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Why a blog from me, someone who has never been a writer, someone who has never been articulate or had a solid grasp of the grammar world. Because God told me to write. Several years ago a life storm invaded my family. God kept telling me to write it all down. I argued, but He would not let up. This went on every day for a couple of weeks until one day out of frustration, (I'd like to say it was out of obedience), I picked up a pen and paper and wrote for 7 hours straight! Do you think maybe I needed therapy and God knew it?

I've been writing ever since and have learned to love it! I started out sharing my stories with friends and family. I've now been published in a Nashville church paper, Our Daily Journey (a devotional site of RBC Ministries), PCCWeb Daily Devotional, Ruby for Women Ezine Magazine, and I am a contributor in the book Alabaster Jars, Life in Abundance Collection 2.

Why Ponderings? During this life storm, God led me to a pond in the woods behind my home. There He met me each time, teaching new lessons, reminding me of old ones, showing His presence and allowing me to feel His love through the surroundings of that pond. I found myself returning over and over to ponder, pray and praise. A healing of my heart took place and out of the experience came my first book, Ponderings From the Pond, then a second book, Ponderings From My Porch, and now a third book is in the works along with a memoir about my storm.

Why am I making myself so vulnerable? Because God has done so much that I cannot keep quiet. I have to share. Jesus's last words to his desciples were, "Go,tell." We are his disciples too and this is just one of my ways of telling.

I'm no scholar but I have heard God's voice in my spirit, experience His love daily, and have a desire for others to experience this also. I would love to share with all who visit and I would love to hear from you. If my sharing gets just one to ponder, to be quiet with the Father, to see and hear from Him or to be reminded of something from Him, then this is worth my vulnerability.

As you visit me, sometimes we will be at the pond, sometimes we will move to the front porch, and sometimes we will just be here, there, and yonder. Thank you for coming and please feel free to come back anytime, you are always welcome here.

May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.

Psalm 19:14

*****EXCITING NEWS*****

My first book, Ya Know What I'm Say'n, has been released.


Ponderings

Ponderings

Thursday, January 31, 2013

The Sacred Place


 

 ‘O let the place of secret prayer become to me the most beloved spot on earth.’

Andrew Murray

          Going into my prayer closet has been a very rewarding experience for me for the past 20 years, something I will continue to practice the rest of my life.

            It all began when I was at a Women’s Conference at my Church and two women sang a duet.  I could not tell you the title of that song, but one of the lines spoke to me and I could not get it out of my head long after the conference was over.  It spoke of kneeling on bended knee in a quiet place to pray with God.  It was a beautiful song and touched me deeply.  Right after this, I read in Matthew 6:6,      But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen.  Then your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.  That was in my NIV which I read every day.  I opened to this same verse in the KJV and here is how it is stated.

            But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.

            I thought to myself, 'I am going to try this.'  So one day I entered into my walk-in closet, which is not very big; by the way but you don’t need a lot of room.  I knelt to my knees on the carpet beside the tennis shoes and laundry baskets and just began talking with the Father.  I invited him into that room and felt goose bumps rising up by back.  His presence was there like I had never experienced before.  It was such an awesome, sacred time that I have continued to do this ever since.  Just a small note about the knees, when I was young, I could sit on bended knees for a long time.  As I’ve gotten older, if I do this now for any length of time, it takes a long time to get up and with much groaning.  I usually sit on what my Scottish sister-in-law calls “the bum”.  And at times, I go fully prostrate on the floor. But my heart is bowing in reverence to the Lord whatever position I am in.

            There is just something about being alone in a small place, away from all the distractions of the world, like television, telephone, people, etc.  Being in my closet away from all these distractions allows me to completely get the cobwebs out of my mind and totally focus on my time with the Lord.  This is not an everyday practice, although I do it quite a bit.  Don’t think this is my only prayer time though.  I am one of those people who continually pray.  I talk with the Lord all through out the day.  But when I feel the need to really feel His presence, to do some serious intercessory prayer, to cleanse myself, when I’m desperately wanting wisdom, I retreat into the closet.

            There are times I have entered my closet angry and have come out with peace. I have gone into my closet upset and hurting, and have come out comforted.  I have stepped into my prayer closet asking for change, and have come out seeing immediate change.  Not always, but sometimes.  I have gone in questioning and have come out knowing without a doubt my Lord has the answers and He will reveal them to me when He says it is time for me to know.

