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Direct My Paths

Finally, the post I have been wanting to write to you for weeks and weeks now; since long before this website came about. It just didn’t seem right for Caringbridge somehow, and then we needed to take care of other business on this site since it went live, then there was the whole bad scan interruption, etc, etc.

I have been anxious to write to you about my experiment. Oh, I suppose as we get into the details here, there may be some of you who say you’ve been living this way for years. That there is nothing to be excited about, no need for an “experiment.” But for me, it’s a whole new world, a whole new way of living. And it has rocked my world. It has rocked it and rolled it and turned it upside down and inside out. It is the most exciting and unnerving thing I have ever done.

I call it: “The Holy Spirit Agenda.”

Every morning, when I get out of bed, the very first thing I do is hit my knees right beside my bed and I pray this prayer:

“Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank you for another day. Thank you for another day that Camden and Scott have their mother, and that Brian has his wife. I will rejoice in this day, for you have made it. Father, help me to follow the Holy Spirit’s leading today, and not follow my own agenda. Help me to follow your agenda for this day. May the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be pleasing in your sight today.”

Now, that may sound familiar. I think I might have written about it on CB before. But I’m not sure it looked quite like this. I’ve been slowly fine-tuning it.

Then the excitement starts.
For then I get to watch how God orchestrates my day. I get to see the beauty of a God-chosen path. He does choose the most scenic routes!

How does this work? Well, first of all understand that I do not view any human encounter as coincidental anymore. With every interaction that occurs during my day, I try looking at it through “Spirit eyes”. And I try to discover which of these three categories the interaction fits into:
1) An interaction that God has orchestrated so that I may share God’s love with that person
2) An interaction that God has orchestrated so that I may receive God’s love through that person
3) An interaction that will bring about worship to God

Or, in shorter terms:
is it for:
1) me?
2) them?
3) God?

I was blown away as I read Friday’s extraordinary story, because I knew I hoped to write this post this week. The story gave a perfect example of someone listening to the Spirit’s leading. She had my friend’s name on her mind and instead of shooing it away and focusing on her critical job, she decided there was some reason she was supposed to interact with my friend that day. And just look, just READ, what God did through her attention to his leading.

Maybe many of you have always lived like this. Maybe you’ve purposely made no specific, minute-by-minute schedule for your day because you wanted to be open to the Spirit’s prodding. Maybe you often abandon your day’s schedule to do the unexpected service for God and it never bothers you. Maybe you look at each person you interact with and think “I need to do something to show the love of Jesus to you.” Kudos to you, if so.

That wasn’t how I lived, in my BC years. (Before cancer). I was a slave to the to-do-list. I had to schedule my day down to the minute if I had any hope of getting everything done that I believed needed to get done. Otherwise, the world would literally crumple to the ground.

Being out for weeks at a time with cancer treatment pretty much clears up the priorities for a person. The most amazing thing I’ve witnessed: my world hasn’t fallen apart without anyone rigidly adhering to my scheduling and viciously attacking my to-do-list. My mom, my husband, my friends were able to step in to do the key things: provide food, clothing, clean shelter for my family. For everything else, it was ok not to keep such tight reins on everything.

Now we’re back to the extras: the soccer, the holidays, the gymnastics, the playdates, the date nights, etc, etc. And I can still keep things rolling while following God’s leading for each individual day. God knows what is important and what needs to get done better than I do. If I just have to find time to get the dishwasher unloaded and make that Target return – He gives me that time.

So, what does this look like:
As I said, I start with that prayer. Then I begin to work on whatever it is that I think I should do that day: if it is run an errand or two, I head that direction. If it is work on the ever-present housework, I begin that. If it is a scheduled appointment, I go to that. But I do not ever plan my day down to the minute and hour and specific order of how I will do things. That way, if someone calls and says, “Hey, I think I am going to take the kids to the park after school today, want to come?” I can say, “Yes” and I will know that God wanted me to savor a park afternoon with my kiddos. If someone comes to my mind that I haven’t talked to in a long time and there is no reason for them to come to mind, I take the time to call or text or e-mail them, and usually say a prayer for them as well. If I unexpectedly run into a friend while I’m out, I listen to them in a whole new way, trying to discover if they just need a listening ear, if they just need a hug, if they need me to speak some truth into their life, if they need something to laugh about. I really listen now.

I do schedule things in advance of course. I am being asked to speak in more and more settings and I schedule those in advance. I know this is against the popular women-speak these days, but I try really hard to say “Yes.” Because I trust that God is directing my paths, I try very hard not to say “no.”

Sure, there is a place for discernment in how we spend our time. And we absolutely should say “no” to many things. Things like too much time on Facebook, television, movies, smutty magazines, gossipy phone calls, etc. We are smart people. We know what we need to be saying no to. I am convinced it is NOT the “random” human interactions that we should be avoiding.

But I am telling you that my experiment over the last several months now is to try saying “Yes” to God’s plan and He hasn’t steered me off course yet. He hasn’t over-booked me yet. He has planned my time far better than I ever did, BC.

