"I count myself one of the number of those who write as they learn and learn as they write." ~St. Augustine

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Awake and Aware

I don't naturally live my moment-by-moment, every day in "awareness". Much of my day is lived in auto-pilot and going about business-as-usual. This isn't a bad thing, necessarily. But, I want so much more.

I just find that during my day I am asleep sometimes... just walking through my day in a survival, or "doing" haze.

I want to see more! And, I think the Spirit of God is inviting me to see more. ...to be aware. ...to be more alive and awake.

But, that said, I know myself too well to know that this will not come naturally or easily. I have to train my eyes to see, train my mind to awareness, train my soul to open up and train my body to slow down!

I have attempted... in the past... to set an alarm a few times through my day. A reminder "ring" from my phone, inviting me to sit for a moment and reflect. When I have actually responded to this reminder by sittin' my rear-end in a chair (2 or 5 minutes) a few times a day, wow!, what a difference it makes. When I "make myself" sit down to reflect, to worship, to respond to God during my day--- during that natural "auto-pilot" mode, I feel that I become more alive. When I do this, I feel myself more aware.

There really is so much to see... so much to see with my eyes and mind: beauty and blessings. There is so much to see with my soul: my heart's state, my wandering thoughts, the emotional state of my children; and so much to see with my spirit: what is God doing, saying, leading, inviting me to in that moment.

I don't want to miss it! I don't want to miss one moment of one day!

And, so, this week I try again. ...although the phone ring has been a failed attempt in the past. I try again to remind myself. I try again to train my mind and my body.

So, here is my 'training exercise/experiement'---I set my phone alarm a few times through the day. The phone rings... and I stop what I am doing. I stop WHATEVER I am doing (and this is hard!) and pray, ask, seek, look, worship.

I know this isn't fabulously new or even remarkably profound in any way (smile)! And, I know that it is only a tool. But, I also have known it to be an open door to sweetness.

Anyone want to try it with me?

I know it can be done. I have done it before. And, it has been wonderful. Really, wonderFULL!

I don't naturally live this way. .... but, I am learning and want to keep on learning.

Teach me, Spirit to hear Your call and know Your presence throughout my day. Teach me to stay aware, alert and to be on guard! May I learn, by Your power and Your help to worship you and pray without ceasing. ...for what joy awaits me as I enter into this awareness!! What an invitation You have given me to walk with You always and continually.

"[In] the whole of world history there is always only one really significant hour — the present…"

~Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Monday, September 26, 2011

Sharing a bit of bread...


I write here, in part, because I read.

Just today I found myself thankful for those who have gone before me and have written about their journey. I thanked God today for Amy Carmichael. On Friday, I thanked God for Charles Spurgeon. These men and women walked with Christ and wrote of their thoughts, their feelings, and God's words to them... and I am fed by their writings.

Like the friends that brought food from their homes to feed my family when I was sick; these old and ancient "friends" feed me with the food they have received from God. I eat of the manna they collected. I am so glad they wrote.

So, I write here of my journey. I write here about small things, random thoughts, and real-life walking because maybe, just maybe, it will nourish... as it nourishes me. I want to share with you from my kitchen, from the little manna I collected today.

I don't consider myself in the league of Amy Carmichael or Charles Spurgeon, to be sure; but, I as I read their writings, I realize they too were just people. ...God likes to use men and women "just like us" (James 5:17)

So, I offer you here a bit of bread from my table... given to me from a "friend", Charles Spurgeon. I just must share!!

"The great Head of the Church is actively engaged in providing for his people. He does not sit down upon the throne in empty state, or hold a sceptre without wielding it in government. No, he stands and feeds (Micah 5:4). The expression "feeds" in the original, is like an analogous one in the Greek, which means to shepherd, to do everything expected of a shepherd; to guide, to watch, to preserve, to restore, to tend, as well as to feed. His reign is continual in its duration. It is said, "He shall stand and feed"; not "He shall feed now and then, and leave his position"; not, "He shall one day grant revival, and then next day leave his Church to barrenness." His eyes never slumber, and his hands never rest; his heart never ceases to beat with love, and his shoulders are never weary of carrying his people's burdens. Happy are we who belong to such a shepherd!"
(from Spurgeon's Morning and Evening Devotions)
------
I also offer you my list. .. a continued list of counting my blessings, the multitude of graces that God gives to me each day. I am working my way to make a list of 1,000 gifts from God.
I count with others at "aholyexperience.com"... go to this beautiful site, explore other's lists, praise God and join the count!

