“It’s a natural thing, this hiding of our addictions and habits in hopes of appearing healthy. The truth is, so many of us have secret areas of sickness, and the weight of those secrets can be heavy.”

Seth Haines~Coming Clean Journal

We are in the dog days of summer in these parts. Days are steamy hot. Haze dulls the night sky. The flowers droop, stripped of life, though they are watered every day. Reprieve comes in the late evening violent thunderstorms, cooling enough to open the windows in our room.

These past weeks I’ve been struggling through my quiet time. It’s taken some time for me to work through it. I think of the words my Pastor once shared with me. He likened the time to a meal. Times you sit down to a feast, others, it’s like sitting down to say, macaroni and cheese.

Lately, the time looks more like my flowers, dry and droopy, burnt from heat, lacking nourishment. I had become discouraged, frustrated even. I was longing for living water, a whisper from the Lord. I changed the location. Moving to my desk, in the predawn, the moon shines through the open window. As day breaks, mourning doves scratch below the bird feeders, that soon fill up with all manner of cardinals, yellow finch, and house wrens, singing happy tunes. IMG_2570

Fresh air, a change of venue, refreshed my soul. I received Seth Haines’ newsletter announcing his thirty day on line journal, a partner to his book Coming Clean. I quickly signed up. I loved his book, and I anticipated the probing questions I needed.

Oh. My. I soon found the vices depriving me of the feast. My own doing, nearly turning into my undoing.

Technology, social media, blogs to read, podcasts to listen too; worthy yes, however, should not be a part of my sacred time with the Lord. Busyness was keeping from the feast, blocking the flow of Living Water. Flitting from one thing to another, prayers were pushed back and before I knew it morning rudely intruded, leaving no time for the important thing.

I have been quieter than usual in this space. Fewer words penned across journal pages dries the inspiration words are birthed through.

I have backed up and regrouped, taking time in the evenings to mark off space in my bullet journal to feed my soul. Prioritizing my day. Withdrawing a bit from the things that lure and distract.

I can breathe now. My fear of something between me and the Lord, soothed away. Grace vibrant and alive again, His Word my very life and breath.

Unseal my lips, O Lord, that my mouth may praise you.

Psalms 51:15 ~NLT

Gifts of Grace

Tammy Mashburn