I have time to savor lunches with friends who need to feel God’s love but also time to organize the boys’ summer clothes. I have time to savor baseball in the backyard with my boys but also time to get the grocery shopping in. Do I have time to do my Bible study and keep my house spotless? No, but God knows that the house doesn’t need to be perfect. Do I have time to call my grandmother and encourage her and also spend an hour on Pinterest? No, but I have time for a 10 minute scroll through Pinterest because God made bedtime go so smoothly with the boys that I find I have an unexpected free 10 minutes just before bed.

I know, I have written too much already. And believe me I could write volumes more. But I am going to stop for today with hopes that I can continue to delve into the experiment with you a little bit more over the coming posts and weeks, Lord willing. For one, I can’t wait to tell you about my new to-do-list. See, if you are really a to-do-list person, as I am, you know that that is a deep, deep down trait that just can’t be abandoned completely. So what did I do? I got me a new to-do-list! And I can’t wait to share it with you. And I want to talk more about the Scriptures that I think teach this way of living and the promises that those passages include. And I want to talk about divine appointments vs. interruptions. Can you tell I’m fired up?

But for today, I want to get your initial reaction.
Please, it seems like many of you have been hesitant to comment on this new site like you did on CB. And I can’t quite figure that out. You are still visiting in droves, as my web stats show me, but you aren’t leaving comments. I want to keep learning from you! Really. I don’t just want comments to make me feel like I’m cool or something. Ha! Ha! I want to try and figure out this Spirit-led living together. The comment feature on this site was one of the things I was most excited about, because I can actually directly respond to your comment and so can someone else. So your comments can start whole new discussions and conversations!

So, please comment – tell me what sounds interesting about this experiment, what sounds way too difficult, what sounds realistic, what sounds unrealistic. I truly believe it can be done whether you work outside of your home or inside your home. My friend’s story from Friday is an excellent example of that.
Is it a prayer you’d be willing to pray: “Help me follow your agenda today?” Do you already pray it in a different way? Please, let me hear from you and gain from the Holy Spirit that lives inside you. I believe each of us is made to see and understand God in a different way because He’s too big for any one of us to grasp all of his dimensions; and so we have to share our understanding with each other so that we can get a bigger picture of God. But that too is another post for another day.

“Trust in the Lord, with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways, acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6

What do you think? How do you lead a Spirit-led life? Could you be doing it better? Do you let Him direct your paths or do you lean on your own understanding?





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71 Responses to “Direct My Paths”

  1. Julie Burnette May 2, 2012 at 8:55 pm #

    Oh Sara, I love this so much! I have gone through various cycles of living according to the Spirit’s leading and then getting sucked back into a worldly, earthly way of living that makes it hard to hear the quiet voice of the Spirit and my own voice gets so loud in my head. As far I’m concerned, there is no other way to really live as we know so little in comparison to God. Yet somehow I drift off course regularly and have to be reminded (this time through you!) that we must LISTEN and OBEY, for there is no other way! Thank you dear one!

  2. DeeDee Nolan April 20, 2012 at 8:26 am #

    Oh my dear Sara!!! AC(after cancer) I was CONVICTED that my ONLY job was to say yes to God…sounds so simple and it is so simple…HARD…but simple….I told Chris what my prayers had been…and that I realized I had made things more difficult sometimes than they had to be….and that God clarified it for me….just say yes to him…him only….so from now on if I decided something…he would know…I TRULY felt it was from God…I know this terrified him…as you know I have drug in every homeless….struggling child…I could get my hands on…(animals to!!)…finding myself in what others might think “not safe” places….I laugh out loud as I remember being in the back of a house…SCREAMING at this child to come out…believing he was inside ignoring me….I was hanging in the open window…when I noticed what I believed to be a giant size bag of pot with a crow bar….it struck me 2 things….i need to leave NOW…and that somewhere along the line…this “scared of her shadow person”(yes, I was TERRIFIED of EVERYTHING most of my life…til I gave birth to Christopher….)….anyway….I wasn’t scared…I believed I should have been there….and many other places…though cautious….if I prayed and felt peace…I was saying yes to God…my ONLY job…so when my Aunt asked me to take home a child 4 years ago…I didn’t talk to her…I put my hand in her face…looked up and said “PLEASE don’t ask me to do this…PLEASE!!!” I KNEW in that second…it was his plan…HARD???? yes….Simple….yes….So my sweet one…you have learned something it took me over 40 years to learn…you were always a quick learner!!! I love you so and look forward to what God asks of you!! beat me….beat me by a mile!! Love you….moment by moment…that is my prayer for you…

  3. Wanda April 19, 2012 at 7:33 am #

    Sara ~

    I have been following you for a while now and so very blessed with what the Holy Spirit allows you to share. I have so much I want to share with you and will. So please keep doing what you are doing and I will return.

