Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Learning to Read the Signs

In my last post I made the confession that I hadn't really been doing quiet times or reading my Bible that often, and I said I had made a date with myself to go to Lifeway to get a new book...one that would hopefully help reawaken my desire to get up before everyone else and spend some quality time with Jesus.  Well, I did...and it did!

I prayed before I went in.  I always feel so overwhelmed when I want a book like that and there are just so many books!  So I prayed...I prayed that God would help me find a book that would open my eyes to whatever it is He wants me to see.  Honestly, it feels a little like trying to use a divining rod to find water...but it worked.

I gathered up 3 books and settled into the comfy chair to investigate their contents.  The first two were on the bestsellers shelves.  They were Not a Fan and Crazy Love.  I'd heard good things about both and decided to give them a closer look.  The third was a harder choice.  I'm like a kid in a candy store in a bookstore, but this just wasn't any book I was looking for...I wanted THE book.  I finally made my way back to the Women's Christian Living section, and I spotted the books by Prinscilla Shirer.  I thought "Hey, I should at least pick up a book by her as an option.  I really enjoyed the last one (Resolution for Women)."  My eyes landed on one titled Discerning the Voice of God.  Josiah and I have been attempting to do a lot of that lately, so that seemed the natural third choice.

I'm going to take a moment here for a little aside...background info, if you will.

I told my boss last week that we'd finally made a decision...

I won't be coming back to work after the baby.

This was a decision that we really wrestled with because, while it was truly the desire of our hearts (especially mine) to be able to stay home with the baby, we were (and still are) concerned about how difficult that might be financially.  Nevertheless, after a lot of prayer and talking to some of our Christian friends, we decided it was what God was telling us to do.  HE put the desire in our hearts, and when you are following His will, He will make a way.

But I kept questioning whether or not I was reading everything properly.  What if the I was basing my decision off of circumstantial evidence because it was what I really wanted?  What if I was twisting my will and trying to make it God's will?

Okay....that's the end of the aside.  You can see why I was interested in the book though, right?

So...there I sat...three books in hand and a choice to make.

Both of the first two seemed like REALLY great books.  As a matter of fact, I have every intention of reading them down the road, which is why I included the links to them above.  But then I got to Priscilla's book...*sigh*

For those of you who know me, books are part of my soul.  I love them, and when I connect with an author, there's really no going back.

I connect with Priscilla.

She is funny and honest.  She tells it like it is, but with grace, humor, and love.  She also uses some great real-life examples in her writing, whether personal experience or metaphor, and I really appreciate that...heck, I have a tendency to do that too.

Her example in the first chapter was a sure sign.  She said she went to lunch with a good friend and was upset about something.  Priscilla rambled on and on throughout lunch, and when she got to the end of her tirade and asked the friend what she thought, her friend gently said she had some things to say during the story, but Priscilla never let her get a word in edgewise.  On the way home, humbled, she began to wonder if God felt that way when she prayed...like she never let Him speak.

You might be thinking, "Yeah, that's great Alissa, but how is that a sign that God wanted you to get the book?"

In the aforementioned previous blog post, where I set a date with myself to buy the book, I said this regarding the time I've been spending with God lately:
Think about it this way...how great would your relationships with other people be if all you did was talk, but never listened to the other person.  Shallow?  One-sided?  I'm thinking it's the same thing. 
Sound familiar?  Tomorrow, it will be a week since I got the book, and I have to say, I look forward to each and every chapter.  I don't know how to describe it exactly.  So much of what I'm reading just confirms everything I thought...but is also helping me find the Scripture to back it up, and THAT is important.

So, with highlighter in hand, I'm marking each page...and pages in my Bible.  No longer is it just sitting in Josiah's car, waiting for Sunday morning to roll around.  It's becoming a blessed part of my day...a part that I look forward to greatly.

I feel like I have so much more to say...more about how I see God's hands working in our lives and how I feel Him nudging us...but I this post has been long enough.

Let me ask this though: if you have quiet times with God, do you structure them?  Do you leave time for Him to speak to you?  How do you choose what scripture to read that day?  I'd be happy to hear about everyone's "relationship" advice!


  1. Hey! I have Crazy Love that youc an borrow whenever you're ready for another book. I also bought Resolution for Women, but I haven't read it yet. I'm looking forward to it though. I did a Bible Study with her, Beth Moore and Kay Arthur...Ohmy goodness, it was awesome! My quiet time is not that structured, but I usually have a plan b/c I'm in a Bible Study and the homework is the guide for my Quiet time. So I search the scriptures and write the answers. I pray beforehand that God would help me focus and be quiet and learn/see whatever he's trying to show me, then I do the work, and then I pray/sit quietly.

  2. Also!! That's really exciting news!!! :)