September marks a transition time in my home. I take down my summer outdoor displays and put scarecrows and pumpkins in it’s place. I add special collected knick knacks throughout the inside of my home too. It also marks back to school time for my kids and a transition from my favorite spring/summer recipes to my fall/winter recipes.
I love to cook for my family. This season change marks a time when I move from lots of grilled meats and salads to warm breads and oven baked goodies. Labor day we drove home from the lake early and I was able to spend the afternoon in the kitchen getting school lunches ready, baking bread, and creating a pot of soup simmering on the stove. This was the first fall/winter meal of the season! I felt like a weight was being lifted from my shoulders. Change was coming.
You see this summer has been out of sorts for me. I call it a “dry spell”. For a lot of reasons I had lost something important to me. We lost our beautiful dog Maggie within hours of learning she was sick. We bought a new rescue puppy that struggled with anxiety and food allergies. Creating a need for WAY MORE than puppy training 101. Between the kids summer schedules and the puppy, I lost motivation to go to the gym which has become my saving grace in time of stress. I also couldn’t get myself to open up my computer and write. I knew I wouldn’t be honest so I kept it closed. But most detrimental to my mental health this past summer has been my “dry spell” from God.
It’s actually been an ache in my heart. Earlier this summer I had a conversation with a friend over breakfast and coffee and mentioned I thought it was my loss of gym time causing all my distress. That I just needed to push back into the gym. But by August I sat having coffee with another friend and told him the truth. I miss my close relationship with God. I miss my pray time. I haven’t even been able to pray.
I feel like no one wants to talk to you about when their spiritual life runs dry. They don’t want to admit that they are struggling to pray. They don’t want to admit that they are struggling to fight the distractions of this world. But it happens. Even to the best of us. It has happened to me before. Is happening now. And I’m positive it will happen to me again.
And that’s okay. It doesn’t mean I can’t keep going to my small groups, or can’t keep going to church, or can’t confide in good friends. In fact it’s important that I have continued to do ALL of those things. Because those are the things that have sustained me during the difficult time. Those times have filled me up with just the right amount of spiritual holiness that has kept me afloat through those waves of unknown.
I love these lyrics from Unspoken’s song called Reason:
This year’s felt like four seasons of winter
And you’d give anything you think to feel the sun
Always reaching always climbing
Always second guessing the timing
But God has a plan a purpose in this
You are His child and don’t you forget
He put that hunger in your heart
He put that fire in your soul
His love is the reason
To keep on believing
When you feel like giving up
When you feel like giving in
His love is the reason
To keep on believing
If we could pull back the curtain of Heaven
We would see His hand on everything
Every hour every minute every second
He’s always been in it
Don’t let a shadow of a doubt take hold
Hold on to what you already know
So I’m back at writing again because I’m ready to be honest. That not only is life sometimes hard, but faith is sometimes hard. Ever since that morning at coffee in August I’ve been trying to get back to my prayers. For something that has been so important to me, this part hasn’t been so easy to get back into. Sometimes all I can do is tell God that I miss our relationship. Ask for help getting back into my prayer time, devotions, and bible. And each day I try not to be hard on myself when one or all of those things get forgotten.
This year we had to send my baby off to middle school. I held it together pretty well but I feel like just yesterday she was two and we would be spending an afternoon on a lunch date while her older siblings were at school. She was my sidekick. The one who went everywhere and did everything with me. I lost a little bit of my heart on Tuesday.
Then Tuesday afternoon we received devastating news that my father-in-law’s only brother passed away in an accident. I lost another little bit of my heart on Tuesday.
Both of these seemingly unrelated insidences gave me some perspective that I’ve been missing this summer. Life is so short. We can’t make excuses for what we aren’t doing. If it’s important, we must make it a priority no matter what. Family and faith are that for me. I need to enjoy my time with my family and spend time in my faith. No. Matter. What.
I opened my devotions this morning. I enjoyed the cool breeze on the deck while the puppy ran around in the yard and our old dog laid under the table at my feet. Hebrews 2:1 was the verse for today:
We must pay more careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away.
In the paragraph discussing this verse this struck my heart:
“Drifting away from the Word of God can be unnervingly easy….suddenly we find ourselves…fighting to free ourselves and struggling to get back to where we started.” – Daily Whispers of Wisdom for Women – Barbour Publishing
This here is truth to my heart. Distractions are easy. Living in this world is easy. Life milestones and tragedy are hard. Keeping faith through it all is important but easily dropped. All I know is that God gave me the gift of Jesus and the gift of salvation. He loves me that much. And even when I stray from my faith I know in my heart that I love him and he loves me. And I know that he is waiting for me to turn around and run back into his arms.
Today I turned around and fell into his loving embrace as he whispered in my ear.
“Welcome home child”