A Heart at Rest

You could almost hear that phrase, “a heart at rest”, and assume death.

Yes!

That!

Exactly!

Dead to the old.

Alive to the new.

Dead to the dull monotonous thud of Complacency.

Jolted alive and awake to the rapid pitter-patter of Possibility.

This study of What Happens When Women Say Yes to God, by Lysa TerKeurst has re-awakened passions in my heart that have lain dormant for years.  It has also quietly killed others.  And all for the greater Good.

I can hear The Truth of that Good reverberating through each strong thump of my freshly invigorated heartbeat.

And all the while, my heart is able to rest easily and securely.

One of the dictionary definitions of secure is “free from anxiety or worry”.

Yes. That is exactly what my heart feels.

For, I know, without a doubt, that my many little Yeses to God have been whisked heavenward.

Although my eyes may be finished reading and studying what it means to remain with my palms up listening for God’s whispers; and while I may yet hear confirmation, from God, regarding my time and place, I am committing my way to Him.  I am submitting my will to His.

Hearing a message confirmed and then reaffirmed that had been whispered into my heart some 18 months ago, my heart is able to rest in the knowledge that this message has been consistent.  The same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. Much like my God.

Do_Not_Despise_Missindeedy

As I move forward in obedience, day by day, small thing by small thing, He will honor my yeses.  He is honoring my yeses.

And that?  That is what this heart is beating for.

Oh, yes indeedy!

 It has been such a joy to study this book, What Happens When Women Say Yes to God, with the  extraordinary community of women at P31’s Online Bible Study this past 6 weeks.  If you are interested in learning more about Online Bible Study, click here.  If you would like to read what others’ final thoughts were as we close out this study, click the blog hop below.  

OBSBlogHop

All In

Have you found it?

That thing that you’re looking for.

Are you inching any closer to grabbing a hold of it?

I don’t know about you, but my soul has been longing for more lately. Anyone else?

Maybe it’s this new season of parenthood that’s upon me or the new life stages; It could simply be that for the first time in a long time, I have the time and space and desire to examine those things that my soul has been lacking.  I’m not really sure.

But, this I know. While my days may indeed be filled with the mundane, that does not mean that life, itself, is mundane.  Oh, no!

In Lysa TerKeurst’s book “What Happens When Women Say Yes to God”, she states that,  “A holy God in the middle of life’s mundane activities will change your life.” 

Whether you’ve just started walking with God, or have been walking with Him for decades, I think it’s a pretty safe bet that you know pretty stinkin’ well that life with Him is anything but mundane. Amen?

Blessed? Sometimes. Adventurous?  If we’re so blessed. Peaceful? That depends on whether we’ve got our eyes set on external peace or internal.

But life with God is never mundane.

Even in the mundane.

In fact, I wonder what my God thinks of all this soul hunger I’ve suddenly developed; this deep desire that I finally have to be radically obedient to whatever He has for me.

Whether what He has for me is located in the bunk beds down the hall, or in the marriage that takes constant tending and dying to self, I pray that my heart cries “Yes!”. It may be that God has a mission for me in the halls of my children’s school, or in a place that is more than I can ask or imagine. Or maybe, it’s simply in a place that beats wildly right underneath my very skin and bones. . I still pray that I am able to cry “Yes!” with everything I’ve got.

All_In_Deut_6_5_Missindeedy

Whatever God says to do, I realize now, I must do! And He is waiting for me to surrender it all – heart, soul, and strength to Him to make of it all what He will.

For His glory.

That excites me.

My soul finally longs to be all in.

And that’s exactly where you’ll find me, my friends.

In the midst of figuring out how I can say YES to God.

Wanna join me?

I’m participating in a weekly blog hop over at Proverbs 31 Ministries’ Online Bible Study.  If you’d like to read how other hearts are responding to the book “What Happens When Women Say Yes to God” by Lysa TerKeurst, click the button below! If you’d like to join over 22,000 women from 120 countries in this Online Bible Study, click here.

OBSBlogHop

 

Let Her Be More

Sometimes, I like to envision Memory and Perspective walking hand in hand.

While The Nana is away on a business trip this week, we are babysitting being companions to Ahab.

So, naturally, we cooked him his favorite dinner last night, steak and potatoes, and then headed out to Dairy Queen for a sweet treat afterwards.  We wanted his first night without The Nana to give him promise that we weren’t going to be Lazy Hang-Abouts all week long.  Ahem…

Ahab and I sat at a table, while Sweetman was waiting for our order, and watched the kids flit here, there, and everywhere.  While we did, two teenage girls walked up to the window all decked out in their teenage finest (read that, shortest and tightest dresses possible).  Their hair was teased and coiffed and I’m near to certain that they had a pound of make-up on their faces between the two of them.  They texted and lol’ed, checked out the surroundings for the few teenage boys working the counter, and generally did all of the things that teenage girls will do.

Ahab turned to me with a twinkle in his eye and asked me if I remembered those days?

What the what now?

I do not remember ever (just so we’re clear) dressing up quite that provocatively.

