Meditation on Psalm 28

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Psalm 28

1To you, O LORD, I call;

I utter Your holy name with expectation and fear.

my rock, be not deaf to me,

You are the only One on whom I can stand.  PLEASE hear me.

lest, if you be silent to me,

I become like those who go down to the pit.

Our conversations -made possible through Your Son – are what set me apart from this world.

 

2 Hear the voice of my pleas for mercy,

I cry for mercy…I beg for undeserved grace in my time of need.

when I cry to you for help,

When You are all I have…

when I lift up my hands

toward your most holy sanctuary.

When You are all I want…I surrender.

 

3Do not drag me off with the wicked,

with the workers of evil,

Those who get what they deserve,

who speak peace with their neighbors

while evil is in their hearts.

Those who speak counterfeit words to contradict the fullness of their hearts.

 

4 Give to them according to their work

and according to the evil of their deeds;

Let Your justice reign.

give to them according to the work of their hands;

render them their due reward.

Grant what they desire and deserve.

 

5Because they do not regard the works of the LORD

or the work of his hands,

They don’t acknowledge all You’ve done and all You do.  They give You no glory for creation.

They give You no thought as they go about their fleeting days.

he will tear them down and build them up no more.

Destruction is coming.

 

6Blessed be the LORD!

You are content in Your own holiness and pleased to offer grace.  Worthy of Praise!

For he has heard the voice of my pleas for mercy.

You promised You would never leave me!  You promised to answer when I call!

 

7The LORD is my strength and my shield;

When I am weak, Your power sustains and protects me.

in him my heart trusts, and I am helped;

Some trust in fame and fortune and safety and self.

I trust in You alone.  You alone are my solution and Savior.

my heart exults,

Everything in me leaps for triumphant joy!

and with my song I give thanks to him.

I will sing a new song…a humble heart and grateful lips are my offering.

 

8The LORD is the strength of his people;

Without Almighty God, we can accomplish nothing.

he is the saving refuge of his anointed.

We can run to You because You are our place of safety.

 

9Oh, save your people and bless your heritage!

Continue to rescue Your children and assign to us Your priceless inheritance!

Be their shepherd and carry them forever.

Lead us, guide us, protect us, carry us always for eternity.

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On My Fall-filled Walk

On My Fall-filled Walk

Since I have entered this new season of life with our kiddos all in school all day long, I felt a pressing upon my heart to be very intentional in how I spend the moments. To be devoted to my family is a natural thing for me, but to prepare for time with them, as we are apart, for the time we will have together, is a bit more complicated.  It is the overspill of life that I must attend to, so that when we are together, I am focused and present with them.

And that overspill for me includes cleaning the house–praying in each of their rooms, preparing a menu and meals–breakfast and supper together during the week and all through the weekend, adding special touches around the house–delighting in the seasons and times and finally–most importantly–preparing myself.

What do I mean by preparing myself? I’m talking about my anxieties and fears, my physical self, my time with the Lord and just re-remembering who I was (who I am) before I had four children.  That person has gone through a gamut of change, but truthfully? I like who I am.  I enjoy being alone–me and the Lord. Sometimes, I go out and spend time with others–sharpeners of my faith and friends of my heart.  But often, it is just me.

So when I find that life begins to pile up–and it will…and it does–I drive to a nearby park and go for a walk.  I pray there–for myself, my family, friends and folks going through hard times, our community, country and the world.  I speak aloud to God–and listen in my heart for His replies.  I read my Bible–a two-way conversation right there, just me and my Lord. I praise Him there–thanking Him for the yellow leaves that sparkle and glimmer in the sun, for the ducks I saw fly and land on the water, for the time set apart and for timing it, so that I am often completely alone when I go.

Then I feel the air and smell the breezes.  I feel the trees, as I pass, and I watch for birds and animals.  I smile. I laugh. I take pictures!

So today, rather than go on about my walk, I thought I would show you.  Then perhaps, if you wish, you can go on a walk, too. It is your very own time apart–margin and grace-filled spaces. Seek Him and He will be found.  Enjoy Psalm 37 from The Message and the photos from my fallish walk.

Don’t bother your head with braggarts
or wish you could succeed like the wicked.
In no time they’ll shrivel like grass clippings
and wilt like cut flowers in the sun.

Get insurance with God and do a good deed,
settle down and stick to your last.
Keep company with God,
get in on the best.

Open up before God, keep nothing back;
he’ll do whatever needs to be done:
He’ll validate your life in the clear light of day
and stamp you with approval at high noon.

