Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Morning Meditations at Marina's Kitchen Table; A Devotional Memoir

I wanted to say "Thank You" to all of you who have been so supportive of my first book, and also share a little insight from the book to those of you who may not have seen it yet. In a little way, this is my abbreviated and a little late book launch.
I'm including Day 1 here, so you can read it and see how it's to be used. There are a few prayers, a little essay on my life experience, another prayer, a few more verses for you to look up, and an exercise to do. I pray that it's a blessing to you, and inspires you to spend more time with God in the midst of your morning. Stay tuned for other posts this week, where I share other parts from the book.

Day 1
Morning Prayer

God I need You in my life today. Thank You for meeting me here in the quiet of the day, allowing me to discover Your peace and presence. Settle my mind and spirit and help me to focus on Your presence right now. I feel You, and I need to know Your touch, hear Your voice, and sense Your Holy Spirit with me. Please allow me to abide in You and be so close I can hear Your heartbeat. I love You. Amen.
Focus Verse
Psalm 139:5-6
You go before me and follow me. You place your hand of blessing on my head. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too great for me to understand!
When I was eight months pregnant with my third child (3 kids in 3 years!), my husband accepted a job change, moving us from our home and family in Southern California to Northeast Georgia, where we didn’t know a single soul. Our home sold immediately, and we lived in a hotel for a few weeks until we could close on our new home in Georgia. Meanwhile, all of our belongings were being shipped across the country. It was the first of many company moves, but we were excited for all that the opportunity held.
Once we moved and got settled in, my husband started traveling for his new position immediately. Just a few weeks after arriving, our son made his appearance, and though we had barely met our neighbors and only visited a few churches, we were blessed beyond measure by their displays of Southern hospitality and thoughtfulness. Some of the ladies in the church we had begun to attend had also made big cross-country moves, and understood what it meant to be alone in a new place. They graciously threw me a baby shower and welcomed my family with open arms, providing meals after the birth of our son.
Our closest neighbor had two teen daughters who adored our kids, and they were kind enough to help accompany me in emergencies, such as having to go grocery shopping alone with all three kids. One time, I came down with salmonella, and a neighbor got my medications from the pharmacy and helped feed my kids, while I camped out on the bathroom floor for a few days.
Still, there were times I felt very alone. Like the night all three kids climbed into bed with me before I realized somehow my bed had been taken over by ants. Or the long night where I scared myself into staying awake all night even though exhausted, because I was hearing noises on my roof. It turns out there were baby possums falling out of the tall Georgia pine trees. My new friends from church had a good laugh with me about it.
Living in other places, I was not always sure I had good neighbors, or there was not a church reaching out to us. There were months I lived petrified of being alone, our dog hearing every quiet sound in the night, then leaving me diligent to stay awake and protect my family.
In retrospect, I realize how foolish that sounds, but this was the time before technology, and we did not always have a cell phone in our hand and a security system set up.
There were times I felt even more hopelessly alone with a house full of kids, simply because I was disappointed in my husband not being there for me to rely on.
It took me a while before I learned that I was not alone, but I was not relying on the right person. God was with me, and I should have known He knew my needs and would send others to assist or encourage me.
So many times, I should have called upon the name of Jesus in prayer, inviting the Holy Spirit to bring peace into my fearful mind. I wasted so many nights when I could have been sleeping peacefully, knowing He was standing guard, watching over us, and protecting us. I should have been speaking to Him, instead of wishing my husband was home. I regret the fear I undoubtedly planted in the minds of my children, and thank God they are so much wiser spiritually than I was at their age.
I have learned to enjoy being alone, not because I’ve become an introvert, but because I have learned to recognize God’s presence. I don’t believe we are ever truly alone. Even though we may not see another person in the room, He is with us. He hears us, through our prayers and songs and words of worship. He speaks to us through His word, the Bible, and through the power of the Holy Spirit. He is with us, and we are not alone.
A Prayer
Father, there are so many times I feel anxious and frantic, and I cannot be still before You. You meet me here and quiet my spirit and mind. Other times I feel totally alone and abandoned, yet I know in my heart of hearts You are here with me. Lord, let me not forget Your position near me, that You will not leave me alone, and You will never abandon me. Teach me to call upon Your name, to welcome You into the quiet places, and to trust You will speak to me. Help me recognize Your voice today. Allow me to be alone, confident in Your presence and promises. Amen.
Table Talk
Genesis 3:8, Jeremiah 29:13, Psalm 139:7, James 4:8, Psalm 56:8
Write out an “action plan” of scriptures to read if you are alone and become frightened or sad. Include a prayer from your heart you can say in anticipation of any fear or disappointment you have experienced in the past. Ask others to pray with you and for you when you know you will be alone, focusing on God’s promises that He will not leave you.
©2019 Marina Bromley, Marina's Kitchen Table, and Soaring Beyond, an imprint of Winged Publications. Used with permission. Available online at https://www.amazon.com/Morning-Meditations-Mar…/…/ref=sr_1_1?

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