Friday, January 6, 2012

Devotional Friday

“Alone With You”
Billie Sloan
December 5, 2008
Written on my husband’s 4th Anniversary in Heaven,
And dedicated to his memory
Alone with you, my husband.
It is very early in the morning, but I have already read two Scriptures and softly sung a song that reminds me that my Heavenly Sweetheart is not with me. Isaiah 53 and Revelation 22:1-5 brought to my creative imagination visions of him actually seeing the face of Jesus. And then as I softly sang “Oh, I want To See Him,” tears filled my eyes.
I have been alone with my Sweetheart this morning, if only in my mind, and in my heart. Heaven is more real than ever before. If you still have your spouse with you, the most precious gift you can give the one you love is “alone time”…just the two of you.
I remember sitting in a crowded room, and looking across to my soon-to-be husband. And in that moment, in that glance, just the two of us existed. His smile provoked me to respond with a smile, and even without touching, or talking, I was alone with him, and he with me.
Alone with you, my children.
Being the mother of eight children, I have read about Susanna Wesley, and how she mothered her nineteen children. One of the things that I admired in her was the special alone times she managed to spend with each one of them. When my children were little, their bath time was our “alone time.” Even after they didn’t need supervision, I would sit in the bathroom, and we would chat together, or I’d just watch them play while they bathed. As I would dry them, and dress them, and comb their hair, we would sing together. Nothing makes a child…young or older…feel as special as the “alone time” we give them…just the two of us.
While enjoy special gatherings with all my children and grandchildren, there’s nothing like spending one-on-one time with each of them. I love the special times my daughter, Anna, and I have been able to travel together…just the two of us. Sometimes my daughter in law, Liz, and I go out for coffee…just she and I. My son, David, and I have taken road trips of a thousand miles together, and spent the week alone together in Israel. What a wonderful time my son in law, Steve, and I had traveling through Mexico as he drove me south toward Chiapas right after my husband passed away. We spent one-on-one time talking and laughing, and I learned things about him I didn’t know. My oldest granddaughter, Joanna, and I recently spent a week together not only making trip, but memories as well! I love being surrounded by my children, but those alone times are the ones I will hold forever in my memory.
Alone with you, my friend.
I am a firm believer in the saying, “relationships have to be cultivated.” Good relationships with brothers and sisters and other family members, just like good friendships, don’t just happen. We have to work on them. Relationships are one of our most precious treasures. It breaks my heart to see grown siblings who were best friends when they were little, but become distant relatives after they’re grown. Friends are a gift from God. Family should be a guarded treasure. The Lord has given me a host of wonderful friends, and I’m determined not to lose them. I pray every morning that I will never do anything to forfeit the friendship of others. There’s nothing like sitting across the table in a restaurant or in a kitchen, and having what I call “soul talk” with a lady friend. I’ve laughed and had a wonderful time recently with a friend who is a pastor’s wife, as we went out on Saturday morning bus visitation. We don’t have to spend money, or even extra time in order to spend time alone with those we love. While working in the office, or driving across town, we can spend precious alone time with those we love.
Alone with You, my Savior.
Tomorrow will dawn, and the next time I commemorate this day, another year will have passed. If my Sweetheart were here, He would want me to spend more time alone with my Savior.
But how can I, while I’m surrounded by grandbabies, and shoppers, and music, and work to be done, and deadlines to meet, and lessons to prepare, and appointments and reservations to make? What is the meaning of alone, anyway, if it’s spent with someone? Isn’t that a contradiction of terms?
Alone is alone…no one but me. I long to be alone. Solitude is as foreign to me as Germany, or chopsticks, or Latin.
But I must find ways to be alone with the One who loves me more than I could ever love my Sweetheart. I can be alone with the Lord, while I’m driving, or folding laundry. I can be alone with Him, while playing with my grandchildren, or wrapping presents, or sitting in Church, or walking through the mall.
Sometimes, there is even seclusion in just closing my eyes, and letting Him fill my mind and my heart with unearthly visions of someday being perfect…while rocking a grandbaby, sitting in church and waiting for services to begin, while I’m driving or washing dishes, I can be alone with Him, if I tune my heart to His.
Being alone with Him calms my fears, and removes my worries, and gives me a sense of direction. My alone time with the Lord keeps me positive. It helps me to stay focused. It helps me to love the unlovely.
It keeps me content, and happy with who I am, what I have, and where I am.
Spending time alone with Him helps me to be a better mother, and gives me strength.
I can be alone with Him in WalMart, or in a crowded airport. The easiest way to hear His voice is to be quiet, and so I can be alone with Him while sitting in a dentist’s chair.
And while it seems I am forever trying to find ways to be alone with Him, I must remember that He, too, longs to be alone with me…even more than I want to be alone with Him.
So as I look forward to another year, I also look forward to feeling His presence, and walking closer to Him…alone with Him


Jolene said...

I love you, Mom, and have had some very special alone times with you that I will always treasure... such precious memories! Remember our alone times here in Ukraine after lunch each day, cleaning the dishes and talking away while the kiddies napped? Fun!

And, I am thankful I have a mother-in-law who knows and understands the importance of having alone time with our Savior. That must be WHY you're such a special mother-in-law!

The Sommer Family said...

Thank you, Mrs. Sloan. In this season of busyness of furlough and young children, this is just what I needed to hear.