#908. Sunshine
909. Dark, cold mornings
910. Warm heaters, warm old comfy sweaters.
911. Sermons that make me think and ask hard questions.
912. The beauty of creation... large and small.
913. Dates with my man!
914. The kids confident in being left home alone, while we go on a date.
915. Seeing obedience in our dog!
916. 40 birthday on a cake and being invited to join in the celebration.
917. What Christ has done for me... and is doing for me.
918. Snoring
919. Her excitement about her youth group.
920. Emails and friendship.
921. Messy morning hair.
926. Auto coffee maker.
927. Her improv on the piano--- just magical.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

What do you long for?

Equilibrium. Rest. Peace and quiet.

This, I think, is what I truly long for. As I have pondered the words of Jesus, What do you want?, and I have asked Him to reveal my hidden longings... this is what comes bubbling up from within.

What do I want, Jesus? I want to be at peace. I want rest and order. I want quiet and simplicity. I want equilibrium.

Is this a sinful longing? I don't think so. I am asking God this very question. And, I believe it is a God-given desire, actually,---a longing that He gives and that He can fill.

I wonder if many or most of our real, hidden longings... if we reach back and deep in... are the longings created in us by Him and for Him to answer.

What do you want, I wonder? What do you really long for?

Is your longing "connection"? Purpose. To feel special or adored? To serve. Or to receive? To be seen or to be happy?

...to be at rest, like me?

Like the shape of our noses, or the color of our eyes... our longings are all different--- and yet, the same.

And, our longings are a sometimes very mixed up, aren't they? Mine are.

Like a mixed ball of string, one thread of the longing is godly and right; while the other threads, are mixed motivation and flesh strategies... and sin... all mixed in. What is what?

"...our desire for equilibrium can become an idolatrous attempt to deny a large part of what life is all about... the Psalms robustly deal with life as it really is and find God in disorientation as well as in harmony. We need to comprehend that there is no place where God is not" ~Elizabeth Canham

When does my longing for rest become idolatry? When does your longing to be heard, to be noticed, to serve, or to be loved stop being about God-given desires and become a 'god' in-and-of-itself?

I think, at least in part, our longings get off-the-mark when we try to accomplish them ourselves. We try to get them, or do them, on our own. A mentor helped me think through this yesterday with the question, "How and when do I try to make it happen?" When am I trying to fulfill my longing.

What are my learned behaviors, strategies, and coping mechanisms that work hard to "get it"on my own? In my flesh I can try to make it happen... just in case God doesn't show up!

Just in case this God-given longing is not filled by God (somewhere deep within I still 'hedge my bets') I do this-n-that to make sure my longings are filled. Day in and day out, am I even this aware of my heart?

And, then when it doesn't work... which it never really does!!!... I then tend to drift into my escape or "self-medicating" acts and mechanisms--- that is where the over-eating, the over-watching, over-sleeping, over-worrying, or over-playing might happen. Then, I feel badly or shameful about this sinful behavior.

When actually, it was the four steps prior,--- the steps of thought, or more acceptable acts of flesh that are the deeper root of the problem: the four steps prior that didn't work and didn't bring fulfillment for my longings.

The idolatry of heart that didn't fulfill fails and so I might run to the other escapes.

Okay, so I want equilibrium and rest. So, my planning. My ordering. My organizing and cleaning. My list-making and my sorting-of my children (and attempt to sort-out and control my husband) are ways that I attempt to get this rest, to fulfill my longing.

These prior acts of behavior and thought can all be an attempt to make it happen ... all in the effort to get that rest, that peace-of-mind, that I am longing for...apart from God.

So, is the answer to stop those behaviors. Should I stop cleaning, organizing and planning? I don't think so. I don't think the answer is about not doing the laundry!

It is about the heart. It is about my heart... your heart.

My mentor asked me, "What are you leaning into?... what is it that you put your weight into?"
"When you feel a bit overwhelmed, or out-of-control, or tired... where is your heart running to?"
Running to.
Leaning into.
Resting in...

Equilibrium and rest. Peace and quiet. Only He can fulfill this deepest desire in my soul.
"Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him." Psalm 62:5

"This is what the Sovereign Lord says: In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it." Isaiah 30:15

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

What do you want?

