Retreating, Taylor Swift, and Joy

This past Saturday was incredibly refreshing for my soul. It rained and stormed all day long, and all day long I stayed in sweatpants, a white tee, and did not even think of applying makeup. I had a surprise day off from work and enjoyed every minute of a day cooped up in our little home. Ben and I slept in late and cuddled with Piper in bed for quite sometime. As we both got out of bed we slipped into our little weekend morning routine. Ben got dressed and headed out the door with Piper to take her for a little walk so she could do her business, and I began to work on "waking up the house". Going from room to room, I turned on lights, and began getting some breakfast ready. We had warmed up biscuits and yummy pour over coffee. We enjoyed some time reading books, and drinking coffee together for awhile and then Ben began working on a journal article he had to complete by Monday.

It was the perfect kind of slow morning, the type of morning I miss most now that I work on the weekends. Yet, I still found myself discontent as Ben made his way into the office and left me on the couch with my book. I began digging a little deeper, and continued to process and meditate on what was going on in my heart all day. 

Slowly the Lord began bringing some things to the surface through some really interesting avenues. To begin with, I deleted all the social media apps on my phone for the weekend so I could really be present for my weekend with Ben. I have noticed I am too quick to scroll through my phone while he talks or while we are just sitting and having down time and this is something I want to get away from being so dependent on. I found that on this particular "social media free" weekend the Lord really used that clarity of mind to speak so directly to me when it came to this issue of discontentment. I was free of at least a few of the distractions I normally have, and was eager to hear him speak to me. 

Secondly, Taylor Swift. YES! The Lord revealed something to me about my heart through a super old Taylor Swift song. I was listening to my girl T Swift as I attempted to make French Macaroons for the first time (more to come on that attempt at a later date) when the song 15 came on. I found myself mindlessly singing along only to begin crying halfway through the song. I was transported back to a time in my life when I was 18, a senior in high school, and my sister was 15, an incoming freshman. So much of that song resonated with my protective big sister heart back then that I began fervently praying for my little sister that year. Praying the Lord would protect her, show himself to her, draw her closer to him...it was one of the first times in my life I can remember consistently and intentionally praying for someone else. 

So what do these things have to do with my feelings of discontentment on Saturday? Well...through the clarity of mind that the Lord gave me as a result of throwing off distractions...AND through an old Taylor Swift song that reminded me of a time in my life where I walked in selfless love, and deep intention...I was able to see on Saturday (in my kitchen, with T Swift blaring) how selfish I truly am. My discontentment stemmed from the fact that Ben could not 100% pay attention to me on my surprise day off. My discontentment was also rooted in the fact that I have created this box in which my ideal weekends must fit into, and when they do not fit the bill...anger, rage, hurt, bitterness, discontentment, and depression sink it. 

These realizations left me in awe. Yes I was more aware of my sin, and my selfishness in particular...but man was I so aware of grace in that moment. The Lord brought to mind a song that I love, and I began singing it with tears...

"Father what love you have shown to rebels, that you would send your son so dear, into this world of grief and trouble, to bring unworthy sinners near. We will never fathom how it pained you, when you supplied the offering, to rescue who had disdained you, to watch your dear son suffering. 

Jesus it fills our hearts with wonder, that you would leave your heavenly place, to take on flesh, to thirst and hunger, to save the ones that spurned your grace. You came to forfeit every mercy, to die that mercy we may find, and then you hung alone in darkness so in our hearts your grace would shine." -Father, How Sweet (Sovereign Grace Music)

He dies that we may know grace. In our darkest moments, when sin is near and overwhelming, and plentiful...he shows us grace!

The feelings that I had Saturday morning of discontentment were quickly replaced with deep feelings of JOY! I wanted to ugly cry, laugh, sing, and write all at once. It was the sweetest and most refreshing time with my Father. 

I am sharing all of this with you because I was made aware of something so important Saturday. The Lord desires to speak to us, to teach us, to reveal sin in our lives. Yet, all too often we are bogged down with distractions. We simply cannot hear Him...we are numb to his call. Retreating is something Jesus did often. We see all through the gospels that he withdrew to be alone, to spend time with his Father. So for us to not follow in this practice if foolish. I have gone too long without building times of retreat and rest into my schedule, and it doesn't work y'all...there are just so many tears, and fights, and sin when I choose to not take time away to pursue Jesus, on my own, free from distractions. 

I am praying for more times away from distractions like Saturday, not because being put in my place about sinful habits is fun. Rather, because the joy that came from that correction was so sweet! Joy abounded in those moments, and I want more of that joy! 

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