A connection with Papa

Welcome to Tending Tuesday!

This week I want to introduce you to Pamela Henkelman. Pamela is an enthusiastic encourager with a passion to speak, write, and coach. She believes all of life flows from our intimacy with God. She helps weary, discontent, Christian women build a deep bond with God and understand their identity in Christ, as beloved. She lives in the midwest and is married to her Pastor. They have five adult children and two grandsons and celebrated 33 years of marriage in October.

Here is how Pamela tends her way by the Word…

It’s early morning as I settle into my comfy chair for my morning rhythm with God. With a cup of coffee, my Bible, journal, and a cozy blanket wrapped around me, I’m ready to hear from God. I come with a heart of expectation and anticipation.  What I once did out of duty is now driven by my devotion to Papa.  Papa is my nickname for God.  I see God as compassionate, patient, kind, wise, and filled with love. 

I’m excited as I wonder what God will reveal and how the Word will apply to my life today?

 I start with a Bible reading plan as a way for direction. My motive for reading the Word is not to study but to have a connection with God. Studying is for a different time. 

Early mornings with Papa are for transformation, not information.

I don’t read more than 6-8 verses, otherwise, I’d feel overwhelmed.  As I read the passage slowly. I search for the word the Holy Spirit wants to illuminate in my spirit. One of the Holy Spirits’ functions is to reveal the truth.  As I read, I’m drawn to a word.  I sit with it and think about its meaning.  I write it down as I ask myself some questions.  What does this say about God? What does this mean for me?  I’m careful to examine the verses around to understand the context of the story and the cultural norms for the times.  

I pay attention to what is arising in my heart.  Is there an emotion? Does the passage trigger a memory? Does it resonate or am I pulling back?  Why is this so?  This is God speaking, and He wants to address the situation.  I welcome the conversation.

I sit with God in a loving embrace of connection. When emotions arise, I don’t squelch them.  I invite them out into the open as I’m not afraid to bare my soul with God.  He helps me feel safe, protected and nurtured.  When a feeling rises to the surface, I know it’s important to pay attention. I sit with it and process it with Papa.  He comforts me with His kindness and reveals a truth I can stand on for peace. 

As the emotion settles, I wait for God to speak.  It’s not an audible voice but a knowing I hear in my thoughts.  I recognize it’s His voice because He speaks words that line up with the Bible.  I write them in my journal so I can refer to them if I need them.  I sit with Papa in the sweet peace.  I feel seen, known, and nurtured. I carry His words of comfort with me throughout the day. 

Joy bubbles in my soul as I think about my time with Papa.

I started this practice of Lectio Divina many years ago after reading Sacred Rhythms by Ruth Haley Barton. Lectio Divina is an ancient practice that means divine or sacred reading. Barton says, ”It helps us listen for the word of God spoken to us in the present moment.”

Lectio means slow.  This practice helps us slow down and connect with God and isn’t that what we want most?

How to Practice Lectio Divina

  1. Choose a passage of 6-8 verses in the Bible

-Start with quieting yourself in God’s presence.

-Read the passage four times listening for a word that strikes us.

  1. Reflect or meditate on the word

-What does it mean in the passage?

-How does it apply to your situation?

-What does it tell you about God?

  1. Respond

-Is there an invitation or challenge from God?

-Has the scripture touched a place of pain, frustration, anger?

-Pour out your feelings here

  1. Rest

-Rest in the Word of God.

-Let God’s love soothe and hold you.

-Bring the word into the rest of your day.

Let’s pray.

Dear Papa.  Thank you for the opportunity to sit with You each day as You speak to me through Your Word.  I want to move slowly so I can connect with You.  Holy Spirit illuminate the truth You have for me each day.  Help me open my heart to You and not fear the vulnerability of loving union. Amen.

Click to get Pamela’s Freebie: Five Attributes Needed for a Close Connection With God.

Pamela’s favorite way to connect with her readers is through her monthly Be[Loved] Notes newsletter and her weekly blogs. If you’d like to receive some love in your inbox, hop on over to her website, pamelahenkelman.com and sign up for the good stuff. You can also join her private FB group for women called Be[Loved] Community with Pamela Henkelman. She pops on there live each week with teaching.

Looking for a simple method to help get into the Word? Drop your email below to get Tend: How to Hear the Gardener’s Voice sent to your inbox along with monthly encouragement to continue tending your life by the Word of God.

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