What do you want? He asks.

As Jesus walked on they followed. Then, He turned and asked them a simple question, "What do you want?"
"As Jesus walked by, John looked at him and declared, "Look! There is the Lamb of God!" When John's two disciples heard this, they followed Jesus. Jesus looked around and saw them following. "What do you want?" " (John 1:35)
A simple question.

We can ask an 18 month old baby, 'What do you want?' ...and they can point to the toy, the cookie, or their mommy.

A simple question, yes. But, tonight it strikes me as quite complex and confusing. ...maybe even convicting. Or, inviting.

What is my answer, Jesus?

What is it I want? What do I really want? And, why do I follow after you?

If I am honest, I want many things. The degree of desire, the intensity, varies from want-to-want. And, the 'wants' change depending on my mood, my need and circumstances. ...but what do I really want. ...what is my deepest desire, really?

I sit here and imagine Jesus turning to look at me. In my mind I see His piercing eyes asking me this very question: Stephanie, what do you want?

My heart finds truth and comfort in the simple answer given that dusty day by those first disciples:

Where are you staying? they answer Jesus.

And I say to Him tonight: Jesus, I just want to be where you are. I want to know Your Presence and sit at Your feet. I want to feed on You and hear Your voice. I want to go where You are and live with You, walking...following after You.

And, Jesus answers me. Just as He did that sweet day, this Lamb of God... "Come and see!"

And [she] went with Him and saw where He was staying and remained with Him the rest of the day" (John 1:39)
Almighty God, you have made us for yourself and our hearts are restless until they find their rest in you. ~St. Augustine

Monday, September 19, 2011

Much Mercy Received

I woke up this morning needing mercy from God.

Tired. Head bowed, heart heavy, I came to Him this morning asking for mercy.

And He gave it!

Claiming the blood of Jesus over my sin, my weakness and my pain, I can receive grace and mercy. He offers me new mercy. Today's portion.... fresh and new mercy!

New every morning, His Word tells me. Imagine that! Mercy that never runs out. Fresh mercy that is always available.

Walking away from my quiet time with a heart thankful and filled, I began washing the morning dishes.

While my hands were deep in lovely warm, sudsy water, I heard the news.

With a heart still warm from mercy and hands warm from washing dishes, I heard that my friend made choices yesterday that just stink! Bad choices. And I felt angry at her choices. Knowing these choices hurt her, instant anger filled me. Frustration. I just felt mad at her!

Anger filled my soul and my mind reeled with all the angry words about her behavior. How could she do that again?!

Would she ever stop? Would these bad choices ever end? I ranted and raved internally for a moment longer until I remembered. Mercy.

Mercy, Stephanie. This is what I gave you this morning. Can you give it to her mercy?

It had been a bit hard to receive from Father God this morning; but,now it was even harder to give.


Love mercy. Verses from God's Word jumping at me from the sudsy soapy water I was washing in...

Head bowed and heart heavy, I decided to give mercy. With a cry for help from my Ever-Faithful, Ever-Giving Father, I decided to offer a portion of the mercy I had received just this morning.

I need it every morning. ...and so does she.

Yes, I can give mercy. With Your help, Father, I can offer grace!

.......
...still counting with Ann Voskamp and others at www.aholyexperience.com

#872. My boy praying for me without being asked to..

873. His word comes alive!

874. Sweet team meeting

875. Deep, uninterrupted sleep

876. Scripture repeats

880. Dancing in the kitchen with my girl.

881. Sunshine and rain at the same time!

882. New friends---good conversation.

883. New, fresh mercy received and given.

Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. Lam. 3:22-23



Friday, September 16, 2011

Happy to See

She sat with me and we prayed together. Her questions of God's love for her whirling in and out of her speech. She never actually said it out loud--- but I could hear it behind her words. She is learning He loves her, yes. But, don't we all have a long journey in really getting it?!

As I prayed for her and listened, I began to sense what Father God might want to say to her heart... the picture I saw in my mind's eye was a recent memory: today's morning snuggle with my children.

Every morning when they come down to see me, I whisper something to my children.

Eye's glazed over and hair messed, in that 'I just woke up' way that is so very adorable, my sweet kids climb on to my lap (one at a time!) and I say to them, "I am happy to see you!"

