Yesterday I decided I wanted to focus on growing in one area for the next couple of weeks. There are so many areas I want to improve in that I usually don't focus on any single thing long enough to really make any progress, so it seemed like a wise thing to try. One thing at a time. Plus it should help me with my focusing in general, which is one of my four big goals for 2012.
Anyhow, I prayed about it and it felt like the Spirit was leading me to focus on... well, prayer. Then this morning I got a text from a friend - a simple Bible verse. "1 Thessalonians 5:17. Never stop praying." Well, that pretty much confirmed it for me, so until the end of the month, I will be focusing on prayer - praying more often throughout the day, going to God in different situations for guidance...
So I'll be blogging about it (hopefully) every evening, to record my experience and (hopefully) growth in this area. I'm also expecting, and actually already experiencing, some spiritual opposition throughout this journey, since that tends to happen whenever someone really tries to seek and follow the Lord.
Yesterday went really well. I was more focused than usual and on several occasions I pulled myself away from the activities and tasks of the day to pray and kind of regroup. Get my mind focused and remind myself of my priorities, and also give God a chance to sort of teach me and guide me. There's something about quiet solitude, even if it's not completely quiet or you're not completely alone? Even just a little quieter and... uh, solitudier? It makes a big difference. Hard to really listen for the still small voice of the Spirit when you're super-distracted by everything around you. Though I'm sure it's possible to learn to kind of pull yourself away from everything without actually physically going anywhere, I'm, uh... not there yet. Lol.
I will say something that I learned yesterday was that I'm very bothered by the fact that I pretty much go on autopilot whenever I'm talking to people. I've known this for some time, but it was the one thing that kept breaking my focus throughout the day, the one thing that I kept struggling with and then feeling bad about. I know I'm too hard on myself too, but I REALLY want to be good at this - more in the moment and more real, and not just this whole automatic response thing where at the end of the conversation(s) I look back and feel like I missed the entire thing. Like I wasn't really there at all.
So that was yesterday. Today I was really tired, (we stayed up late last night hanging out with Matthew, who's visiting from Germany) and I even though I prayed quite a bit I also spent a lot of time over-thinking things and then over-complicating my thoughts and feelings, and just laying on the couch watching TV with my girls. Spiritual opposition? Maybe. Maybe I just don't do very well on my own with two little ones all day. Wes was gone all morning with the Germans doing mission stuff (which is awesome!) and then he had to leave for work almost as soon as he got back, so I've been kinda lonely and I've had my hands full... And it's hard for me to process thoughts and feelings in my head. This is something I learned from talking to Sarah yesterday. Apparently I need to either talk or write things out in order to really process them. Which I guess is another reason I'm blogging, huh?
So today I felt pretty down at times. But I continued to pray and sing to God and try to focus on Him and on my blessings, and on being content. I won't say I did a fantastic job, but... well, there's always tomorrow, I guess. Forgetting what's behind and pressing on to what is ahead. Living in the moment. Seeking the presence of God.
Yeah. So this is me signing off for tonight. I gotta get some rest. I think that'll make a big difference in my emotions. Guess I'll find out tomorrow, haha.