Quiet down before God,
be prayerful before him.
Don’t bother with those who climb the ladder,
who elbow their way to the top.

Bridle your anger, trash your wrath,
cool your pipes—it only makes things worse.
Before long the crooks will be bankrupt;
God-investors will soon own the store.

Before you know it, the wicked will have had it;
you’ll stare at his once famous place and—nothing!
Down-to-earth people will move in and take over,
relishing a huge bonanza.

Bad guys have it in for the good guys,
obsessed with doing them in.
But God isn’t losing any sleep; to him
they’re a joke with no punch line.

Bullies brandish their swords,
pull back on their bows with a flourish.
They’re out to beat up on the harmless,
or mug that nice man out walking his dog.
A banana peel lands them flat on their faces—
slapstick figures in a moral circus.

Less is more and more is less.
One righteous will outclass fifty wicked,
For the wicked are moral weaklings
but the righteous are God-strong.

God keeps track of the decent folk;
what they do won’t soon be forgotten.
In hard times, they’ll hold their heads high;
when the shelves are bare, they’ll be full.

 God-despisers have had it;
God’s enemies are finished—
Stripped bare like vineyards at harvest time,
vanished like smoke in thin air.

Wicked borrows and never returns;
Righteous gives and gives.
Generous gets it all in the end;
Stingy is cut off at the pass.

Stalwart walks in step with God;
his path blazed by God, he’s happy.
If he stumbles, he’s not down for long;
God has a grip on his hand.

I once was young, now I’m a graybeard—
not once have I seen an abandoned believer,
or his kids out roaming the streets.
Every day he’s out giving and lending,
his children making him proud.

Turn your back on evil,
work for the good and don’t quit.
God loves this kind of thing,
never turns away from his friends.

Live this way and you’ve got it made,
but bad eggs will be tossed out.
The good get planted on good land
and put down healthy roots.

Righteous chews on wisdom like a dog on a bone,
rolls virtue around on his tongue.
His heart pumps God’s Word like blood through his veins;
his feet are as sure as a cat’s.

Wicked sets a watch for Righteous,
he’s out for the kill.
God, alert, is also on watch—
Wicked won’t hurt a hair of his head.

Wait passionately for God,
don’t leave the path.
He’ll give you your place in the sun
while you watch the wicked lose it.

I saw Wicked bloated like a toad,
croaking pretentious nonsense.
The next time I looked there was nothing—
a punctured bladder, vapid and limp.

Keep your eye on the healthy soul,
scrutinize the straight life;
There’s a future
in strenuous wholeness.
But the willful will soon be discarded;
insolent souls are on a dead-end street.

The spacious, free life is from God,
it’s also protected and safe.
God-strengthened, we’re delivered from evil—
when we run to him, he saves us.

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Filling Spaces

Filling Spaces

Today is the day I have long anticipated!  I feel like it is moving day–and I am staring at all the rooms needing filling.  It is both overwhelming and full of possibilities. Space. Margin. Uninterrupted. Exhale.

Today all four of our children are in school ALL DAY.  I love our children so much and love having them home, but for the first time in 14 1/2 years, I am alone at home. I like alone.

For the first seven years of our marriage, my Chris and I had no children (but oh, we longed for them). During those days at home, after two years of working full-time, while Chris was in Grad school, I filled the spaces with very long times in God’s Word, decorating our home, learning to cook, crafting, time with friends and exercising.

That was then. Now?  Well, I don’t know… I will tell you how my morning has gone so far: Awoke early, drank coffee, read my Bible and made breakfast…took back to school pictures, printed the sheets for how to do school-pick-up this afternoon, played around on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, prayed over kiddos as they left or I dropped them off…then I WHOOPED loudly and clapped unabashedly all the way home. I parked in the silent garage and hollered and whooped again–HalleluYAH!

First thing when I got home, I walked to our front door floor and laid down face first–completely prone. And I prayed.  I praised God for His abundant gifts to me, to us.  I thanked Him for our children.  I prayed over them, one-by one. I prayed over my Chris.  I prayed over me.  I asked Jesus to fill the spaces. I asked Him to make this season count.  I prayed that our lives would not be compartmentalized, but completely over-lapping. May our faith in Jesus–our lights–shine for Him today and always.

That’s what I have done so far. Then I came here to write, and it’s only been an hour since drop off.  So, as I stare into the rooms of our home, the rooms of my own life, I ask the LORD to decorate, to fill and to use us and our home.

