Wednesday, July 25, 2012

learning to listen: hearing His still small voice. {guest post by katie!}

today's guest post is from katie, one of my personal favourite bloggers! she is so creative and artsy, and since i'm no good at actually spending time creating stuff the way she does, i live vicariously through her!

she also loves Jesus; i am always blessed when she shares her heart and wisdom on what God is doing in her life. and it's because of that that i asked her to share here! it's been so great connecting with her via social media; it's so wonderful to be able to form community with people from all over the world through blogging about similar experiences, challenges, and pursuits!

you can check out her lovely blog at aplacetodwell.wordpress.com and on twitter at @letterbirdart. she also has a facebook page for her art called "letterbird art".

a miniature biography:
your standard (or “less than standard”) starbucks drink:
a caramel soy latte (almost always order this—love it both hot and iced!)
your all-time favourite book: Honestly, for someone obsessed with words and reading, you’d think I’d have one, but truthfully, my favorite book changes, depending on my season of life. This past season (year), my two favorite books were Bittersweet and Cold Tangerines by Shauna Niequist. This season, I’d add to those The Circle Maker by Mark Batterson and One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp.
someone you admire: My grandmother: She’s full of faith, grace, and love — and she’s got one of the most beautiful hearts I know.
if you could be anywhere right now, where would you be?: hmmm. I’m pretty comfy cozy here at home, so I guess I’d be right where I am, snuggled up with my kitty and a stack good books. That’s a boring answer if there ever was one... ;)

thank you for sharing katie!




When Allie invited me to write a guest post, it didn’t take me long to settle on the topic of prayer.

This summer, I’m learning so much about prayer and how God speaks to us —which is such a blessing, because for quite some time, I’ve wanted to grow in that area.

God’s really been honoring my desire to learn more. He’s spoken to me through a series at church, through books I’ve been reading (like The Circle Maker and One Thousand Gifts), and through my recent participation in the online community She Reads Truth. (I’m working through the Prayer and Surrender devotional plans right now.)

As God’s been teaching me and working in my heart, I’ve been encouraged in so many ways, and I’ve been inspired to bring new life to my prayers and to find new ways to connect and hear from the Lord.

I’ve always prayed a lot.

I talk to God while I get ready in the morning and often throughout my day. (I think keeping connected to Him throughout our days helps us learn what it means to really abide in Him.)

I also keep a journal, and I’ll often write prayer letters to God or keep prayer lists to pray over. My journal prayers are wonderful, because they give me tangible ways to see how God answers my prayers over time.

While I love all of those aspects of my prayer life, in this particular season, I’ve been yearning for more.

As I’ve been seeking to grow in this area, I’ve discovered the importance of focused prayer time — really getting quiet before God to pour out our hearts and then stopping to listen to what He has to say in response.

I’m trying to invite more quiet into my life, so I can better hear from God, because the listening part is the hardest for me. I’m trying to find the balance between pouring my heart out to Him and then making space for silence and waiting expectantly for His answer.

I’ve started taking prayer walks a few times a week. Sometimes, I just walk and pray. Other times, I put on worship music to quiet my mind, allowing the Holy Spirit to work in my heart.

I’ve also been seeking to pray more boldly and persistently.

When I was reading The Circle Maker, I read about committing to 40 days of prayer. My heart immediately responded to that idea. Because my desire for a Godly marriage is such a huge part of my prayer life, in June, I decided to commit to 40 days of prayer for my future spouse and for my desire to be part of a Godly marriage. (You can read more about it on my blog, if you’re interested in following along.)


In the midst of all of this learning and growing and praying and listening, I feel like one of God’s main messages to me has been about trusting Him more, which is funny, because trust has been a lesson I’ve been learning (and feel like I am always learning). But the beautiful thing is those trusting lessons just keep going deeper and deeper, and my faith keeps growing bigger and bigger.

And, as I continue to put my trust in Him, no matter what circumstance I’m facing, I’m reminded that my story is not being written solely by me. It’s a partnership—an adventure that I’ve been invited into, one that’s being written by my Creator and designed just for me. Even more amazing than that is the fact that it weaves in with and connects to His Kingdom story — and it’s nothing short of incredible that I get to be a part of it.

I’m excited to continue growing in the area of prayer, because I believe it’s one of the biggest ways I can partner with Him and fully experience this story that He’s invited me into.

It’s how I learn, how I hear, how I’m shaped, how I hope.

It’s the very heart and soul of my relationship with God.

Katie

[all pictures taken by katie.]


6 comments:

  1. this is so sweet :) being still before God is the hardest part for me and something that i really want to grow in!

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  2. Thank you so much for this beautiful post! Today I found myself really convicted about my personal prayer life...I loved coming home and reading this post.

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  3. Wow, this is just so good. Grateful that you shared your heart here. I'm going to check out your blog and see how you've committed to pray for your future husband. I know I can learn from you.

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  4. Hi, ladies! Thank you all for reading and commenting! :) It's such a blessing to my heart to see that others are finding encouragement in my sharing what the Lord's been doing in my life and heart. Blessings to you all!

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  5. I enjoyed this post. It's amazing to see the journeys with God others have and how they are listening to His voice. It really encourages my soul! Let's us strive to keep the conversation going

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  6. Thank you! I totally agree. It encourages my heart so much to hear about others' journeys and how they are listening to Him and following Him. :)

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thanks for reading! leave sweet comments here! i appreciate them so so much!