Incline your ear, and come to me; hear, that your soul may live; and I will make with you an everlasting covenant, my steadfast, sure love for David. Isaiah 55:3
Last week my kids were at Cousin Camp (a week of fun that Shawn's parents put on for their grandchildren) and so it was Shawn and I here all alone all week. The year before during CC I had made plans with a ton of people that I figured I could get together with easily without kids. This year my life has changed so drastically with John being able to stay home with the other kids that I didn't feel the need to use all my "kid-less" time catching up and meeting with people. I didn't even honestly feel starved for a "Date night" because we are able to have a lot more alone time now - though we did go out a few times with each other and with friends. My one desire as I was looking at a week away from the responsibilities that come from being mom to four was the chance to sit and read my bible, spend some time in the hammock, take long walks, and enjoy the silence of an empty house for a few days.
It didn't quite pan out that way. As my week went on, I realized I was avoiding God. Why? That irrational idea that things had been feeling a little stale and slow paced in my walk with him, so I needed to "work" to make things right. And honestly, I didn't have the energy to work. So I would see my new Bible sitting there beckoning for me to come and spend some time, and I would grab another book, or hop on the computer, or make up meals to be frozen, or plan school for the fall. I felt like that person that you see on sitcoms that is trying to avoid someone and they go ducking behind trees and furniture! Yet in it all I knew my feeling was irrational - that God was waiting for me to come running into his arms - the arms of my Father - and find the rest and love that was there for me all along. And while my heart and soul LONGED for this rest and peace, and this amazing relationship to be full and real again, my flesh fought it with everything it was, and it was winning. Temporarily.
Then the Holy Spirit spoke and broke through. And my heart lept as I opened to Psalms and started reading and finding Him again and hearing Him speak to my weary soul. I just started reading and reading, and talking to him and waiting for him to respond - and suddenly everything went from murky, frustrating, and tiring to peaceful and light. I didn't get a lot of answers to my questions that I had been struggling with, nor did he speak audibly show his face to me. But I was reminded to incline my ear to him and listen. And then life was renewed within me and my soul felt alive again.
So now my kids are home again (yay!) and I am back to a couple loads of laundry a day, a full dishwasher each evening, a grocery bill that rivals the national debt, and a house that never quite looks clean. Busyness and noise is part of this life again - and that's ok. I am learning to hear God's voice better in the midst of it all by turning my ear to him and away from the things that distract. God met me where I was and when I needed him, and I am so thankful for a Father like that.