BECOMING | Zephaniah 3:17Perhaps one of my favorite verses, Zephaniah 3:17 paints such a vivid and beautiful picture of how much God adores us. In the journey to becoming a woman after God’s heart, it’s verses like this that give me encouragement.  God loves us even more than we can imagine.  The God that created the heavens and the earth, the Milky Way and the atom, the gigantic creepy squid things and the most fragile tiny butterflies, lightning and thunder, and anything else our eyes can see … that God adores us.  In fact, when He thinks about us, He is so joyful that He sings over us.

I wonder what song God sings when He thinks about me?

As much as I have a passion for God and His ways, He loves me even greater.  As much as I feel pulled to draw nearer to Him, He’s wanting me.  He’s waiting, wanting to walk in the garden with me.  There’s nothing that God wants more than to have a relationship with His children.

So any effort that we put into becoming more like God, into becoming a woman (or man!) after God’s heart, will never be in vain.  With each step we take in pursuit of Him, He’ll open our eyes to more of His glory.  He will save us.  His love is ever present.  He will dance and rejoice over us.  He will sing over us.

 

On October 5, 2014 · 4 Comments · In Lovely Life
 

Father Let My Heart Be After You calligraphy print

The following is lyrics from a beautiful song about setting your heart after God.  You can listen to the song here!

“The Garden” by Needtobreathe

Won’t you take this cup from me

Cause fear has stolen all my sleep

If tomorrow means my death

I pray you’ll save their souls with it

Let the songs I sing

Bring joy to you

Let the words I say profess my love

Let the notes I choose

Be your favorite tune

Father let my heart be after you

In this hour of doubt I see

But who I am is not just me

So give me strength to die myself

So love can live to tell the tale

Let the songs I sing

Bring joy to you

Let the words I say profess my love

Let the notes I choose

Be your favorite tune

Father let my heart be after you

The words to this chorus are so beautiful and haunting.  This song is talking about when Jesus was in the garden the night before He was to be crucified.  He knew it was going to happen, He WANTED it to happen, but His humanity still was hoping for another way.  What love it took for Him to willingly go to the cross, to stay hanging on it, when He could at any moment call down a fleet of angels to rescue Him!

Father, let my heart be after You.  In all my words, in all my actions, in my thought life.  Let everything bring You glory.  Let me bring You joy.

*Weekends during the 31 Days will be lighter posts – songs and scriptures about our topic.  If a song or verse ministers to you, I’d love to hear it!  Also, I figured out how to digitize my calligraphy!  If you would like a 5×7 download of the graphic I made, just e-mail or comment me!  I’ll take my site name off and send it to you ready for printing. 

On October 4, 2014 · 1 Comment · In Lovely Life
 

Characteristics

In discovering what it means to be a woman after God’s heart, the most logical place to begin is with the story of David.  He was, after all, the only person in the Bible characterized as one after God’s own heart.

So what was it about David that stuck out to God?  What was it that attracted God’s presence?  I’m sure there is a multitude of qualities about David that God loved, and we could talk in depth about them forever.  But four aspects of David’s life really stick out to me:

characteristics-list
We’ll be talking more about these four areas in the next few weeks.  Well, we’ll be talking about a lot more than these four areas.  It is 31 whole days after all.  Ha!

 

One thing that has really surprised me about this study is the grace that I have felt.  I kind of jumped on this 31 day challenge late in the game, so on day one I spent several hours at Starbucks studying my topic.  The main question in my mind is what does it look like to be a woman after God’s heart?  At first I picture this perfect woman – like everyone’s favorite Proverbs 31 lady.  Or someone who spends hours in the morning interceding before God and then proceeds to fix everyone breakfast and send her family on their merry way.  Someone who is so in tune with God that she’s hearing daily from Him.  Or someone who never lets her emotions get the best of her.  Someone who speaks gently and kindly and softly.  Kind of like the Duggar mom.  (Seriously – I tried to speak gently like her for a bit.  I lasted all of five minutes.)

But you know, the more I studied, the more that image faded away.  David was not even close to what I would call a perfect human.  Honestly, no character in the Bible was.  Even when we look at Jesus – who actually was perfect – his life was so not “politically correct.”  He offended people left and right.  He hung out at parties and made friends with prostitutes.  When he got mad at those selling goods in the sanctuary, he flipped their tables over and watched as the goods and money went everywhere.

I highly doubt He spoke like the Duggar mom.

To be a woman after God’s heart doesn’t mean that you have to be perfect.  Or have it all together.  I’m learning it’s quite the opposite in fact.  In the Bible there was a whole group of people who strove unrelentingly for perfection.  They were the Pharisees, and God called them out all the time.  Their quest for perfection and looking down on all those who hadn’t quite “attained” it yet led them to be consumed by pride.

A woman after God’s heart isn’t perfect.  She has flaws.  She has learned that without God, she is but dust.  So as we study what it means to be after God’s heart, let’s do so with grace abounding.  Not as a checklist of things we have to do to make God love us.  There’s nothing we can do to make Him love us.  He already does.  Passionately. Period. We are just learning ways to draw closer to Him.  Characteristics that will help us be more like Him.   Won’t you join me?

Becoming a Woman After God's Heart :: Write 31 Days

On October 3, 2014 · 2 Comments · In Lovely Life
 

“…the LORD hath sought him a man after his own heart, and the LORD hath commanded him to be captain over his people…” 1 Samuel 13:14

What-is-God-Looking-For

King Saul of Israel was in the midst of battle with the Philistines, and he was scared.  Instead of standing up to the enemy, the soldiers of Israel hid themselves in caves, rocks, high places, and in pits.

