Thursday, September 3, 2009

Where He Leads

I remember wondering exactly what people meant when they would say things like, "the Lord showed me..." or "God told me..." But gradually, over time, I have experienced it for myself. As I sought the Lord and prayed for eyes to see and ears to hear; I have gained some understanding. (Only some...there is always more to learn.)

Today as I share something that God has spoken to my heart; I am inviting you into a bit of my conversation with the Lord. Prayer, to me, is like an on-going dialogue. There is still great reverence as I enter His presence; but just as a child enters their father's presence, it is not all formalities.

As I have come to know God more; I want for Him to guide my steps. I desire to be completely in His will so I talk with Him about many things. Things perhaps that might seem trivial to some.

Just this morning I was going out for a walk/run. As I reached the end of my driveway, I asked, "Which way should I go this morning, Lord?" It has become as natural as breathing to ask simple things like this. Then I pause and wait for a direction to be impressed upon my mind. If neither direction seems to be popping into my mind, I test it a little. "This way Lord, should I take this path to the hill?" and then again, I wait (it only takes a few seconds though...not like I am standing at the bottom of my driveway for 5 minutes in indecision.) If I feel no specific leading, I choose on my own. But there are days when I will feel impressed to take a certain direction. Many of those times, I run into a neighbor that I haven't seen in awhile and I make it a point to stop and speak to those God brings into my path.

I attended the Beth Moore Simulcast this past weekend. The woman is blessed with insight from the Lord and I always walk away from studies she has written, etc. wanting more of God so I was excited to go. Friday night was awesome. God had given her a message about our hearts desires (Psalm 37) and how there are times when He moves past our hearts desires to get to the heart of our desire. Good stuff. How if our hearts desires line up with the Word of God and have stood the test of time but have not yet come to fruition that it either has to do with God's glory or our destiny. Timely encouragement for many; myself included.

Saturday morning I was tired. The air was heavy with humidity and it was all I could do to get out of bed. As Beth moved through her sessions, I began to mentally drift....(Sorry Beth! You were awesome! It was just me!)...thoughts of a birthday party my daughter and I were going to attend, wondering if I had hung up my shirt to dry that I had just washed or if it might end up getting shrunk in the dryer...but as I drifted in and out of focusing on the message, I began to want to get to the heart of something that has been on my mind.

I have been feeling that God has been wanting me to take some time off of blogging. But I haven't wanted to...so I was praying about it. "Lord, do you want for me to slow down with my blogging? Maybe just post on Mondays or maybe just the Titus 2 Tuesdays?" I prayed. All kinds of thoughts about what I would miss if I stopped blogging and reading blogs rushed to my mind. "Surely you don't want for me to completely stop right now...I'm really enjoying these relationships you've led me to develop...I can see how you are using this blog for good...a couple of these bloggers really need encouragement right now; I don't want to leave them hanging..."

Right then, (I kid you not) Beth Moore yells (as she was making a point), "STOP IT!!! Don't slow down; don't do it a little! STOP IT!!" She was defining the meaning of "Be still" in Psalm 46:10 vs. in Psalm 37:7 and showing how the definitions differ slightly in the Hebrew. I sat there stunned for a minute and then silently prayed, "That was for me wasn't it Lord? That is what you've been trying to tell me. To STOP blogging for awhile and to be still before you more?"

Aren't you glad that God isn't sarcastic? If He was you can bet His answer would have been, "You think?!?!?! How much louder could I have said it for you???"

Instead, it was as if I were released from something and peace flooded my soul. This verse came to mind:

"See! The winter is past; the rains are over and gone. Flowers appear on the earth; the season of singing has come, the cooing of doves is heard in our land. The fig tree forms its early fruit; the blossoming vines spread their fragrance. Arise, come, my darling; my beautiful one, come with me." Song of Solomon 2:11-13 (emphasis my own)

Since that moment; this Scripture has been affirmed to me three times. My husband mentioned to me on a walk that God had given this Scripture to him. (The first part...not the "darling/beautiful" part ;) I had not mentioned it to him and quite honestly was surprised that he would mention a verse from Song of Solomon!) And two of my blogging friends that I know IRL and on line both used this passage in a post since then. Each time I have read the verse I feel the same peace that this is His path for me right now.

So...I am choosing to follow where He is leading with this - beginning immediately after I hit "Publish." This will be it for awhile; until He leads me back here to write again. I am not sensing that this is meant to be a "forever STOP," but rather a block of time.

I will no doubt miss our conversations and I do anticipate that I will continue reading posts here and there. I just won't be commenting as regularly as I normally do. You are welcome to leave me messages (or e-mail me), prayer requests, etc. here off and on if you choose or want to respond to a comment I leave on a post.

I have asked Bethany at Happyascanbe to host the Titus 2 Tuesdays in my absence. I know she will do an amazing job and if you don't already "know" her, I encourage you to stop by and introduce yourself.

May God bless you and keep you. May He make His face shine upon you and give you peace!

Much "Bloggy" love,

Shanda

*I will be speaking at the upcoming MOPS International Convention (at a break out session.) If you are going to be there; I'd love to meet up with some of you!

