Wednesday, November 11, 2009

YES to GOD study: CH. 5: Devotion Time Blues

So glad you have come by for the
where we are discussing the newest book by Lysa TerKeurst


Anything in blue is a quote from the book.

Lysa opened this chapter in typical Lysa fashion, with a funny and true story.
I remember when she first shared on her blog about trying to prepare for her sister's visit and how she had to deal with the the floating in the pond mattress.
So funny!

Lysa just wanted everything to look nice for her sister.
I wanted to prove that I'd long since outgrown those nasty teenager housekeeping habits I was famous for when we both lived at home.
Unfortunately, Lysa's kids had other plans when they took the mattress from their neighbor's trash pile and made it into their very own floating device.
In their pond.
The pond that's in the front of their house.
The pond that welcomes you to the TerKeurst home.
The pond with a mattress in it.
A whole new twist on the saying: one man's trash, another man's treasure.

So Lysa who usually sees the humor in stuff, didn't laugh.
Not when the kids jumped on it.
Not when the frogs jumped on it.
She thought nothing of this situation was funny.
Normally, I would have. But it had been a week in which everything else had crowded out my time with the Lord, and it took quite a toll on my peace of mind. The longer I went without meeting with God, the more desperate, cloudy and starved my soul became.

Ugggh....ever been there before?
Me too.
Running on empty eventually causes things to break down and stall out.
That's quite honestly where I was.
As if my life wasn't already sounding like a bad country song, now I was also singing the devotion time blues.

Lysa goes on to explain the importance of spending quiet time alone with Jesus.
He will give us the exact instruction and comfort we need to handle all He sees coming our way---how to act and, even more challenging, how to react in every situation.

Okay, I cannot even go on and I have so much more from her book that I wanted to share.
BUT I have to confess that I have been going through this very thing. My name is Lelia and I am suffering from

Yes, I have Devotional Time Blues as we speak.
I'm not trying to have a pity party instead of a quiet time, but I'm just really overwhelmed with some stuff right now.
My life is nothing like it was 18 months ago, which in many ways I am grateful for.
I never saw how life is today coming our way.

Husband having 3 surgeries in 18 months.
Husband becoming jobless and put on disability.
Two grandbaby-blessings born from our gorgeous teen daughter.
Me working my normal day shift job plus an overnight job.
So many medical bills that if you send me yours, I probably wouldn't stop to think that Gene can't have an annual pap smear....I'd just pay the thing!
Trying to balance not working so much that I rob God the opportunity to provide.
Since Gene can't drive, I find myself in my car a lot running from here to there and back again.
Cooking, cleaning, caring and just trying to not lose my cluttered mind.

So how am I supposed to fit Jesus into all of this?
I mean, c'mon Lord, what time of my busy day should belong to You?
Gene needs me. Aaron and Alivia need me.
Shoot, even the dog Kane is needy.
We adore and love our grandgirls and we want to spend time them and our oldest girl.
And they all want to be fed at supper time for some reason, seven days a week.

Please believe me, I am not trying to whine here.
It all looks so pathetic when it's in writing, but
I'm rather confessing that your hostess of this study is currently have the
Devotion Time Blues and some days I just don't care anymore.

That's not true.
I do care.
I really care, because like Lysa said,
When I take the time to meet with Jesus each morning, I am prepared to face life with much more peace than if I just rush into my day without Him.
Because God is able to stand in my yesterday, today, and tomorrow.
He knows things and sees things for which I need to be prepared.

WHY is it so easy to let go of the Scarred hand that gave His life for me while I search for my tattered Super Woman cape and try to dolife on my own strength?
The kind of strength that crashes midday and needs a can of Red Bull to give her false energy.

What is it that makes me think Jesus isn't enough?
That He's not capable of handling all that is before me and my family?

The good Bible study girl in me just gasped at those last two questions.
Because see, she can confess with the best of them that God is the great I AM.
He is the Rock on which she stands.
God is her Provider and the Lover of her soul.
She knows how to raise and praise.
And she can certainly say all the right things at all the right moments.
But God knows the truth of her.

He sees her when she cries herself to sleep from being overwhelmed.
When she gets angry and ugly all in the same breath.
When she feels like all the many hours she is working isn't enough.
When the caregiver in her gets frustrated because she can't ease her husband's pain.
When she earns the Worlds Worst Wife/Mother/Daughter/Sister/Friend award. Daily.
When she allows Satan to beat the crud out of her and believes his lies.

And while she is limping through life in her own weak strength,
her Creator sees it all,
for nothing about her escapes Him.
He hears her cries and her sighs.
He hears her whispered praises, her attempt at trying to get back into His arms.
And He waits.
Waits for her to return completely as He lovingly looks upon her.
Flaws and all.

I'm in that place friends.
So desperate for Him it makes my breath quicken.
The lump in my throat appear.
And the tears fill my eyes so full that I can't see what I'm typing right now.

I so need Him.
And I feel blessed beyond words that I'm reading an book by an author who has been in the same place I am in right now.
Not someone who has just researched life in a pit, but a woman who has lived life in a pit.

There are many ways I can choose to react when things happen each day.
I can choose the way of "It's my right to be frustrated."
I can choose the way of "Doesn't anyone listen to me around here?"
I can choose the way of "Do you know how this makes me feel?"

Or, I can choose to let God teach me His way.
My way leads to all kinds of runaway feelings that pull me away from the truth and into an absolute pit of yuck.
His way leads to calmly finding a solution without all the anger and frustration.
His way leads to me being able to extend grace----the same grace I so desperately need myself.
And His way leads me to the truth.