    In God’s Love Always from Minnesota ~ Wanda

  4. Janelle April 18, 2012 at 9:19 pm #

    Oh how I need this habit! Sometimes I can do it well. I can be talking to someone, a friend or just someone “placed in my path” and consciously choose to give up the next thing on my agenda and spend extra time with them. Other times it seems I chide myself as I crawl into bed without calling that friend I needed to check on – again. Without sending that card I should have sent because I was too busy…being busy. Oh how I need this habit!

    I don’t remember where I got it, but this statement is typed on a plain piece of paper, folded not quite straight and sitting on a shelf above my kitchen sink so I see it often.

    “Trust me enough to let things happen without striving to predict or control them. Relax, and refresh yourself in the Light of My Everlasting Love. My Love-Light never dims, yet you are often unaware of My radiant Presence.”

    I guess the two are related but I don’t know why I had not thought of sharing with you before…it sound so like something you would write. I was probably too busy to think of it…..

  5. Sheila Barkley April 18, 2012 at 2:52 pm #

    Hi Sara, I know you don’t know me but I have been following you for quite some time and keep you and your family in my prayers always. I always get so excited when my email tells me there is a new post up and this one was no exception. I absolutely love the prayer you pray every morning…how powerful! I can say that I will definitely be striving to try this. One of the things I have really been working on lately is RECOGNIZING God’s blessings. For far too long I went through life some days not even recognizing a single blessing…although we both know our days are filled with them. Now throughout my day, I try my hardest to sit back from a different point of view and look at EVERYTHING..and it’s funny because I haven’t been able to NOT find a blessing in something yet. So my new favorite word needless to say is recognize….what a difference it has made in my life. Thank you for sharing your story! I love you, my dear sister in Christ.

  6. Judy April 18, 2012 at 12:16 pm #

    Sara, I am “one of those christians” who grew up in a church who was terrified to even think about the Holy Spirit or even suppose that we might be able to recognize His footprints in our lives. That is one thing that I am studying and trying to figure out for my life. I would like to try your experiment and will. One of the questions I would have is how do I tell it is God or the Holy Spirit and not my willful spirit — which is a pretty strong spirit? I love your blog and you remain in my prayers.

  7. Pam April 18, 2012 at 11:31 am #

    Thank you for this challenge, Sara! As I was praying a prayer for the Holy Spirit to guide my day yesterday, He immediately put a name of a friend on my heart. It’s so neat to see Him at work! I think one of the hardest things for me is realizing that there really are no coincidences and that He is at work in my life every day and I need to give Him credit for it! Also, it’s hard for me to trust that God is the one that put that “thought” or “idea” in my head and that it wasn’t my own doing. Praying that I can be more willing to let Him lead every day and that I will follow the paths that He so obviously puts before me.

  8. Ginger April 18, 2012 at 8:17 am #

    Sara, I typed a comment yesterday, hit submit and it disappeared! So, I’m trying again!
    I love this idea of inviting God into our days and then watching what happens. I have tried to do this more consciously since starting to read your writings. I have told myself for a long time now that my boys will not look back on their childhood and say “wow, I’m so glad my mom kept such a clean house!”
    A mother robin nested on our back patio and it has been fun to watch. Her babies are now bigger and it is so cute to watch them “holler” at her from the nest.
    One more thing. I want to say I appreciate Lisa’s comment above about how her golden retriever ministered to her daughter. I firmly believe dogs can be little angels in our lives. My 11 yr old schnauzer has been my little angel and definitely ministered to me during some rough times years ago.
    Love you Sara! Keep writing!

  9. Sarah Sanders April 17, 2012 at 9:22 pm #

    I have been following your posts since CaringBridge, and I have often shared some of your amazing uplifting posts with my fellow co-workers. I would copy and paste something that you had written, and email it to them and say you better take some time out of your day to read this because you will be blessed. Thank you for allowing God to use you in this encouraging way. I am trying more and more to savor daily. Tonight my husband, Bryan and I were able to share some amazing belly laughs with our 4 year old son. Thank you again for your encouragement. You are in my prayers.
    Because of Him,
    Sarah

    • Sara Walker April 17, 2012 at 9:41 pm #

      Savoring belly laughs- I love it. Oh, how I hope you made a life-long memory! Thank you for your encouragement and I am amazed by your bravery to share what I have written with your co-workers. I hope that God is using your love for them to do some amazing things in their lives. Thank you most of all for your prayers, sweet Sarah. I sure need them.

  10. Heather April 17, 2012 at 9:14 pm #

    I LOVE to sit down in silence and soak in every sweet word that your write. I don’t think I have ever commented before but check back often with a prayerfulh heart. Your faith amazes me and leads me to want to lean on Jesus more and focus on his ways and not my own. I always tend to be a Martha and spend my days plhanning and fretting about all of the to-do’s instead of soaking in God’s beauty and grace in the little things and in my young children’s eyes. You always remind me of this and I am determined to take this challenge head on with anticipation of what the Holy Spirit has in store for me πŸ™‚ THANK YOU for your grace and love and inspration to all of us, may God continue to bless you Sara πŸ™‚

    • Sara Walker April 17, 2012 at 9:44 pm #

      Thank YOU for taking the time to write to me and encourage me and know that the time I spend on here writing is not wasted. I am not saying the way I am doing the experiment is the be all end all best way to submit our days and our lives to God, but I do think that finding some way to do that is critical. I can’t believe I have lived so long and it took all this suffering to get me to do it. I pray you will give this challenge a try for a day or two, because I think you just might find it as addicting as I have. Each day is like a fun and exciting puzzle – a gift from God to unwrap a little at a time as he orders event for His own purposes. If you give it a try, please let me know what happens! Would love to hear your experiences!

