Saturday, June 12, 2010

Loving the Impromptu©

I gathered my things together and headed out for my normal Friday Starbucks day. I knew my 1st and 3rd born children would be standing behind the counter, waiting to serve me. I was surprised to see my 2nd born married girl walk through the door. She'd stopped by to sit with me on her lunch break.

What a gift it is to have impromptu times such as these.

We grabbed a table and within minutes my oldest took her 10 minute break and joined us.

The 3 of us sat talking, laughing, enjoying the sheer pleasure of being together. It wasn't what we talked about that brought me joy, it was the gift of comfortable conversation and love shared.

My heart was taking it all in, relishing the gift of this time. I had no record in my mind of how long it had been since we had all been together like that. I didn't really care. The truth is all I care about at those moments is the pleasure of sitting there with my girls.

It's in times like these my heart sees a clearer picture of the One who loves me beyond measure.

So many years of my life I went to sit with God due to a requirement I was encouraged to fulfill.
I was told often that if I loved Him I would spend at least 30 minutes a day in "quiet time", preferably in the morning. So, I did. I wanted to prove my love for Him.

When I missed a day, guilt came after me. If I missed several I often chastised myself. I didn't deserve for Him to talk to me. After all I had neglected Him for days. I had no idea how wrong I was about Him. But now, as I move into this place of intimate relationship He opens my eyes to see things I've not known.

He's not waiting with a record book to see if I will come. There is no data kept that tells Him how frequently I've visited Him. There's no agenda that needs to be discussed, no right words to speak. His heart is the one that beats in me. He loves it when I drop by for a visit. He relishes the impromptu visits led by the heart.

The words spoken in conversation are not even what it's about. The sheer pleasure of having me come to hang out with Him is.

The truth is, He's just plain delighted to see me.

As Hannah's break ended, Courtney's time was up as well. Hugs and kisses goodbye, "I love you's" spoken left my heart full to overflowing. My girls came to hang out with me. There is no greater gift for my mother's heart.

I love the impromptu moments of the heart's leading with my children. What if I required them to come and sit with me? How would it fare? Intimacy would be replaced with expectations. It just wouldn't be the same for my heart, nor theirs.

Days will go by before the next opportunity comes. Impromptu times have no routine for they happen as we live in the moments. It's times like these that fill the soul unlike anything a schedule could ever bring.

"Come as you are, Jewel." "It's what my heart longs for." I hear Him say.

His Spirit indwells us. He said He had to leave in order for something better to come to us. Yet far too often I've not even allowed this Guide inside me to invite me into the moments of the impromptu. I've met requirements for the better part of my life. Intimacy, true deep heart igniting intimacy, has been held back.

It's in the moments that my heart cries out to "be" with Him that I am finding a love that leaves me undone. For in those moments, those beautiful moments I see that all He ever wanted was for me to come as my heart beckoned me. It's in that place I find the sheer pleasure of His delight.

As I relish the impromptu moments of with my children it's then I see, so does He.

I really am the image of God.
©copyrighted: 2010; Julie L. Todd


Mary said... Reply to comment

Simply beautiful.

Anonymous said... Reply to comment

"Come as you are, Jewel." "It's what my heart longs for." I hear Him say.

This sounds so romantic but is it biblical? Yes, God loves us, but He is all about His glory. Maybe I don't understand what you are really saying but it sure sounds more man-centered than God-centered. This isn't about "us". It's all about Him and His glory and reputation.

Julie said... Reply to comment

Anonymous, I wish I knew if you would read this again, but unfortunately I don't.

What I am experiencing is FAR from man centered. It's quite the opposite. Instead of life being about what I DO. It's becoming about what Christ DID and DOES in me. My life after all is His. For my former life was crucified with Him. I no longer live, Christ now lives in me. What I am experiencing is a life that is full of relationship instead of religion. What could possibly bring Him more glory than a love relationship lived out?

Anonymous said... Reply to comment

Sorry, I was misunderstanding what you were saying. Thanks for clarifying for me.

Anonymous said... Reply to comment

This is beautiful and I'm grateful I had the opportunity to read it. Your words confirmed a question that was burning within my heart. I am blessed by this post today. :)

Anonymous said... Reply to comment

Julie, I have spent so many years trying to do my duty with quiet time and then failing miserably. Then I would condemen myself and resume my routine of quiet time and then fail again - and the cycle would continue.

I am so glad I have realised that He doesn't want me to spend time with Him out of relationship, but because I love Him. If I din't read the Bible today or spend 1/2 hour in prayer - He still loves me!

I loved the picture you painted with your words with your coffee moment with your girls.

Becoming a mother has opened my eyes to see how He sees me- just as I see my children.

This is not man-centred as the Father delights in us and us coming to Him like children. God is all about relationship - it's what He sent His Son to die for.

Amy said... Reply to comment

Beautiful, as always!

I LOVE the new look of your blog...

Have a joyous Sunday!

Love you,

Julie said... Reply to comment

Anonymous, Thank you for returning... I am grateful for the opportunity to clarify my heart. It's hard to read someone's thoughts, hearts, intentions, etc.. through the web. I'm grateful for your questions!


Aine Willis said... Reply to comment

I loved this, Julie. I too spent a large portion of my life trying to "please" ... trying to do what I felt was expected ... trying to make sure I fulfilled what was right in the eyes of others. I'm learning to stay in the eyes of God and that He is always happy to hang out with me ... I love the way you put that! God Bless!

Karen said... Reply to comment

"The truth is, He's just plain delighted to see me"...

This analogy really puts things into much as we desire to be in His presence...He is all the more glad to be with us...

Beautifully written, Julie!

Crown of Beauty said... Reply to comment

I love this Julie.

Loving God works best when we do it not when it is done out of a sense of duty but out of desire and sheer delight at being with Him.

The same way you described your time with your girls. What a lovely way of affirming one another...

I am sure your girls miss spending time with you as much as you do.

I could just picture the three of you there, in that Starbucks place, oblivious to what is going on around, but just the laughter, and the being together yet one more time, even just for a few minutes.

And yet what a boost to the relationship it has given!

Love your heart, dear Julie.

Like you I don't demand these things of my children, so it becomes even more meaningful when they do impromptu things the way you described what happened.

And I love Starbucks too! It's my favorite hangout and coffee place.


Anonymous said... Reply to comment

Julie, I love this post! It's neat how you sort of joined together the ideas of the Holy Spirit's guidance within to our own new heart's desires. If He is in us, and we are one spirit with Him, that seems to tell me that my deepest true desires are one with His desires. For so long I thought my heart was wicked and rebellious - it's such a relief to think that what He's newly created within is good, beautiful and only wants to LOVE.

I also loved the way you spoke of just hanging out with your daughters. To me that epitomizes the heart of God toward us - no expectations, no demands, no agenda, instead just wanting to BE together with us! I think your post brings out the gracious heart of God so beautifully...thank you!

Love, Sparrow

Paula ~ Princess Warrior Chick said... Reply to comment

Thanks for yet another wonderful post Julie. I struggle with having regular quiet time with God, which is what I long for. Instead I have snippets during the day. I do still feel guilty about not setting aside time for Him and plan to remedy that!

Marsha said... Reply to comment

Julie, this is beautiful. I know exactly what you mean. He desires that come as you are relationship with us. How humbling is that! Almighty God is my Daddy and He takes delight in me! How can this be? Totally amazed by His grace.