Morning Thoughts about the Need for Personal Space
September 16, 2023
I woke up at 4:30. Thinking, “if I just lay here, I won’t get anything done.”
#1. Every day has the same beginning. The first step of my plan was to get out of bed. I get up, which could be anywhere between 4:30 and 6 a.m. I have a chair, the same one I always sit in, and I have a cat named Bailey. She always insists that I give her my first attention giving skritches.
I then post a photo of one of Joe’s Cards up on my “wall” in Facebook. They (Joe’s Cards), have encouraging sayings or thoughts pertaining to scripture. He had kept this huge stack of hand-typed index cards in his cabin with his favorite sayings, sermon ideas, and Scripture.
I also post a daily devotional from a book Streams in the Desert by Mrs. Charles Cowman. I have friends on Facebook who have access to this on a daily basis. Approximately 2,600 people.
So then, if I want to work on the positive, I need to think positive, right? It’s a discipline. This is why I do all my posting in the morning for others to see. I am best in the morning. I post positive thoughts. The negative will always be there ready to side swipe me. So, what do I do to overcome the negative? I need a plan. If I don’t have a plan I can be overcome and eaten up. Yuck!
I also spend time in my own Scriptural endeavors. I love to journal my thoughts in a notebook. I journal about what I read. I have many notebooks saved, which I have written in through the years. This is how I set my thoughts and plans for the day. Paul says in 2 Corinthians 10:5: We take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. Do you hear some battlefield jargon in that passage — take captive every thought, make it obedient to Christ?
#2. My Chair: Every person, both young and old, needs personal space. A private hideaway, a refuge, or sanctuary, a shelter.
A Psalm about shelter goes as follows, chapter 91: verses, 1-2. Those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty. This I declare about the LORD: He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; he is my God, and I trust him.
Do you have Hope? Do you have a shelter. A shelter is not a crutch. It is a place to settle.
David declared this! and he was under attack much of his life. This Psalm talks about God being our shelter. I also must add there should be a “physical space” even if it is a tent for a person to go into. Serious, I’m not kidding!
As a boy, Joe used to go under his families porch to think about life, with his dog Brownie. He told me that they used to drink out of the same mud puddle! And knowing Joephus I believed him.
If a passing stranger, walking through the rural village of Epworth, England, on any given day between 1700 and 1720, had peered through a certain window of the home of the rector of the local Anglican church, he might have caught sight of something quite strange. Depending on the time of day, this observer might have seen a woman sitting in a chair with her kitchen apron pulled up over her head while ten children read, studied, or played all around her. Susanna Wesley’s solution for personal solitude, was to bring her Bible to her favorite chair and throw her long apron up over her head, forming a sort of tent. There she was, in prayer and Bible study. Even amid the most complex and busy years of her life as a mother, she still scheduled two hours each day for fellowship with God and time in His Word, and she adhered to that schedule faithfully. The challenge was finding a place of privacy in a house filled to overflowing with children. When Susanna was under the apron, she was with God. She, I think, gently told her children that she was not to be disturbed except in the case of the direst emergency. Well, with 10 children there is no way she would always be gentle, those are my thoughts! There in the privacy of her little tent, she interceded for her husband and children and plumbed the deep mysteries of God in the Scriptures. Hmm, and sometimes she might have just been hiding!!
Susanna understood the dynamics of large families. Born the twenty-fifth of twenty-five children in 1669, she knew from personal experience that quality one-on-one time with a parent is hard to come by in a family with many children, yet powerfully important. So she set a rotating schedule through which each of her children spent an hour with her alone before bedtime on a designated night each week.
Susanna passed away in 1742 at the age of seventy-three, living long enough to see her sons John and Charles become world-renowned leaders of the global Christian movement. This is her legacy, forged in large part in those diligent hours of intercession under that makeshift apron tent.
Here is one last thought from Romans 12: 9-16, Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with God's people who are in need. Practice hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.