This past weekend, my mom and I went on a women's retreat through our church. It was the kind where you stay for the weekend and room with others. We roomed with a couple friends and then 2 other women we just met.
The retreat was on forgiveness and allowing the Holy Spirit into your heart. There was mass both days and sessions with speakers and lots of praise and worship songs. It was actually really refreshing. It's always a nice little shot in the arm when I can manage to get away for a bit from the craziness of home, and being there with my mom and friend and all these other great women was just what I needed.
On Friday night, they talked about really listening to God and what He wanted to tell you this weekend. What was He trying to say to you while you're at the retreat.
Well, I had all of my ideas of what I was there to pray for.
I was going to pray for the adoption and our little girl, for the path to the financial resources we still need.....I was going to pray that I would be a better mom and better wife, something I pray often cuz we all can use some improvement on those things....and I was just going to pray thanks for the health and safety of my family and the blessings we have.
Well, God didn't take long to tell me what I really needed to be praying about. I was sitting there Friday night listening and I was thinking about the day and about the week to come and schedules that take over our every moment and I got this strong sense of "slow down" then some more.... "you're forgetting Me"
hmmmm....okay. That was weird. I know I need to slow down, and I know I could probably take more time out of my day to pray and talk to God. Those words just kept coming back to me over and over. Slow down...you're forgetting me. I realized right there what He was telling me.
"You're day is so full of kids and sports and school and homework and your jobs and driving from place to place.....that you've forgotten to take time out to include me in all of it"
I argued with Him at first.
God, I talk to you.
I thank you for my kids and husband and for their continued health and safety.
I pray for our little girl and the means to go get her.
The kids are in a Catholic school, we go to church every Sunday....
but then I stopped.
I stopped because I realized that God had really become an afterthought in my day. I'd go to Him if I was worried, but if all was well that day....He was out.
I realized that I (we) had the kids on a spiritual auto-pilot. We sent them off to school where we knew they talked about God and prayed the rosary and went to mass.....but we were letting them take care of that. We go to church on Sundays, but then it's Football games and homework and getting ready for another crazy week. We just left Him back at the door of that church. We say prayers before we eat and before bed...but we're just going through the motions.
I wondered....when was the last time I turned off the TV and really sat with God. When did we last do that as a family. I honestly can't say.
It's like how we take advantage of our spouse after being married a while. You know, you go on with your days and you know that they know you love and appreciate, but when was the last time you really let them know that?
God can know my heart and know my faith in Him.....but I bet He'd sure love to hear it once in a while.
So I'm human and God understands that. And, let's face it, He did bless me with all these boys that make life a bit, um...crazy....but in all that craziness He's also given us so much.
Safety, health, love, family, friends, secure jobs, freedom, faith, a home, and Himself. Now that's a gift.
On Saturday night, we had the chance to be prayed over within a small setting of only 2 other woman. I went and I shared what I was hearing.
They prayed for me and prayed that I would find that time, even if it's just 5 minutes before getting out of bed in the morning, to give to Him.
They thanked God for allowing me to hear what He was saying to me and for giving me the desire to listen and change.
They thanked God for our openness to life in these boys and for the opportunities that they have to be at a Catholic School and to be able to play sports.
And they asked Him to help me have that desire to get to know Him better and more personally.
I'd say that just about covers it.