing ~ I won’t). I have learned I MUST be intentional about studying, memorizing, meditating, and reflecting on the Word of God. It is my Life.

I certainly can relate on feeling “dry” and like my life should be “more abundant” than I am experiencing. Believe me, I can relate. This summer has thrown me for a huge loop ~ I’ve had such health issues (not big ones, just little irritating ones…but enough to rob me of my joy if I would let it). Life is hard. Just last week as I was talking with Christian friends, I had friends share their very real struggles with divorce and bankruptcy and depression and affairs and other yucky stuff. And these were my Christian friends. Life is just hard. But I’ve also learned (esp. when my fiancĂ© was killed)…we always have a choice. Always. I can choose to be better or bitter. Pitiful or powerful. I can choose to live defeated or look for God’s goodness. And I choose to look for God’s goodness! The treasures in the hard times, as He promises.

For me personally, even this week …my ear is finally healed and I came down with a horrible cold. I was frustrated. Couldn’t believe it. Thought I’d finally “get my life back” after weeks of ear trouble, and then I get a stinkin’ cold. Boy was I discouraged…at first. So I asked for God to show me His goodness. I asked Him to help me see His hand in the midst of my illness. The blessings….like the Starbucks skinny vanilla latte my husband picked up for me on the way home from work. My mom and her offer to take all 4 kids overnight. My mother-in-law who brought Panera soup for lunch and dinner for my husband. My new Beth Moore DVD’s to watch while I was on the couch. So rather than allowing my cold to rob me of my joy…I asked God to help me find the joy in the midst of it. And you know what…it worked. He is so faithful, isn’t He?!

I’m not sure if any of this makes sense…but please know, I would never judge you. I admire your desire to learn and to grow. Your note was a real bright spot in my day. May God bless you on your journey and reveal Himself to you in new and fresh ways!!

In Him,

And now it is your turn! How do you structure your quiet times? How do you fit them into your hectic life? How do you know what to read/study/do to really grow and walk with Him? Please share with us your tips so we can all learn and grow! I'd love to hear what works for you!!


chellies said...

Cindy, this was SO helpful. I've always wondered how you do it, but it never occured to me to ask!! I thank your blog friend for her letter. I think she said what many have felt at times. I for certain could relate exactly!

Like you, what works for me is making Him a priority. I get up before the kids do to get my study done. That is another for me, to be in a study keeps me accountable to be in the word 7 days a week. And it fills me so.

I hope your friend is encouraged to know she is not alone.

One last thought, I've learned I have to be flexible. Because as our schedule changes as the years go by, I often need to change my routine. I hate this! (dare I say hate?) I like my routine my way, but God just continues to show me that I am not in control, he is. So, sometimes I have to do my study at night. I'm thinking I have to try the sesame street thing too... if my little one would only sit and watch it! haha.

Thanks again, you are a blessing.

Cindy Bultema said...

Chellie ~
THANK YOU so much for sharing your insights! This is exactly what I was hoping...that others would share what has worked (or is working) on their journey!!

Also, I LOVE your reminder to be flexible...esp. this time of year as we all discover our new routines!!
Love to you, friend!!
Cindy :)

Robin VanSolkema said...

I use the 15 min quiet time from the Elevate series. Maybe not for my regular quiet time but the steps help me during the day. The steps are:1 Quiet Your Mind, 2 Focus Your Mind - singing praise,3 Pray Your Mind - hand over burdens, 4 Renew Your Mind - Read, Recite, or Meditate scripture. said...

I have teenagers in my home, so as soon as they head out for school I grab my bible. However, I run my family's mission, so sometimes I have to read at night. But, no matter what time it is I find if I don't read I feel empty. I haven't mastered memorizing verses just yet, but I'm working on it.

Diana said...

Popped over and so glad I did. Thanks for sharing from your heart.

A couple of keys: Accountability and flexibility!


Warren Baldwin said...

This was such a nice note you received (and deserved). Also, your answer was geat.

Shirl said...

Yes, a great note. Love the picture of the notes in the Bible. I love adding them to my Bible as well. Thanks for dropping by my blog! ~Shirley

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