Prayer is INTEGRATION not SEPARATION.

Summer equals FRAGMENTATION.

Fragmented tasks evidenced by piles of stuff in multiple locations waiting for returned attention. Fragmented thoughts evidenced by the blank stare on my face and the inability to stay on topic in any conversation lasting longer than . . . oh! I forgot to mention, our house took a little jolt of lightening the Thursday before last! We lost two TVs, the cordless phone base and our alarm system. I ordered a cordless phone base from eBay on Friday for only $30 including shipping, and by Monday all the phones were working again. We got a new TV that Saturday (with extended warranty and lightning coverage) and the alarm system was repaired for FREE on Tuesday. Less than a week and everything was back to normal! Thank you GOD! That was easy!

… what was I talking about? Oh yeah. fragmented thoughts. Prayer is fragmented in the summer too. My prayer journal is missing some dates and I haven’t spent enough time sitting in my Bible study spot to finish even one cup of coffee while reading. Summer also reinforces my personal rule that NONE of the coffee mugs I own can have any metal on them at all. It sparks in the microwave when I nuke my coffee. And ya know I haven’t finished a cup of coffee without warming it up – sometimes multiple times – since May.

Summer leaves me stealing fragmented patches of solitude, so I’m feeling a little Brother Lawrence coming on even more than usual:

“Men invent means and methods of coming at God’s love, they learn rules and set up devices to remind them of that love, and it seems like a world of trouble to bring oneself into the consciousness of God’s presence. Yet it might be so simple. Is it not quicker and easier just to do our common business wholly for the love of him?”

And I’m reading this book (in fragmented bits of time, of course), “A Busy Woman’s Guide to Prayer:” by cheri fuller (I know, i’m typing in all lower case, but that’s what the book cover uses and if you’ve been around here before, I kinda prone to lowercase myself.)

“Prayer is integration, not separation.”

Love that. I’m struggling to carve out time to separate myself and spend dedicated, uninterrupted time with God. It’s not happening every day, but I can integrate prayer into my day – all day long – every day. I’ve talked about this before – seasons of prayer life.

Summer is definitely a season.

When I have spent dedicated time with God, I’ve been praying that he would help me find more. God answers prayer.

On Sunday, I woke up at 4:30 in the morning.

I didn’t want to pray at 4:30 in the morning. I wanted to sleep. And I told God exactly that. I asked him to please let me sleep. He said no. So at 5:00 a.m., I gave him an ultimatum. Yes, I did. I told him that if I was still awake at 5:15 a.m. I would go downstairs and spend time with Him. Just us. Ya know I was still awake fifteen minutes later.

So I went downstairs and spent some time praying and reading. I had picked up a book at a garage sale the day before, Lifestories: Finding God’s Voice of Truth Through Everyday Life by Mark Hall (the lead singer of Casting Crowns) and I spent some time reading and reflecting and writing in my prayer journal.

At 6 a.m. I found myself thinking, “oh! I only have an hour left before I have to get in the shower!” After weeks of fragmented quiet time with God and striving to practice the presence of God in my everyday moments and thoughts, I got a rare hour and forty-five minutes with Him. When I finally had to stop, the thought that came to me? “I can’t believe I wasted 45 minutes trying to sleep.

Your insights are welcome! (profanity and sarcasm, not so much)

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