Thursday, June 20, 2013

15 Hours Sounded Like Eternity

What do you look forward to? A vacation? A nice hot bath? The class reunion? For me, it was VBS! Yep, Vacation Bible School! When the church around the corner announced the dates, they went on my calendar. And I began to dream. Fifteen hours all to myself! What would I do? Oh, I had plans to fill dozens of weeks of VBS! I was going to really clean the house from top to bottom, without interruption. Or maybe I'd knit for three solid hours! Or spin on my wheel! I could sit and do nothing, or watch a movie -- a chick flick! Read a print book! Yeah! 

You see, we adopted our first daughter 6 years ago this week. And 5 months later, I gave birth to her baby sister. And as a homeschooling mom, it recently occurred to me that I haven't had 8 solid hours all to myself in six years. Oh, I've had a handful of dates with my hubby, and there was the women's retreat at church. I've had moments of down time here and there, but solid alone time? Not so much. 

And then came Monday, June 17, 2013 -- VBS! My heart had yearned for weeks with anticipation, and it was finally here! I got the girls ready and drove them 10 minutes, filled out the medical release form, kissed them goodbye, and walked away. The next 3 hours were all MINE! And I had a project waiting at home. I couldn't wait to get started. The next thing I knew, an hour was gone, and then two. WOW! Noon already? Time to pick up the girls. And I still felt, well, unsatisfied. Disappointed? Was that the word? Oh well, I still had the rest of the week.

Tuesday, and off to VBS they went! Today, I'd really enjoy myself! And I did, sort of. I mean, I finished my big project. But somehow, it was empty. And before I knew it, I was picking up the girls and bringing them home, listening to their tales of the fun they'd had, rejoicing with them. But what about my fun? What was happening?

By Wednesday, I had no expectations of joy. In fact, the best I could muster was a trip to the grocery store without the kids in tow. Don't get me wrong. That was a treat in itself! But it was work too, and not one of my favorite things to do. We needed food, so I did it. Ten 'til noon came faster than ever.

This morning, I knew I needed something that no project or movie or shopping trip could give. I needed Him. I needed to sit in the presence of my Father, King of Kings. I had some apologizing to do too. And I dreaded it. Maybe that's why it took me an hour to stop looking at facebook and online researching at least 3 topics weighing on my mind at that moment. And then I felt that nudge. He was waiting, so patiently. We talked. He was so gracious to me, answered my heart questions, filled the empty place in my heart, restored my peace. And even then I found myself constantly distracted by ideas and thoughts. Before I knew it, I was back online. 

Then I stopped, I asked Him why I was so distracted. I thought of checking for verses on my app about distraction. I only found one and it was in 2 Corinthians when Paul was talking about whether or not to marry. Not really applicable. And what was I doing? I was online again! 

Then everything stopped. I mean everything. No electricity. Have you ever noticed how quiet it gets when there is no power in the house? No AC, no refrigerator hum, nothing. Silence. Stillness. And He was there. I said I was sorry for being so distracted, and He turned the power back on. But something had changed. 

I brought the girls home, fed lunch to them and their friend who had gone to VBS with them. The day went on. But I was different. I was at peace. Calm. Really? Was that what my heart had been longing for? 

My answer came this afternoon in the form of a podcast. John Eldredge is one of my favorite authors, and I listen to the weekly podcasts from his ministry Ransomed Heart. Recently it's been about our hearts for the Kingdom. We all have it -- that longing for something more, for something transcendent. It's the Kingdom of God that we long for. That which was lost so long ago in the Garden. That which drew people by the thousands to Yeshua. That which will come again. 

John admitted to pacifying that part of his heart that yearns for something more. For him, it's a really nice new pair of sunglasses, the latest and greatest fly rod, a delectable caramel. He calls it survival mode. "Your survival mode is extraordinarily damaging, by the way, whatever it is. Survival mode typically looks like shutting down most of your desires, shrinking them to a size that something in this world can fill, and then trying to find that something. Meanwhile, just sort of scrambling to try and keep control of your life.... We try and pacify our kingdom heart in this world. 'Cause you're made for THAT! We're made for THAT! And nothing, nothing will satisfy us, but THAT!"

Yes! I thought 15 hours to myself would satisfy my kingdom heart, but it didn't. I thought completing that project, shopping by myself, making plans for the future would satisfy. But NOTHING will satisfy my longing for the Kingdom outside the King of the Kingdom! He is my true desire, my longing. And unlike Coca-Cola, he satisfies!

So this fall, the girls will both go to charter school on Tuesdays. That's seven hours a week! Sure, I'll work on projects and plan and check facebook. But now I know what I'm really looking forward to is uninterrupted time with Him.

To listen to the podcast episode mentioned above, visit

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