Wednesday, March 30, 2011

I Want a Heart Like His!

I had every intention of coming home and blogging away on some really frustrating political happenings. But, I promised myself I wouldn't until I caught up on my Bible study. Well, so much for the political rant. :)

I'm doing Beth Moore's David: Seeking a Heart Like His. Boy, has the Lord been exposing some ugly truths about my heart. It's heartbreaking as I face my wretchedness as a human being.

This week’s study has brought lessons of prayer, dependence, & trust. I'm finding that more times than not, my prayers are thoughts instead of intentional conversations between me and my Heavenly Father. I also tend to feel selfish for praying for my own needs or stupid for my emotions. David has shown me how wrong I am, and I want to share what I've learned. :)

I'll give you the Reader's Digest version of what's going on (1 Samuel 19-23):
Saul is King of Israel. God anointed David as the next King. Saul is INSANELY jealous of David & decides to try to kill him. Jonathon, Saul's son, is bff with David & warns him. So, David gets the heck out of Dodge. ((But, God is on David's side--so, inevitably, Saul will lose.))

During this time, David writes a couple of BEAUTIFUL Psalms. This is where I've been enlightened. :) I'm thinking--wow, David's done so much for this guy & for Israel, killed so many Philistines (Goliath included), AND not to mention the fact that he keeps Saul sane by playing the harp—now, they’re trying to KILL him?! Poor David!!!

My first thought was--what would I do in this situation? I'd cry & call my momma. But seriously, what do we do when we encounter less serious but less-than-fortunate situations in life? I'd venture to say that most of us call someone, complain to our friends, WORRY, feel sorry for ourselves, or post about it on Facebook.

While pondering this, I had a very intense emotional/spiritual moment when I read from David's heart in Psalm 142. David is hiding. Fearing for his life. In a cave. By himself. In the middle of nowhere, and he writes this beautiful prayer.

I cry aloud to the LORD; I lift up my voice to the LORD for mercy. I pour out before him my complaint; before him I tell my trouble.

When my spirit grows faint within me, it is you who watch over my way. In the path where I walk people have hidden a snare for me. Look and see, there is no one at my right hand; no one is concerned for me. I have no refuge; no one cares for my life.

I cry to you, LORD; I say, “You are my refuge, my portion in the land of the living.” Listen to my cry, for I am in desperate need; rescue me from those who pursue me, for they are too strong for me.

Set me free from my prison, that I may praise your name. Then the righteous will gather about me because of your goodness to me.

This lowly shepherd yet incredibly able warrior and ANOINTED one had no problem voicing his human emotions to the one Most High! He was frightened, weak, and felt so alone, BUT he trusted God & went directly to him.

David has really caused me to step back & re-evaluate my action/reaction to the situations in my life. What did David do? He prayed, cried, & complained TO GOD while he trusted, longed for, and confessed his need for his protector & deliverer.

Beth says, “David was a real man by anyone’s standards, yet he knew no better outlet than crying aloud to his God.” I agree with her in that, “sometimes we regard prayer as less practical when our need is more concrete.” David is described as a man after God’s own heart (so he must be right :))

I resolve to intentionally work to approach the throne of grace next time before calling my momma, sisters, or best friend to cry, complain, talk, or worry. I want to be a woman after God’s own heart.

Trust in Him at all time, O people; pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us.
Psalm 62:8

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Brynne's SMILES

Watch this video.

It's things like this that put life into perspective.

Go here to read about the race & the JonJon Fund!

The Lord has allowed Brynne experiences that most 2-year-olds, thankfully, don't have to endure. But, if you watch the brief clips of her in the video, you've seen no greater joy. Maggie was exactly right, her smile is her trademark. We all have SO much to learn from Brynne, Maggie, Craig & Koda. They have created, through the way they live, the most beautiful picture of what it is to truly depend on the faithfulness of the Lord. They exhibit his joy in a way that most, in these circumstance, wouldn't be able.

Craig & Maggie have started a project called "Brynne's S.M.I.L.E.S." (Sharing More in Life's Everyday Struggles). I get a little teary thinking about it, so I'll just let you go & read about it: Go be a part of something bigger than yourself!! You will be blessed!

Please continue to pray for our girl. And, moreso, that the Lord would reveal to Craig & Maggie His purpose for them & Brynne-Brynne. The Lord will bring healing--of that I am sure. Though we don't know when, where, or how it will be, we know she is a living, breathing example of God's faithfulness to His people. What a sweet reminder she is.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Just a little update...

You know--Paul wasn't kidding when He said God's grace is sufficient. :) It's TRUTH! In our inevitable moments of weakness, His goodness is greater!! He has the most pure and perfect plans for each of our lives that we can and will never be able to fathom. It's just up to us to find them.

I'm absolutely loving my time in D.C. Not because it's easy for me but because I feel like I'm in a place where I can do nothing else but depend on the hand of the Lord--to lead me, guide me, mature me & mold me in the woman HE wants me to be.

It's rough. But, that's why the Bible calls it a refining FIRE. It's hot; it doesn't feel good; but, by God's grace, something BEAUTIFUL will come out of it!! (Read Malachi 3... rocks my world.)

Anyway--the truth is... I'm homesick. Extreeeemely homesick. The teary-eyed-wanna-crawl-up-in-a-ball-or-spend-my-last-dime-for-a-ticket-home kinda homesick ((And, it's not helping that I'm watching "Pure Country" right now)). :) But, like I said... those moments of weakness--that's when HIS power is made perfect and is proved MIGHTY!!

Part of His goodness has been proven when he led me to the most incredible Southern Baptist church (that's only a couple of blocks from my apartment, no less) a couple of weeks ago. I've met the most beautiful people there. Of course, most of them are Texans. ;) But, it's awesome... several of us run in the same work-circles, & I'm so blessed by the warm, Christ-seeking character of each of them.

My job is so much more than I could have ever imagined... I love it SO much & am learning so very much. I work with THE sweetest, most encouraging & intelligent woman in the whole world. She's such a sweet woman & is so patient with me as I try to get a handle on this crazy world of Washington.

So blessed. So homesick. But, I'm so happy & excited to see where I'm headed.

P.S. Daddy's doing well. Been back at work full-time, so needless to say--his blood pressure's been too high. However, according to him, Mom's either taking it wrong or the machine is broken. :) Typical.

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 of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:9-10

Thursday, March 3, 2011