Our beloved Pastor of almost 15 years resigned in May 2011 and we began the journey of searching for our new leader. To be more specific, a search committee began the searching. I’ll admit…it was a little nurve wracking for me. I’d never been through that process and my mind raced with questions about who was going to be my next Pastor. When Pastor John was presented to us as the chosen candidate I immediately began spying on him through facebook and his website. Of course I wanted to know about his wife too. What I discovered was an instant affinity for this entire family. We are the same age and have a very similar family make up. Our kids are all close in age and some share adoption in common. I also discovered that Pam had a blog. I read it and instantly feel in love with her candor, humor and heart. I even said to a couple of close friends, “I don’t know a lot about Pastor John, but she has my vote!” ( Sorry Pastor John….after getting to know you, you won my heart too) 🙂
Pam is one of my friends who has decided to join me on the 7TH year path. Her writing is always genuine, challenging, and extremely funny. Be sure to check out her blog here . I always look forward to reading her posts because they challenge, encourage, and cause me to laugh my self to tears. So….here she is! Enjoy todays post from my good friend Pam Scheline!
The 7th Year. My favorite part so far? The p.s. at the end of week 6 that said, “this concludes the first movement of our 7th Year Path.” Now, don’t get me wrong…I REALLY AM liking this journey. But that doesn’t change the fact that it’s felt like I’ve been lovingly drop-kicked, body-slammed and face-slapped by God’s Word each week! You know the saying…”hurt so good?”
Listening. I preach this all the time to my kids. It’s ridiculous how many times a day I catch myself saying, “I need you to listen” or “Do you have your listening ears turned on?” or “Why won’t you listen the first time?” Sometimes I swear it’s as if they have a setting called “ignore anything and everything Mom says!” And the irony – I kinda suck at listening, too. Here’s the deal…Listening usually involves action. Action usually involves obedience. Obedience usually involves doing something I don’t want to do. I should be preaching to myself because just like my kids tune me out, it’s easy for me to stop listening. And suddenly the tables have turned and God is speaking those same words to me…except probably with more grace and less shrieking. ::insert drop-kick::
See for me, I stop listening when I don’t want to stop to listen. Who has time to stop? There’s too much to do! And so, often without even realizing it, I choose not to stop. I choose not to listen. Ultimately, I choose not to be silent.
Silence. Right now, as a mother of 4 busy children, silence is scary. Silence means something is wrong, somebody’s doing something they shouldn’t, or someone’s making a disastrous mess. I need to get back to embracing silence and how it works hand in hand with listening. I can have silence without listening but I can’t truly listen without silence. “Silence is a purging force.” Silence brings perspective and helps us clear out our hearts to make room for what we’ll receive while we listen. The idea of a drippy faucet comes to mind. You know how you never notice a leaky faucet until what?…until it’s quiet. Now, we both know that it didn’t just start dripping right when everything is silent. It’s been dripping all day but you just didn’t hear it. And not even because you weren’t necessarily listening…you didn’t hear it because there was too much other noise. And so I find myself asking what extra and possibly unnecessary “noise” is in my life? What’s keeping me from hearing? Which reminds me of a sentence from this weeks lesson…”We tend to want God to demonstrate his supremacy through addition, not subtraction; through amplification, not silence”…and here comes the holy “face-slappage.” Ouch!
Lord, help me stop and shut up so I can listen. Help me listen so that I can subtract. Help me subtract to make room for more of You.