I love Him so much.
I love His timing of this book and His faithfulness to such an unfaithful heart.
And so I dive into my quiet time slowly.
Feeling encouraged and not pressured, thanks to Lysa.
Remember, we aren't after accomplishing our quiet time routine.
Mercy, don't we already have too many things pulling at us?
No, I'm talking about seeing our time with God as the most precious and valuable minutes of our day.

One verse she shared on page 68, I wrote down on an index card to help me with memorizing it this week so I can keep it in my heart forever.

Psalm 86:11
"Teach me your way, O LORD, and I will walk in your truth;
give me an undivided heart,
that I may fear your name."

An undivided heart.
That hit me so hard.
He wants all of us.
Wants our undivided attention, love and life.
Nothing half way with Him.
No lukewarm devotion.
All or nothing.

And I want to give it all to Him and become more than just a good Bible study girl.
Because what I've found out over these last 18 months,
is that the good Bible study girl in me just doesn't cut it when the going gets tough.
And on the good days, she can't even connect the bat with the ball on the slow pitches.

There are other things I didn't even mention in this chapter.
Great stuff.
I had planned on sharing them, but surprisingly was taken on a different route.

If you've shared your thoughts on this chapter please leave your link in the comments so we can visit your blog.

Oh, this is tough Ladies, but let's keep moving forward.
Chapter by chapter.
I'll post my thoughts on chapter 6 tomorrow.

I just opened back up my book just to see if there was anything else I wanted to add from the heart of Lysa. This is what caught my eye:

Oh, how we underestimate the power made available to us when we spend time with God.
Our earthly eyes are so limited because they don't allow us to see what is happening in the heavenly realm.
A daily battle is being fought for our attention and our devotion.
Satan would love nothing more than to keep us separated from the power God gives us during our time with Him.
It's time to stop feeling guilty and ill-equipped and start embracing the incredible privilege to meet with Jesus every day.


~Many Blessings~


Andrea said...

I am thankful GOD is battling on my behalf.
Great post. GOD BLESS, andrea

Paula (SweetPea) said...

Here is my post on Chapter Five. I also have six up to. I will come back shortly and read your post when I can give it my full attention.

Paula (SweetPea) said...

So glad you re-opened your book. That was a great last quote.

Lysa is so good at sharing her pit and not researching a pit as you said.

You have a great way with the whole bat not hitting the ball thing. You have a very creative mind.

You are a hoot, too, girlfriend. So, I'll send you my pap smear and you'll pay it with Gene's bills? Alright! Will you pay for (his) mammogram too? I can throw one of those in. That was just too funny.

My heart goes out to you. I don't take anything you say as whining...NOT AT ALL. It's life and you are living the tough part of it. That's not complaining/whining, that's admitting where you are at and how hard it is to carve out yet another piece of your short time. God will get you/us there. I admit even when I have extra time (as I do much more than others with husbands and kids) I still find myself lazy and not want to think or pray b/c praying causes thinking and reading the Word causes thinking. So, there...I'm lame. I have the time but can still find myself not taking the time, the great privilege to be with the King of Kings.

I mentioned in my post how I just finished A Heart Like His about David with BMoore. She talked about having an undivided heart and a wholehearted devotion. Those are things I desire and whisper from my lips to God helping me.

Love ya,

tiggerdaisy said...

Great post, Lelia!

Please don't feel as though you are whining. You are in a tough spot and it's weighing on you. It's okay to cry out; to lament. God knows what you are going through. He knows what you are thinking. It's okay to tell Him.

Prayers and blessings be upon you,

Crystie said...

Thank you so much for this post. I am sitting here with tears in my eyes becuase you have put into words all that I have been feeling. Thank you so very much for sharing your heart...I needed to hear it.

Sharon said...

Oh, how we underestimate the power made available to us when we spend time with God.
Our earthly eyes are so limited because they don't allow us to see what is happening in the heavenly realm.
A daily battle is being fought for our attention and our devotion.
Satan would love nothing more than to keep us separated from the power God gives us during our time with Him.
It's time to stop feeling guilty and ill-equipped and start embracing the incredible privilege to meet with Jesus every day.

Wow is right!

I don't know if you saw the video posted by Beth Moore on the LPM blog the other day...but if you didn't go take a look. I think it will encourage you.

Thank you Lelia for doing this. I am praying for you!

Twinkle Mom @ Sunflower Faith said...

My post is up here:

*Hugs* You're not whining; I think it's so normal to try and get it all down and then feel overwhelm by everything that is going on.

The blessing and praise is that you and your husband are doing alright and making it through what you are going through.

I think it's human nature to want to "fix" things ourselves and feel some sense of control and the hardest part is just letting go and trusting and knowing that God is and will make things alright.

What maybe a mountain to us, is an anthill to Him.

Jennifer said...

Although I haven't read the book, I am enjoying following it through your blog. I am in a pit myself and feeling completely overwhelmed. Thank you for sharing this. I love your honesty!

I will read the book one day! I guess right now isn't my time.



Jill said...

Lelia, I love your words and can so relate, feeling in the same place - a bit overwhelmed with all that's going on as well. I know what is right and true, but am so frustrated that my mind can drift so quickly. Blessings to you, Jill

Deb said...


I got inspired from your words.

Your transparency.

Your humility.

And from your obedience.

Because I know what it's like to have everybody needing something.

And you're the one they depend on to meet the needs.

And who cares if your needs get met.

Well, actually, He cares.

A lot.

And so we're thankful.

And we keep on.

Sweet dreams.