I pull them close and whisper, "I am so happy to see you this morning!" And, they smile.

And, I am.

I am so happy to see them each morning! When I say those words, my eyes looking into their eyes, I mean them. I am so very happy to see their faces, to squeeze their sweet bodies, and to hear their voices!

What does God think of me when I "come to see Him". When I wake up, hardly able to drag myself out of the warm bed into the cold, dark morning air, ... what might His face look like, His voice sound like, His arms feel like when He whispers into my ear, "Stephanie, I am happy to see you!"

His Word reminds me that He delights in me. His faithful love sings over each of His children as He counts the numbers of hair on our heads!

I receive this Truth today. I ask the Lord to let that Truth feed me, once again. Like manna, this bread, would feed me to pure contentment and peace.

He is happy to see me!

These are the words I spoke to my friend as we prayed. I told her that He was happy to see her! And she, too, ate of this Truth... this sweet, filling, satisfying bread that brings life! He loves her freely and delights in her. These are the words that I sensed the Spirit prompting.

I spoke them... ate of them myself... and from these words about His love there were baskets n' baskets of leftovers for her to partake of, as well! We ate and we were satisfied.

"Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days." Psalm 90:14
"I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ." Ephesians 3:17

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Highways to God

There is a well-worn pathway in the sheep's fields close to our home. At first glance the field simply looks like a beautiful patch of green. But this has been a public walking path for many, many years; and so, many have walked on this field with the beautiful coast as their destination. If you are looking for it you can see the well-worn, clear walking path through the short grass.
Like a road, it shows you the way to walk. Who needs a sign!?

There is a well-worn pathway to God in my heart! He was the first to make the way, the road. He walked it out before I was born. I have now walked traversed this pathway to joy, toward Him, many times before. All I have to do is look for it! It is there. Always.

Psalm 84: 5 says, "Blessed is a man whose strength is in You, in whose heart are the highways [to you]".

My heart has a pathway to God. In my heart is a highway toward Him: a road always open!

As I journey on that pathway toward Him... daily, moment-by-moment... I find strength. (Psalm 84:5)

And, I find His Presence. And, I find a home. (v. 1-3)

As I daily journey this sweet highway to God, I find in Him a shield and a comfort.
I find joy and purpose. I find contentment for my thirsty soul. (v. 6-12)

How lovely is Your dwelling place, O Lord!

I am praising Him today, as I keep counting His blessings of grace. His blessings pour forth day and night and this "autumn rain covers me with pools" (Psalm 84:6)

861. Gomer lessons that set my heart aright on the journey again!
862. Times of intercession that are sweet and linger.
863. A yummy steak dinner--- what a treat!
864. My man's blue eyes that still attract me and draw me in.
865. Good, deep-heart conversations.
866. Parents who come to visit and bring with them joy. ...and give us a few nights away together!
867. The wild, wild, wild wind.
868. The sand that is whisked across the wind beaten beach.
869. Being pushed to and fro by the wind... leaning into like a kite.
870. Laying on the deep green cliffs, watching the bright blue sky and listening to him tell me a story.
871. God's Word like a lamp to my soul. He lights my pathway... reminds me of the highway to Him in my heart!

I join today, with others, to say Thank You to our Father who gives blessing on top of blessing at www.aholyexperience.com.
Jesus Christ became Incarnate for one purpose, to make a way back to God that man might stand before Him as He was created to do, the friend and lover of God Himself. ~Oswald Chambers

Monday, September 12, 2011

Gomer, my dog and me.

A few weeks ago I began calling my dog by a nickname: "Gomer".

She was dubbed this infamous title when we found out that she has been going out, into the town, wandering late at night. ...to be fed? ...to interact with all the people at the local pubs who think she is adorable? We aren't really sure why she goes... but, go she does!

The problem with her wandering is multifaceted, for sure! But, the biggest problem is that she is a black Labrador and, with few street lights, our little town is very dark at night. The likelihood of her getting hit by a passing car is very high. She is not street wise and she is black as the night. She is simply not safe wandering the night streets! ...my Gomer dog.

We do provide all that she needs here in our home... warmth, food, relationship, and faithful care. And yet, she still runs away. She still wanders.

She, our dog, also receives punishment when she is caught (which she doesn't like!)... but, still, she wanders. We love her much! And, yet, she runs.

