True faith is the ultimate freedom, for it liberates us from bearing the full burden of our existence.
- Edward Grinnan
But God has surely listened and heard my voice in prayer. (Psalm 66:19)
We have a chalkboard in the kitchen. It hangs on the back of the door. It’s impossible to miss. And it holds fragments of communication between Lonny and me.
Today’s pass-along information:
Lonny: Help Samuel with slopes and integers
Lonny: Look at Isaiah’s stitches–they seem red
Shawnelle: Baseball at five o’clock–diamond three
Lonny and I are fortunate to have a marriage that is solid and strong. But we’re pulled in a million directions a million times a day. There are things I need him to know. Things he needs to share with me. We’ve learned to not trust our memories to record information that we need to pass along. There’s too much input. So much going on. Important FYI’s would get lost in the day’s busy flow.
But if we communicate via chalkboard, the information will be relayed.
I’m so grateful that my relationship with God is not like that at all. I can talk with him, lift prayers to him, all throughout the day. Long prayers of the heart. Bullet-prayers when I’m frazzled and frayed. He’s always there. Always available. Imagine that: creator of the universe lending an ear to me! He’s Lord of all, yet he wants me to communicate with him. There’s no note reminding us to talk later. No chalkboard or notepaper to pass along important things.
There are only spontaneous whispers of the heart, prayers, praises and pleas, lifted to him all throughout the day.
Then there are the times when he speaks. Tender times at His Word, when the Holy Spirit illuminates a passage and I know, in the deep part of my heart, that God is speaking to me.
I’m so thankful to Jesus, who made the way for this communication with his blood.
I love the chalkboard in the kitchen, the scribbles and communication and life that it holds, but I do look forward to days when life won’t be quite so wild. Lonny and I will sit together more, talk long and often, share the ins-and-outs. And we’ll put that chalkboard away.
But my on-the-spot sharing with God? That, because of his grace, I’ll keep.
Father, thank you for hearing my prayers–and for talking with me. Amen.
Shawnelle Eliasen and her husband Lonny have been married for twenty-five years. They have five sons and raise their bevy of boys in an old Victorian near the Illinois banks of the Mississippi River. Their sons, Logan, Grant, Samuel, Gabriel, and Isaiah, range in age from twenty-one to six with Shawnelle home teaching the youngest three.
Shawnelle has been writing for six years, contributing regularly to Guideposts magazine, Daily Guideposts devotional and other inspirational publications. She would say that life with her men moves faithfully, on fast forward. But it’s her heart’s desire, her passionate prayer, to see God’s goodness and glory in the fullness of her days. She longs to see Him in the unexpected moments, unexpected places, changing the ordinary to extraordinary and bringing quiet, sustaining grace.