Our Sweet Charlotte
Hello friends. I have been absent from this space longer than I would have liked. But many things challenged us last week, culminating with the passing on Friday of our kitty, Charlotte, that I mentioned in my last post and I have just needed time to process and grieve. I don't want to dwell too much on this here, but I can say that I am thankful for the fact that the girls and I were here with her as she made her transition which was probably harder on us than on her. I am also thankful that the gray skies that were with us the majority of last week lifted on that day. The sunny, springtime weather has been a balm for our spirits in this difficult time.
But now I want to move on to talk about something that helps me every day through difficult times like this as well as times of celebration and that is the time I spend with God, my Bible, prayer, and journal in the mornings. Often referred to as "quiet time" in the Christian community, this habit is a touchstone for me and one I have had for at least 15 years if not more.
I am happy to talk here about why this is something I do if there is an expressed interest, but today I wanted to share something that is an integral part of my mornings and that is my basket. I don't remember exactly where I read about keeping a basket for my things for my quiet times, but it sounded so appealing to me and has made my time even more special that I thought I would share it here, especially if that would help to inspire you to begin or restart your own quiet time in the morning.
Before I begin my "tour" I do just want to comment on something about time and lack of it and that people often feel that they don't have enough of it to spend time with God, even if they want to. Especially when you have very little ones at home, it can be hard. Hard, but not impossible. I mention that this habit has been with me for 15 years or more. And I know that it has been at least that long because that is the age of my second daughter and I was practicing this before her birth. I can't recall at that time if it was a daily habit the way it is now (likely not, because I know that it took me 5 years for me to completely read the Bible through the first time), but I know that it was a priority. By the time my daughter was born, however, it was nearly a daily habit. And then I received wonderful advice from a dear friend and mentor of mine who was leading a small group of us young mothers at that time. She simply said, "Ask God to stretch your time and He will."
It is really that simple. If you want to make time to develop your relationship with God, I can guarantee that you will receive an automatic, "Yes," to that prayer request. I don't know that I can say that about anything else, but I do know that God desires a relationship with each of His people and if you sincerely ask Him to do that, He will.
Okay, moving on!
Here's my basket that sits on the floor next to my "spot" in the living room.
I don't use everything inside my basket every day. I think the key for me in keeping a consistent habit is that I don't have a regimented program for myself. I have many things to choose from to help direct my thoughts and conversation for the day. Inside, in no particular order, I have the following:
A well-loved copy of Oswald Chambers' excellent, My Utmost for His Highest
A wonderful prayer guide that my dear friend, Laura, gave to me Christmas 2013.
My cozy, WONDERFUL hot water bottle! I LOVE this on my lap with a blanket for our chilly/cold seasons. I suspect I will always have one.
Just a picture of the pretty bookmark my mother-in-law brought me from Ephesus.
My $1.50 cute notebook from Target. I'm keeping Morning Pages (stream-of-consciousness writing) with this for brain dumps.
A devotional book of one sort or another. I am re-reading this that I read through for the first time in 2012. It's an excellent, easy read on spiritual disciplines. John Ortberg has a wonderful, conversational tone in all his books. Highly recommended.
My regular journal
Fun stickers for playing in my journal
Little prayer guides
A fun collection of many colors of gel pens and a pair so scissors for cutting things from magazines for my journal. All in a little cup I made on my friend Jen's potting wheel! My first ever "thrown" piece. :)
My hand-knit Scripture Keeper. I have favorite verses in this. I wrote about it in THIS post.
A sampling of the cards in my keeper. I have some positive affirmations in here too.
My small collection of washi tape for my journal
Somehow the print in my Bible seems to be getting smaller... :) I had to get these this winter. Still mostly use them when my eyes are tired, but that seems to be getting more and more every day. Heh.
Half of a manilla envelope that holds some of those magazine pictures I've cut out, random stickers, bookmarks, and a couple of letters from sweet pen friends.
Well that is all I have for you today! Thanks for stopping by and I plan to be back here again soon. :)