This kind of encounter with God drops me to my knees.

It was an ordinary day of packing up my laptop, cords, books, banana, and water before heading up the hill to write. At the last minute, I squeezed in my sketchbook. It’s heavy and cumbersome, two reasons that make it a rare haul.

I climbed the hill, spread out my goods on the desk, and prayed. Lifting up our community here on the blog is nothing new, but over the past few weeks, I’ve also prayed for our NEW Facebook Group, Creative Pauses. It’s a newborn babe and I feel like a first-time mother.

 

But something more was stirring.

 

I opened the sketchbook and laid it flat with bright white (and blank) pages facing up. I didn’t want to form a Facebook Group just for the purpose of saying I have one or for polishing up a book proposal.

 

If life has taught me anything it’s that authentic community is a rare and treasured gift.

 

And this is when God moved in such a way that all I could do was hang on for dear life. In rapid-fire delivery, specific images along with words, sentences, and paragraphs targeted my sketchbook.

 

It began with a campfire.

 

So I drew one in the center of my page, and these words quickly followed:

I imagine a campfire with roaring flames in the middle of a wide-open field.

 

The field is surrounded by homes of all sizes and shapes. Inside, are imperfect people from all stages of life who love, create, wrestle with sin, offer grace, homeschool, and worship. They are our homes.

 

One-by-one we make our way toward the campfire blazing in the distance.

 

Moving closer, we hear crackle! and pop! from well-seasoned wood and catch the indelible scent of smoke flowing through the field. Eventually, we all move close enough to notice benches and blankets placed around the fire. Picnic baskets overflowing with the finest of foods fill in the spaces.

 

We didn’t gather the wood.

We didn’t split the kindling or light the fire.

We didn’t prepare the food or pour the Chick-fil-A tea.

 

God prepared it for us.

A place for us to come and gather around the campfire to share our stories, to tell of His goodness, to marvel at His handiwork, and to consider His great love for us.

“Whoever is wise, let him heed these things and consider the great love of the LORD.” Psalm 107:43 NIV

When we intentionally choose to step away from our to-do’s to pause and reflect on the goodness of our God⏤and receive it⏤we cultivate a life of continuous worship.

 

The kind of life God uses to help heal relationships, bring change to communities, and impact the future generations we will never know.

 

When we get up and return to our homes surrounding the field, we continue to feel the warmth on our backs.

 

And our clothes still carry the holy and exquisite scent of biblical community.

 

 

I fully believe this “download” was for us⏤for this community of believers who believe there’s more to the Christian life than checking off a list of scriptures read, and a prayer prayed while scurrying out the door. Both are valuable, but we are confident that one of the many benefits of being His is being able to meet with Him⏤to listen, and to receive. As Lysa TerKeurst says in her book, “Made to Crave”:

 

We were made for more.

 

And this is why I created our Facebook Group, Creative Pauses. It’s simply an extension of the community we share here. But there, we can all join in the conversation. By joining the group, you will also have access to helpful downloads, fun giveaways, and special events like this one coming up on September 17th:

 

Do you feel the warmth of God’s presence in this place? Here are two ways to move toward the campfire:

  • Simply type your e-mail address in the sidebar (just below “Coloring Pages” with the bird in flight) to subscribe to the blog. I post every other week and you’ll also receive a monthly letter. You can unsubscribe at any time.
  • Join our Facebook GROUP, Creative Pauses!

 

And, what campfire would be complete without a mug full of coffee (after the Chick-fil-A tea, of course)?

Share in the comments your favorite part of a campfire and your name will be included in a random giveaway for this delightful mug!

 

See you there! Creative Pauses Facebook Group

 

Image @ Canstock Sportactive

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