One of the greatest blessings and most unanticipated surprises for me over the last 15 years has been the realization that God is still patiently teaching me more about Himself and what He wants me to know of His love and my purpose on earth. This has been a surprise because I had thought that after being a follower of Christ for over 60 years, I would have “arrived” at some elevated level of spiritual maturity. I thought I would have developed a full understanding and experience of the love of God, be consistent in my compassion for others, be free of nagging sins, and more fully understand the deeper things of God. While I am grateful for the spiritual growth I have experienced, I am increasingly aware of how far I am from the Christlikeness that I yearn for.
Actually, in some ways finding myself in this state has been a pleasant surprise. I consider my desire to learn from God and become more like Him to be a precious gift from Him. I am glad that God is still speaking to me, opening my eyes to scriptural truths that I can apply to my life. He is showing me layer upon layer of what it means to be loved by God. He is increasing my desire to love others and therefore to appropriately love myself. He is lovingly impressing me with practical wisdom and personal encouragement for growth that I find in the Bible. I am grateful for the deep hunger He has given me for intentional spiritual growth, and the challenging experience of searching for answers to questions that arise from reading the Bible.
Over the years I have kept notes of my quiet times, mostly daily, sometimes in journal form, sometimes just a few words or phrases that are meaningful to me for that day. (And sometimes just the Bible reference of the few verses quickly read before dashing out to work.) I occasionally write out very brief prayers responding to what I feel God is teaching me through a particular passage.
More recently I have been revisiting some of the great hymns of the past that have been meaningful to me, describing my experience and expressing the praise and gratitude I wished to communicate to God. As beautiful and poetic as some of these old hymns are, I have found that if I translate these lyrics into my contemporary heart language, these old songs turn into prayers and conversations with God that convey my current thoughts and feelings.
A few relatives and friends have encouraged me to share what God is teaching me as an encouragement to other women (and men?) who are also hungry for learning and becoming what God designed for us to be and do – those who might want to walk with me through my exploration of Bible passages, topical Bible studies, reflections on what I am learning from sermons I hear and books I am reading, etc., listening for what the Holy Spirit wishes to reveal to me and discovering more of the heart of God.
I have been quite vulnerable in some of my quiet time notes, including the good, the bad, and the ugly. I do not intend to write impersonal devotionals for a general audience. I am documenting what God is teaching me and how I can apply these learnings to my life day by day. The topics may or may not meet the needs or match the interests of any one reader; they are notes on how God is feeding me personally. But it may be that there are others who have similar needs, interests, and questions and a hunger for knowing God better and growing spiritually. My plan is to post mostly brief “blogettes” at least once a week to start. I welcome any who wish to follow along with me.