I don't think it is only coincidence that last week in Spurgeon's devotional, he focuses his readers on Hosea 14. And, I also don't think it is coincidence that this morning, in a separate devotional my "reading" for today was Hosea 14. Do you think God might be saying something to me? I do.

I, too, could go by the nickname Gomer.

I, too, wander. I wander away from what I know is best and safe. I wander in thought and deed. I wander while knowing full well that what I have in my Heavenly Father is perfect relationship, warmth, food and faithful care.

Yesterday it was the food that I wasn't hungry for... physically hungry for... that I choose to eat anyway. This isn't a new temptation, if you are new to my blog. ...a lust for taste overpowering the nudges of the Spirit to "stop".

...my punishment: an over-full, uncomfortable stomach. And, harder still, deep conviction that again (yes, again!) I have wandered from the safety and beautiful gift that God actually intended physical food to be for me.

Some, I suppose, wouldn't feel the burden of overeating at a meal. For some this, "oops, I ate too much!" isn't a big deal. And, sometimes we do it "by accident", for sure. But, this wasn't the case yesterday. I knew full well what I was doing and kept on eating! Rebellion was part of my overeating yesterday.

As a Church, we do tend to talk about our gluttony, ...that bag of chips, that chocolate bar, ...with a very light-hearted, unaffected easiness and manner. Typically our greatest concern is the added inches to our waistline. For me, it is more than that. The Lord, long ago, took me to task for my wandering lust for food and how I use food to "feed" the needs only the Lord can fill. It is no longer about my waistline... it is so, so very much about my heart. This may not be your issue. Our issues are all different. Our temptations very unique. Our wanderings look as different as the shape of our noses.

So, anyway... My "Gomer" dog wanders. And, I welcome her back each and every time. Of course, I do! I still will feed her, pet her, and give her a warm place to sleep. Even though I know full well she will wander if given the chance, I will still love her.

And, she is just a dog. And, I am just a human.

Aren't I worth so much more to God than many sparrows (or dogs!)? (Matt. 10:31)

And, if I ...who am evil... know how to give good gifts and love, doesn't my Father in Heaven give beyond and above me! (Matt. 7:11)

My repeat offense... a temptation and fall that pulls me down from time to time... this too, has been taken and covered by the blood of my Savior Jesus! This strikes me as particularly awe-some today. In light of my wandering heart, this Truth and this Love is striking and poignant.

Just as God instructed Hosea to go and get Gomer back from her night's wandering... again, and again. So, He invites me back. Always.

And, this is what He was reminding me this morning. This is what He has been whispering to my heart via my dog, Spurgeon and my devotional book. ... return to me, again, Stephanie. Bring to me your words of repentance, again. And, I will... I will love you faithfully! I will feed you, again. I will take you in and wash you. I will love you and delight in you! ...just come back.

And, go and sin no more.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

I take with me my lips

There are certain days I feel more aware of my sin than others...

Today is one of those days.

Waking this morning, I felt keenly aware of my fickle heart. My soul was pained with the knowledge of this "spirit is willing but the flesh is weak" battle that rages within! Is it the "small sins" of selfishness, judgment, pride that I am convicted by today? Or the "larger sins" of gluttony, vanity, and greed that pain me this morning. (you know I am being facetious when talking large and small in relation to sin, right? smile.)

All I know is that I woke with a sense of my wandering heart. This awareness is a good thing, a sweet thing, I believe. I didn't come to the Lord this morning in shame... just in awareness.

What can I bring you, Lord? my heart asked.

I found His answer to me in the first sentence of Charles Spurgeon's Morning and Evening Devotions: "From me is thy fruit found" (Hosea 14:8)

The natural fruit of Stephanie is a mixed bag... some clean, some rotten. The fruit from God is perfect and beautiful... always.

What can I bring to the Lord? He answers this question in Hosea chapter 14...

Return to me and bring with you your words, He says.
Come to me and offer the fruit of your lips, He commands.

My words. My lips.

Now, that I can do!

He offers us a pathway "back" to Him that is always open... our hearts turned toward Him and our mouths showing forth this turning.

What can I bring to you this morning, Lord?

Bring to me your words, Stephanie!
Say to Me, forgive me! Say to me, Receive me Father!
Say to Me 'there is none like you' and speak Truth out about who I am!

And in return, what does our awesome Father in heaven give us?