  11. Catherine April 17, 2012 at 2:35 pm #

    Hi Sara!
    I’m a college student who used to be in Courtney Garland’s youth group. I’ve been following your posts for a very long time now and have kept you desperately in my prayers.
    Thank you SO much for this encouraging thought! In fact, an amazing thing happened today. I had been feeling “useless” most days at school, just studying and going through my routine each day, when I finally let go of my “schedule” today and prayed your prayer, asking God for opportunities to pour into other people as His vessel. Well, sure enough, two girls who I had not talked to in a very very long time “happened” to run into me as I was walking around campus. Sure enough, they had been needing some encouraging words for a long time and I immediately felt God’s perfect timing come into play for both of those relationships. It was an amazing experience of Him using me to reach out to those girls, and I am SO thankful for it! Just thought I’d let you know and give God the praise for opening my eyes to the opportunities he had waiting for me! Thanks again! πŸ™‚

    • Sara Walker April 17, 2012 at 8:22 pm #

      Awesome, Catherine! Awesome. I know the feeling well – the “useless” feeling. Isn’t it exciting when God lets us see that He has us on this path for a reason, and it is to be used by Him. So excited for you that you felt that today. I hope it only made you even more hungry for that to keep happening in your life. Open our eyes, God, to see as you see!

  12. Amy April 17, 2012 at 12:47 pm #

    Sara – this is exactly what I needed today. Not only was this straight to my heart, I’d just finished reading it when a co-worker stopped by who is having surgery tomorrow, so I was able to share with her also. You are in my prayers.

    • Sara Walker April 17, 2012 at 8:24 pm #

      Ahh, another “God-incidence” (no longer thinking of them as coincidences)! Thank you so much for sharing this with me and for sharing with your friend.

  13. Ann McAlister April 17, 2012 at 11:53 am #

    I want to know how to lead a Spirit-led life too and I appreciate the suggestions. Because I feel like something leads us, whether it be the bad spirits like those that came back in to a well-ordered and swept “house” after they were not replaced with good things, like in the parable in the Bible, or the good Holy Spirit we should have in there instead! When I’m left by myself sometimes I have too many negative thoughts and I do much better when I’m with other Christians. So learning how to have that all the time is something I’m interested in. Learning about the Holy Spirit is next on my to-do list! Thank you for your idea of savoring the way you described!

    • Sara Walker April 17, 2012 at 8:27 pm #

      Learning about the Holy Spirit – yeah, I’ve only just started. I like what you said about something leading us – either the HS or the bad spirits that came back to the well-ordered house. Hadn’t thought of that yet, but I think you are absolutely right. All of those spirit-realm powers exceed our human powers, and I’d rather have the good powers on my side too! Let’s learn together!

  14. Kim Martin April 17, 2012 at 8:26 am #

    Wow! I really needed to hear those exact words today! Thank you! Prayers and blessings to you!

    • Sara Walker April 17, 2012 at 8:28 pm #

      And to you, friend. Hoping that maybe you start to view the events of your day in a slightly different light, as I am learning to do.

  15. Kathy Reynolds April 17, 2012 at 7:42 am #

    I am a therapist and before I begin each session, I shut my door and I ask the Holy Spirit for discernment in my life and in the life of my client. I ask the Holy Spirit to use our time wisely to be present during the session, to allow me to minister to my client. The times I forget to do this beforehand, the sessions never go as well or flow as smoothly. When I invite Him in, He changes everything.

    • Sara Walker April 17, 2012 at 8:29 pm #

      Brilliant! Thanks for sharing your wisdom and your experience in Spirit-led living. I am so encouraged by someone who puts every part of their life in God’s hand, including everything about their professional work. Thank you for encouraging me today!

  16. J. April 16, 2012 at 8:22 pm #

    I can’t wait for your next post. I am a to-do-list aholic. I receive so much pleasure in marking things off my list. I wonder how many opportunites I’ve missed while being obsessed with my to-do’s. I’ve been praying for you for months and months. You are an inspiration. You’ve already influenced my life in ways you cannot imagine and so many things I’ve read and learned I’ve gotten to share with others. I cannot thank you enough. Looking forward to starting tomorrow morning with a new prayer.

    • Sara Walker April 17, 2012 at 8:33 pm #

      To-do-list-aholic. Right there with ya. No better feeling than to mark something off a list – and the longer it’s been on the list, the exponentially greater the pleasure of marking it off is! Maybe you will like the idea of my new list and maybe you can make something similar so you can still experience that joy of “marking it off”! Let me know how your new prayer went. I hope you know I don’t think mine is the best or only way to pray, but that you incorporate the general idea of submitting your day to God. If you prayed different words, I would love to hear them!

