Disclaimer :: This is my longest post ever. Be prepared. ;)
Mmmm. Hello Friends,
It is a glorious day. The sun is shining, the birds are singing, coffee is brewing…yes, a glorious day indeed. :) So, just to do a quick summary of the past week for you before we get into the “good stuff” of my post, I was off last Friday through Monday from work and even though I had finals this past week, I still found time to relax with wonderful family and friends and just be. Just be. I hadn’t had time to do that for quite some time, so those rare moments were much appreciated. Anyway, I finished my finals this week, woo-hoo! Summer is coming, friends. :) I went to the Capitol as well this week and rubbed shoulders with some lobbyists, senate administrators, and legislators…it was a long day, but it was a great one. I forgot how much I missed it. The game of politics is a tricky thing, but once you get in, you’re hooked. Now, this weekend, I have family in again, yay! I am enjoying their company, friendship, and enjoying the laughter and smiles…I have missed these moments. Also, today we are doing a memorial service for my grandpa out on the lake where he used to spend most of his days…it will be tough, but I think that it will be good closure and a good time for reflecting on how much impact family has on you (whether good or bad, whether you are aware of it or not). I do want to share two quick things about my grandpa that really meant a lot to me and my siblings. My grandpa didn’t really show his love for us in outward expressions like some people, we knew he loved us and we meant a lot to him, but after he died we discovered how much more we really meant to him. My grandpa was an avid collector. He loved collecting coins, stamps, comic books, etc. Before he died, he gave all four of us a jar with different coins in it and sealed it with wax and we couldn’t open it until we were 18, it meant a lot. But after he died we found out that in 2002 he gave my oldest brother four stacks of pennies (one for each of us), and he made my brother promise to keep up the tradition he started until my grandpa died. What it was is my grandpa had collected pennies from the year he was born – each year on. In 2002, he wasn’t able to keep looking for the pennies for each year so he gave them to my brother. So we have pennies from 1923-2010. Each wrapped in paper with our names and birth dates on them. It might not seem a lot to you, but it meant the world to us that our grandpa would take the time to think of us like that. Also, he was an insane stamp collector…like we’re talking hundreds close to thousands of stamps, ok? I went through this period for like 6 months of collecting stamps and then lost interest, but his dying wish was that I received all of his collection. Wow, when I heard that…I lost it….I broke. It was just so touching that he wanted me to have them. Anyway, I’m rambling about things that you will probably not enjoy reading, but oh well…I guess that’s why it’s my blog, huh?! ;)
Anyway, I had mentioned that God has been teaching me oodles of stuff lately (yes, I did just use oodles and stuff in the same sentence. It’s not English class, ok?!). One thing that has really been hitting me hard lately is what pleases God. I’ve always heard the verse in Psalm 37:4 about delighting yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love that verse…it’s been a promise that I have and still cling to especially during those days I want to have my pity parties. ;) But I’ve been wondering and God has been teaching me to look at what the first part of that verse would look like if the roles were reversed (in a hypothetical, imaginative way). What if we focused on not so much getting the desires of our heart or delighting ourselves in the Lord, but instead took time to focus on Him being delighted with us. Granted we need to delight ourselves in the Lord, find our identity and satisfaction in only Him, but I think sometime we (or at least I) lose focus of making sure that the Lord has reason to be delighted in me. I want God to look down and be pleased with me, to be delighted with me. And these past couple of weeks, I have been examining myself and striving to see what is in me that God could be delighted in me. What am I doing, what am I saying, what am I thinking that could possibly please the Lord? Well, thank goodness God doesn’t love us based on what we do to please Him, because I would fail miserably, but He loves us just the way we are. But when someone loves you and you love someone and respect them, isn’t your natural reaction to want to delight them and have them be pleased with you? What really got me thinking on this were two songs that were playing in the background during my prayer time, “Where I Belong” by Matt Gilman & Cory Asbury and “I Want To Be Used By You” by Deluge. If you haven’t heard these…you need to…they are so anointed. “Where I Belong” lyrics so resonated in my soul. These lyrics were where my heart wanted to be. The chorus and bridge especially. It goes like this ::
I finally found where I belong
I finally found where I belong…in Your presence
I finally found where I belong
I finally found where I belong…just to be with You, just to be with You.
I am my Beloved’s and He is mine
So, come into Your garden
And take delight in me
Take delight in me
Ohhhh…delight in me.
Mmmm…those lyrics. Those are the lyrics I want my heart to sing. I want to find the one place where I belong…in His presence. I want my Father to take delight in me. I want to delight Him. The other song by Deluge is more the current prayer of my heart, while the first song is where I want my heart to be (I’m getting there, slowly, but surely). Here’s an excerpt from the song by Deluge ::
You are calling me, I can hear it clearly
To stand for purity, and what’s pleasing to Your heart
You are showing me, I can see it clearly
A sense of destiny, a change from everything around
Take me by the hand, and show me what Your plan is
I want to be apart of Your design
Guide me by the heart, and show me what’s the future
I want to leave a mark on history
I want to be used by You
I want to be used by You
So don’t look me over
I’m waiting for You broken
I want to be used by You
So have Your way
That’s my heart’s prayer. I know He’s calling me to stand for purity, to be separate unto Him. To something else that’s different from everything around. Something that is pleasing to His heart. That’s what I want, friends, I just want to be pleasing to His heart. Everything I do, I say, I think, everything I don’t do, I don’t say, I don’t think…I want it all to be pleasing to His heart. It’s an ongoing process with me and part of me so wishes I could say I’m already there, but I’m not. Part of me is enjoying this process of learning, this process of surgery, this process of humbling and truly learning what real honor and adoration for God is. Not enjoying it like you would enjoy a Caribbean vacation, but enjoying in the aspect of knowing that this process, however painful and uncomfortable, it is not being done in vain, nor by a stranger, but it’s being done by the person who gave me my heart, the One who navigates it so much better than me. :)
I want the Lord to come into His garden, the one place I’ve found where I belong, and to take delight in me, His Beloved. I want God to use me for things that are pleasing to His heart. I have a long way to go in this journey, friends, but I don’t think it’s a journey that’s meant to be short and quick. If it was, what’s the point of our lives if we aren’t continually seeking to please God?
I’m not sure if this makes any sense to you, it’s hard to convey in written words. Oh, so hard, but I pray that somehow God would explain this to you (because He does it so much better than I ever could!). I’m going to leave you with one last song by Laura Hackett (who is another artist for you to check out…her lyrics are so raw and real regarding the Christian walk). This is another lesson I’m learning, that the emotions of my heart shouldn’t determine my how I build my life. Emotions come and go. Winds will come and attempt to knock the foundation of my heart down, and if it is built on such unstable and temporary things as emotions, then it will fall. But if it’s built on the Cornerstone of Christ, then it will never fall. It may creak at times, but the walls will stand because of HIM.
I will not build my life upon the passing sands
Of how I feel inside from one moment to the next
But I will love you Lord, my rock, my God, my strength
My precious cornerstone that the floods of death could never shake
For there is no peace of mind outside of truth in Christ
Where the fear is real and its power can kill
The stability of our times, the stability of our times…will be the rock that is higher.
Think about these simple words, friends. Think about what pleases His heart. What position of honor and reverence can your heart take that would make the King of Majesty take delight in you?
Please, leave me some feedback to let me know if this even remotely makes some sort of sense…. :) Hopefully, some of the dots were connected in this post…I hope. Have a wonderful rest of the weekend.