Posts Tagged ‘innermost thoughts’

IMG_1375I opened my eyes, and there he was.

Quiet, still.

Staring at me.

My saucer-wide eyes were astonished to see such an animal appear in our residential area.

Thankfully I was able to snap a photo before he sauntered away.

My encounter with the Ethereal Elk was brief; but the seconds that passed seemed expansive – and powerful.

During my daily prayer time since he appeared, I continue to remember that moment.

What struck me most was the tangle of ropes that hung from his rack.

Did I imagine that he looked helpless and forlorn, unable to discard them?

I so wish there had been a away for me to take them away.

My thoughts have churned about the jumbled mess that elk had to carry around.

And what God has shown me is that I have my own entanglements that need to be discarded.

Some of my doubts, fears and mistaken thinking have been part of my carry-on baggage for so long that they are in danger of becoming permanent accessories.

It’s time for some serious shedding.

Brené Brown, in her book, Rising Strong, talks about the stories we make up.

 We can actually become trapped in those stories – so deeply that our brains begin to compose a story (however untrue) that we expect to hear. (parentheses mine)

It would be so nice if there were a special “mind conditioner” that we could use to comb through our knotted thinking.

Alas, undoing our wayward thoughts isn’t so easy.

Here’s where we need God’s help.

Courage and determination may start the process, but He is the one who can unravel the twisted ropes in our minds.

And allow us to shed them for once and for all.

Imagine how would it look if all of us walked around with our gnarled strands of “stuff” hanging outside of our heads.

Quite an image, wouldn’t you say?

Indeed, we are all lugging something around that we would love to dump.

Unfortunately, the Ethereal Elk had no choice. He was stuck with his ropes.

But, thankfully, we are not.

I pray that, with God’s guidance, we can all be brave enough to determine what we can dispose of.

And in doing so, enjoy the peace and serenity that result.



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Have you ever been listening to a radio program intently, when suddenly, much to your frustration,  the sound becomes fuzzy and far away?

That is an apt description of my spiritual journey for the past few weeks.

Though I have not “changed the channel”, copious amounts of static have interfered with my connection – so much that my attention has been diverted away from what is most important.

How could I allow this to happen?

This takes me back to my college days, when the imminent approach of piano juries and final exams would prompt me to place organizing my closet or cleaning my dorm room as a top priority.

Here I am, 40 years later, still struggling with those nasty avoidance/procrastination issues.

Except now, God’s persistence cuts through the static.  He prods me to stop and think about what might be the root cause of my distraction. He encourages me to bring these issues to the forefront and look them straight in the eye.

No more hiding behind  household chores, piles of emails, phone calls, or mindless web surfing when God is calling.

This temporary mindspin had me in a vicegrip which was not the least bit pleasant.

So I asked…begged God to help me out of it.

What finally cleared up my reception issues (and aren’t they related to my word for the year, receive?) was honestly admitting what was preventing me from sitting down each day for quiet, restful time with the Lord.

Contemplating my contemplative challenges proved to enlighten; and admitting my weaknesses and confessing my lack of discipline lifted the heavy weight from my heart.

Feeling far away from God is no fun at all.

Once I was honest with myself, those pesky attention diverters quieted down – and moments with God became the anchor points of my day.

I could almost hear  Him saying, Don’t touch that dial! I am working to resolve your technical difficulties! With your consent, you will soon hear My Voice clearly.

God always has something to teach us – even during brief lapses when we think He is somewhere in the distance.

May you feel Him next to you today…and hear His every whisper.

For he is our God. We are the people he watches over, the flock under his care.

If only you would listen to his voice today!   Psalm 95:7

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I give you thanks, O Lord, with my whole heart. ~Psalm 138:1

The Lenten 40, Day 27

If God charged for His Services, I would be bankrupt.  I have asked Him countless times for assistance in rearranging the inner rooms of my heart.

Unfailingly, He has offered His insights – and, almost always, I take His suggestions. (And if I don’t, there usually comes a time when I realize that I should have.)

My contemplative prayer time each day has been a centering respite, especially this last week, when the circumstances of life have taken center stage.

It all seemed so simple last May when we sold our home. Because the new owners weren’t ready to move yet, we were able to rent back for 1 year. Thankful for the flexibility we were given, we went about living here as if the house were still ours.

We considered a multitude of options for our next move – including relocating to a different state altogether.  As the months ticked away, we prayed that our direction would soon be clear.

Finally, everything fell into place…and in a few short weeks, we will be moving across town.

In the jumble of where and when and how, my thoughts have revolved around  home-related details. I daydream about which pieces of furniture will fit and where they should be placed, and anticipate some much needed purging.

Our rooms hold stacks of flattened boxes, ready and waiting to be taped together and filled.

While these imminent tasks beckon, so does God.

I visualize Him at the end of a long path, motioning for me to come toward Him. Blocking my way are brambles  – thick, thorny and ominous. Some pruning is definitely in order before I can get closer to the Lord.

Am I up to the challenge?

God’s message is clear: our innermost thoughts and decisions should be directed toward Him, seeking to do His will in every area of our lives. As we gain strength in our inner being, we find solid ground as Christ dwells in our hearts.

Muyskens writes, “by faith we come empty to Him to make room for His grace in order that He alone may fill us!”

During these next action-packed (no pun intended!) weeks, I will have to try harder than ever to be God-centered.

As fun – and challenging – as decorating a house can be, the end results are only a backdrop to what’s really important – the hearts of the people who live within, and of those who come through the doors.

I pray that all of our inner sanctums will be a welcoming home where God’s love will reside.

And I readily consent to His reconstruction…

Christ is in you. ~Romans 8:10

Today’s Lectio: Psalm 138



Weekend Reference

The Lenten 40, Day 28

By grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God. ~Ephesians 2:8

Today’s Lectio: Ephesians 2:4-10


Once again, my apologies for the lack of reference listings for the past week.  If any of you would like those, please email me and I will send them. Blessings to you for your understanding!

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