“I, indeed was this and that; but He came, and a marvelous thing happened.  Get to the margin where He does everything.”, Oswald Chambers writes.  Perhaps the margin is a rarity for nature abhors a vacuüm (the idea that empty or unfilled spaces are unnatural as they go against the laws of nature and physics–from Using English dot com).  But I believe that if we ask Jesus to fill the spaces with Him, then we will find that even our busy, hurried lives have space every day, an oasis apart. If only we would look for and choose it.

So today, I am laying the foundation for this new season in prayer. I am building it on Christ, my firm foundation, and I am trusting that what He allows for this season will be good things from His hand. He will show me how to proceed–where to say yes and where to say no. I trust Him fully for it all.

Anticipating more of Jesus,

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Letters to My Family

mom's note

I’m making a list…I’m checking it twice…..

No…I’m not going to find out who’s been naughty or nice.  I am, however, going to make a commitment to the people on that list.

A commitment to pray for them in 2012.

My list has 34 names on it.  Some of them I see every day, once a week, once a year, or never.  It is a list of my family members (immediate and extended).    I’ve listed my husband, my children, my son-in-law, my father, my brothers, their families, my aunts, and my cousins.  My commitment to them is, not just to pray, but to write them a letter….a handwritten letter on stationary, mailed through the US Post Office, with a stamp, during the year.  If I write at least one letter a week, by the time the Christmas card season rolls around, I’ll be ready to send them all a card, too.  I’ve used a basic Excel spread sheet to make my list.  It will give me room to add addresses, birthdays, a check-off system, even a place to add gift ideas with their likes/dislikes.

Why would I write a letter to my husband or my children, you may be asking?  I see them every day, almost.  If I don’t see them, I at least text them daily or “facebook” them, especially the extended family.  My son asked me one day why had I certain messages locked on my cell-phone so that they couldn’t be erased, the messages from him and his sister where they had texted me that they loved me.  I told him that one day, he might not feel like texting me that message.  We might have a falling out, or he just might be mad at me for some unknown teenager’s reason.  I wanted to be able to look at those to remind myself that they did in fact love me, even if current actions weren’t showing it.

However, the main reason I am committing to write each family member this year comes from my journey from the previous year.  As many of you know, I lost my mother and my grandmother in 2011.  As we have been going through their estates and belongings, I have become the keeper of all things photographic or written.  I’ve spent the last year reading journals and looking through photo albums, and scanning pictures into my computer so that I could share them with the rest of my family.   Every picture, no matter how blurry or out of focus, of my mother, I scan.  I want to remember her every look and I’m doing that through the pictures.

In the midst of going through some of my things, I found the cards and notes that she had sent to me over the years.  I cherish those notes now.  I look at them over and over again and remember how much she loved me.    I understand that there are lots of people that never received such a note from their parents; they never felt genuine love from their parents, never even heard the words spoken.  My heart aches for them.

I want my family to know how much I loved and prayed for them.  When the day comes that I can’t speak the words myself, I want these letters to remind them….they were loved.

Also, for right now, I want them to know that I am praying specifically for them.  So many times we say “I’m praying for you” and then go on our way.  The person trusts that we did indeed stop and pray for them…but too often, we don’t.  We say it and then go on about our business, never giving that prayer another thought.  With this list, I am committing to stop and pray specifically for them.

How can I pray specifically for them, especially for those that I’m not in close contact with now?  First I will pray that they are growing spiritually (who doesn’t need that pray?!) and for their physical safety.  As I learn of more specific areas I can pray, I will add those.  I am hoping that this will open lines of communication that have been closed for too long.  I hope that they will contact me back and ask me to pray in for certain areas of their lives.  I’ll add those requests to the Excel spreadsheet as a constant reminder of their needs and a place to chronicle answered prayers as I hear of them.

For my immediate family, I’m going to be writing them on a regular basis, maybe sharing insights from Bible studies that I come across, ideas to help them in their spiritual journey, encouragement for dreams being dreamed.  For those still living in the house with me, I’ll leave the letters in places only they will find them (under their pillow, in their office, in their car).  For my extended family, I’m going to send them copies of some of the pictures I’ve scanned, maybe pictures of them that they never saw before or pictures of those grandparents that connected us together.

You know, this isn’t a new idea.   God did it.  He wrote letters to me and to you.

The Bible.

The signature is written in blood.

It’s to remind us that we are loved.  It’s to encourage us, help us in our spiritual journey.  It’s to remind us that we are being prayed over.

