I have never started a blog post without anything in particular on my heart and mind. But, oh how I've missed writing. I've been begging God to give me the time, energy, motivation and inspiration to write again. And, here I am. I have no idea what this post is going to be about. Ok, I think I just lied...well, sort of. As soon as I wrote the words "begging God" something started to stir within my heart. So, I guess I'll start there. Prayer. What an incredible gift that God, the maker of the universe and former of our hearts has given us. And yet I open it so rarely. I recently had the opportunity to watch the movie "The War Room" with a good friend (and in the middle of the day, amazingly enough). I laughed, I cried and I left the theatre feeling totally and completely convicted...in a good way. The kind of conviction that comes with hope, passion and desire (by the way I'm learning that the other kind of conviction, which comes with guilt, shame and hopelessness is actually condemnation from the enemy not conviction from the spirit). Anyway, back to prayer...for some reason, I don't really think of prayer as a battle ground. I am much more content (or so I feel) fighting my own battles and telling God what I need next. Like He is some kind of errand boy instead of the General of the Armies. Oh Lord, forgive me! You want to fight for me and I don't even take the time to share my heart with you. Thank you for the incredible freedom and joy that has come from running to you over the past couple of days instead of hiding or even more often distracting myself from feelings all together. You are so worthy, so able, so ready to fight our battles, mend our hearts, change our outlooks, fill us up, heal our wounds - but we'd rather catch 3 more episodes of our latest Netflix binge or spend hours looking for something on Facebook or Pinterest that might possibly make our lives easier, better or at least less empty. Oh Lord draw us in. You offer so much more! Show each of us how we can best share our hearts with you (and ask you to share yours). Fill us with the creativity to come to you in ways that best fit each of us...whether it's using text to speech to start an online prayer journal, taking a walk and admiring your creation, creating a literal prayer closet, holding a friends hand and begging you to revive us, crafting a homemade journal (and actually using it ;), turning the radio up and letting your praises heal, writing an encouraging prayer letter to/for a friend, riding a horse while listening for your voice, running fingers through a loved ones hair at their hospital bedside or dancing with all our hearts before you. You know us, Lord. Show us. And Lord, please don't let us settle for less than your best.
I have noticed something interesting about myself when it comes to opening the doors of our home. I am the first to admit that fifteen minutes before our guests arrived the place was a mess. I was barking orders to my kids, scrubbing our toilet, stuffing things in drawers and searching for underwear (yup, probably dirty) that pop up in the most random places. I don't mind admitting that I don't have it all together, but I have a hard time letting anyone see it. I am the same way when it comes to my emotions. If I'm really struggling I tend to pull away. Just last night I found myself tempted to postpone a scheduled visit with a few close friends because I had no desire to admit to them that I felt like I was coming apart at the seams. Praise God, I dragged myself there and they gently began the process of gluing me back together by simply listening & loving me - despite me. And then there's "grace in the midst". I love passing along thoughts, ideas an