            If you have small children, you might be thinking, I can’t do this, they would be knocking on the door wanting in, wanting to ask questions that could wait, but to them seem urgent.  I remember reading a book about Susanna Wesley, the mother of John and Charles Wesley, who founded the Methodist Church.  She had 19 children.  When she needed time alone with her Lord, she would sit in her rocking chair in the kitchen and throw her apron over her head.  Her children knew not to disturb her during this time.  When my boys were little, I told them that if the door to my closet was closed, this was not a time to disturb me.  I would always try to pick a time when they were either occupied, or were not even there.

            I suggest that you take your young children into the closet with you and explain to them what it is to you when that door is closed.  Tell them what you are doing, and that this is a very special, alone time between you and the Lord.  Maybe even pray with them in the closet that first time that they would remember and respect your time in there.  I believe this will make an impression on them even if they don’t know how to express it. And  it may be the beginning of an awesome prayer life for them because of what they have seen you doing.

            Do I believe Matthew 6:6 really means to go into a closet, the room where clothes and shoes are?  No, I just believe it means to go somewhere away by yourself.  Mark 1, verse 35 says even Jesus went to a solitary place where He prayed.  If he, the Son of God needed a solitary place to pray the Father, than I most certainly do!  And don’t forget the part of the verse, where He says to “shut the door”.  I believe this is saying shut the door of your heart to all those distractions so your heart is fully in tune with the Father.

            A lot of times I love to pray and talk with the Father outdoors in nature.  I feel very close to him there.  But, I can also get distracted by the songs of the birds, dogs coming around, and the sounds of cars going by.  I usually am just praising him when I am out in nature.  In the closet is where I do serious talking and listening.  I remind myself to not just talk, but listen also. Sometimes when I have nothing else to say, I will just sit for however long, and feel His presence. And don’t you know how pleased the Father must be to be invited into that closet because one of his children wants to be with him.  Doesn’t it do your heart good when your child wants to be with you?

            I feel when we learn to hear Him in the quiet of a sacred place as within the closet, then we will hear Him better outside of the closet in the places with noise. If we practice in the quiet closet of being still and know that He is God, it becomes easier to be still in the crowds and noise and still hear and know that He is God.

            I would like to challenge you, if you have never done this, to go into your closet and invite the Lord in there with you.  You just might feel goose bumps too!

A word of caution:  If you do go into your closet and shut the door, you might want to leave a small light on. I went into mine one time after a friend called and asked me to pray with her.  I went in; shut the door, the light was off so I could just concentrate on my friend and praying with her.  After I hung up, I opened my eyes and realized how completely dark it was in there.  I stood up and could not find the door.  Now this was a walk-in closet but not a very big one.  I should have known where the door was, but I had gotten disoriented, and for the life of me could not find that door.  I felt so silly at first with my hands out in front of me feeling the clothes, getting on my knees and crawling around feeling the shoes, but could not find the door knob.  After about five minutes of searching, I started to feel panicky inside.  I sat down on the floor and told myself to just breathe and I prayed asking the Lord to show me the door and its knob.  After about five more minutes of searching, I found it and got out.  The light never looked so good, and even though I wasn’t suffocating, I took in the air in deep breathes.  I told my son, what had happened, and he said to me,

“Why didn’t you just use your phone and call me, I would have come opened the door for you?”  I looked down and in the palm of my hand I was clutching my cell phone that I had used to talk and pray with my friend.  It didn’t even dawn on me to use it.  Can you just imagine how silly that phone call to my son would have sounded?  “Please come open my closet door.  I’m in here and I can’t get out!”

            This incident is a true story but also a good analogy of when we go through dark times in our lives.  If we will just pray to the Father and trust Him to rescue us, we will eventually see the light of His presence, be led out of the dark, and we will just want to breathe Him in and fill us up.

            I believe if we breathe Him in enough, daily, consistently, the next dark time will not be so scary; we will not panic and we will know who to call on.  And we won’t need our cell phone.
 
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5 comments:

Denise said...

Praise God.

Deborah Boydston said...

Very inspiring.

Vicky said...

I pray in my laundry room - tucked away in the far corner of my basement-its quiet and peaceful and I'm usually amongst the heaps of dirty clothes on the floor- ready to be cleansed and renewed- just like the clothes...

Floyd said...

The dirty carpet of a one room apartment with my face buried in it decades ago changed my life... I can't think of a better place to find God than in a place of humility...

But leave the light on!

Shakin' the Foundation said...

WOW!! I love that God is speaking about "Prayer clostes" to us all!!!! AMEN AMEN AMEN!!!!

xoxox
Stacey