I finished reading A. A. Calhoun’s book, Invitations from God, this morning and the last chapter was in essence about love. She asked some hard questions, which led to a hard conversation between my husband and I. We are having some serious issues with loving each other well in our house. We talk alot about it, but when it comes to actually doing it, it’s just not happening. It comes down to my husband and I modeling love towards each other with the hope that it will flow down into our children. Hard stuff, but good stuff.

I took the questions that she offered in the book, along with the guiding verses from I Corinthians and a few quotes and made up this chart. I hope it helps you in guiding how to love other well in your houses as much as I hope it helps us.

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Praise, My Soul,
The King Of Heaven

1. Praise, my soul, the King of heaven;
To His feet thy tribute bring.
Ransomed, healed, restored, forgiven,
Who like me His praise should sing?
Praise Him, praise Him,
praise Him, praise Him,
Praise the everlasting King.

2. Praise Him for His grace and favor
To our fathers in distress.
Praise Him still the same forever,
Slow to chide, and swift to bless.
Praise Him, praise Him,
praise Him, praise Him,
Glorious in His faithfulness.

3. Frail as summer’s flower we flourish
Blows the wind and it is gone
But while mortals rise and perish
God endures unchanging on
Praise Him, praise Him,
praise Him, praise Him,
Praise the high eternal One

4. Fatherlike He tends and spares us;
Well our feeble frame He Knows.
In His hands He gently bears us,
Rescues us from all our foes.
Praise Him, praise Him,
praise Him, praise Him,
Widely as His mercy goes.

5. Angels help us to adore Him;
Ye behold Him face to face;
Sun and moon, bow down before Him,
Dwellers all in time and space.
Praise Him, praise Him,
praise Him, praise Him,
Praise with us the God of grace.

Tag: Praise Him, praise Him,
praise Him, praise Him,
Praise with us the God of grace.

This is probably one of my favorite hymns. If you click on the blue link at the top, you can hear a small snippet of the version recorded by Indelible Grace, which is the version that we tend to sing at our church. While there are parts of each verse that I really love, it is verse four that really sings to my heart. It’s a part that makes me close my eyes and truly sing my heart out to God and God alone.

Do you have a song like that? One that even takes the most reserved part of you and shakes it free? This is that song for me. I can sing it and honestly lose track of where I am. I am probably singing too loudly and off key, but this is one of those songs that I really just don’t care. It is a song that brings me into true worship.

This is where the Lord is meeting me this week. We sang this song at church on Sunday and I was alone with my children (which can honestly often be a challenge..especially with my clumsy daughter who wants to climb and dance all over the pews in her stocking feet!), but this song started and honestly, I closed my eyes and just worshiped. Me and my God. It was glorious. So, as this busy week is upon us and the “to-do” list is running crazy long, I play this song and the Lord brings me back into my center.

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love of your life

When pondering where the Lord is meeting me in the ordinary this week, this is the song that kept coming into my head. Granted, we’ve been listening to a lot of The Band Perry in our house (my brother has directed pretty much all their videos, so we have a personal connection), but there is something about this love song that is just hitting my heart.

There is that part in all of us that longs for someone to do the things that Kimberly Perry is singing about. We want to know that someone would walk to the edge of the ocean for us, just because we want to feel the sand run through our hands. We want to know that someone would love us just for us. Many of us have been blessed with husbands, me included, who do love us and stay with us and would do those things for us…hypothetically. What is hard for me is that I’m constantly looking to my husband to do the one thing that He can’t.

Only Jesus can be the one thing.
I am that girl that He loves for all my life.

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you are not insignificant

If there is a lie that is constantly spoken into my heart, it is that I am insignificant. That nothing I do will be any good, worth anything or make a difference. I think all of us hear this lie to varying degrees. Eve heard it first in the garden. The way to make herself significant wasn’t to continue to rely, trust and rest in God; it was to eat the apple. It was to do something.

In a world where people are losing their jobs left and right, where we are surrounded more and more by friends and acquaintances who are living with very little income (if any), it is an easy time for the Deceiver to come in and whisper the lies that we need to work harder, strive harder and do more and more. That this is the only way we will survive.

There is no place for rest in this.

God intended us to work, but he didn’t intend for our work to be the way people formed their identities or found favor with God.” A.A. Calhoun

When I feel unwanted, when I am rewarded for being someone that I am not, when I feel unworthy or don’t belong (questions borrowed from A.A. Calhoun) where do I turn? Do I sink down into depression? Do I crawl back into my bed? Do I stuff it or fill my life with other things so I don’t feel any of that anymore?

I’ve been brought to a place where I can fill my life with many “yeses” to others. I can fill my list with many tasks. I can fill my head with so much that I cannot make any sort of decision. Or I can simply let it all go and rest in Him. We don’t live in the Garden anymore, but God still gives us a piece of that when we trust wholly in Him.

When I wake up in the morning and declare this day for His glory, even in the midst of feeling like crud. When I scream at my children, but then confess and repent. When I don’t love my husband well.

He has born our sins on His shoulders. He loves us greater than we will ever know.

We are not insignificant.

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from Indelible Grace:
Jesus Cast a Look on Me

Jesus cast a look on me,
Give me sweet simplicity
Make me poor and keep me low,
Seeking only Thee to know

All that feeds my busy pride,
Cast it evermore aside
Bid my will to Thine submit,
Lay me humbly at Thy feet

Make me like a little child,
Of my strength and wisdom spoiled
Seeing only in Thy light,
Walking only in Thy might

Leaning on Thy loving breast,
Where a weary soul can rest
Feeling well the peace of God,
Flowing from His precious blood

In this posture let me live,
And hosannas daily give
In this temper let me die,
And hosannas ever cry!

More often than not, I write in this space reservedly and expectantly. I do not open myself fully here, for fear of offending others or embarrassing myself. I expect too much that people will find me in this space and like me.  I came to this space because I wanted a place to write freely. At some point, my desire to write became overtaken by my obsession with comments or numbers. I want to write here and I want to create here only because I want to share my words and what I am learning from Jesus. I want a record of where He has brought me and where He might be leading me. How lovely is the world online, but how easily temptation creeps in to be writing and creating more for others than for the One who matters most.

So, today I am sitting with humility. I am sitting with the idea of certainty versus faith. Only God has a vision of certainty. We only have faith. I come to this space with no certainty that people are going to read what I write. I come to this space to create with no certainty that people will like what they see or what to buy from me. I can only come to here with faith and the Joy of expressing the gifts that He has given me.

Henri Nouwen said it best:
following Jesus is
a “movement from false certainties to true uncertainties,
from an easy support system to a risky surrender
and from the many ‘safe’ true gods to the God whose love has no limits.

So as many other bloggers pray, I pray also
Refine me with each post how You will, rank me how You will.
Put me to service, or put me to suffering.
Let me be a follower, instead of seeking followers
Let me post for thee or be put aside for thee,
Lifted high, only for thee, or brought low, all for thee.
Do with me and each post whatever you will, because You alone know best.
Let me not strive but submit
Let me not compete but care
Let me not desire hits but holiness
Let my blog be full of You, and let it be empty of me.

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