October 7, 2013

Ironclad

Posted in Uncategorized at 2:49 pm by Broken & Brave

On the weekends my son, Joel, always asks for me to make pancakes. I try to do so whenever I can (which is most weekends, but not all). I do it because I know it makes him feel loved. As you may have figured, if you have been attentive to any of my other writings, I have an acute sensitivity to the emotional needs of others (myself included). I’ve always been very sensitive this way. I believe it to be a gift from God, not of myself. I know my son Joel loves food and feels very dotted on when I cook for him. Another thing that makes him very pleased is when I cut the pancakes for him. He is nine years old and fully capable of cutting his own food, as his brothers remind him all of the time. Sometimes, I encourage him to do it himself, but many times I am willing to do it for him. See, I understand why he wants me to do it. It isn’t because he is lazy as one might assume. He isn’t dependant beyond what a nine year old boy should be (in fact all of my children are quite independent and do a lot for themselves). No, it is a measure of love for him. I know this because I asked him. I knew to ask because the same was true for me when I was a girl…

I have a deep appreciation for order. I like things “tight” and clean and organized. I never truly feel I have every thing as I would like it, but I realize considering all that is on my plate and the large family I have, I manage it all pretty well. I was like this as a child also. Some of my nostalgia from childhood included how my Mother cut my French toast or pancakes (just like Joel). She kept it cut clean and even. The food looked so organized and attractive on my plate it made eating it that much more pleasurable. I also have fond memories of how clean our house always smelled and how she folded my laundry neatly and placed it on my bed; All wonderful memories of my childhood.

I have five children and Joel is probably the one who most appreciates this type of thing as well as I. Because I realize this I try to be attentive to it and know that though I offer it to the other children, they don’t care so much as long as it tastes good!

Upon cutting Joel’s pancakes a few weeks back,  I lingered in the kitchen tidying up while the boys ate, I began to think about how Joel and I are so alike in many ways. Then my thoughts drifted to how I sometimes will procrastinate on a project because I know it will require me making a big mess before I can sort and organize the final package or project. I hate a mess…but sometimes a mess is required for something to be put together properly. This is the theme of my blog.

Have you ever had a large project you procrastinated on? As I just mentioned, I have. Take organizing a closet for example. To really do a good job you have to pull absolutely everything out, sort by category of item, things to be kept, things to be tossed. When the organizing has been done it is fresh, clean, and you can easily discern and find what you need when you need it. However, you pretty much have to pull everything out first in order to put it back right. That’s the part I hate. Especially because most projects I begin cannot be completed start to finish in one sitting because I am a Mom and all Mom’s know that completing a project around the house is like gold!

Now, let me apply this concept to your soul, the condition of your heart, your thought life, your family life, your relationships-the close ones. Relationships can be messy. Our minds and hearts can be full of clutter as well. God is very interested in cleaning house. He wants to clean our house because he loves us and cares for us deeply.

Let us say you and a friend are in a large room together and you are packing. There are boxes everywhere stacked high to the ceiling. Let’s go further…let’s say your friend is foreign and has a very thick accent so you usually have to watch their mouth while they speak to help you understand what they are saying. Now, you are together packing boxes and your friend speaks to you, but you can’t really see them because of all the clutter in the room. You are trying to listen and understand what they are telling you but it is hard because you can’t see them past all the boxes to watch their words. Together, you move all of the boxes out of the room and you stand there once again, just you two with no boxes blocking your view. You understand then perfectly because the room has been cleared out and there is nothing obstructing your proximity or view of each other. Kind of an odd analogy but I hope it helps you understand that this is how our connection with God is.

If we have a bunch of “stuff” cluttering up our heart, our thoughts our sprits, even if we are doing our best to work on hearing him, it is a challenge because just like those boxes, we have things in the way. God is good and gentle and kind and He reveals those cluttering items to us as we can handle the job of clearing them out. Sometimes it requires change and choices that aren’t popular with friends or loved ones. This usually doesn’t go over well and there is a bit of a growing season or stretching season. We learn a lot about ourselves and others in this season. If we hem ourselves into God and pursue Him with our whole heart and a pure motive, He takes care of it, but sometimes, almost all the time, it gets a little messy first.

In the process of cleaning our house we experience a humbling of sorts. When God humbles there is no shame. If it were shameful it would be not of God but condemnation. God’s humility is cloaked with love and encouragement. God has Belief, that you can do more, be more, have more. God is always interested in our having more. He wants to build up the walls of your heart, protecting and guarding it, making it ironclad. He wants to do the same with your relationships.

When we seek after God with all of our heart, mind and soul the reward is limitless. The Peace and Joy Divine, the Serenity of Spirit and sweet song of the heart are indescribable. It’s what makes those who have tasted of it dig deeper for more of God. God is always a gentleman, for he does not invoke his prejudice or force his love upon no one.

I have witnessed over the coarse of my life that not all desire to know God or believe in Him, but I have also witnessed that those who do know and love God do not all desire to know him the same. To know God on ever deepening levels requires sacrifice and the level of sacrifice or “cost” so to speak, is different for everyone. The more you are willing to risk for His intimacy of heart the more you receive of it. (Luke 11:-13)

“Jehovah is near to those that are of a broken heart, and saves them that are contrite in spirit.” Psalm 34:18

God is betrothed to the broken hearted.  If you study all through the scriptures, anything great that God accomplished through a man or woman, the man or woman became broken. For when we are broken of our will and heart then God repairs it to reflect his Glorious image, bringing himself all the Glory and we truly care for the things that break his heart on a level that we could never achieve on our own. This makes it supernatural and spectacular.

How we handle our broken heart is what makes all of the difference. Everyone knows heartache and heartbreak, but some choose to be the Victor while others choose to be a Victim. Some choose to Overcome while others were overcome. Some still, determine they are to be the Winner (in the best regard) while others become the Whiner. Victor/Victim, Overcomer/overcame, Winner/Whiner. The choice is ours.

Choose the high road of the Overcomer, the Victor, The Champion who Overcame and was used to represent the Lords good Name.

Allow God to come in and clear some clutter, organize the house, and make clean cuts while mending and bandaging where needed. God is building His House and selecting His team to go out and help others who alone cannot do it alone or don’t know of this Great God we serve. Be patient and remember that any team and person is only as strong as the weakest link. Don’t be the weak link! God is your Champion of Heart and will surround you with Champions like-minded to you!

Overcome by the Blood of the Risen One.

~Nicole

“You shall love the Lord your God with all of your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength. And these words, which I instruct to you this day, shall be in your heart. And you shall explain them to your sons. And you shall meditate upon them sitting in your house, and walking on a journey, when lying down and when rising up. And you shall bind them like a sign on your hand, and they shall be placed and shall move between your eyes. And you shall write them at he threshold and on the doors of your house. And when the Lord your God will have led you into the land, about which he swore to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and when he will have given to you great and excellent cities, which you did not build; houses full of goods, which you did not amass; cisterns, which you did not dig; vineyards and olive groves, which you did not plant; and when you will have eaten and been satisfied: take care diligently, lest you forget the Lord, who led you away from the land of Egypt, from the house of servitude. You shall fear the Lord your God, and you shall serve him alone, and you shall swear by his name.” 

Deut. 6:5-14

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