It happened while I was cuddling my two year old, swaying back and forth in my kitchen as my dishwater turned from bubbles into greasy sludge.
I had been listening to a Revive Our Hearts radio broadcast on my iPad. Nancy Leigh DeMoss was working through Isaiah 40 and she camped out on the phrase "Behold our God." Immediately, there flashed across my mind this song from Sovereign Grace Music. I paused my good (even though we've never met) friend Nancy, and flipped to YouTube.
As soon as the opening chords of music began, Grant, my two-year old, came running from the playroom, arms upheld, crying, "Dance! Dance!"
I scooped him up, and he cuddled down on my shoulder. He didn't want a silly dance. He wanted a cuddle dance.
We swayed our way through three repetitions of this beautiful song. And as a chorus of people sang, "Behold Our God,
Seated on His throne,
Come let us adore Him."
I wondered why I wasn't beholding my God. There, in the silence of a mother's dream cuddle, as the music filled the room, and I procrastinated on the dishes, I realized that I rarely stop and behold my God. I don't look at him. I don't adore him.
My word for this year is "beloved." I am beloved by my God. I am treasured, precious, fought-for. When I started searching for a word to encompass my purpose this year, I went to my husband with a list of several options.
After reading them off, I looked at him, waiting for him to help me pick one. Instead, he quietly suggested, "Honey, these are words regarding things you need to do. And this whole year I've seen you strive and work and try to pick yourself up by your bootstraps. But I think you're struggling with viewing yourself as fully redeemed and precious in the eyes of your Savior. You are beloved. Do you know that?"
And I almost cried.
Okay. I actually did cry.
You see, I don't believe that. "Why would God want me? Don't I need to prove it some how? Isn't there a list of expected duties for me to fulfill? Is he going to be horribly disappointed when I mess up again? Oh, crap. I just messed up. Well, who cares!? Of course it was going to happen! I'll just keep messing up! I'm going to heaven anyway! But then again, Jesus died for me... so I should try hard. I'll prove it somehow! What duties does God want me to fulfill? I must be perfect!"
And the cycle repeats.
It's a vicious cycle. It's full of pride, shame, selfishness, and despair. It's the swinging of a self-dependent pendulum. These are not the thoughts of a woman resting in her salvation and delighting in the work set before her. As much as I may say that my salvation is through Christ alone, my actions dictate a heavy belief in works-based salvation.
And there, in my kitchen, the Holy Spirit nudged my conscience. When do I behold and adore my God? When do I stop and revel in who he is as my Savior? Perhaps the reason I'm having trouble resting in my Savior is because I don't have an intimate relationship with him. Sure, I do my quiet time. I have a prayer schedule. I go to church. I serve. I read good books.
Great. Check. Check. Check.
But do I enjoy the fact that I have free access to the God of the universe? Do I know my God?
No. And I don't have a chance to... My day is filled with Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, checking emails, watching Netflix. Any quiet moment I may have is sucked dry by a need to see what others are doing and look at created things rather than stopping to look at my Creator. Please don't misunderstand. In and of themselves, these things are not bad. In fact, I personally love what Pinterest has done for the creativity of females everywhere, but the fact is, I can pick up my phone and lose precious moments. I can sit down for a "short" break at my iPad and waste half of my afternoon.
And I ignore my God.
If every day is packed with his glory, shouldn't I be looking for it? Reveling in it? Teaching it to my children? Delighting in being his daughter?
So, I'm kicking off my 30 day fast.
No Facebook. No Instagram. No Pinterest. No Netflix. No Hulu. I will use the internet for meal planning and checking email ONLY. I will keep writing because I believe that it's one of the ways I become closer to my Savior, but my husband will post all future blogs for me. (He was rather surprised at this suggestion, but he really loves this "fasting" idea, so he was game.) I will use my phone for texting, taking (unposted) photos, and nutrition tracking (a necessary evil of the current tummy trouble). That. Is. All.
I'll let you know how I fill the technological silence. I don't expect it to be easy. I'm going to miss all the social and creative inspiration I love to glean from these sources. But I know I need to draw closer to my Savior. And as a stay-at-home pastor's wife/mom of two toddlers, there's not a whole lot of crazy I can actually cut out of my life. So I'm offering him this fast. I'm praying that he would take this tiny sacrifice and color it with his glory.
It's my 30 days of silence to behold my God.