  17. Brenda Ezell April 16, 2012 at 7:33 pm #

    Dearest Sara,

    I look forward to every posting on your new site. “Direct My Paths” is just the encouragement I need daily. I am striving to let go of those little things that plague me and to “savor” those things that really matter.

    Thank you, Sara.

    • Sara Walker April 17, 2012 at 8:34 pm #

      You and me both, Aunt Brenda, you and me both. Thank you for always encouraging me, dear one. You are so close to my heart!

  18. Kristen April 16, 2012 at 7:32 pm #

    I am so excited to hear about your new “to-do” list, as I, too, have a major fondness for lists (some, ahem, my husband, may say obsession πŸ™‚ ). I would love to revolutionize the way I am making my lists to let so much more of GOD in on “my” days, if that makes sense. I found this post so very interesting, and you give me hope that I may also change the way I view a day and what “needs” to get done for the better. Wonderful!
    With love and prayers,
    Kristen

    • Sara Walker April 17, 2012 at 8:36 pm #

      Well, Kristen – it took a whole lot to get my attention and get me off the to-do-list obsession. And it is still a battle I face daily. But oh, when I get it right, or get close, how much sweeter those days are. So much sweeter. “What needs to get done” – I have no clue anymore. I just ask God to help me figure it out. And I am still figuring it out.

  19. Mel April 16, 2012 at 7:11 pm #

    Amen! And Amen.

  20. Phyllis Brown April 16, 2012 at 6:49 pm #

    I really enjoy reading all your writings. I’m not sure I could write like you have been doing. I pray everyday for you and your family that you will have good days like you had a while back. I know that God answers our prayers differently, but he always takes care of our desires and needs whatever they may be. I know he is watching over you and your family every hour of the day and I know we don’t always understand why things happen like they do, but he has a reason for all things. You put things so well in your writings. Please continue to write all your thoughts. Love to you and your family.

    Phyllis Brown

    • Sara Walker April 17, 2012 at 8:37 pm #

      As long as God gives me the health, “my thoughts” will still come. I just pray they are in line with His thoughts. Because that’s all that really matters.Thank you for your encouragement, Phyllis.

  21. cris April 16, 2012 at 6:16 pm #

    Sara – I will keep this very short as dinner is cooking and kids are running amuck, but I just didn’t want to not say thank you for this wonderful post – reading it brought joy to my heart… just reminded me that it is so important to slow down and follow that agenda. I forget way to easily, but I so love your idea and am going to implement it into my life. I know that the things you write are so good and true – what joy we will find if we live our lives in this manner.

    Thank you for sharing – you are in my thoughts and prayers.
    love and blessings,
    Cris

    • Sara Walker April 17, 2012 at 8:42 pm #

      Bless you for worshipping God by cooking dinner for your children. You know that’s what you are doing, right? Worshipping God? More on that in another post, Lord willing. πŸ™‚
      It is absolutely the most joyful way to live that I have ever experienced. And also the most unnerving – because I like routine, I like predictability. I like “clean.” πŸ™‚ Hardest and best “experiment” I’ve ever done. I hope you will at least start to view your day through a slightly different lens. And maybe try a version of the experiment one day.

  22. Melanie April 16, 2012 at 3:33 pm #

    Sara, I saw God and His Spirit work miracles in my life when my husband and I had to move to Maryland for his job. We had tried to sell our home a few times in the past few years with no success. God sold it in two days. When we arrived in Maryland, there was a message on the answering machine inviting me to interview for a teaching job which God blessed me with and it turned out to be my favorite teaching job. My co-teacher told me that I was an answer to her prayers for a friend that understood what was happening in her life and was a good listener. WOW! I would have missed so many blessings if I had resisted the move. Thank you God!

    • Sara Walker April 17, 2012 at 8:43 pm #

      Thank you for sharing that, Melanie. How sweet it is when God lets us look back and see how our faithfulness to Him resulted in great blessings in our lives. Thank you for encouraging me by giving me a real-life example of a God-worked miracle!

  23. Derian Wassom April 16, 2012 at 3:15 pm #

    We have a team of prayer warriors who have been praying for you all this time and we are all amazed at your strength and your love for Jesus Christ. I hear so many comments from our team of prayer warriors as to how you have touched their life and how it has strengthened them. What an impact you have had on so many including myself. I think your website is absolutely another wonderful way of reaching others with your gift of sharing your experiences and your love for our Lord.
    Blessings,
    Derian Wassom

    • Sara Walker April 17, 2012 at 8:46 pm #

      Thank you to the team of prayer warriors. THat you would be in fervent prayer for me, a sister you have never met, proves the amazing love of Christ that lives in your hearts. I am convinced it is your prayers that have given me this strength you speak of, so it could be said that you have had an impact on yourselves! πŸ™‚ Confusing, huh? It all comes back to God who has put Himself in our lives. Thank you, thank you for your encouragement and mostly for your prayers.

