Last Friday, I finally took the morning to be by myself and focus solely on having a morning of quiet time, prayer, and reflection. My Pastor has encouraged me to do this for some time, but I never made the time to actually do it. Wow! It was so incredibly peaceful and serene.
One of the places I ended up was a forest preserve with a Japanese garden and island right by the river. I had been there before, but only in a rush. I never took the time to see the beauty all around me.
One of the first things I noticed when I was off the beaten path, were these trees. They were not straight, like many of their neighbors. They were stretching and reaching across the path. I couldn't help but think about what a great analogy that is for where I feel I am right now. God is stretching me in so many areas, and although it can be painful, it is also beautiful!
The next area where I spent a considerable amount of time was next to this lighthouse, which was right along the river. I loved how it is cracked and aged, but still standing strong, providing light to those around it.
I spent the majority of the time sitting next to this lighthouse reading my Bible, studying, and praying. I had specific people I was praying for, as well as asking for direction in many areas of my life. Romans 12 was the area where I spent the most time that morning.
I am in the process of eating healthier, and trying to make better decisions. This verse continued to resonate with me. "I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice - the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him." Romans 12:1
I am also in the midst of determining some life changing steps that I believe God wants for me. To this point, not many things have been clear. So, the following verse was very applicable as well. "Don't copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God's will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect." Romans 12:2
Wow! God was definitely speaking directly to me through these scriptures that morning!
Here are a few other pictures that I took that morning. I finished the morning feeling restful, peaceful, and with my soul restored. I would highly recommend carving out some time to have a day of reflection. I never could find a way to have a whole day, but the morning worked incredibly well for me. Next time, I'll plan for the entire day.