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Wednesday, August 10, 2011

A Peek Inside the Parsonage

Monday found me doing my normal Monday things in the parsonage - changing the sheets, doing laundry, and general housekeeping, but my husband had made one requirement for my day - everything was to include REST.  I tried to finagle a RESTaurant, RESTored nails (spa treatment) and RESTyled hair out of him, but that wasn't quite what he had in mind!  =)  So, I did only what was necessary at home, and then we headed out for the afternoon - each of us with a book to read.
I'm reading a book that has been on my list for some time. 

I'm reading this to prepare for our ladies' ministry this year.  The Lord has directed my heart to have our ladies study it together.  Before I ask them to go through this book, I thought I'd read it through.  So on this past Monday afternoon, on my husband's day off, we headed to the mountains to rest and read for a few hours in a beautiful spot. 

These flowers were to my left while I rocked in a wooden rocking chair.

These old bikes and the mountain view beyond were to my right. 

 Not long after we got here we sat and watched a thunderstorm roll in slowly like a tip-toeing toddler.  We witnessed the sky change from sunny to dark gray with heavy sheets of rain being introduced by rolling thunder.  Then in time, the skies changed back to brilliant blue with clouds that looked like piles of cotton candy sitting atop the mountain peaks.

After the rains passed we moved to a higher spot where we could watch the sun set.  Again, the sky changed constantly - both in color and substance.

It was an unbelievable afternoon and evening.  It was not only beautiful, it was also amazingly quiet on this mountaintop. It was a quiet that allowed me to listen - not to nothingness, but God's voice.

Reading Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World  in that setting was so appropriate.  This book is about the story we read in Luke 10.  You remember the story of Mary and Martha - Mary was sitting at Jesus' feet while her sister Martha was rushing about preparing a meal for Jesus and his disciples.  In her frustration Martha asks Jesus, "Lord, don't you care that I'm serving while my sister is sitting?"  Jesus gently rebukes her by telling her that Martha was worried and troubled, but that Mary had chosen the better part - worship. The book is all about how to learn to sit at Jesus' feet; how to have a quiet heart of worship instead of an anxious, worried one. 

With the rain and then stillness all around me, the Lord spoke to my heart so sweetly as I read. "Be still - even in a storm.  Leave the heavy things that I don't intend for you to carry."  He knew I would need these truths.  He knew I would need to be reminded not to be troubled, because trouble came even before we left the mountain.  But God had spoken in the quiet, and now I was running back to those truths as an anchor for my heart. One truth from the book was this quote: "Worry magnifies the trouble.  Prayer magnifies God."

"This is your burden, Lord.  I'll let you carry it.  I choose to pray and magnify you instead of worry."  As the sun was setting over the mountain, my husband and I clasped hands and did just that - we prayed and gave the care to the One who had also brought the thunderstorm and allowed it to pass.  "This too shall pass away," I thought.

"In the meantime, Lord, give me a Mary heart that I may worship at your feet instead of being distracted by a storm."  I returned to our parsonage home with a quiet heart - a Mary heart in this Martha world. 
Thank you, Lord.

From inside my parsonage window,


Hazel said...

Thank you for sharing Denise. What wonderful evening. What a wonderful God!

Denise said...

Amen! He is wonderful!