When the waiting teaches us to listen…#GraceMoments Link Up

 

The sun has been making a regular appearance lately. It is a little deceiving.  When the bright rays pour through the paned glass, the insolation that heats is magnified by the insulation of our house.  I want to step out and experience the warmth, but I still need my winter clothes to protect me from the cooler temps.

We are experiencing warmer days though, too.  And that is a token of grace that we don’t take for granted. March is like that, here where I have turned my solstice counting.  In like a lion, out like a lamb…a whole mess of crazy in between.

It reminds me of the early days of my journey with grace.  Of the seeking and the searching to find a sip of relief in the well of His wisdom.  I was reminded this week of that proverb which tells us not to lean on our own understanding but to trust God.

To lean into Him.

Trust in the LORD with all your heart; and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your path.-Proverbs 3:5-6

I need to lean a lot some days.

But in the leaning, there is always a seeking and a looking for hope. If we are hoping in God we can assuredly have a expectation that He fulfills all His promises.  Joshua said that to the Israelites before he died. He said that deep in our hearts we will know that God is faithful, and here in the sacred space grace marks in us…we’ll know.  Faith grows there, where we know that not one Word He speaks will fail and every single promise is fulfilled.

I am going the way of all the earth, and you know with all your heart and all your soul that none of the good promises the LORD your God made to you has failed. Everything was fulfilled for you: not one promise has failed. -Joshua 23:14

It’s the kind of faith that chooses to listen more and to share the stories that make our days the strengthening kind on the journey.  It reminds us that while we wait, grace counts more than our words.

 

As I have been listening more, I am remembering the lessons I learned with a chair and the quiet morning moments. A habit developed in the waiting moments, sitting still in the morning as the breaking light welcomed in the new day. Quiet pauses filled the atmosphere long before I let words spill.

This waiting time was a necessary moment for each day… a time to wait with God, especially in those busy moments.  It was the solace to my chaos that kept me sane.

When it’s cold I don’t get out to the porch to watch the dawn arrive as often, and I get out of habit of sitting quietly first instead of letting words fall.  And when we forget to practice those good habits, we get rusty in certain skills.  The more time I sit and listen for God, the more time I practice making space for His presence in my present, the more I am aware of where He is, and the more I listen to others, too.

Because I am a fixer I sometimes have a tendency to listen a little less and talk a little more. And silence is uncomfortable, so I like to fill it up with words.

But lately, as I have been finding my way to the quilt covered rocker, sitting right near the window that faces east, I have been choosing to wait in the quiet and let His heart beat a message in my own. In the process, this path to practicing His presence in my prayer vigil reminded me of the words of Brother Lawrence and why I started waiting  for His light to shine in the difficult and the mundane moments in the first place.

The Lord does not really lay any great burden on us. He only wants you to recall Him to mind as often as possible, to pour out your adoration on him, to pray for His grace.  Offer Him your sorrows. Return from time to time to Him, and quietly, purely thank Him for the benefit He has given you in knowing Him.  Thank Him, too, for the benefit He pours out upon you even in the midst of your troubles.  The Lord asks you to let Him be the one who consoles you, just as often as you can find it in you to come to Him. – Brother Lawrence

The opportunities to listen are rampant… revolving around us in waves and torrents multiplied like the sand on the seashore.  And there is a power in listening. It is a changing kind of moment, when we allow others to be heard and we wait to let them spill out.  A grace space where we can listen to their confessions, the pain they are bearing deep,  pray through the trials and  rejoice in the praises and the blessings and the needs all falling together in a collection of #gracemoments that will lift our hearts to hear others more.

Pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks to us in our consciences, but shouts in our pains. It is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world. – C S Lewis.

It’s humbling because it should be easy. But I confess, sometimes it is not.

So I am choosing to practice more, coming again in the early morning hours to listen more, to practice the art of listening close like we ought.  Choosing to say yes to others as they ask for a moment and offer a drink of grace wherever I can… or at least trying to choose to speak less and listen more, naturally.

Because grace leans in.  It brings us to the quiet spaces with others in their prayer needs and helps us to count those #gracemoments as we wait and reach out to God…we practice His presence… and we penetrate the holy spaces where hearts are filled with the faith that thirsts first for God.

 

As we wait in our early moments, the waiting places, our souls long to be met by the very presence of God. We have in our power the ability to be filled with the water that saturates our soul and quenches our the desert spaces in our journey. As our longing is met by the living water of grace, we become a well of hope that pours into others and our prayers are filled by His presence as we practice waiting with God.

O God, You are my God; early will I seek You: my soul thirsts for you, my flesh longs for you in a  dry and thirsty land where there is no water.  -Psalm 63:1

These words were a necessary moment of grace for me this week. I am praying for each of you as I wait in the quiet space.  How are you counting #gracemoments as you practice the presence of God this week?


IT’S YOUR TURN TO BE A GRACE COUNTER!  SHARE YOUR GRACE MOMENT IN THE COMMENTS BELOW AND THEN COUNT GRACE WITH A FRIEND WITH COMMENT ON A BLOG OR TWO.

If you are a blogger, link up here with  a post about finding grace moments in your life or one of your favorite inspiring and encouraging posts from this week. Share your thoughts in the comment section telling me about the #Grace Moments you experienced this week. *(only 1 post per link please)*

Take time to visit your neighbor next to you, and if you want visit a few more friends on the journey. We all need a little encouragement and affirmation as we travel together.

If you don’t have a blog, you can connect with me via my Journeys in Grace FB page by sharing a photo or a comment.  Or you can join the party by sharing your images on Instagram with #Gracemoments hashtag.

Each week I will  try visit as many of your amazing  posts as I can.This is a safe place to sit and dwell in grace together, friends. I can’t wait to pour a cup of friendship with you and take in the grace moments you have to share. Don’t forget to leave a comment below, I love to hear from you.

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