Tag Archives: prayer

Love from My Gut

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A heart shape drawn in the condensation of a window

There are many young people in my life right now who seem to be on different planets. Some are heading off to new adventures, full of life, full of promise. Some are so hurt and so lost that they are acting out in unhealthy ways. Some are just living, going from situation to situation; just waiting to see what’s going to happen next.

Every day I wonder how best to love each of them.

A few weeks ago, my pastor talked about love. He spoke about our culture’s definition of love; always agreeing, affirming and/or approving of another’s life. He spoke about what a cheap form of love this is.

This kind of love has no heart to heart talks, sets no boundaries, gives no advice and will waffle when things get too hard or weird.

Isn’t a deep and expensive love the thing we all crave the most? The love which will stand up and tell me when I’m wrong, and love me anyway. The love which will sacrifice comfort in order to make me comfortable, and love me anyway. The love which will come beside me when life is hard, catching my tears, rubbing my back and love me anyway. A love which gives encouragement, declares truth and inspires change.

How can I give this deep, expensive love to the people in my life?

As I look back through my prayer journal a piece of the puzzle falls into place.
Romans 12:9  Love from the center of who you are.  (MSG version)

My head holds my intelligence.
My face will change depending on my mood or circumstance
My heart houses my emotions and feelings.
But my gut is the center of who I am. My soul. My conscience. My truth. The undeniable point when I know that I know.

Love is to come from my gut.

If I am to love the people in my life well, my love for them has to come from my gut. The center of who I am. The piece of me given over to a Savior who has promised to guide me. The place where divine truth is planted and where my identity can be found.

My gut, my center, my core is where absolute truth resides. The place where my opinions, my fleeting thoughts and my wishes come to die when held up to the blistering light of absolute truth.

Do I have the courage, the strength to love the people in my life like this?

Love from the center of who you are.

When others disappoint you.
When dealing with loss.
When crying in anguish.

Love from the center of who you are.

When dancing for joy.
When embarking on adventure.
When laughing till it hurts.

Love from the center of who you are.

Let Christ be my truth.
Let God be the center of my being.
Let the Holy Spirit communicate love through me.

Love from the center of who you are.

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Weeds

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weeds

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I wake up and move through the steps of my morning routine, familiar habits signal another day is starting.  After the kitchen has been cleaned and a candle lit, I slide into my rain boots and go out to water the flowers.

Happy flowers which are blossoming and growing each day; the marigolds having tripled in size in just a few weeks.  I turn on the hose to shower their upturned faces with life sustaining water.

Then I look more closely at the beds where the mulch has been spread thickly and evenly.  Weeds have invaded.  Not giant spiky weeds created to choke the life out of my flowers, but small, innocent looking shoots of green enjoying the sunshine and water provided each day.

I tug out a few of the bigger weeds, their roots easily giving way from the dark, rich soil.  With each one I pull out of the ground, three more are there to take its place and happily give life to more.

Tomorrow I will take the time to eradicate the problem.  In the cool of the morning each weed will be removed and thrown away, so the beauty from each blossom can be enjoyed.

The next morning, routine is ignored; sunscreen and deet are applied as I make my way out to the flower beds.

I kneel and start to pull out each of the invaders.  As each weed is discarded, my mind wanders into a prayer.

Remove the weeds of self doubt and insecurity from my heart.  Pull out the poison of comparison.  Uproot the trap of business and distraction.

I work my way around the bed and continue to yank out the weeds.

Cultivate grace for myself and others.  Nurture seeds of love, so I may give out of abundance.  Plant a deep sense of Your guidance and direction.

I rip out the last weed and take in the color of these blooms.  The deep orange Marigolds, the creamy white Zinnias, the hot pink Gerberas; each petal an individual prayer, each plant a song of beauty and thanksgiving.

The work continues each day, both in the flower beds and in my heart.

Remove anything which may steal away essential nutrients, and cultivate everything needed for a flourishing life.

Hungry

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Santa Maria Magdalena Cemetery, Close-up view of praying angel statue

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My mentee and I are reading a book right now about God-Sized Dreams.  One of the chapters talks about characteristics of God-Sized dreamers: faithful where they are, keep their hearts open, embrace enough, encourage others, etc.  One of the lines I underlined in this chapter said: You’re feeding someone today.  Who is the hungry heart in your life?  These few words gave me pause thinking of all the hungry hearts I know.

I decided to write a list.  Students I work with, friends, family, acquaintances, anyone I could think of.  For each person I wrote “K is hungry for _______”; “G is hungry for ______”; M is hungry for ______”.

Hungry for true friendship

Hungry for physical healing

Hungry for adventure

Hungry for peace

It was an eye opening exercise; so many hurts, but just as many joys.  Then the question comes: “What can I do?”

Nothing

I cannot solve the hurts; I cannot deepen the joys.  I can do nothing.

Thankfully I believe in a God who can.  I believe in a God who loves to bring healing and create stories of redemption.  I believe in a God who loves to deepen our joy and give good things.  I believe in a God who can.

And He gently reminds me of my role to help with the hurts and the joys.  Pray.

Spend time in prayer bringing these needs before Him.  Pray peace over the broken hearted.  Pray healing over those battling sickness.  Pray thanksgiving over new adventures.  Pray.  Pray.  Pray.

What is your heart hungry for today?  Share your hunger with someone.  Ask for prayer or help.

Who is the hungry heart in your life?  Offer prayer, give encouragement, be love.

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ps – Does anyone else think the word ‘mentee’ is weird?

pps – The book we’re reading is You’re Made for a God-Sized Dream by Holley Gerth