Monday, October 10, 2011

The Love Tank

Yee haw!!! I'm so excited! I just checked out the results of yesterday's half marathon, and I have to share this. I stinkin' placed 2nd in my age group! It wasn't a PR. I was three seconds shy of that, which I'd set back in June. (I think it was the presence of my Mighty Man at that one that spurred me on.) :) But it was still a great race! Clocked in at 1:35:20. Not too bad! Thanks so much to the awesome Prairie Fire Wichita Marathon organizers for putting on such a great event. I love this race! :)

And a HUGE HUGE high five to my girl, AMac who set a new PR in the full marathon. 3:46:46, baby! Way to go, lady!! :) She's a stud. My little marathon mama. :) Hugs, friend! :) Love you!!

So, after the big race yesterday, I was blessed with a day of rest this morning, which was such a blessing. With the time, I was able to spend an extended amount of time in the Presence of the Lord this morning. And, oh, how I needed that. He really, really blessed me.

Last Sunday, the Mighty Man started a new initiative at church called "The Bridge," in which the congregation would come together an hour before service, divide into small groups and begin studying different subjects. I'm SO blessed because our group is going through the 5 Love Languages by Dr. Gary Chapman. This is going to be awesome! :) I'm so excited to learn how to give and receive love based on how God created both me and the Mighty Man, and to apply it to family and friends, too! And huge thanks for Mr. and Mrs. P for leading. You guys are great!

One of the things that we talked about in the first session was how full our love tanks were. Man, that is a great question to ask the people who are closest to you. "How full is your love tank and what can I do to help fill it?" That really makes you think! I've asked MM that, and I've also asked my family. It's really interesting to hear the answers they give based on how they give/receive love. Like last night, I asked my PPB, and he said, "Just give me lots of hugs." :) No problem! I can do that. :) Now, if I asked MM that, it might be to offer verbal affirmation or just to sit with him for a while based on how he gives and receives love. It's totally awesome! And it's such a testament to Psalm 139 and how God created each of us uniquely and specifically. It really makes me appreciate the specific and wonderful design of those in my life.

The MM and I, as part of our homework for the class, took a survey from the book to discover our individual love languages. While my man is actually tri-lingual (way to go, babe!), I had a clear frontrunner: quality time. That's apparantly the biggest way that I receive and give love. Totally not surprising to me. But what WAS surprising was how little I actually employ this love language when it comes to the primary relationship in my life: the one with God.

This morning, as I was able to spend an extended time in His presence, the first thing that came to my mind was how incredible it was just to be with Him. No agenda. No rush. Just be with Him. Just sit with Him. Just let Him pour into me. Just let the conversation go where it would. I rarely do this. Oh, but how I need it.

It became so clear to me just how "purpose-driven" my times with Him had become in my daily routine. I don't know about you, but my "quiet times" are often just about checking off the daily devotion reading and making sure I've skimmed some sort of Scripture. I make sure I address the necessary prayer requests so that I'm covered for the day and my loved ones are, as well. Don't want to leave anything unprotected! And then I'm off to tackle the day on my own. The relationship aspect of just being with God goes undone. Wow.

How full is my love tank? Pretty empty. Not based on the actions of others in my life. MM is awesome at filling me up and has the most amazing heart to seek how he can do that effectively. My family is amazing at filling my love tank. But, to some degree, it comes down to me allowing them to fill it. If my MM wants to spend time with me, I actually have to let him. If my family wants to hug me, I have to let them. If my God wants to love me, I have to open myself up to Him. Sure, He can crack through, but He wants me to want Him. He wants me to choose to engage with Him. And I just don't do that very often in a real way.

But wow. When I just came to Him without an agenda this morning, it was the most love-tank-filling, overwhelming, consuming love-fest that I'd had in a long time. Sure, I tried to start it with my normal, "What do You want me to do in my quiet time today, Lord?" kind of way. But He was so quick to say, "Just be with Me." For someone who is so agenda/task oriented, that was hard at first. But it was amazing.

I won't go over the details of what we shared. That's private. ;) But I will say that He filled my love tank. Psalm 139 was part of it, as was just His voice. And it was the most enlightening way to realize just how much I need this kind of quality time with my Father. Thank You, Lord, for showing me. Thank You for wanting to engage with me on this level. Thank You for being my Lord, my Friend, my Father.

So, I'll ask you today. . . How's your love tank? If it's a little empty, I totally encourage you to strategically carve out just TIME with God. Time just to sit with Him and let Him pour His love into you. Oh my goodness do you/me/we all need it. Only through these times can we really receive just how much He loves us JUST AS WE ARE. We don't have to do anything, be anything, fix anything. We can just know and believe that our Father loves us unconditionally and considers us His beloved children.

Rest in that truth today and let Him speak it to you. He LOVES you. . . just as you are.

Hugs, friends!
- Jill

1 comment:

  1. BTW, The Prairie Fire is my home town race. I did the full marathon last fall. That was a pretty fast time you ran.