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Finding Space to Connect With God

Focus on the Family / Jim Daly
The Cross Radio
January 14, 2022 5:00 am

Finding Space to Connect With God

Focus on the Family / Jim Daly

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January 14, 2022 5:00 am

Kathi Lipp and Cheri Gregory share ideas on how you can find the space and the place to spend time nurturing your relationship with God. They reflect on some of their imperfections and the abundant grace God offers to cover those shortcomings.

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Failure natural pain is natural, but when we start going to God with that when we trying to take care of things on our own. We only have so much reserve and so this was just an opportunity to say I need to make sure that God isn't the extra the end of the day that that's my sustenance. That's what I need and why do I To keep learning that lesson over and over and over again. Capulet joins us today on Focus on the Family along with her friend and co-author Sherry Greg, your host is focused president Dr. Jim Daly and I'm John Fuller, John, what does it look like for you to get away like for retreat will that would be like mountains and time with the book and no cell phone that's that's resting relaxation for me. You know, it's amazing. Jean just did a retreat with a handful girlfriends and I got out to the mountains and they were able to relax and study the word pretty deeply. Not everybody has that opportunity and that's a great thing, but I love the fact that the timing of this with Jean's experience and our guest today talking about how you can have that retreat environment without necessarily having to go spend a lot of money or drive to the mountains or something like that. I'm looking forward to this discussion because we all need to think about our relationship with the Lord were rat where we need to go in the best way to do that is silence right time to just think were gonna really help you better understand how to do that each and every day you used to pray that God would speak, and now I say Lord help me listen as I believe he speaks a lot more than I listen so I'm really glad that we have Kathy and Sherry here but been here a number of times before. The very popular speakers and authors in the written book together. It's a devotional titled an abundant place daily retreats for the woman who can't get away and we have copies here. Just check the episode notes for all the details. Well, welcome back to both of you. Thank you so much. It's great to be here, so good to see you are always so cheery and so effervescent. We love it. That's a good where you were. You guys bring such great wisdom. Let's go there you speak to a lot of women through the ministry that God's given you. What's the most common thing you hear from women about just the demands. I have a good friend you just tell me. She raised her girls in the 70s and 80s, and she is I don't really remember that part of my life.

I think I understand that but that's kinda how a lot of women feel that that's exactly what my mom says she does not remember the 60s or the subject and I think the number one thing that we hear from women is that they are overwhelmed and that we wrote a book about you that we tied you guys about and this devotional is a response to it because you know it wherever you are in your life, whether you're at home with kids you're working full time there so many demands on all of us and to have the opportunity to just kind of pull back and get away. It's a luxury for a lot of people but it's also a necessity. So that's what we're trying to figure out in that context, I mean it is good like Jean had a wonderful experience last weekend and it was really enjoyable to her.

She said she laughed a lot. She cried. The girls really bonded but for the woman that struggles carving out that kind of time because she so busy can you really seek the Lord and hear from the Lord.

Without that kind of retreat experience Leno for some women to stage of life with even the thought of getting away is more overwhelming right it's more they saw the preparation that has to happen and so to be able to carve that time out to be able to set aside some time frame to pull together some things to make it meaningful and retreat like we like to pull together a blanket or a favorite drink favorite Scripture to have a space to have a place in the house for it for me at the prayer chair where my family knows now it does not, in my prayer chair don't bother mom unless there's blood or something like that. And so to be a decent time rather than waiting okay someday I'll get away. Someday I'll get away will 2345 years go by. Where as to be that we believe on a daily basis to carve out that little bit of time is so important and you really lesson that that feeling of overwhelm and just for that specificity. How much time is that for you know sometimes it's five minutes right. Sometimes it turns into lingering for 1/2 an hour or an hour or more.

Get hung up on the time because so many leaves those of us who are recovering perfectionist we get hung up on the time if it's not an hour, it doesn't count in the like. Any time with God totally counts and also the person is like I might bother to try if I can't do it right find that space create that space do it for a little period of time and growl saying you know for that retreat express. That's a good thing that's good to carve out the time, but how to have that experience more frequently, which would be good so that your faith is deepening. That's what you're saying and it doesn't take a lot. It's not either or both. That's good. Let me ask you, Kathy, you have an acronym space that really helps people to learn meditation Scripture application.

