Monthly Archives: March 2013

Give Me an Undivided Heart

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Teach me your way, O LORD, and I will walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name.

Psalm 86:11

I cannot sleep tonight.  Honestly, I don’t sleep very well most nights.  My mind tends to run over the events of the day over and over again.  Sometimes my thoughts are stressful, while other times I am just so excited I cannot stop thinking.

Tonight, however, I think I’m awake because I need to reconnect with the One who holds my heart, Jesus Christ.  So I’ve turned on some of my favorite worship songs and opened up  my blog to pour out my heart.

If you’ve ever read my about page you know that this blog is a compilation of my journey with the Lord and my struggle to surrender everything to Him.  Maybe you’ve seen that pattern in my posts.  I write this blog to remember what He is doing in my life.  I read it when I need a reminder or want to remember what He has done.

Lately, I have found it hard to spend quality time with Him.  Maybe you’ve been there sometimes.  Maybe devos are easy for you.  For me, they have always been a struggle to consistently maintain.  But this week, I have felt their absence.  Tonight I felt desperate for just a taste of His word and to draw closer to Him.

But the thing is, I don’t want to keep waiting until I am desperate after a few days of no devos to spend time with Him and pour over His word.  Every day that I didn’t spend time with Him this week, I was very aware of, but I still chose not to spend quality time with God.  The days that I did spend time in His Word, I felt so refreshed.

It seems like such a no-brainer right?  Why would I chose the things that don’t satisfy over spending time with God?

A lot of reasons.  A lot of really selfish reasons that when they are put all together really don’t amount to much of anything.  A lot of reasons that end up giving me a divided heart between this world and the Lord.

Today was one of those days where so many different thoughts and emotions ran through my head.  But of all the things that happened today, all I really want to remember about it when I read this blog in the future is Jesus.

How desperately I need Him every day.  How incredibly important it is to spend time with Him.  How alive and peaceful and right everything seems when I am in His presence.

You know a lot of people and experiences are going to come and go in this life.  There will probably be a lot of days in the future like today that are busy, challenging, and wonderful.  But at the end of the day, and at the end of this life only One will remain, Jesus.

And tonight I am clinging to Him.  I am clinging to Him because I need His help every day.  I am clinging to Him because He knows be better than anyone on this earth.  I am clinging to Him because He is the only One who can save me.  I am clinging to Him because He is fun to spend time with.  I am clinging to Him because I love Him and His love for me is overwhelming.

Recently, I have been listening incessantly to “The More I Seek You” by Kari Jobe.  There are a few lines in the song that say…

I want to sit at Your feet

Drink from the cup in Your hand

Lay back against You and breathe

Feel Your heartbeat

This love is so deep

It’s more than I can stand

I melt in Your peace

It’s overwhelming.

That’s my prayer tonight.  I want to sit at His feet.  Daily.  Hour by hour.  Minute by minute.

Dear Jesus,

I need you.  My heart is so divided so often.  Forgive me for the many things I have chosen instead of You.  Lord, I want an undivided heart. I want to walk in Your truth.  I want to fear Your name.  Please teach me Your way, and guard me from my own.  It’s early on a Sunday morning.  I’ll be starting a new day and week in a few hours.  There are a lot of different thoughts swirling around in my mind.  I surrender them to You.  I trust You with my day.  I trust You with my future.

I love You, Jesus.

In Your name, Amen.

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Looking Straight Ahead

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Let your eyes look straight ahead, fix your gaze directly before you.  Make level paths for your feet and take only ways that are firm. Do not swerve to the right or to the left; keep your foot from evil.

-Proverbs 4:25-27

I have a really awful stomach ache this morning.  Three days ago I arrived home for spring break and was home for an hour when we got a phone call that my Grandpa who had had a serious accident was now in critical condition.  We packed the car, made it to the hospital, waited and prayed with family and friends.  The next day, he had a serious surgery to repair his spine which lasted for several hours.

My entire extended family spent that day on our knees in prayer, joining literally thousands of other prayers asking God for healing and a safe surgery.  God heard us.  And not only did He save my Grandpa’s life, He also protected him from serious complications.  Hearing the news that Grandpa was alive and okay gave us all the ability to finally breathe.  We thanked God for His healing power.

Yesterday I spent the day at the hospital again and was able to talk with him for a little bit when he woke up while he squeezed my hand and signed “I love you.”

It has been an incredibly difficult week, but filled with constant reminders of God’s faithfulness and power.  I have felt His presence close to me these past few days as He surrounded my family with His love and peace.

So why do I have a stomach ache?

Because honestly, reentry into daily, regular life after that kind of experience is hard.  Yesterday, I found myself feeling much like I do today–overwhelmed with the responsibilities that the rest of this week holds, exhausted, and not sure how in the world I am supposed to get it all done to the best of my ability.

So, I took some time and I went down to the hospital chapel.  I prayed.  I sang.  I poured out my heart to God.  And I read His word.  I read the Psalms out loud that spoke of His faithfulness, power, love, and sovereignty.  And then I turned to Proverbs which seemed like the most natural place to go in search of some practical wisdom.

I don’t think it was a coincidence that I opened up to Proverbs 4 where the verses at the top of the screen come from.  This whole semester God has been using these verses to convict and challenge me of my need to surrender all of me to Him, including my own strength and my time.

Sitting there, I realized that I cannot tackle every future responsibility in one day.  I can only take on the one that is right in front of me.  I left the chapel feeling more peaceful and focused on the present moment.

Today, waking up, I found my mind cluttered with a never-ending list of everything I need to accomplish in the next few days to handle my responsibilities well.  Rather than committing my day to the Lord, I focused in on what I can do in my own strength.  Hmmmm….this surrender lesson is going to take a long time isn’t it?

Even after writing all of this, I still have a stomach ache.  I’m honestly still worried and scared about all that this week holds.  I still feel strong emotions about everything that has happened this week.  I’m exhausted.  I’m drained.

“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” -2 Corinthians 12:9

I am committing right now, in this moment, on this day to look straight ahead.  I cannot change what has happened.  I cannot know what will.  But I can trust that in my weakness, His power is made perfect.

Dear God,

I am tired.  I am weak.  My stomach is filled with a million butterflies.  I am anxious, afraid, and overwhelmed.  I ask You now for Your strength and Your power to make it through the next few days.  By myself I can do nothing.  I need You.  I’m sorry that I so often forget to include You in my day.  When my eyes look away from You, I am never satisfied.  

Thank You for the many ways that You have revealed Your power and love to my family and to others this week.  Thank You that You still do miracles.  Thank You for healing.  

I trust You to guide me step by step.  I am looking only at what is directly in front of me. 

In Jesus’ Name, Amen.