Tag Archives: Psalms

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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Recipes for Disaster and Success

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It has been quite a while since I blogged. The time has come for a new post.

Today I found myself digging through one of my journals written over the past few years.  In it, I found a journal entry I had written while at college.  It made me smile as I thought back to what I was thinking during that time.  It certainly isn’t written beautifully, but it adequately describes the lessons I was learning and still am.  So I wanted to share it with you.

I wrote it in the form of two recipes. One for disaster which contains many of the mistakes I had been making. And the other for success.  As you read my silly little journal entry, ask yourself which recipe you have been following lately. How is turning out?

Recipe for Disaster

1.  Separate God’s Word and prayer from your day-to-day life.

2. Blend very little sleep and a full class load together. Liquify.

3. Add too many activities.

4. Combine the above group with a lack of planning out your schedule. Add in loads of homework that leave you exhausted and that you let pile up to await your return home from your many activities.

5. Try to be a people pleaser and let your perceptions of what they supposedly want sprinkle through your batter.

6. Make sure you do not add even a little down time. If some manages to slip in, make sure it is mindless rather than meaningful.

7. Add lots of thoughts about other people to spice it up and give you some good heartburn.

8. Pour out this mixture onto wax paper and cut into hearts. Batter should be difficult to scrape out and lumpy.

9. Bake in your heart and mind until you feel you have broiled them sufficiently.

10. Should come out charcoal black.

Now you have two choices…

Put them right back into your heart and mind and repeat the vicious cycle or try…

A Recipe for Success

1. Read the word and pray daily!! Or multiple times a day! Or memorize it and recite it to yourself. Be in prayer often.

Exodus 34:29, 33-35

When Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the two tablets of the Testimony in his hands, he was not aware that his face was radiant because he had spoken with the LORD. When Moses finished speaking with them, he put a veil over his face. But whenever he entered the LORD’s presence to speak with him, he removed the veil until he came out. And when he came out and told the Israelites what he had been commanded, they saw his face was radiant.

Isaiah 40: 6-8

A voice says, “Cry out.” And I said, “What shall I cry?” “All men are like grass and all their glory is like the flowers of the field. The grass withers and the flowers fall because the breath of the LORD blows on them. Surely the people are grass. The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of God stands forever.

2.Time Management. A little bit of sleep and a full class load can work, but make sure you blend them together well. Lack of sleep should be  used sparingly. Remember What your source of strength comes from and Who your ability to think is derived from.

Psalm 31:10a, 14-15

My strength fails because of my affliction and my bones grow weak…But I trust in you, O Lord; I say, “You are my God.” My times are in your hands.

Our strength will ultimately fail. We need to stop trying so hard on our own. We are not invincible. So…we need to trust in the LORD who knows where we are and what we are doing. Where we have been and where we are going. And Who has been there every step of the way.

3. There is nothing wrong with activities. But we must do them for God’s glory, which means that we do them to the best of our ability as an act of worship to the King. This cannot be completed without following the previous steps.

Psalm 90:17

May the favor of the LORD our God rest upon us; establish the work of our hands for us-yes, establish the work of our hands.

May the work of our hands be God’s work in us and through us. May what He is doing inside of us pour out of us.

4. Throw out worries about what other people think or problems you feel you must resolve. You’ll never be able to fix everything, so let it go!

Galatians 1:10

Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I still trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ.

We are here to glorify the King and not men. Life becomes a lot easier when we finally realize this.

5. Thinking about what other people have or what they are doing is in no way productive to you. Other people do not get to dominate your thought life or your whole heart. This only leads to discontent, jealousy, bitterness, self-doubt and a whole lot of other awfulness that is just not worth it.

Aren’t we glad that God loves us the way we are? I absolutely love these verses in Proverbs. We should spend our time becoming these women (Sorry guys reading this, this was a journal entry written to myself so this one only talks about the ladies) rather than dwelling on others.

Proverbs 31

A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies. Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value. She brings him good, not harm,  all the days of her life. She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands. She is like the merchant ships,     bringing her food from afar. She gets up while it is still dark; she provides food for her family and portions for her servant girls. She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard. She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks. She sees that her trading is profitable, and her lamp does not go out at night. In her hand she holds the distaff and grasps the spindle with her fingers. She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy. When it snows, she has no fear for her household; for all of them are clothed in scarlet. She makes coverings for her bed; she is clothed in fine linen and purple. Her husband is respected at the city gate, where he takes his seat among the elders of the land. She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies the merchants with sashes. She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue. She watches over the affairs of her household  and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: “Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.” Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.Give her the reward she has earned, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.

6. The result? Well, your heart will be cleared out and you will be on your way to living a life of freedom, full of the goodness of God and overflowing with His love and hope. Make sure to enjoy with a side of trust.”

Anyway, parts of this entry were a little silly at times, but there is truth to it that I wanted to share with you. I hope a part of these recipes encouraged you.

Remember to trust in our everlasting God today!

Slow Down and See

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The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard. Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the earth. –Psalm 19:1-4

I love when the seasons change.  I find myself anxiously awaiting the first snow, the buds on the trees, the intense heat of a summer sun, and the vibrant reds, oranges and yellows on fall leaves.  Sometimes I find myself staring out the window in awe at the beauty outside.

I also love that our God is the Master Creator and that evidence of Him can be seen all over His creation.  In fact, according to the verse above, His creation proclaims Him.  It transcends language and cultural boundaries and reveals a side of God that is playful and breathtakingly beautiful.

Many times when the stressors of this world are getting to me, I leave my room and go out and experience God in His creation.  For me, it usually starts as a run which progresses into a jog and then a walk as I burn off steam.  As my heart rate and stress level calm down, my eyes are opened to everything I had been missing when I was solely focused on me.  I am always amazed at just how much I didn’t see when I was running past it.

Creation is one of the greatest ways to experience God.  It is a tangible representation that He is at work in the world around us.  I’ve been trying to appreciate it more lately.  To stop in my tracks and think about the incredible God we serve who created all of it.  To look up at the night sky and realize just how small I really am.  To appreciate the beauty in little things that I never would have noticed.  To stop missing it.

Summer is just around the corner and I find myself anxiously awaiting all the special things that come with the season.  I have included some of my favorite things to do in creation during the summer below…

Going to the beach and digging my toes in the sand…

Boating…

Witnessing moments like this…

Fishing…well, I am not the biggest fan, but I like to try new things. Salmon fishing was amazing…

Beautiful sunsets…

Curling up on a bench in a park with a good book or my thoughts…this park is one of my favorites…

Fresh raspberries from my garden…

This post is a little shorter for a reason.  Take some time to experience God in His creation today.  Thank Him for the little things that you often pass by.  Slow down and see.

(Many of the above photos taken by my Mom in lovely Minnesota and Wisconsin)