Category Archives: ask

Weigh

Weigh my heart, Lord.
Look and see what I love
~what drives me on.

The quarreling, fretting about the future,
all that I cannot control, yet you know
~help me cast it on you.

If the king’s heart is a stream of water in your hand,
why should not mine be?
~move it in the direction you want me to go.

Keep me humbly focused on you as I ready my horse.
~the victory is yours.

~a prayer inspired by Proverbs 21~

Purpose

I wrestle with a purpose
that doesn’t match my plan.

In all that’s overwhelming,
I find it hard to stand.

I’m not the wealthy,
not the poor.
I’ve deep desires.
I long for more.

And many children, full of need
To guide with words and hope they’ll heed.

Steadfast love is my desire.
Help me through this trial by fire.
Bring knowledge, patience, honesty.
With rest and wisdom, visit me.

~longings from Proverbs 19~

Return to Romans 12

After posting this journal entry written nine years ago, a friend asked what I would change had I written it today. Full of shoulds, I had resisted editing them out.

This is my Return to Romans 12.

It’s hard to present myself as a living sacrifice through the daily offering of my life to God.

It’s easy to sit in the early-morning quiet and ponder the measure of grace I have been given for the tasks I have been called to. Harder is to step out and act on them, viewing the inevitable conflicts and messiness ahead as my reasonable service.

It doesn’t feel reasonable to do laundry, plan meals, clean up dog poop and pee, change small animal bedding, listen to middle-schoolers arguing over preschool toys, watch mail and bills pile up, pack lunches, fix breakfast, mediate arguments, deal with disappointments, find socks, walk the dog, scramble for lost papers and permission slips, pack lunches, figure out the daily school drop off and pick up schedule, spend hours in a classroom, monitor homework, figure out computer time, and do it all again tomorrow.

My desire to conform to the world tells me there must be something more than this. That I have missed out. This feels boring and pointless without a renewed mind that says, You are being transformed!

Being transformed sees my life as full of opportunities to love as Christ, to use my spiritual gifts, and to function as part of his body on earth. It sees these opportunities before me in my home as valid and meaningful.

So in my walking through each day, rather than wallowing in not this again, my cry is, Transform my heart, Lord! It is thinking of myself more highly than I ought to demand that I not bear my part of the broken, the painful, the hard. I am exactly where I need to be to fulfill God’s merciful plan for my life.

Believing this offers rejoicing in hope while practicing patience in tribulation. Instead of wallowing in the dog poop on the floor, I can rejoice that there are no longer poopy diapers! Once upon a time those were my biggest trial.

There will always be a new biggest trial.

My prayer is for a fervent spirit making me diligent about the work I have been called to today. I long to give preference to my family with brotherly love, to distribute to their needs with kindness, to show them hospitality.

If my greatest “tribulations” are a house to care for (shelter), laundry to do (clothing), meals to plan and prepare (food), and a classroom to run (employment), how ungrateful to complain about the blessings in my life. Transform my heart, Father, to see as you see and to receive the good gift of this day from your hand.

Deliver Me

Deliverance is the theme today, and as I embark upon an uphill year, I’m asking for that from you, Father.

Deliver me.

These words were journaled hastily this morning. Today’s Bible reading plan took me to Job, 2 Corinthians, Psalms, and Proverbs.

Really? Job? The first weeks of school?

I trust that where I am is where I need to be. Full confidence.

He delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us.
On him we have set our hope that he will deliver us again.
2 Cor.1:10

Be pleased, O Lord, to deliver me! O Lord, make haste to help me!
Psalm 40:13

The second verse I write on an index card to keep with me through the day. Not exactly sure why, I just know that it’s what I need.

Deliverance.

Quiet time is one of my favorite parts of the day. I don’t say this in a holier than thou way or in a prescriptive way but just in an honest way. I treasure my time being still with my Bible. Listening. Drinking that first cup of coffee.

Time is short and morning rolls along at breakneck speed, as we work to get everyone out of the house. By a stroke of amazing kindness, I am left alone at 7:20 with fifteen minutes to spare.

Dewey whines in his crate. I’m not alone. I decide to give him a quick walk up around the block before leaving him for the day. Grabbing a plastic bag, I release and leash him. We leave the house at a quick pace, my heart rate rising to keep up with him.