  24. Katie April 16, 2012 at 2:07 pm #

    Sara,
    I just stumbled across your website today from a friend’s blog and your post really spoke to me! As a stay at home/work from home/mom/part time pharmacist I really struggle with how I spend my time each day. I have a hard time discerning what is important to spend my time on and when it is ok to have down time. I also struggle with being stingy with my time, afraid to commit to things in fear that I will regret it later. I love your spirit led approach and I will definitely be trying it out. I do want to be more mindful of the Holy Spirit as sometimes I forget that important blessing of being a Christian. Thank you for sharing! Oh, and I look forward to reading about interruptions vs. divine interventions. Thanks!

    • Sara Walker April 17, 2012 at 8:49 pm #

      Your description of your struggles are exactly how I would have described my life “BC”. Exactly. I worked outside the home part-time and constantly struggled with how to divide my time. I am still figuring it out and would never wnat to give the impression that I have figured it out. But I think this morning surrender and new way of looking at my day must be getting close to how we are supposed to do it – because I have never felt so much excitement, joy, and peace about a new day. Never in all my life. I hope you and I can both grow from this as we look at it a little closer.

      • Katie April 17, 2012 at 8:57 pm #

        I absolutely agree! I started it today and I can already feel a burden lifted off of me! Thanks so much for sharing! On a side note, when I read this blog yesterday I had no idea who was writing it (I hadn’t read the about me yet). After I commented, I read your “about” section and realized that I had actually heard about you through my in-laws and have prayed for you after I heard about your diagnosis. I live in Montgomery and my in-laws know your family. I am also from Florence and went to high school with your brother-in-law. It is a small world. πŸ™‚ Finding your blog was a blessing and I look forward to reading more of your posts!

  25. Melissa April 16, 2012 at 2:05 pm #

    I wholeheartedly agree and I get it. Before my son was diagnosed, I was a to-do list addict as well. Then my life was re-ordered in it’s priorities. I think God really wants us to leave time cushions in our day for those very chance encounters and phone calls you mentioned. If we truly believe that God orders time, don’t we know that He will make there be enough time for those things that are important to Him? It is a daily struggle sometimes even still, but I remind myself what things will matter in the end.

    • Sara Walker April 17, 2012 at 8:51 pm #

      “Leave time cushions in our day” – exactly and I love how you worded that. Priorities – nothing will set them straight faster than a life-or-death encounter, huh? Thanks for your affirmation.

  26. Molly Roark April 16, 2012 at 1:30 pm #

    Just read this in Michael Kelley’s book, “Wednesdays Were Pretty Normal,” and wrote in on my chalkboard: Live in the present. Rejoice in the present. Be fully alive in the present because He is “I am.”
    I think this goes right along with what you are saying Sara. God is right here with us, right now! His goodness and love surrounds us, not matter what is going on. His grace is enough!!!

    • Sara Walker April 17, 2012 at 8:52 pm #

      “because He is ‘I AM'” – exactly. Well said, Michael. And props to you for putting it on a chalkboard. We all need those visual daily reminders, don’t we? Love you, friend.

  27. Cindy Dial April 16, 2012 at 1:21 pm #

    You are such an inspiration. I have been trying to start my day with a very simple prayer of “God, you lead the way”. I am a habitual planner….everything must be planned. So I am continually having to reel myself back in or better yet, God reels me in and I have to hand it over to him. I think I will try to get into more and just try your “experiment”. I have always said He will take care of me if I just get out of the way!! May you be forever blessed today.
    Cindy

    • Sara Walker April 17, 2012 at 8:54 pm #

      “God, you lead the way.” I LOVE that. I am going to borrow it. QWhat a great thing to meditate on and say over and over again throughout the day. That’s absolutely where He wants to be, isn’t it? And that’s where He can be our best shield, too, right? LOVE it. Thank you so much for sharing.

  28. Niki Thomas April 16, 2012 at 1:19 pm #

    Love it! I can’t wait to read about your to do list! Love the BC, before cancer, will borrow that for myself. My prayers have so changed since my cancer. I have found so many blessings during my cancer.
    Love,hugs, and continued prayers Sara!

    • Sara Walker April 17, 2012 at 8:56 pm #

      BC works pretty nicely, huh? πŸ™‚ Yeah, my prayers have changed exponentially since cancer, and you are absolutely right that there are blessings from it. Perhaps that is why it seems to be affecting so many lately. Perhaps it is not God’s great plague on our nation but His great gift to us, to open our eyes for we are a stiff-necked people.

  29. Dana April 16, 2012 at 12:30 pm #

    Sara,

    I loved your comments today. I do think that we should live each day to the fullest and take
    time with our children. They grow up so fast and then they in college and married. You wonder
    how did time go so fast. The house will wait and so will everything else. Give all your glory to God each day as much as you can.
    As always, keeping your sweet family in my daily prayers.
    Dana

    • Sara Walker April 17, 2012 at 8:57 pm #

      Thank you for your prayers and thank you for your encouragement. The house will wait and so will everything else – absolutely right.