40 comments:

Warren Baldwin said...

Blogging takes time. We must move where God leads us. Sounds like he has another area for you to use your time. It will be good. Look forward to your return ... when he leads you back. God bless. wb

Keystone said...

There is a season for everything under the heavens.

May your season of discernment and peace, allow you to walk humbly with your God.

He can sometimes be a jealous God.
He wants you.

So be with Him, and mark the highlights of time with God, so that when He proclaims a new season for you to share, those who listen to what you have discerned, are astounded, and want a season with the Lord alone too.

God be with ye!

Keystone

RCUBEs said...

There is nothing more important than to be in tuned with what He wants you to do. Blogging to me can be a form of idolatry if we are not careful. He warned us that we can't have 2 masters. So, I'm glad you chose to obey Him.

I love that we can talk to Him anytime, anywhere. I also ask Him for anything like even with grocery. I want Him to guide me in everything because then, I know nothing will go wrong.

In your absence, I pray the Lord will reveal a lot of things with you as you seek Him more and walk closer. May the Lord guide you, protect you and give you the discernment in all things. Blessings and love to you sister.

Sue said...

Shanda, may God bless you so much during this sabbatical from blogging. He obviously has a purpose in it from what you shared about Beth Moore's timing in your hearing God's voice. May you embrace this time and when He sees fit to have you come back, I'm sure you'll have more to share with us to deepen our walks with Him!

Blessings to you!

Still Learning said...

Hi Shanda, how funny you are going on a break as I just come back from one. I felt also that I just needed to either quit or stop for awhile, I don't know, it was just an impression on me. I really enjoyed that time off and used it to draw nearer to Him. He broke some stuff off in that time away too. He gave me revelations and taught me things. I think for me, He just wanted my complete attention. My hope is that you discover His purpose for you in this. I am sure you will and it will be awesome, your time with God that is.

I know I feel so refreshed from my time spent with Him and concentrating on His will and who God is in my life. Enjoy the time off but we will miss you!

Jenn

Farmgirl Paints said...

Sweet friend you know I will miss you. So thankful that you are obedient and are listening to Him.

Thank you for your sweet words on my blog today. I have that picture in my head now of me and the girls in a sunflower field. That would be precious.

Love ya,
Becky

Pam D said...

I love the other comments, because they say what I feel (but so much more effectively!). God's timing is perfect and His path is the one that leads to your best life. Sometimes, it leads away from where you want to be, but there's always a reason (Hinds Feet.. remember?). RCUBE is so right; the things that we do FOR Him can become the very idols that keep us FROM Him. So be still; listen for His quiet voice, and find joy in every task He sets before you. And know that you'll always remain on my sidebar, so that when you DO post, I'll know, and I'll be here. Love you, my sister in Christ!

Amanda @ Serenity Now said...

Shanda, I love it when God is direct like that!! :) I know you will be rewarded for not only listening, but OBEYING! :) Which break out session are you leading? I am so excited for this conference...my first time! :)

Rachel said...

Will miss reading and catching up with you... but am excited for what God is doing in your life!

Just think... whatever He was doing with your blog, the seeds are sown, the encouragement given (watering), and amazing work has been done (harvest)... and what h can do with the time and talent you devoted to this - to now be turned to another area for awhile? I'm just pumped to find out :)

Wish we lived closer and could chat over some hot chocolate!

Bless You

Shayla said...

WOW! I had no idea all of this was going on sista!

I am glad that you are following the will of God instead of making excuses and still doing what you want. You are such a wonderful example of a Biblical Woman. Thank you for your love, patience, time, and guiding words.

I love it when you stop by and share your compassion with me. I will miss your deep and insightful blogs, but I am so excited for you because this means the Lord is going to make you grow with Him :)

Thank You for the blog award haha I just saw it :) !!!!

rhemashope said...

Shanda,

I have an on-going dialogue with the Lord as well, although all too often it's me doing all the talking. Not enough listening.

May the Lord bless your obedience here, and may we all follow your example to just be still and know our God.

I will miss you because we won't communicate as often for a while, but you are always in my thoughts and heart.

Love you.

Lelia Chealey said...

He does love an obedient heart! E-mail me at chealey5@yahoo.com so I can share something with you that is a result of an obedient heart.

This summer I had to pull out of the on line blog study at God's prompting. I felt He wanted me to take the summer off from leading a study, but I didn't listen. Some trials came my way and eventually I obeyed, but now I know He wanted me to back out so I could give my full attention to Him and what was coming instead of trying to balance so much.
I'm glad you're not learning the hard way like I did. ;)

HappyascanB said...

Oh how I will miss you!! You've taught me so much, Shanda, and I thank God for you! I'm praying this time of your life will be richly blessed! I have huge shoes to fill with Titus 2 Tuesdays, but as you've been sensing God's prompting you to step out of blogging, I've been sensing God pushing me to get on out there and dive on in! He is good! God bless you, sweet friend!! i do hope you'll let me know anytime you're driving through GA and need a pit stop / coffee break in Macon!!!

Kristen said...