Around the block and to the top of the street and around that block and, oh no, another dog.

This dog is big and not leashed and barking and jumping at me and Dewey. It’s not a mean dog, and it has an owner that can’t be seen even though the house door is open, and I am loudly trying to get the dog away from mine.

Why did I think this was a good idea? Is running through my head. Really? My fifteen minutes for THIS???

I sweep Dewey up into my arms and carry him off. The dog follows on my heels, jumping occasionally. A girl is waiting on the corner for her middle school bus, and I ask if she knows whose dog it is.

She doesn’t, but listens politely as I recount my frustrating walk and try not to cry as we both watch the big dog squat to do his business. Another on my list of nevers, I open Dewey’s plastic bag and scoop up the pile.

I guess it’s like when you have kids. I say to the girl. It’s a lot grosser when the poops not your own. I hope your day is better than mine has started out being!

Dewey and I race downhill and round the corner to home.

Little do I know what is to come. Lock downs and sadness.

Deliver us.

 

 

 

 

Circling the Wagons

It’s a season to circle the wagons. Some seasons are like that. I have been fighting this one, pushing it back, but I can’t anymore.

With each day, I notice more and more needs presenting right here under my roof when I have been outward-focused. It’s part of what was unhealthy about facebook for me. There was too much looking out when things inside this place got messy.

It’s part of what makes me question the blog and the purpose I have in writing it. Is it to reach out to others or to sort out my heart? Is it both? Is it necessary? Wise?

My sister shared a line with me, If you blog but you don’t post it to facebook, did you really blog?

I laughed, but it feels true.

Another bit of unhealthiness in my world.

Circling the wagons feels hard to me. I would rather hop on horseback and ride off somewhere far away.

But here is where I need to be and here is where we need to stop and circle up and figure out and trust.

Today it looks like playing Art Lotto with the kids.

Kind Readers, will you pray for my heart and for the hearts in these wagons, in this house? I plan to keep writing and sorting and processing here but in a quiet kind of way that’s not big on likes and shares.

That’s okay, because I know the one who likes me and invites me to share in his suffering. He has walked this road before me and will continue to guide my path.

 

Shivering

I’m shivering, though it’s not cold.

The shivering is my soul

longing to grasp onto something, anything

for security.

When I am tired

and at the end of my rope,

there’s more, always more.

And I know I have an anchor,

but right now it feels far off

in a deep part of the sea,

and I’m being tossed around,

and I’m fighting to be free.

But the one who calms the storm

can also warm my soul,

so that is what I’m asking now

when I have no control.

Holy Week Psalm 24

The earth is yours, Father,

The world and all people.

Made for your purpose, I can’t understand why.

I long to climb your mountain and ascend your holy hill.

To seek you and worship,

I long to be blessed.

But my hands aren’t clean, and my heart isn’t pure.

I run to my idols.

I cover my tracks.

Thank you for opening those ancient doors.

For riding in triumph through gates that were old.

King of Glory,

Lord of Heaven’s Armies,

Invincible in Battle,

You chose to enter, to lift me from shame.

Allow me to seek you,

to offer up worship,

that I might receive the gift of your grace.

Chosen Heritage

He chose our heritage for us.
Psalm 47:4

You chose my heritage, Father. That thing that I am struggling with, wrestling with, you chose that.

You chose my parents, siblings, children.

Thank you for the gift of leading Steve and me to choose each other.

You placed me in this generation with these issues for this purpose.

Help me to continue to draw near to a place of acceptance and trust in you that I can release what I am carrying in my chest and lay it down at your feet.

Amen.

Praying Isaiah 49

Redeemer, Holy One of Israel, you are the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, and I ask you this day to fight for me. Fight the battles of my mind which creep up constantly. Keep my focus on you and your faithfulness. Make me reflective of my actions and the consequences of my words.

Keep me kind.

Fight the battles of my heart when other things vie for precedence over you. Anxiety runs deep. Impatience wraps its tendrils around my spirit, and I lose any grace to show others. You have showered grace upon grace over me.

Make me generous.

Fight for my children, because they are your children. They have been set apart and marked for you, and only you can change hearts. Offer great parenting wisdom!

Grow me wise.

Looking ahead, will you offer direction into my second half of life? Will you continue to reveal your purposes to me and keep me faithful in what you are already doing?