  30. Alyson Atchley April 16, 2012 at 12:22 pm #

    I just want to tell you that I was so blessed on Saturday. Your father’s prayer was so beautiful and I was humbled just to be there. You are touching so many people for our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! Your life points everyone to Him. I am a Type A/OCD person and I am going to work really hard on forgoing my to-do list and letting God determine my day. I love you my Sweet Sara!

    • Sara Walker April 17, 2012 at 9:01 pm #

      My father’s prayer was beautiful, I know. He has a beautiful heart and knows the Father better than anyone I know. So glad he got to bless so many people by his words on Saturday. I know – hard to let go of the OCD-ness. I’m with you. But man, give it a try just one or two days. I think you just might be hooked! πŸ™‚

  31. Brenda Price April 16, 2012 at 12:15 pm #

    Sara, I’ve been following your site(s) for quite sometime now and am encouraged by your words and teaching. I very seldom leave comments partially because of time constraints – I am blessed to get to read the few blogs I follow and I do continue to pray for healing for all my sick friends and family. I’m forwarding your newest post to family; we never to old to learn!

    • Sara Walker April 17, 2012 at 9:03 pm #

      I appreciate that you fit me into your time constraints and I am so thankful for your prayers. You are right – we are never too old to learn. I hope I never do stop learning. Thank you for thinking that my thoughts are worth sharing. I appreciate that encouragement.

  32. R April 16, 2012 at 12:11 pm #

    Sara,
    I’ve been following your post from CB and now this site. I haven’t written on this site but there was a post months ago about the person who said when she drove by your house she saw light. When I had a near-death experience, I saw the light. I’m not sure why people don’t believe in these types of experiences. Over a week later, I had a dream and I was covered in a bright light. I woke up on the coldest night of the year, warm from the inside out. “Luke 24:4 While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them.”
    May God’s love and light always guide and cover you.

    • Sara Walker April 17, 2012 at 9:05 pm #

      I just prayed with a group of women today about God being light. I am so glad that imagery is throughout the Bible. Thinking of God and His light has gotten me through many a dark, dark, scary night. THank you for sharing your experiences with me. “Warm from the inside out” – as a cold-neatured person, I love the way you put that. I pray I will always be that, from the light and warmth of God within me – be warm from the inside out.

  33. Kelly Paulus April 16, 2012 at 12:04 pm #

    I love what you wrote. Ever since becoming a stay at home mom I do feel i have time for the more important things and can be more spontaneous when it comes to playdates, time with my friends, etc., but I do feel it is a constant struggle to be this way. I, too, love my to do list and love marking things off but honestly after reading your blog and those of others who are dealing with cancer or another sickness I have tried to be more present in mine and my children’s lives bc you never know what the future holds.
    After reading your post today, I am going to not only try to be more present in the blessed life i have but I am also going to pray each day for that and to be aware of and listen to the holy spirit. Thank you.

    • Sara Walker April 17, 2012 at 9:20 pm #

      I have been a working woman without kids, a working mom, and now a stay-at-home mom. And I can say that the struggle for time management is just always there, for me anyway. Submitting your day to God is against our natures no matter what our circumstances. Thank you for your encouragement, and if my words do nothing but help you to be more present in your life, then they will have been worth it. God bless you!

  34. Lisa April 16, 2012 at 11:46 am #

    Sara, your posts somehow always touch me just where I need it. After spending 6 weeks in an intense Holy Spirit class and now in another ladies class focused on it I am beginning to see how this awesome gift from God is and always has been right there with me even when I didn’t realize it. I get very emotional every time I get a direct reply from him and I now realize it is because of the awesome power living in me. It’s so hard to explain to someone who doesn’t have this realization in their life but I’m trying through tears to reach out to others and let them know of this gift that they can also receive. I’m trying to pray as you do and to be ever watchful for any opportunity God gives me to be an example, encourage someone or just savor the moment he has presented me with.

    This may seem a small thing to some but a few years ago as our 12 year old was struggling with anxiety and depression we feel God brought a little angel into our life that was a rescued 5 year old Golden Retriever that we heard about through accident (providence) and drove 6 hours to adopt. He made her laugh when she could only cry and now sleeps right beside her. Now as we’re seeking another dog to fill the shoes of our oldest Golden who we lost last fall I’m using the same guidance and know God has another little furry friend that will help me through some depression I’ve been dealing with. People look at me strangely when I tell them I’m praying for God to bring us the right dog but I know he will because he cares about us in so many ways.

    As I’ve been seeking the purpose in life God has given me I’m beginning to connect the pieces of all of the experiences he has given me that lead to my next step. When I prayed for that step one night last week and woke up to an email asking for help for the exact thing I feel like I’ve been in training for I think I cried for 2 days. Thanks again for reminding us all about the power and love God continues to give us and to always be ready for that interrupted thought, call or meeting where we can be his hands and feet!