What's the acronym stands for describe force yeah so what were asking is for space and I think you know is women we really desire space in our lives what they really really is. And so we took that and we just that, okay, what is a daily ritual that we can put into our lives that will just take a few minutes but can help us go deeper with God and it's that consistency you notice that daily consistency so S is for speaks so this is just if you are taking a portion of Scripture reading aloud three times and three times may seem a little weird. I'm not trying to say you do something ritualistic that doesn't, you know, may, there's no magic number but for me to really meditate on it three times. I can really start to take that portion apart. Ponder. Sit quietly. Why is God bringing this person to my life right now like is there something going on my life. Is there something specifically I need to be listening to just giving some opportunity. I love what you said John you know it's you. God speak to me will I need to listen I that's what I need is I need to sit and be quiet and listen. Act is there an action that God is asking me to take. Is there something that I need to be doing that. I'm not currently or is there something I need to be stopping that I am currently doing commit what has God committed to do. I think this is so interesting to think about like what does God say his commitment is in this word look for what the Scripture reveals about God who he is and what he promises and then finally express. I take a moment to express to God. Yet how this verse is hitting me what I'm learning how it makes me think and how it makes me feel that's well said sure, let me ask you this is a devotional, basically.

And we want to highlight a few of the stories and certainly were not covered also for the listener for the viewer you go to get a copy as her so much good stuff in here but you used a certain type of grass to get an illustration as it cuts sewer which can kill you grab my grass you want this one now. I live on an old boarding school and it's an old military base. It's become a boarding school, and that we were doing some renovation our house and we opened up to get this windowsill and there was literally grass growing inside the wall like sprouting out everywhere. It was bizarre.

It was like something out of a horror film because it was clearly no no light on the inside and it's it turns out it's this really invasive kind of grass and is considered a federal noxious weed is so good now and you know things about writing devotionals and is that he gives us a chance to think about these little experiences in her everyday life and to really listen to what God is telling us about them and said I didn't pay much attention to it and I feel the Holy Spirit tapping on the shoulder and saying there's a life lesson for you here, Sherry. There's a lot of things in your life that become like you could you grass. You know there's that Christmas season where you were just gonna do a few things in the calendar exploded.

Or, you know, there's just a little bit in the house and then it submits a home renovation, and so became this this metaphor for boundaries and realizing that on my own. I will say yes to everything interested in so many things.

Everything looks so glad that you one of the things that could you grass as it grows underground then it jumps up and you realize it's invaded everywhere and taken over and yes it's those of the gases that sprout up and take on that life of their own to end up going inside your wall where you likely I didn't agree that that I suggested this tiny thing and then suddenly people say I said yes to everything as she does. And Jean has done a far better job than she used to.

But one of the one of the observations I would've had 10, 15 years ago is.

It's this like ricochet effect where she said yes to too much and then she is condemning yourself for not having time to do this and it's like this bang bang bang bang the guilt that I can't do all the yeses but I should be able to do… How do you can unpack that for your own. My tool is really little bit strange but I start a journal and I literally titled it. I was wrong.

And it's because when I take the time and I ask God for wisdom and take a Lord of all of these possibilities which ones are invitations from you and which are possible invasions from these knock some nice things in life that the yeses that I'm not supposed to rain and so then I keep record okay.

I wanted to say yes to this. And here's the thing. Sometimes I might want to do it anyways. Even if God like this is a noxious week find when to do it anyways will then challenge you like it turned out terribly was a very bad idea.

Okay God I should've listened very humbling is so black-and-white all those times I was like yes it's okay this time and it turns out, now it's more than you grass and it's choking. That's a good analogy down. Kathy you you speak to the issue of entitlement and how to overcome describe that. So I we both apparently have very strange practices because of things that I have come to need in my life is a lot more gratitude. Can we just all admit the past couple years have been hard for a lot of people in a lot of different ways and I realized I was getting this real root of entitlement in my life. Life shouldn't be this way, it shouldn't be this hard. I should be able to do the things I want all this kind of stuff and I realized that I was not a really nice person to live with and I needed to make some changes and I need to say thank you I needed to be actively pursuing gratitude in my life, but we were in lockdown and so I finally started doing was I go out to the chicken coop each morning and three would always look we all of our chickens are named after Jesus is our house and you know cheese doesn't now to be safe to eat at my house every window is lately the first day I just don't think you breathe this this egg is good to be amazing in tomorrow's breakfast and it seems so ridiculous. I realized as I was practicing gratitude with the lowly chickens. I was actually increasing in other parts of my life. I was noticing what God was doing in my life. I was noticing the abundance he had given me in other areas I was being more grateful towards my husband I was being more grateful towards people on the Internet miracles about you that I just realized this simple act of saying thank you to every situation was helping me find the good where before I was purposely looking for the problem what and what you're saying there's attitudes are choices you choose to have that I can't choose my circumstances. I can choose how or respond to my circumstances and I like how in the book you you said see how many times you can thank others for something, even if it begins with the chicken. I guess I was with my daughter last night and I thought she is so nice to the waitstaff your will. She is in the food service industry are all well she's super tuned Yahoo people that aren't grateful that are entitled and cause problems. So this is good stuff. It's a very practical and our guest today on Focus on the Family or Sherry Gregory and Kathy lip and they've written this terrific devotional and abundant place and we invite you to contact us to get your copy or numbers 800 K in the word family or stop by Sherry in the book abundant place you talk about your Corky house is obviously not the abundant place but what what's up with. Now this is my favorite stories is when I actually comes about like 1015 years ago when we first moved there when we first moved to the school that we live. We moved into a barracks of former army barracks and 45 and he had a view of the Pacific Ocean panoramic. We lived in barracks. We had just you and so we were leaving and Kathy and Roger were going to come stay for little bit and as the time that closer. I thought oh there's a few things I need to jot down for her about this house with the five pages list of things she needed to know, like, you know that the hot water and cold water in the shower were opposite or if you used to appliances in the kitchen you to the circuit breaker or there was a particular window if you opened it would fall out into the bushes and you have to run outside and pick it horror polite ways.