The prophet Samuel had told Saul that he would come and offer sacrifices, to speak to God on Israel’s behalf, but Saul just couldn’t wait for him any longer.  So Saul performed the priest’s job himself.  He bypassed authority and decided to take matters into his own hands.

When Samuel made it to Saul’s camp and saw what he had done, he told Saul it was over for him. That because he didn’t follow God’s plan, his time as king would soon end and God would raise up a new king.  Someone after His own heart.

Three chapters later, Samuel is looking for the new king.  God has led him to a man named Jesse, and Samuel knows that the next king is one of his sons.  Jesse starts parading his sons before Samuel, starting with the oldest.  And apparently this guy was built.  In my mind, he kind of looks like The Rock.  As soon as Samuel saw him, he said “surely this is him!”  (that’s paraphrased. ha!)

But God replied, “Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.”

Well, no offense The Rock, but you’re not what God is looking for.

The future king God was looking for was the youngest, scrawniest brother out in the fields watching the sheep.  The one that The Rock picked on mercilessly.  The one that Jesse didn’t even deem worthy enough to round up to show to Samuel.  The one minding his own business, not seeking any glory.

He was David, the one after God’s own heart.  And when he is soon faced with the Philistines, he will not choose to run and hide under rocks and in pits.  He will call on the Name of the Lord and stand up to the giant Goliath with no weapon but a sling and some stones.

 

Abraham was a friend of God, John was the beloved, but David….  David’s heart was just like God’s heart.  David’s heart drew God in.  God could look at David and recognize Himself in him.

This quality, this being after God’s heart, isn’t what is outwardly popular.  Even Samuel, the prophet of God, was blinded by outward appearances and strength.  Surely God would want someone big, strong, and powerful to rule Israel.  Surely God would want someone who had it all together.  Surely God would want the smartest, brightest, most impressive one to represent Him.

But nope.  God doesn’t look at that.  He looks at something hidden that only He can see.  Something that draws Him in.  Something that is patterned after His heart.

For this pale, short, frizzy-haired girl with zero depth perception, knowing that my outsides are not what God is looking for is so refreshing.  Open any magazine today and you’ll be bombarded with tips on getting a bikini body or working off back flab or filling in your eyebrows.  I’m going to try not to linger on the fact that if one is worried about back flab, one clearly needs a life.  I mean, back flab just gives you more cushion for hugging.  Hugs are great.  Go back flab.  Moving on.

This world gets so focused on the things that God could care less about.  God doesn’t see what man sees.  He looks for something different.  He is drawn to the heart.  Step one to becoming a woman after God’s own heart?  Remind yourself what God looks for.  Rid yourself of the ingrained beliefs and expectations that you have to look perfect, have the most talent, have the most eloquent speech, or have it all together to be noticed.  For the Lord is searching for someone after His own heart.

31 Days button

*Want to read this story about Saul, Samuel, and David for yourself?  It’s all in 1 Samuel 13 and 16.
On October 2, 2014 · 2 Comments · In Lovely Life
 

This month I am doing something exciting.  And scary.  Which is really the best kind of thing to do.  Each year in October, The Nester hosts a 31 Day Writing Challenge.  You choose your own topic, link up to the site as accountability, and then write.  And then write some more.  With a bit more writing thrown in.

I’ve thought about joining it for a couple of years, but never had the spizzerinctum to do so.  (Side note: I so thought this was a word my Grandpa had made up, but it is indeed real!  Boom.)  And actually, I didn’t decide to join this year until yesterday, so I’m behind the game.  A lot of people already have their 31 days’ worth of posts already written.  *insert emoji with wide eyes here*

Topic after topic flit through my mind.  Do I want to write for 31 days about knitting?  My mom and I might like it, but it would bore everyone to tears.  Then I thought about 31 days about love.  Because love seems to be all I ever write about these days.  What about 31 days of painting all the orange wood trim in my house to white?  Riveting.  I’d mix some days’ posts up by showing videos of paint ACTUALLY drying.  Genius.

Then it came to me.  And I’m excited and scared.

31 Days button

For the next 31 days, I’ll be writing about Becoming a Woman After God’s Heart.  This phrase kind of has two meanings.  When you first read it, “a woman after God’s heart,” you think about a woman in search of, wanting, trying to find, or in pursuit of God’s heart.  But it also brings to mind King David from the Bible.  It says multiple times in Scriptures that he was a “man after God’s own heart.”  As in, David’s heart resembled God’s heart.  His heart was set on the things upon which God’s heart was set.  He took after Him.  David had fashioned His life and thought processes in such a way that God couldn’t help but be drawn to him.

So what does that mean today?  What does being a woman after God’s heart look like?  I’m not 100% sure, but I’m hoping to get closer to the answer by the time this 31 Day Writing Challenge is over.

This post will be the landing post, so if you click on the little button on my sidebar, it will take you right here.  I’ll be updating this post with links to each day’s writing as I go.  And if you’d like more information about the 31 Days Writing Challenge, you can check out the site here.  You’ll also be able to find a whole bunch of other bloggers writing about specific topics for 31 Days.  So if you’re disappointed that I didn’t choose knitting, maybe someone there can make your day.  Ha!

Would you like to join me?  I’m oh so excited.  And, of course, scared.  My interests always bounce around multiple times a day, and I usually only blog once or twice a week.  So this will be stepping way out of my norm. But I’m ready.  Most of all, I’m ready to be stretched by God.  And I’m ready to start pursuing His heart.

Day 1 :: Becoming

Day 2 :: What God is Looking For

Day 3 :: Characteristics

Day 4 :: After You

Day 5 :: He Sings Over Me

On October 1, 2014 · 10 Comments · In Lovely Life