    • Sara Walker April 17, 2012 at 9:23 pm #

      Awesome, Lisa. THank you for sharing your heart and your experiences with Spiritled living. Like I said, I am just now starting to try it and get a taste of it, and it is powerful – and tear-inducing! πŸ™‚ THank you for your affirmatio, your encouragement, and mostly for the way you live your life. It gives me a boost to continue to try to live right!

  35. Lisa April 16, 2012 at 11:26 am #

    Sara, Being a to-do-list addict, I find it hard to let go of that control. However, on Sunday, our pastor commented that trying to be in control is saying you don’t trust God….how can I continue to do that, when I say I trust Him? What a contradiction! Then I read your post today and must hear more about your experiment. Lead on, sister, lead on. Your faith and outlook has been such an inspiration to so many. I know that when I let go and let God, things always work out, I just don’t seem to let Him lead very often! Your new experiment could have alleviate a great deal of stress in my life as well as others.

    • Sara Walker April 17, 2012 at 9:27 pm #

      What a contradiction, indeed! A contradiction I lived all of my life until recently, and a contradiction I still fall back into all too often. This trusting God – my father says that is what it all comes down to. Everything in the Bible – the Bible is God asking His people, throughout the ages, “Will you trust me?” I want to be one of those who says, “Yes!” I’m with you on the to-do-list addiction. That’s why I just finally had to get a new one. Maybe you can develop a new one too – so you can keep that blessed feeling of marking things off (isn’t it amazing!) but also rest in knowing you are trusting and following God.

  36. r.elliott April 16, 2012 at 11:23 am #

    I love this…I used to have a day with rigid boundaries…my agenda…but now somewhat like you…I get up and just say…what do we have today? I now look with expectancy for His leadings…this opened my eyes to moments I use to plow right through to get to my agenda. It’s not that I don’t ever make plans…but there is now lots of fluidity to the soft boundaries of my life. blessings to you as you meet Him each morning…walking in all the grace He has for each day.

    • Sara Walker April 17, 2012 at 9:30 pm #

      “What do we have to do today?” Brilliant – that one subtle change in the question could make an immeasurably huge difference in how we live out our todays. I may have to borrow that. When I wake in the morning one of the first questions that comes to my newly conscious-mind is “What do I have to do today?” I am going to do my best to ask your question instead. And “lots of fluidity to the soft boudaries of my life” – now that’s just poetic. Beautifully worded. I am swishing around your phrases in my head and savoring them. Such well-turned phrases… THank you so much for writing. (And also for your kind e-mail about Daniel in my class. Can’t put into words how much that meant to me. Just can’t do it. Meant more than the world to me.)

  37. Tracy April 16, 2012 at 11:20 am #

    What a great and timely post for me today. Since ending my job in February, I’ve struggled a bit with what God wants me to do with my days. I’ve always had a down to the minute agenda like you mentioned. Lately, I’ve been a little lost. I love the way you start out each day and let the Spirit lead your day. I look forward to your future discussions about this, especially what your “to do” list looks like. Thanks for sharing and making me think about my day in a slightly different way!

    • Sara Walker April 17, 2012 at 9:32 pm #

      I hope that as you think about it in a slightly different way that you will find a peace and a joy that you’ve never known before. I am convinced that if you are seeking God, He will absolutely show you what to do with your days. I have to constantly remind myself of that truth though. Thank you for writing to me.

  38. Jenny April 16, 2012 at 11:14 am #

    Sara, I am enjoying your new website. I like the way you are starting your day. Right now, my wednesday night class at church is studying how to become a fully devoted follower of Christ – a Disciple. This prayer you pray makes me think God’s way first instead of the world’s way first. I like that. I will share this with them this week.

    Jenny

    • Sara Walker April 17, 2012 at 9:33 pm #

      THank you for your affirmation and encouragement. Let me know what your group thinks about this. Like I said, it’s been an experiment for me and I think I’m on the right track, but certainly haven’t “arrived” yet. Really would love to hear the spiritual wisdom of your group.

  39. Rachel April 16, 2012 at 11:02 am #

    Sara, Your words are always so touching!! I love to say yes to doing things random, and then start to worry, will this run into another appoinment or will I still have time to clean the house before church or get all the laundry done that day? Yesterday, I decided to say yes and not worry about what the rest of the day held. And it ended up being the most wonderful afternoon with the most wonderful company!! No, the clothes did not get finished and the bathrooms still need to be cleaned, but we all had clean clothes on this morning, food to eat, and no one noticed the bathrooms were still dirty. : ) Enjoying the company of those we love now is how I think it will be in Heaven, so it is nice to get a head start! : )

    • Sara Walker April 17, 2012 at 9:36 pm #

      I am sitting here at my desk applauding you for saying yes! For having a day where you got it right – you savored the afternoon and the company and were able to let go of the clean bathrooms. I am still trying to get it down myself most days, so to hear of you doing and finding nothing but pure satisfaction and no regrets just further fuels my fire! Thank you for encouraging me today. And I love your last thought – that is what Heaven will be like so why not get a head start? Great thought!

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