I don't email me back and she's like your house scares me like it's right or she should know the difference between scary and quirky, all of this was normal and I realize this is one of the Holy Spirit, tapping the shoulder like what else is become normal for you, Sherry will be like if you made a list about yourself and what people have to get used to you when they get to know you and your life with this house didn't get this way over night it was over time and I suddenly thought if I make a quick list of things that I expect people to adapt to it would be really really long and my natural reaction to that sort of thing is I'm in a fix to go buy a ton of self-help books and I would overhaul my character in a few nights and then I'll be back to being just fine and really made me realize now this is the kind of thing.

We just like I did after they visited. I made a fix-it list and I handed it over to our landlord that reminder to me that I need to hand over my fix-it list for myself to God that I need. Let's see what is that word a Savior.

Not myself. Not more self-help and sometimes even professional help. Whether it's a spiritual guidance or mentor or on the counselor to help you know really drill down into things that Kathy what was going on when you decided to make pancakes I and K stories.

I want you better know it was a couple of years of a lot of hard things and we were just know I was getting through it. I was spending time with God.

These challenges were coming, but after a lot of hard time. You know it's easy for things to drop off your routines.

So for me exercise always goes first. That's always the easiest one to get rid of because nobody is good on this right and then you know maybe some other healthy habits and then what I've noticed is that if I am not taking really good care of myself that it's very easy for me to find excuses to be too busy to meet with God and I've gotten into those places and I can fake being okay for a really long time and this morning I was just I was going to do pancakes.

We had had a hard week. I make great pancakes for little vanilla and their amazing I know you hungrier and I tripped over the dog. The carton of eggs went everywhere on the kitchen floor and so that I I just I sat there on the kitchen floor and I just cried and I cried and I cried and I cried and I scared the dog you know it's bad when you cry so much he scare the dog and it was.

I realize that I had been trying to handle too much stuff on my own and not failure is natural. Pain is natural, but when we stop going to God with it when we tried to take care of things on her own. We only have so much reserve and so this was just an opportunity to say I need to make sure that God isn't the extra thick end of the day that that's my sustenance. That's what I need and why do I have to keep learning that lesson over and over and over again. You know I'm a woman in my 50s, and sometimes I I'm just being honest. Sometimes I get to the end of the day and I'm like no time talking with God today, and here's what I know when I talk with God.

My everything. It doesn't get necessarily get easier in the moment, but I know that there is healing taking place. And why do I want to skip the healing. Why do I let my brain convince myself I'm too busy to be with the most important thing in my life and so this was just a devotion about unpacking those feelings that we often feel as humans as women that life is too busy to do the most important, I think it's probably rooted in our signature. Absolutely the enemy in our own flush works against the spending that time with the Lord one part of it. Sherry want to ask about the strawberry farmworkers that really help you in your fruitfulness.

Understanding what happened there about food. Well we do live just outside Watsonville, California, which is lots let the strawberries get ground air and so we first moved into the house were now in these entire flats of strawberries. We just show up out of the blue, and we were like on your port and Endo absolutely, we may jammin strawberry shortcake but I like what's happening and is just a local farmer's way of sharing his bounty and it was wonderful and delicious and so strawberry season at least were rat is March through October and waiting for strawberry season is the other six months of the year but you know there's a verse in Psalm one. Actually that talks about bearing fruit in season and waiting for strawberry season was a really great lesson for me because I love being productive. It's always been the way that I have determined my worth never been popular, but I have been necessary.

And in order to stay necessary. You have to always be producing and so I realize I have mistakenly associated fruitfulness with healthy spirituality and assume that if I wasn't producing fruit.

