by Cathy Baker @cathysbaker

Welcome to the first Saturday of the month when we join a fellow follower on the bench of life to learn from their experience.

Today, I’m delighted to introduce Susan Stilwell to you.

Susan and I actually “met” via Vonda Skelton’s site in the comment section. {Who says leaving comments isn’t beneficial?} In our case, we became eternal friends and I thank God for her often. Since our initial meeting on Vonda’s site, we’ve had the opportunity to meet at the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference. It feels like a family reunion every time I see her sweet smile! And it doesn’t hurt that she’s a Hokie friend. 🙂

Susan is a prayer warrior to the very core of her being and much wisdom flows from her as a result.

Please
remember, these glimpses of quiet times are shared to simply show that our quiet times can look very different. My heart is to invite
you into the freedom that awaits when we meet with our heavenly Father
{Thank You, Jesus!} in a variety of ways.

So, welcome, Susan.

If we were to join you during your time with God, what might we observe? 
 

I’ve always been an early riser, so I look forward to my
one-on-one times with the Lord around 5:45 A.M. I love those quiet dark moments
when I have the fewest distractions. I have a cozy stuffed chair in my office
and snuggle in with a creamy cup of hot coffee.

I start by praying the Lord’s Prayer, and then I read from a
devotional guide. I also try to review any text I’m teaching, and I journal
thoughts from those two sources. I keep a list of prayer requests, and I close
by praying a collection of scripture verses I’ve memorized over the years. 

Other than the Bible, what is your one go-to “tool” you
use during your time with the Lord?
I can’t pick a single go-to resource, so let’s call it a
tie: my journal, which is actually a day planner, and a good devotional book.

 

Andrew Murray’s, Humility

I lean toward classic writers like Spurgeon, Chambers, and
Andrew Murray. A.W. Tozer is a favorite contemporary writer, although he’s not
so contemporary compared to the others! A short devotional that slays me every
time I read it is Murray’s Humility.
I try to read it at least once a year. 

Is there a particular experience you’ve had during your one-on-one time with God that you would like to share?

I consider every day to be a unique experience with the
Lord! For Yahweh—the all-sufficient, all-powerful, all-knowing and all-wise
Creator and Sustainer of the universe—to condescend to me—an all-needy, all-dopey, all-failing spec of nothingness? I’m
awestruck by that every single day of my life. (Can you tell I’m reading Humility this month?) 

Is there anything else you would like to add about your
one-on-one time with the Lord?
I do my best to be consistent, but I also allow myself to
bathe in grace on the days I get sidetracked. I strive for authenticity and
fluidness with my devotional times. I don’t ever want it to be a checklist
item, which is an easy trap for Type-A personalities like me. God forbid I
become a Pharisee who honors Him with my lips but my heart is far from Him. 

Two closing thoughts:

 

  • Don’t do what I do! Not only are we are fearfully and wonderfully
    made, but we’re also unique. Sit in His presence, bask in His word and let Him
    direct your intimate times.

 

  • A devotional time is an excellent discipline, but it’s
    not what sustains me throughout the day. I’ve developed a habit of spending “simple
    seconds” with Him as often as possible. I turn my attention away from my
    activities and acknowledge that the God of the universe is present with me. I
    thank Him for the privilege of living for Him and ask Him to empower me for
    whatever is ahead. I hope it blesses Him because it certainly blesses me. 

Thank you, Susan. The one truth that stood out to me the most? How, every time we sit in the presence of a holy God we are having a unique experience. Amen! As we approach Easter, it’s yet another reminder of the costly sacrifice Jesus made on our behalf, ushering in the very possibility of having a relationship with our heavenly Father. 

Is there a particular thing that Susan shared today that stands out to you? Please share in the comment section. 


 Susan Stilwell consults, writes and speaks on a
variety of topics. Her clients appreciate her technical expertise and attention
to detail on their websites, projects, and social media strategies. Technical
“how-tos” are Susan’s favorite articles. You can find her working as a blog
designer and contributing writer at Fistbump Media.

Susan also serves as a hospital chaplain
associate and is a voracious scripture memorizer. She’s a conference speaker
and passionate expositor of God’s Word, and she’s active on TwitterFacebook,
and SusanStilwell.com.