Second cup of coffee, and I know I'll need a third. What would I do without coffee? I think I would not get out of bed. I would not have much motivation to get out of bed at all if it weren't for the necessity to change Chloe's diaper and nurse her. Usually I set the coffee maker the night before, but that was pre-Chloe. Post-Chloe Ryan has been doing that but not til that day. I hope to get back in the habit of setting the coffee maker the night before especially with my return to work looming ahead. I love coffee...did I say that already? It is the nectar of life especially in the sleep deprived/survival mode in which I currently reside. Thank you Lord, for coffee. My daily ritual is to grab that cup of coffee and then sit down to absorb my daily dose of the Word and some form of discussion with God. Lately those discussions have been of a more brutal nature, raw, naked and harsh perhaps. I know Ryan and I both have found ourselves lashing out at God more than we have been praising Him. I can't imagine praising Him in the midst of what we are going through right now. It is, how shall I put it, painfully difficult to praise Him when you are feeling heartbroken, helpless, defeated, alone, doubtful, exasperated, deeply grieved, and basically left with this feeling of hanging on by the tips of your fingernails. I have been reading David Crowder's "Praise Habit" and find it has been just the refresh that I need right now. I have chosen to take his advice and begin the ancient practice of 'lectio divina'. I have always been slow with comprehension and there have been years where I have dreaded reading anything but especially the Bible. Reading through the Bible in a year? It is not impossible for me, but I feel I can't completely absorb it all fully, that I am more worried about that end goal staring and yelling at me from the other end of the year to get it done. I need more time to let marinate, soak it up for my mind and my heart to fully comprehend. And well, let's be honest-I can't be the only one who struggles to get through the Old Testament? All those chapters with the lists of names that I am certain even the scholars who wrote them couldn't pronounce. Don't judge me--this is just me, throwing a little honesty out there. So, I begin today with Psalm 1. This particular verse is running over and over in my head and my heart: "You thrill to God's word. You chew on it day and night." Often when I read the Word each day, I try to think on a verse throughout the day. In all honesty it may come to me once or twice, but then my day hurdles at me with so much to accomplish that I can't recall that verse when I collapse into bed that night. I hope to gain a greater appreciation for real meditation, soaking, savoring meditation. I want to slowly digest the word God has for me and it very well may take several days. Right now that particular verse is hard for me to comprehend. I can't remember the last time God's word thrilled me. I can't remember that last time I really chewed on it, savored it and soaked up all that it truly means. I want to do that. I plan to daily make some time, even if it just 5 minutes, to seclude myself and really practice this. Not just a habitual quiet time, but a fresh awakening of my mind and heart to read his word, think about it, pray over it, and live it. I know God has many things to say to me, and I know I am letting all this "stuff" we are experiencing to cloud the clarity that should be between us. I realize at the end of all this I could say and do, that I am just a sinful human being who deserves nothing, but thankfully God chose to care deeply for me and has saved me from myself. I will cling to the Old Rugged Cross....some days I believe I am laying in a puddle at the foot of that Cross hoping that somehow, God will scoop me up and carry me through the darkest of times when I feel I cannot carry on. I want to get to the place once again where I can say, "I thrill to God's word." That day is coming, I am sure of it.

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