It meant that I was either spiritually dad or something. You know, far worse than that, but God designed us to have seasons of fruitfulness and seasons of fallow and it was wonderful to realize what just a second. Scripture actually says that whatever they do and this is those who are who are following God's ways prospects and to realize that I don't have to always be productive to always be prospering well that even though the rest. And of course, that the Sabbath is a symbol of of the kind of rest that we need on even that is something that God is given to us and when it comes down to it, fruitfulness is his gift to us.

I got mixed up like all the fruit producing was I thought was me getting him a gift and it's like to know fruit is always his doing. Just like the rest is also his doing well. That idea there is time for production time for taking care of the soil got ready and for those of us were producers. It feels like laziness. What I realize is when it's not time to produce fruit. It's time to grow deeper roots really get into the living water, and so I still struggle with that I haven't overcome it completely. But I'm I'm getting much more at peace with those times that look barren that look like oh my goodness like lazy is one of the worst possible words in my family but is like no obstinate trust that the fruit will come in and you know, given that Kathy wanted to ask this question to so many women are going identify with this and even that had thought of lazy fits this and that's the destructive self talk and you mentioned that I mean again how does a woman into a better spot. Yeah, well, you know, weight is something I've struggled with my entire life that I was a 10 pound baby. I had no chance. You know it was it some.

It's just been a struggle. My entire life and it's something that I have repeatedly failed out and let's be honest when you failed at something. So many times it's very hard to say no to do it again and do it again. I'm in a do it again.

You Proverbs 2416 says the righteous fall seven times, they rise again that the wicked stumble while calamity strikes and you know I love the idea of getting back up again again and again and again and we only fail if were not willing to try again.

And so what I've had to do with my own self talk because let's just say you know we we are in everybody in this room is in the public eye to a certain extent. And people feel very free to comment on every aspect of our lives and we have to figure out whose voices are we giving weight and I've also come to understand one of the most important decisions I can make is who my doing life with my doing life to please people on the Internet or am I finding those women who have failed seven times, but they keep getting back up and those of the people I want to hear the stories from those of the people I want to do life with. Now that is really good.

Roger your husband lost his mother. Not long ago. I am sorry to hear that you sure beautiful tribute happened to explain what you so it was heartbreaking.

You know she was a woman who was full of life and she loved her three boys tremendously and we just we couldn't figure out what to do to we couldn't have a funeral. We couldn't be with his brothers. We couldn't be with our family and so what we decided to do instead was that he was known for her love of butterflies like her boys always knew if they can figure out what together for Christmas or birthday by something with a butterfly. She would be fine with that and so we decided instead of buying a trinket or something because we live on a mountain. One of the best things that we could have done was to plant a butterfly garden and so there are certain flowers that attract the butterflies and it was just our opportunity. You know she loved the representation of butterflies because she had been through some really hard things in their life and butterflies represented new life to change the change being able to do something different than what you did before, and as women you know it's so easy to get stuck in a place and not make changes in your life there for the good that are pursuing God and she was such a great example of being able to pursue God in her life, so we planted a butterfly garden and we got a little sign that says Betty's butterfly garden and it's only reminder that God has a new plan and new help and that he is now with the people she loves so dearly. Her husband, her sister and that there is always a new hope for those of us who believe in Christ and that that's a great place to and today there is great hope in Christ. That is the hope the help and the lessons that you've learned in the way you've put this into the devotional is great and I just can't wait to get it for Jean Jean to participate. She had such a great experience at that retreat, but it's something that women can enjoy regularly and that's the key thing that both of you have brought today.

Thank you for being with us. Thank you for discussing it with so much fun and so helpful in telling you if these are places where you have struggle destructive self talk. The guilt for finding space to make sure you're in a good spot. You need to get this devotional so they can keep the positive things moving toward Christ. If you can give a gift of any amount will send you a copy of the book is our way of saying thank you for being a part of the ministry will help more couples do even a better job in their marriages and their parenting and that's what it's all about.

So thank you you donate as you can and get a copy of this book and you can also set up a time for one of our counselors to give you call back. Sure, he mentioned maybe sometime summary from the outside can speak into your life and we have some great caring Christian counselors are numbers 800 the letter a in the word family 800-232-6459 or stop by the show notes for what will be a great weekend and that you plan to join us again on Monday as we hear from Carrie.

Casey held an inspiring message about racial unity and Christian love all know that we are on behalf of Jim Daly and the entire team.

Thanks for joining us today for Focus on the Family I'm John Fuller inviting you back once more help you and your family thrive in Christ, Jorge Mike Gunderson as our code was going on. Hey, I just want to give you an update on my marriage is a good news. Yeah our marriage is going great right now. I can be happier.

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