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Archive for the category “God’s grace”

Soul Cleansing

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I just got home from a weekend away, and it was lovely–mostly. We were in Branson, Missouri. We got one of those “deals.” Never do that. Just don’t.

But we did go on a gorgeous hike after eating donuts for lunch. We found a great bbq place and enjoyed The Baldknobbers–a famous Branson show. Buuuut, yeah, Branson is not my spirit animal home.

Anyway, I’m not here to reminisce about the Las Vegas of the Midwest–and I mean that in the nicest Midwest way. But I realized that as refreshing as it may be for my body to get away and step out of life’s routine, it’s often hard on the soul.

I LOVE routine. I set my coffee maker before bed so I can come down, fill my cup, and settle into ‘my chair’ without having to hardly open my eyes in the morning. My Bible and journal are there along with my foot-warmer, Marmalade-the-giant-cat. My cup is half-empty before I pick up my journal and pencil in the date. And I usually need a refill by the time I open my Bible. I’m very slow at waking up.

So when I’m out of my routine, I struggle to be in the Word, to find time to pray, to meditate. I usually manage some shortened version of my normal routine often read on my Bible app. If I failed to grab my journal, then I’m lost for writing down my thoughts. And, if sleep was evasive (read: not in my own bed with my own pillow), then time in the Word may not happen at all. Just being honest here. But I also know that by the time Monday rolls around, I’m going to need a good soul-cleaning.

This morning as I sat down to write and read, I thought, “I needed a good brushing and flossing of my soul.”  That was my brain picture.

           Brain picture: my need to create a mental picture of what God is teaching me.

My daily cleansing had been interrupted, and I was feeling the distracted effects. My morning moments of gratitude and reminders of God’s faithfulness had given way to irritation, discontentment, and envy. And there were the nitty-gritty pieces of accusation and self-condemnation that quickly became imbedded in my spirit. My soul ached and my mind grumbled.

But the Word always refreshes, always cleanses. My heart and mind settled into the promises of Lamentations 3:21-25

This I recall to my mind, therefore I have hope. The LORD’s lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness. “The LORD is my portion,” says my soul, “Therefore I have hope in Him.” The LORD is good to those who wait for Him, to the person who seeks Him.

Simply to meditate on God’s lovingkindess–a term that encompasses His love, mercy, grace, forgiveness, compassion, and faithfulness–is overwhelming and humbling and most certainly soul-cleansing. Contemplating the depth of His love for me turns my mind from thinking about myself and toward praise and gratitude for who He is and His complete faithfulness in all things.

It’s so important to speak the truth about WHO God is and HOW that impacts who we are as believers.

  • His forgiveness is complete; I am not condemned.
  • His love is boundless; I can not earn it.
  • His mercy is new every morning; I am filled with gratitude.
  • His grace is bountiful; I am humbled by His goodness.
  • His compassion is without boundaries; I am compelled to love recklessly.
  • His faithfulness is enough; I am able to rest in Him.

This was the brushing, the cleansing, that I needed.  A refocusing and refreshing of my heart. A flossing out of the untruths that wedged into my thoughts.

What cleansing does your soul need? What refreshing words of truth has He spoken to you lately?

 

SLIVERS

wood 2

The rough spots catch me–

Piercing painfully, I

Draw back quickly and inspect the wound.

The sliver is easily seen, easily extracted.

It’s a good sliver—

if there is such–

obvious and intrusive,

simply plucked from beneath the skin.

But the bad sliver—

Deep and small—initially unnoticed,

but festering with time and avoidance–

too sensitive to touch,

too painful to ignore.

It affects the whole body despite its size.

I must tend to it.

Silly, how small it is

Yet it can distract me from the most important things.

 

I have slivers in my heart, too.

The pains of my youth have,

thankfully,

been plucked—though not painlessly.

They were obvious and ugly.

Garnered from rough choices and youthful ideals.

Now the deeper slivers, though less obvious,

Reveal themselves.

Slivers of fear,

Shards of discontent,

Slender slips of doubt that resonant

the hurts of why, the aches of when.

In the wisdom granted in the asking,

He shows me the painful changes He needs to make.

Extracting the invasive slivers of selfishness.

Gently, yet firmly, working out pride, fear, worry.

They are so deeply imbedded

I have almost become accustomed to their pain.

But He reminds me,

“They distract you from the important things.”

 

 Watch over your heart with all diligence; for from it flows the springs of life.

Proverbs 4:23

 

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