Bible, Bird Nests, Christian, Conversation, Faith, Guidance, Life Lessons, Nature, Trees, winter

SIMPLE CONVERSATIONS

 

road

Do you ever have conversations with God? You know, just talk to him as you drive along or walk down the street by yourself.

I do.

All the time.

It’s different from praying in church or over a list of people and concerns.

It’s more like talking to a friend.

Stay with me here.

Before you call me crazy and jump off this page, hear me out.

I can’t say I’ve ever heard God’s voice audibly. And I can’t exactly explain how I differentiate what I hear from my own thoughts, but I’ll try.

Be Wise

For one thing, as a Christian, I know there are lots of voices out there. So I use the Bible as my point of reference when I evaluate what I think I’ve heard, mainly the New Testament. (Lots of things have been done in the name of God that He had nothing to do with.)

If it involves important decisions, I run it past someone I respect spiritually. I also ask myself if it’s just my wishful thinking. And I do my best not rush into anything.

How Do Answers Come?

Sometimes I get my answer when I read or hear the same thing several different places. (After the third time, I really pay attention.)

Or a Bible verse may play over and over in my mind the way one did at the beginning of the year. If you missed that post, you can still read it here.

Other times, an answer will come in the form of a new thought that leads me to do a little research, which gives me a new perspective.

Consider the Trees

wintertrees

 

 

As I walked down the street one afternoon recently, I heard,

Slow down.

No need to rush.

Look around  you.

See the deciduous trees?

This is their season of rest.

tree3

I began to look closely at the beauty of barren branches. Some reached upward like slender ballerinas.

 

Others stood guard like sturdy He-men, arms outspread.

Some were old and ragged, missing limbs. Others leaned in one direction, stretching toward the sun.

Each was beautiful in its own way.

tree4Questions Are Okay

“But Lord,” I said, “aren’t they doing something that I can’t see? Like putting down roots deep in the earth?” (And, yes. I talk to him the way I might talk to you.)

Look it up, I heard.

So when I got home, I Googled What do deciduous trees do in winter?

I found, according to Mother Nature Network, Northern Woodlands and several other sources, deciduous trees go through a dormant period in the winter similar to animals hibernating.

Webster’s Dictionary notes dormancy as being marked by a suspension of activity. It’s a resting phase in which essential life processes continue at a minimum rate.

“Okay,” I said. “But if that means you want me to slow down even more, you’ll have to help me let go of saying yes when I shouldn’t, falling back into striving, and measuring my worth by what I achieve.”

What I Heard

Just meet me every morning with your Bible and your journal. Sit with me. Be present to Me. Tell me what’s on your heart. Then listen.  Allow Me to restore your soul. I’ll show you how to be present in the moment so that later you can be truly present to those around you.

quiet-time

Be still and know that I am God.

Be still and know I am.

Be still and know.

Be still.

Be.

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Just BE in the presence of the Great I AM.

My Answer

“Here I am, Lord.”

What about you?

Can you identify your own particular season of life ?

I’d love to hear about it.

 

And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,”
when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left.

Isaiah 30:21

 

Conversation, Divine Appointments, Encouragement

TALK TO ME

Meet some of my high school posse.
I’m always up for a conversation with this crew.
We share tons of history.
They’re among my biggest encouragers.
Kisses, Girlfriends!



As you probably already know, I’ve been hard at work finishing a novel–my first and maybe last and haven’t been posting here as often. I finished that first draft last night! Because I want to stay in touch while I grind away on revisions, I’m sharing something I wrote for FaithHappenings, an online devotional I contribute to on a regular basis. I hope you enjoy it.



BLAH BLAH BLAH


In the name of conversation, we’ve all been held captive by people who love to talk without any expectation or desire for a response. If they aren’t airing their current worry or complaint, they’re bragging about their successes or the latest exploits of their perfect offspring. Whether they’re just bores or lonely individuals in need of a social outlet, the reaction is the same. What a relief to get out of their clutches.


LEARNING TO CONVERSE


Then there’s the introvert, who finds chitchat excruciating. One of my grandsons fell into this group during high school. Even though I’m sure he talked to his friends, he never spoke at family gatherings. We joked that you needed to be a lawyer to get the latest news through cross examination. We were thrilled when he returned from his first semester of college with newfound conversational skills.

ACKWARD MOMENTS


I confess there’ve been times, even as an adult, when I’ve felt inadequate in making small talk at social gatherings. Usually, it happens when I find myself among strangers with knowledge and interests so far out of my experience that I can’t even form an intelligent question. What I’d give at such moments for a know-it-all to enlighten me.


EASY LISTENING


I’ve come to understand that true conversation is a give-and-take endeavor, involving genuine interest in another person. It also requires good listening skills and the willingness to share something of ourselves. Who hasn’t felt invigorated by a lively discussion with colleagues and friends who enjoy common interests? Both the challenge and camaraderie of such exchanges enrich our lives and strengthen relationships.


UNFORGETTABLE ENCOUNTERS


But, for me, the most rewarding conversations are what I’ve come to refer to as Divine Appointments. I’m thinking of encounters with individuals who share a life-defining experience—good or bad, a belief or an interest in a cause that leads to a heart connection so strong we find ourselves opening up to one another. Somewhere in the process, we come to know that person on a deeper level. Such interactions seem to be orchestrated by God Himself and often bring healing to one or both parties while strengthening our faith. Lifelong friendships have been forged from such moments.

My hope is that you have experienced such joy, and my prayer is that we will always be open to God’s blessed encounters.

Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. 6 Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.

Col. 4: 5-6


Copyright © Reflections from Dorothy’s Ridge 2016. All rights reserved