Hearts Unfold

DARE TO LIVE OPEN AND REVEALED FOR GOD


We’re Different…But For the Better

We’re Different…But For the Better


Posted By on Apr 13, 2016

A few days ago my husband Jim and I were texting about ordinary day stuff. We needed milk. Who would unlock the fence gate for the lawn service guy. Doctor appointment went well. So-and-so said to say hello.

His next text was about work. Two good things had happened before noon and another unexpected opportunity was coming his way. I sent him a thumbs-up emoji, set the phone down…and started to cry.

But these were happy tears of relief and thankfulness. In that moment I realized, we were having a normal conversation without the fear and worry.

And on the other side of the purifying fire God allowed in our marriage.

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The details? Nothing scandalous and no vows broken. But we faced three years of attacks in almost every other area we felt secure. Months of seemingly silence from God about a particular need exhausted us. And ugly emotions, mostly mine, had to be confronted every day.

Through all the battle weary days and pushing back doubts and fears, we fought hard to see God in all of the mess. It wasn’t easy, yet we were determined to keep our marriage strong and protect it at all costs.

And looking back while those days are fresh in my mind, I am a quiet kind of grateful.

For a deeper prayer life. Not one just over meals or for safe travels. But for specifics beyond “bless the day”. And for a husband who started kneeling by my bedside to pray for me before my first cup of coffee. Brave man right there.

For a (more) minimal lifestyle. Fewer material items to clutter and manage. God chose to empty so we could see open spaces with room to dream.

For evening walk talks without iPhones and away from anything plugged in. Those sweet, uninterrupted times taught us much about communication and getting to the root of the daily struggle.

For a life disrupted, jolted out of a comfortable glide. We had it easy. The Lord allowed it to be hard. And now we are softened. Only God.

For what I once took for granted. The list is long. I want my appreciation to be longer.

For the unanswered. We’ve learned to trust the glimpses of God. Anything else would be too much for us to handle. The Lord has a timeline far different than ours and what He chooses to reveal, or not, is up to Him.

I saved this text from Jim. Part of another conversation about what God had taught us and to remind me of His faithfulness through the broken days and building us back stronger.

My husband’s words just struck me as perfect for us.image

And this verse is everything.

“For you, O God, have tested us; you have tried us as silver is tried. You brought us into the net; you laid a crushing burden on our backs; you let men ride over our heads; we went through fire and through water; yet you have brought us out to a place of abundance.”  ~ Psalm 66:10-12

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The Choice I’m Making About Hope


Posted By on Mar 18, 2016

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” ~ Romans 15:13

For the last few weeks I’ve had some anxious thoughts. Personal situations and discussions about the political climate, along with the random worries I can generate all on my own, have really messed with my perspective.

But I’m making a choice. One which I want to take deep root in my heart and mind and transform my thinking.

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I want to be defined by hope.

A hope that is more than wishful thinking.

A hope not reliant upon a political candidate or an agenda, which leaves me empty and focused on the things of this earth.

A hope that is more than counting on someone to keep a promise, because sooner or later I am disappointed. Or the disappointer.

A hope bolder than feeble prayers I offer when I honestly just want my way.

A hope stronger than my emotions or circumstances at any given moment.

But to really live IN hope. And for that to happen I have to seek God to shake some things up. Change my desires and habits to live a life defined by trust and purpose will require:

· Shutting out the voices of many to focus on the voice of One. It’s my fault for letting the news, social media, and various opinions define my patterns of thinking. While many I chose to hear are positive, that’s not enough. I need to be in God’s word and in prayer.

· Living as if this world is not my home. Too much energy has been given to things I cannot change. Colossians 3:1-2 states,

“Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.”

I am a steward of what God has entrusted me to care for in this world. But I cannot let those things, however noble and right, own me. Otherwise, they become little gods rather than what can give glory to Him.

· Truly worshipping. Not the Sunday check-in. But cultivating a heart turned to God. Every thought and decision should flow from being in his presence. Without it comes confusion and selfishness. I have known that place of worship. And it’s beautiful. It’s time to go back.

Living in hope is not devoid of struggles and hard times and life changing moments of despair. Actually, I expect these times to come. But, good times and bad, I want a life defined by a hope secure.

Secure because of the work of Christ, who continues to work in me and for my good. And for His glory (Colossians 1:27).

(Special thank you to Ali Leonard, who made the beautiful handcrafted “hope” plaque. Check out her and Courtney Tidwell  at Our Funky Farmhouse page on Facebook.)

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