He will water me. He will feed me. He will make me fruitful.
He will answer and care for me. (Hosea 14:8)

What a gracious God I love and serve!! Today I praise His grace, His compassion, His unfailing love, and His forgiving heart!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Still Counting!!

It has been a while since I have posted my "counting" list. Taking the beautiful challenge put forth in Ann Voskamp's book, One Thousand Gifts, I began counting my way to 1,000 gifts of grace. It has been such a wonderful blessing in my life!

So, here goes a portion of my recent list...

806. Sweet words from my dad


810. Memorizing together.

811. Sweet servant's attitudes seen in my kids.

812. Singing while working.

813. Her voice, beautiful and clear.

816. They liked my cookies!

819. Love developing as we pray together.


829. New friends baking together in my kitchen.

830. Brisk walk on a cool morning.

833. Morning hugs from my boy.

834. Photos to help me remember happy moments.

835. He is writing from his heart.

837. Writing is welling up from within him, my man!


839. The blessing of hearing hearts over skype.

840. That clean, just bathed, smell of my boy!

841. Her mature response to our conflict.


848. Loving conviction from a gentle Father.

850. Watching my son give his sister the biggest piece.

I am counting along side many others in worship! If you want to join us or just peek at other's lists: www.aholyexperience.com



Thursday, September 1, 2011

Deeper in my gut

I live much of my life in my head.

I think a lot. ...maybe too much at times! Not that my thoughts are particularly profound or important; mostly they are not. Much of the time I am thinking on the mundane, the every-day, and the confusing. Tasks, to-dos, worries and cares can occupy or plague my mind through the day. But, regardless of what I am thinking, I do indeed think a lot.

In the last 10 years, silence and solitude have been extremely important to the vibrancy of my walk with God. I am so grateful for a mentor who opened my eyes to this essential concept by pointing us to Henri Nouwen's book, Way of the Heart.

So with the combination of "living in my head" and my need for silence, you can imagine that the tinnitus that I have experienced this past year has been quite a struggle for me! This "ringing" has been pretty-well constant and loud since September 2009. And, it can really throw me off!

This morning I sat for my solitude time with the Lord. As I sat there all I could hear was the ringing. R..i..n..g..i..n..g..!! (I can even distinguish three different tones).

Ugh. Father!! ...my heart cried out! Would you please heal this! I can hardly hear myself think. How am I to find you here and to hear Your voice?! Father, please... (this isn't the first time I have asked Him for healing. I can't count the number of times...)

The ringing continued and there was no healing. Not today.

But there was a whisper into my heart... loud and clear. I believe the Spirit answered my plea with a two simple words, "deeper still".

Deeper still, Stephanie.

The Kazakhs believe that you live life, your passions, your loves not from your head and not from your heart, but from your innards. They believe you life it from your gut. The word for "heart" in Kazakh... when you love someone or something "from your heart" ...is liver.

To a Kazakh you love your wife with your liver. You love your children with your liver. In fact when a Kazakh becomes a believer in Christ, he doesn't ask the Spirit of Jesus into his heart--- he asks the Spirit of God into his liver. The Spirit of God dwells in their gut.

Deeper sill, Stephanie.

I believe God is asking me to live from my gut. I believe He is inviting me to find Him deeper than my mind, my brain, my thoughts, my "beliefs". He wants me to know Him, love Him and find Him in my liver.

I know that we are wonderfully integrated beings... our "heads" and "hearts"--- our minds and souls --- our spirits--- are all beautifully integrated! But, I am simple minded. Truly, I am. And, so this distinction was helpful to me this morning.

Not from your head, Stephanie. ...know me from your liver. Go deeper still.

The stillness I seek is not to be found in my head. The silence isn't about my thoughts, the noise or my circumstances... that loud clock, the arguing kids, the laundry pile, or the construction next door.

I can find this silence, this stillness, this Presence, deeper still. I can ask the Spirit of God to well-up from my gut and fill my insides. I can imagine His living water moving, filling, and engulfing my innards.

So, I am asking Father God to show me Himself deep within. I am asking Him to well-up worship from my gut today... not from my head. I am asking Him to let my heart, my liver, inform my mind. I am asking Him to let His Presence deep within overshadow the ringing in my ears and the mundane thoughts in my head. I am asking Him to help me to go deeper still...

"Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flows the springs of life" Proverbs 4:23
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