Work. Marriage. Kids. Family. Finances. Responsibilities. Friends. Cooking. Cleaning. Shopping. Volunteering. Social media. Email. Sports. Some days you're just overwhelmed. Overwhelmed by good things that demand your time and attention. Overwhelmed by temptations and unhealthy desires.
Last week, we chose to be overwhelmed by God's grace and goodness for five days. Part choice, part necessity, we unplugged. On the Love Like You Mean It Cruise, we had no access to cell phones, texting, email, or social media. Instead, we had conversations with real people, real time, no distractions. IT WAS AMAZING. It was difficult, too, being alone with our thoughts. Allowing silence and peace to settle into our hearts and minds. Being still, knowing God is God.
Upon returning home, we're choosing to remain unplugged...as much as we are able and still accomplish what God wants us to accomplish with the amazing technology resources He's given us. We are intentionally taking back silence and peace for ourselves, our marriage and our family, so we can better hear God and each other, distraction free.
How do you take back silence and peace? PRAY!
Priorities: We are intentionally choosing to align our daily schedules, going to bed around the same time so that we are able to have time in the morning together as a family before work to read, talk and pray together. I love the intentionality of Psalm 23, God calls us to Him so he can feed us and shield us, give us rest, restore and refresh us, blessing us every day of our lives.
The Lord is my Shepherd [to feed, guide, and shield me], I shall not lack. He makes me lie down in [fresh, tender] green pastures; He leads me beside the still and restful waters. He refreshes and restores my life (my self); He leads me in the paths of righteousness [uprightness and right standing with Him—not for my earning it, but] for His name's sake. Yes, though I walk through the [deep, sunless] valley of the shadow of death, I will fear or dread no evil, for You are with me; Your rod [to protect] and Your staff [to guide], they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my [brimming] cup runs over. Surely or only goodness, mercy, and unfailing love shall follow me all the days of my life, and through the length of my days the house of the Lord [and His presence] shall be my dwelling place. ~Psalm 23
Retreat: We are intentionally choosing to make our home a retreat from the chaos of the world. When we come home, we're all putting our cell phones on a central charging station in the kitchen, where they will stay until morning, limiting the intrusion of our time together as a family. We're turning off all notifications on our phones, so that we are intentional about where we spend our time and are less likely to be wooed by distractions.
From the ends of the earth, I cry to you for help when my heart is overwhelmed. Lead me to the towering rock of safety, for you are my safe refuge, a fortress where my enemies cannot reach me. Let me live forever in your sanctuary, safe beneath the shelter of your wings! ~Psalm 61:2-4 NLV
Ask: We are intentionally asking each other each day our objectives and how we can pray for each other. And then we pray together, for each other. Together, we will focus on God, how He is so much bigger than anything in our lives, and trust Him.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight. ~Proverbs 3:5-6
Yours: We are intentionally being intentionally Yours. Intentionally God's, created for Him, dedicating our moments to Him; intentionally a man, husband, father; intentionally a woman, wife, mother; and our son, intentionally a strong man of God and our son.
Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid, do not be terrified, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go. ~Joshua 1:9
We have decided that 2014 is the year of saying YES to God. We are telling God every day that if He opens a door, we will walk through it. And that if He doesn't want us to walk through a door, He needs to close it. Part of hearing this is being still, and allowing God to overwhelm us with His love, wisdom, goodness, and grace.
Will you choose to be overwhelmed by God's goodness and grace instead of the world today?
Lord Jesus, we invite You into quiet the storms of our minds and lives, bring Your peace to the chaos that swirls around us every day. We want to be still and know You are God! Help us to not be afraid to be silent, to be still and alone with our thoughts and with You. Speak boldly into our lives and situations! Cover us with Your peace, goodness, love and grace. Help us to remove/block distractions from our lives that keep us from being fully with You, with our spouses and children. Remove anything from our lives that keep us from experiencing You and each other fully, and add to our lives Your wisdom, perspective, peace, understanding and grace. We love You, we praise You, we thank You, in Your mighty name we pray, AMEN!
FamilyLife's Weekend to Remember saved our marriage and continues to strengthen and transform it, it can change yours, too!
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