I completely understand your thoughts and convictions. I know I love your encouragement, and I will be awaiting your blogging return! I'm so happy you got a clear answer to your prayers about this. Many blessings to you, and have fun on the MOPS trip. Thanks for my blog award, too... I didn't know about those (awards). I'm still learning, and all (:

Shanda said...

Thank you all for your precious words of support and encouragement!

christy rose said...

Shanda, As you listen to the Spirit of God, He will direct you into a path that contains more detail on the upcoming issues of your life. I will miss stopping by to visit you. And, look forward to when you write again. I pray that you come back with a depth of God's character that you can share with us as well. I have loved getting to know you and hopefully that friendship, as God leads you, will continue to grow in Him.
God Bless,
Christy

Lindsey @ A New Life said...

I'll miss your words of wisdom and insight- but totally understand, as I am in my own season of pulling back, which is SOOO hard when writing and sharing in that way feeds my soul. A little too much sometimes :-). This time off has been wonderful and beautiful and heartbreaking, but I can't wait to see where He leads us both.

Love you!

Lindsey @ A New Life said...

P.S. This is the hard part about blogging- we are often so far away from people yet get to know them and their hearts through their writing. And can't just meet up for coffee instead :-(

Lindsey @ A New Life said...

Send me a friend request on Facebook if you are doing that!

I am writing, just not posting. It was becoming a little too much about me and validation and proving myself to people. And even a little of that is not good. It's all for God's glory. Funny thing, by nature I have a hard time with face to face, which is why I write. And once I obeyed, and stopped hiding behind my computer, I am overwhelmed at the people who have sought me out. Such a blessing to me to FINALLY realize that I can not be ashamed, and completely use my story to help people. IN PERSON. :-)

And I would love to meet you one day :-)

Girl in a Glass House said...

Shanda

Obedience is a gift we give to God...especially when our heart wants to do otherwise.

You have always blessed me here but also with your comments on my blog...I hope you sometimes stop by with thoughts for us!

Gretchen said...

May He bless your time off ("on" but with Him)and your obedience.

It's hard to listen. Sometimes we get so self-sufficient. Well done, friend.

I've been feeling this coming for a while from you. Isn't that funny? Anyway...God be with you. xxxooo gretchen

Lora said...

I'm overdue for a comment here, but just wanted to thank you for being sensitive to leading, and for being such a great influence for me. Looking forward to hearing what you're learning during this time upon your return!

Kathryn said...

Shanda, I'm way behind in my blog reading but am so thankful I saved this post.

The Lord had (has?) done the same with me and my blog, and, as you probably know, my writing has been rather irregular the last few months. But, what joy in knowing that Your Lord wants more time with His beloved! :-)

I will be praying for you during this anointed and consecrated time.

seesawfaith said...

Love ya! Can't wait to hear what God reveals and brings out of this season of "stopping".

Farmgirl Paints said...

So good to hear from you Shanda!! Good luck with your conference. I know that will be a relief when it's over:)

Mrs. G said...

Shanda - I love that you are listening with both your head and your heart. Don't worry - we won't forget about you and we will still come back every once in while to "check" on you. I hope all goes well with you and that you will find some peace, quiet and contemplative moments - then you can come back and share them with us!

Dawn Jenkins said...

Enjoy your time with God. I too have felt God "limiting" my time in the blogging world. Since the summer I have cut my time on the computer by at least half. At first it was HARD, but now I realize God was showing me that life was passing me by as I was sitting here staring at the screen.

Lamonica Epps said...

Very encouraging post. As Christian, we all need to take the time to seek God and find out what he wants us to do.

Stopping by from SITS

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His Girl said...

just a little 'i miss you'

xo

joanofalltrades said...

I've missed you. I'm glad that you are listening to what God spoke into your heart. Nothing wrong with taking time off. I pray that all is well with you and your family.

RCUBEs said...

Just passing by to wish the a Merry Christmas and hope all is well by God's grace. Blessings and love to you.

Pam D said...

Shanda, what a pleasure it was to see the notification in my inbox that you had stopped by lifebythecreek! I hope and pray that you have heard His voice in the stillness during this hiatus, or that, if it hasn't been still, you still have your feet securely planted on His path. Blessings to you and your family; may 2010 be spent bathed in His love and walking in His footsteps!
{{{hugs}}}

Mr. Daddy said...

Merry Christmas Shanda.
thanks for the comment, and about wanting a Glock???? HHHMMmmmmm!!! maybe not a Redneck, But a good Patriotic American quite assuredly...LOL

Have missed your posts, hope God is working the work in you and yours life's....

God is blessing us more and more each and every day

God bless and keep you.

lisasmith said...

I so love your definition of what prayer is to you. Yes, it does come as natural as breathing to chat with the Lord.

Last year I took some time off blogging and totally gave it to the Lord and he released something in me that has caused me to write on a different level. It's like now we can share a deeper intimacy there.

Blessings on your break...will we see you in the Daniel study?

Kristen said...

I miss you!

kanishk said...

Look forward to your return ... when he leads you back. God bless.

Work from home India

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Lelia Chealey said...

Miss you.
Love,
Lelia

sanjeet said...

May your season of discernment and peace, allow you to walk humbly with your God.
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