From the mundane to the nitty gritty

I’m assigning myself an assignment.  I’m on a mission.  I’m going to find out the how to’s of turning a conversation from talking about the mundane things of life, to the nuts and bolts of it, to the nitty gritty.

All too often I find myself surrounded by women immersed in conversation about potty training, potty mouths and potty cleaning.  Now hear my heart – don’t get me wrong – I love to be with these women.  I need conversation about anything and nothing too – I DO want to know the best places to go where kids eat free, I DO want to know which supermarket has the best specials this week.  Truly I do.  But I also want more, and I know that I’m with real women, with real issues and real triumphs and trials, and I want to hear them.  I want the women around me to be able to hear each other out, to know what is on each others hearts, to be able to help by listening and being a necessary shoulder.  And I don’t see this happening as often as it could and should be happening.

There has to be ways of infiltrating conversations to turn to God things, to real issues and to be more meaningful.  So I’m on a mission to research and find out, and to put into practice these ‘methods’……

Do you have any tips?

A thought from the rockin’ 90s.

Don’t let your heart be hardened – don’t let your love grow cold 
May it always stay so childlike – may it never grow too old 
Don’t let your heart be hardened – may you always know the cure 
Keep it broken before Jesus, keep it thankful, meek, and pure 

May it always feel compassion – may it beat as one with God’s 
May it never be contrary – may it never be at odds 
May it always be forgiving – may it never know conceit 
May it always be encouraged – may it never know defeat 

May your heart be always open – never satisfied with right 
May your heat be filled with courage and strengthened with all might 

Let His love rain down upon you 
Breaking up your fallow ground 
Let it lossen all the binding 
Till only tenderness is found

 – Petra (Bob Hartman)

Don’t you love it when from somewhere deep down in the memory banks, the words of a song come to you that fully explain your thoughts and feelings about something.  Rock on Petra and rock on the 90s Christian Pop Rock!  

I’ve been learning that there is so much truth to the verse in Psa 95: 8 (Don’t harden your hearts as Israel did in the wilderness……For there your fathers doubted me, though they had seen so many of my miracles before).  

It is only too easy for the walls of your heart to harden.  In a heartbeat it is easy to take offense at what people do, or don’t do, at what people say or don’t say.  It is easy to move away from a place of nearness to God. Up go the barriers to feeling God’s presence and all consuming love.  Up, up and up.    

For a bit I’ve felt my heart hardening.  For a bit.  And I don’t like that feeling.  I don’t like the fact that when those walls go up – I know they can’t come down quite as easily as they go up.  

As the verse says – the Israelites had seen God’s miracles before.  They knew better.  They should not have forgotten.  

I have seen God’s miracles before.  I should not forget.  I’m not going to forget.  I’m not going to let my heart harden anyway – I want it to be soft and maleable – a vessel for my Lord.  I want to let God’s love rain down on me.  Till only tenderness is found.  May my heart always be broken before Jesus – staying thankful, meek and poor.  Less of me and more of Him.  

I’m keeping a chisel handy……and keeping walls away from my heart……but it is a conscious thing – a thing to keep working at.  Like the farmer keeping the foxes away from the vineyard…..I’m protecting my heart.  How is your heart?

The world of Me.

Seems to me there is a bit of an epidemic these days.  People – and especially those who participate in blogland seem a little obsessed with me, myself and I.

I get that at the start of a new calendar year it is always a good thing to set goals, to make lists, to prioritize and to get one’s house in order – literally and figuratively.  It is a good thing.  I like order and goals as much as the next pinterest obsessed person desperately wondering where to store the kids’ loot from Christmas.  But.  And this is a big BUT.  (my husband would giggle at that).  There is a danger when we are so compelled to write/ talk/ facebook/ blog/ tweet about me and my plans…..what I am going to do etc…..our focus becomes so inward that we forget what we are called to do.  We forget that we are called to be salt and light.  We forget that true, real joy comes from Jesus first, Yourself last and Others in between.

Self-centeredness = today’s robber of happiness for so many people.  I believe this.  I truly do.  I reckon that if more people would start thinking of others and of serving others and putting others desires and needs before their own then we would see things like the rate of depression come down, we would see happier and healthier children in our schools, we would see communities that actively show they care for people and we would see a generation of people actually being Jesus with skin on.

So.  Instead of me ranting on about how much this whole attitude thing disgusts me….how about you be real with me, and share with me a prayer need you have at the moment.  I’m not going to publish the comments from this post – but I can promise you this – by taking my eyes of myself and my own worries and issues and by chatting to my heavenly Father about whatever needs you have, then I’m doing myself a huge favour and I am going to be more joy-filled and it is a win win situation.