(I insisted on sitting on my pregnant best friend's lap for this photo --
as if she doesn't have enough to carry around right now.
I was testing her love for me. Thankfully, she has a lot of it.)
It was a fun and inspiring weekend, but it was also convicting. I went into this conference knowing I was messed up. It only confirmed it. I've been struggling with myself for quite a bit -- with discontent and battles of the heart. I've been unfaithful to the truth, lying to myself. The battles have been fairly private and within. I'm a private person by nature, anyway, and don't talk to many people when I'm hurting. But God knows my heart and its messiness. And He cares enough to want all of it, even if I'm not good at sharing.
However, I am good at pretense . . . even pretending with myself. But some words from God (spoken through the fabulous Beth), fell on my lips, and I'm EATting them. No more pretending:
1. "The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?" (Jeremiah 17:9). My heart been torturing me off and on for quite awhile now, whispering things I know aren't true. It's led me on a crooked path, and I'm ready to get it straightened out . . . which leads to the next thought.
2. "My people have committed two sins: They have forsaken me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water" (Jeremiah 2:13). I've been searching for something I already have. I've been going through the motions of seeking God because I knew I needed to, but my heart wasn't really in it. As Beth put it my "need-to" is fine, but my "want-to" has been broken. So while I was only half-heartedly seeking Him, I was also looking to be filled in other ways. It's not been working -- my well is dry. The One who can fill me has been here all along, and it's time I really start to PRAY to Him and quit pretending with myself.
3. "Don't let a word out of your mouth until it's in your heart" (Beth). This particularly hit home. For this reason, it may be more silent around here. I'll be sharing something with you Wednesday that I wrote recently, but after that . . . .well, I just don't know. I need to separate my desire to write with my desire to be filled by others' affirmation. I used to write just for me, for my own walk with God. Now, I'm not so sure about my motives. I need to make sure before I share something here that I really own what I'm writing. I need to know and rely on the LOVE God has for me (1 John 4:16) before I even turn my face to talk to anyone else. So, you may hear from me less often -- at least for a little while.
So, while in my search for everything across my corner of the world, while in my search for what is already available to me, I'll continue to give thanks to Him whose love endures forever.
Counting, and meaning, gifts 186-205 (and passing 200! Woohoo!)
accountability in giving thanks
a girls' weekend
a funky restaurant that opened early just for us
a terrific hotel concierge
funny conversations over plates of interesting food
paintings that inspire inside jokes
a beautiful hotel
a gracious city
staying up late chatting with my best friend
a cup of coffee fixed by her the next morning to wake me back up
air-conditioning to escape 99 degree heat
encouraging words from Beth Moore
seeking and finding
God cures the incurable
Eating, Praying, Loving: God-Style