Our church staff went on a short prayer retreat at the end of last week (which was awesome!).  In the first session, the speaker used the word “decadent” quite a few times when talking about prayer.  My first reaction was that “decadent” seemed like a weird word to use.  But I kind of latched onto it.  It’s a fun word!  I like the idea of things that are decadent!  Mostly things like chocolate cake with maybe some mousse filling.  Or cheesecake.  Ahh, that sounds good!  Decadent!  I pretty much only use that word about food.  (What does that say about me?) I’ve never used it to describe time or an activity.

Decadent – characterized by or appealing to self-indulgence

So the first time we were let loose on our own during that first afternoon, we were given 30 minutes to pray.  So I found a picnic table near a pond, opened my journal and sat there for a few minutes.

When I have some quiet time, it takes me a good while to quiet my racing thoughts and rid my mind of my to-do list.  It takes some time to get my heart and mind still, quiet and ready to be opened up enough to really process things and listen.  And because of that, it doesn’t happen very often.

We lead busy lives.  Full of noise, stress, clutter, work, kids, homes, spouses, friends, activities, church, school, etc.  A million things come at us everyday.  Our calendars are full!  It all can be very overwhelming!  No wonder it’s hard for us to connect with God!  Shoot, most days if I get a little quiet downtime, I just want to sleep and am too worn out to have some serious time with God!

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Back to the retreat…I sat there at the picnic table quieting my thoughts.  And after a few minutes, I started writing a prayer to God in my journal.  (I love journals, but I’ve never really written in one.  But this is something I would like to change!) For most of the time, I wrote.  It felt good and helped with quieting myself down more and opening my thoughts and heart.  When I finished writing, I looked across the pond.  On the other side of the pond were a bunch of trees that were swaying beautifully in the wind.  I watched them for a few minutes and thanked God for that moment.  Then I decided that I wanted to lay down on the picnic table bench.

The afternoon was cool.  A light breeze was blowing, and the tree branches above me were swaying in the wind.

In that moment, the word “decadent” rose to the front of my mind.  This moment was truly decadent!

Time to slow down.  Be quiet.  Pray.  Reflect on God.  Listen for his voice.

There is nothing quite as decadent as that!

The speaker was right!

The more I experience moments like these, the more I crave them.  And though I yearn for more of these times, it’s still hard for me to make myself stop and slow down long enough to be able to have them.

Chris and I have started doing personal/prayer retreats once a year.  Our speaker at the retreat last week gave me permission to take more of these.  Maybe one every 6 months.  Or once a quarter.  Or maybe someday once a month would be great.

I look forward to these times to get away, but I also need to figure out how to intentionally carve out more time on a day-to-day basis to experience more the decadence of time spent with God connecting.

The definition of decadent includes the phrase “self-indulgent”.  I have to allow myself to become indulgent in this one area of life.  I have to make it happen.  I get to be selfish here.  If I don’t, it won’t happen!

There will always be things to fill my time, things that are stressful, things that need to be checked off my list.  Those things will never go away.

I must become self-indulgent in regards to my relationship with Christ.  Making time to read his Word.  Spending time in prayer.  Listening for his voice.  Quieting my soul.

For time spent with God is decadent!

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