Or, maybe I’m just older than I want to admit to being.

Either way, I remarked that thankfully, sweetgirl was a lot like me and that I was pretty sure that she was going to be confident enough in herself to never think she needed to dress that way to attract attention. (Speaking it makes it true, dontcha know?).

I also might have mentioned that I was going to teach her that she didn’t need to “package” herself at that age, or any age, to attract the attention of men. And I might also have gone on about how I will be teaching her to care more about making her heart attractive.

Oh, the intentions I have…

And as we watched Sweetgirl flit, Ahab marveled at how precocious and outgoing she was and commented that, “Yes indeedy, (I come by it naturally, you see), she’ll do alright.”.

Isn't she beautiful, mama?

Isn’t she beautiful, mama?

I said that she came by her precociousness naturally, of course, because I was like that at her age, too.

Right?

But, what he replied with was not what I thought I knew of myself.

No. Not at all.

Ahab said, “No, you were actually kinda quiet and on the shy side.  You were much more cautious and a thinker.”

HUH?

Now, from the stories about my formative years that The Nana would tell you, I was all sorts of spitfire in the personality department.  My brother – he was the one who bounced from point A to point B.

But I?  Well, apparently I was the mastermind behind the bouncing.

I’m left chewing over that and trying to make sense of how God brought me to such a place of confidence compared to how I used to supposedly be.

And I can only conclude one thing.

By. His. Grace.

By His Grace, I am able to remember that I am more than my outfit.

I am more than my appearance.

I am more than what others think of me.

I am more than what others may say about me.

“But by God’s grace I am what I am, and his grace shown to me was not wasted.”

1 Corinthians 15:10

And oh! How I pray that Sweetgirl always holds this truth close to her heart.

Let her be more than a conqueror, through you, Jesus, too!

Yes indeedy!

What truth do you want your own daughter, or the little girls in your life, to hold close to their hearts?

How Does a Heart Stay?

Heart_On_Wood_ByTimPirfält

 

I read recently on Ann Voskamp’s blog a piece that she posted back in July.  One sentence she wrote, not only pricked my heart, it sliced it wide open. Part of the solution to poverty is doing whatever it takes to get your heart to stay with the poor.My mind started reeling with all of the possible ramifications of that one single statement.  One extravagance at a time was laid bare, exposed for the folly that it can be in a daily life of relative ease.  It’s not often that I go deep here.  I want to go deep today.  For myself.  I need to go as deep as this thinking will take me today. Because, I have been remiss.

 

I read that one line, and it upended me.  I must have sat, slack-jawed, for a good 2 minutes before I understood the gravity of her point.  It would seem that I’ve let my heart roam much too far down Comfortable Street and away from the poor.  I don’t believe that I’ve done all that I am ABLE to do to get my heart to stay with the poor – because it’s “the poor”.  It’s Them.  Not my family.  But it is – My Family.  The precious little ones, among the poor, rest especially uneasy on my heart today.  I’ve allowed my heart to stray toward Comfort and away from Responsibility.  I want, now, to give enough of myself that it feels uncomfortable.

 

Comfort is so easily taken for granted.  I think of our sweet 9 year old Benson, whom we sponsor through Compassion International, and our newly found 5 year old Joan, whom we also sponsor.  And it grieves me to know that we’ve gotten a letter from one, written in their almost perfect penmanship, telling how their mother “has passed, but I give God good thanks for you sponsor of me.” I am imagining my own children.  Left behind.  With nothing but joy for the opportunity.  And I can’t.  I. Can. Not. Imagine!

 

The sense of urgency I feel, now, is palpable; for I am able!  I am able to do more than I do.  I am able to show how much their situation in life grieves me by giving more than I do.  I’m not just talking about monetary giving, necessarily; no. I’ve been there and done that and my heart grew cold.  Apathy crept in and took up residence as I continued down the aisle of “Easy”.  I’m growing increasingly uncomfortable each time I zero in on my own needs to the exclusion of the poor among us. How can my heart remain calm when my sweet Benson and Joan are living in a shack, the size of Sweetgirl’s bedroom, likely with no light, little food, and possibly no place to lay their weary heads? And yet… With thankful hearts that are overflowing with joy for the knowing of this Jesus whom I claim to follow. How?

 

Maybe, just maybe, there is a thing being worked out in me that I have been roadblocking at every turn. Until now.  This upending of my heart?  It’s painful.  It’s shameful.  It’s depressing.  And…

 

It’s hopeful.

 

For, if Iam indeed able, then I am indeed responsible. And if it has been laid upon my heart, then I am aware.  And awareness + ability = compassion that can flood the darkest recess.  The most hope-less reaches. The altogether unlovely amongst us.  Amongst us! Amongst my own circle of influence, the least of these, and my entire earthly family. Yes, Lord; Yes, Lord; Yes, Yes, Lord!

 

So, as I head into this Christmas, this time of rejoicing in The Most Spectacular Gift Ever Given, it is my hope that this great sense of overwhelming compassion that I feel will stay with me. Will prompt me to move. All year long. And evermore. Amen!