Good morning friends.
I am enjoying this morning thoroughly… I do kind of wish I’d gotten up when my alarm first went off, but as my husband reminded me just now, this snooze-button season is soon coming to an end, so I might as well take advantage of it!
I had my normal routine today of: wake up, put socks on (the floors are SO cold in our house), go downstairs, make a cup of coffee, pour a bowl of cereal, sit at the bar and read the Word. I’ve been having trouble lately, though. Just… feeling distracted. Sitting at the bar, I can see the kitchen sink that is (usually) full of dirty dishes, I see the pile of un-dealt-with mail to my left, yadda yadda… so I moved into the study/guest room and tried to journal and read in there. No luck. I don’t know WHY it always takes me a while to remember that praying with my husband is an option– maybe because I’m really stubborn– so I went out to living room where he was reading/singing, and we had some time with the Lord together. Yes, I totally agree, it is vitally important to have consistent alone, one-on-one time with Jesus, but there is something different and undeniably powerful about coming together as a husband and wife seeking Him… when I am in the most overwhelming pit of emotions/discouragement/distractedness, Shane can say one sentence that, by the grace of God, sometimes lifts an “impossible” burden immediately.
At our church (The Oaks Fellowship in Red Oak – a-MAZING place, y’all) we have been going through a series called Close Encounters… talking through 1 Corinthians 13, the love chapter. Since I grew up in a Christian home, I couldn’t even begin to think about how many times I’ve heard that chapter read on Sunday mornings, at weddings, blah blah blah… but for some wonderful reason, this past month it’s been moving and working past my familiarity and cutting deep into my heart. For the Close Encounters series, we would stand up together at the beginning of the sermon and read the chapter together as a congregation … and believe it or not, days and weeks later, a verse from that passage would pop into my head in a very timely way.
Who knew I had such issues with really loving? … yeah. : ) I mean, I KNEW, but the more my mind and heart started to wrap around the simple and massive statements that love is patient, love is kind, love is not envious or boastful. It doesn’t seek its own. It isn’t irritable or resentful. It doesn’t rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. WHOA. I will go ahead and be honest and say … I know I don’t live that. I know that when I love, it’s usually– sadly– about me.
I’m in a bad mood? It’s probably because I’m holding a grudge, feel self-conscious, care too much about what people think, or I am plain irritable.
I don’t feel loved? Most of the time, it’s because I expect love to be about me. I guess I have selective memory when it comes to “growing up in the church”, because I’m well aware of the story from the night of Jesus’ betrayal when He got on the dirty floor and humbly washed His cowardly disciples’ feet… and then, commanded us to do the same. Yeeeah… that must slip my mind a lot!
All of that to say, I’ve been having such a lovely start to the year, and it still is — but I also know that the Lord spoke to me in the first couple of weeks of January the word “humility” a LOT. That this year is going to be a leading into a season of figuring out what being poor in spirit really is. How to be POOR in the deepest places of me, so that, I can be fully satisfied in the riches I have in Him. Sounds awesome, right? .. but, the process isn’t so awesome. I know it’s GOOD, though. And so, love is the theme of this season of humbling for me. Not knowing how to love people well, asking Him for help in that. Ultimately, not knowing how to love Him well at all, and asking for even greater and more supernatural help for that.
Today? As my husband asked this morning in our living room, that he (and I) would be patient in our love. It’s the first thing listed in 1 Corinthians 13. To be patient. To wait. And wait. And then wait some more. In my distractedness, I’m going to aim for that and ask for that… to grow in patience that reflects His love, even in waiting on Him. To not be in a hurry for a result, or some gratification… but to be content in the waiting.
“…God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit Who has been given to us.” Romans 5:5
The Holocaust survivor/missionary Corrie Ten Boom quoted that verse a lot. It’s stuck with me ever since I read The Hiding Place again last year (have you ever read that book? I’m being serious… you need to. Go to Half Price or Amazon, and do yourself a favor. Powerful powerful story!) … He HAS poured His love into my heart through the Holy Spirit, Who HAS been given to me. Let’s cling to that together. His promises are very, very true. I want to walk in them!
Hope you are having a lovely Thursday. Shane’s leaving tomorrow morning for a show and I leave tomorrow afternoon for Florida for the weekend, so we are soaking up today, watching American Idol results tonight, and enjoying a virtually schedule-less day. I will be posting “For My Love” video soon! Keep checking in for it.
Love you guys, let’s keep pressing into Him together.