tending tuesday: diligent tending

Welcome to *Tending Tuesday*, our opportunity to hear a fellow writer’s voice, one who is seeking to encourage others in their walk with Jesus while tending her own life by the Word of God.

Meet Twyla Franz…

Twyla blogs about her passion, neighborhood missional living, hoping to make it feel less intimidating for others to begin to open their own hearts, lives, and homes to their neighbors. She sees our call to fulfill the Great Commission as an invitation to be disciple-making-disciples, not just in the faraway places, but also right where we live—in our own neighborhoods.

What Twyla has to say about tending her way according to the Word…

As far back as I can reach into my memories, I’ve known God to be near, and I am deeply grateful that my parents shared this gift with me. As a child I observed, then practiced, listening in the quiet, tuning my ears to recognize when God was speaking. But the closeness I knew in elementary school faded as I grew.

I needed to rediscover God for myself—to know again with all sureness that His wrap-around nearness was what I wanted most.

A blurb in a magazine about a youth mission trip caught the attention of my barely teen self, and one summer trip overseas turned into three six-eight week-long trips to different parts of the world. It was during these trips that I learned the more time I spent with God, the more I couldn’t get enough of Him.

The built-in hour-long quiet times were too precious to let go once I returned home. I also learned during these trips that putting scripture verses in visible places helps the truths sink deeper into my heart. Another insight I gleaned was that my heart is like a woodstove that will only keep burning if I keep it stocked with wood (time spent with God).

As I pressed into a rhythm of time spent daily with God, I discovered that I could, at any moment feel as close to Him as I did at a youth conference, on a mission trip, or during chapel time at Bible camp. I played worship music nearly non-stop, even through college, and the lyrics and Bible verses etched deep into my mind helped me to reciprocate God’s pursuit of my heart.

I had to rediscover in recent years how the secret to intimacy with God is to be diligent in spending time daily with Him. Adulting layered with marriage, then babies, squeezed my margin of time, and I felt dry but unable to do anything aside from snatching a few minutes here or there to read my Bible or pray.

Sticking to a rigid schedule is something I have fought against most of my life. It would feel too restrictive, I feared, so I tried other ways to spend daily time with God. But an unpredictable schedule meant that my time with God too often got pushed to the back-burner.

This past year, I’ve started setting an alarm early so I can do a short work-out and spend time with God before the rest of the house wakes. And I’ve found that rather than feeling burdensome, my morning routine quickly became a highlight of my day. The discipline of coming expectant, of inviting God’s nearness, relit the fading fire in my heart.

Maybe today you, too, are feeling dry and like God is distant. I pray that you will find the courage to simply come to Him as you are. Let Him wrap His nearness round you. And as you spend time with Him, I hope you will find that your desire to be near Him keeps growing.

For more on Twyla’s morning routine, read “Morning Routine Your Summer 2020.” To learn more about the woodstove analogy “More Than a Roller Coaster High.”

I invite you to keep in touch with Twyla…

a little book that will change your life in a big way

Click here to check out her newest book, a grace-filled devotional for those seeking to reach their neighbors with the gospel but don’t know where to start. I have read it and HIGHLY recommend it! (available in ebook or paperback)

Looking for a simple Bible Study Method for your own time tending in the Word? Drop your email below and get your free pdf to print and keep in your Bible to help walk you through how to study the Word for yourself.

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