Day Eight.

In Winter, I burrow. I hide, I sip, I cook comfort foods. I read, and I think, and I think.

In Spring, when the sun comes out and the breeze plays with the leaves, I watch. I watch, and I laugh, and I watch. And I think, just a little. I make plans to leave the house, for the park or the cafe or the ocean. I want to be out. This makes the kids happy: Mommy wants to be out.

I’m learning that my joy for these things can be prayer, as valid and as worthwhile as my winter days of reading and meditation. While there are times in every season when I like to sit with my Bible and search for God in its lines, every day is not created equal. Some days, listening to birds with my eyes closed is what is needed. I’m learning that “quiet time” is not king, and worship can be done anywhere. I often condemn myself when I don’t feel like studying the Bible today, but would rather stare out the window. I feel chided for not “spending time with Him,” when it’s slowly coming into focus that staring out the window can be time spent with God. I can thank Him for the window, and for the roof across the street. I can thank Him for the grace I needed to make the decision to come upstairs, alone, while the kids watched TV. I can ask Him to speak, and I can tell Him I am listening — but only if I am really listening. I can tell Him it bothers me when I don’t feel like reading the Bible, and I’m not sure what to do. I can throw the guilt at His feet. (Why do I always keep it to myself? Nurse it like a pet?)

I am human. Rules and expectations and lines drawn in the sand sound a whole lot more comfortable than the wild, unpredictable love of God. I am the Israelite, who has longed for the structure, the security of Egyptian slavery. Crossing “time in the Bible” off my list makes me feel safe — safer than sitting quietly before God.

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