John 17:9, 15, 17, 24….I pray for them….that thou shouldest keep them from the evil…{that God would } sanctify them…{that they will }be with me where I am

Who’s on your list to pray for in 2012?

 

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Prayer Journal How-To

MP900289153

This prayer journal is pretty and easy to make. No crafty or artsy genes are necessary to pull this one off! You will need:

pretty 12×12 patterned cardstock and some embellishments

 

3-ring binder, loose-leaf paper, self-stick index tabs, and labels (for your journal sections)

 

a paper cutter, a hole punch, and page reinforcements (if desired)

First, decide which sections you want in your journal. My sections usually include Praise, Confess, Requests, Thanks, Listening, Memorize, Wisdom, Proverbs, Reading and Reminders. You can put as many or as few sections in your journal as you desire.

Print your section labels onto the index tab inserts that came with the tabs, or onto mailing labels you can cut to size to fit the index tab inserts. Put your section labels into the index tabs.


Next, carefully cut your patterned paper to fit in your 3-ring binder. I use 8 1/2 x 5 1/2 loose-leaf paper and the smaller 3-ring binders that paper fits into. Doing this, I can get 2 section divider papers out of each of my 12×12 patterned cardstock sheets.


Using some patterned paper and embellishments, make a title page for your journal (if desired).


Using the hole punch and a piece of your loose-leaf paper as a guide, carefully punch 3 holes into each of your section divider papers.


Apply the self-stick index tab (section labels) to the section divider papers, staggering them so they’re easy to read.

Once you have all of the section labels on their respective section divider papers, place your title page on top and put them into the 3-ring binder.

Place some loose-leaf paper behind each section divider, and you’re done!

You can take this journal with you everywhere. It’s very convenient. I like to pop a piece of loose-leaf paper out, hand it to a friend, and let them write down their prayer requests for the week. Then I place that paper in the Requests section. Every time I open my journal to write down requests, I see the page my friend wrote her requests on ~ it’s a wonderful reminder to pray for others often.

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Take Time to Take Stock

diagram one

14 years ago tomorrow changed my life and my heart forever. It was the National Day of Prayer, and I determined that I was going to learn how to fast and pray–read a book on fasting by Bill Bright and began my very first prayer fast. Specifically I was praying for a child. We had been told we would be unable to have children. You can read more of that story here. It was truly a miracle! Four children (all miracles!) and fourteen years later, I have been noticing that my priorities of heart have not really changed, but my actions are not reflecting my heart. So I am shifting my actions to line up with my heart.

Perhaps you find yourself in the same position–it is time to take stock and see how things are lining up. This is a chart I wrote for myself at the beginning of the year in my journal. I was looking at it this week and began to think you might benefit from it, too.  So I added some very elementary artwork to illustrate the points.

This verse is key to my ultimate goal, “Because we know that this extraordinary day is just ahead, we pray for you all the time—pray that our God will make you fit for what he’s called you to be, pray that he’ll fill your good ideas and acts of faith with his own energy so that it all amounts to something. If your life honors the name of Jesus, he will honor you. Grace is behind and through all of this, our God giving himself freely, the Master, Jesus Christ, giving himself freely.” 2 Thessalonians 1:11-12 The Message

When you need to take stock of what and where and why and how, many questions must follow. For answers, it will require that you stop and consider each question carefully and prayerfully. A great companion to this chart below and for a deeper level of understanding is the Bible study called The Intentional Woman by Joan Webb and Carol Travilla.  It is a great way to assess where you are and give you tools to be more intentional in your day-in, day-out life.

Feel free to print this up, so you can consider where you are and how your priorities are lining up.

TAKE STOCK

What am I doing?

  • What am I doing?

What are my goals?

  • What are my goals?

Does one align with the other?

  • Does one align with the other?

Who am I impacting?

  • Who am I impacting?

Are my priorities reflecting the impact I want to have?

  • Are my priorities reflecting the impact I want to have?

What changes do I need to implement in my priorities to bring about a higher impact?

  • What changes do I need to implement in my priorities to bring about a higher impact?

Where am I residing?

  • Where am I residing?

Does it reflect my heart for the ones I impact?

  • Does it reflect my heart for the ones I impact?

How can I shift my priorities and goals to de-clutter and improve my "home?"

  • How can I shift my priorities and goals to de-clutter and improve my “home?”

When am I stopping to take stock of my goals, priorities, home, impact and heart?

  • When am I stopping to take stock of my goals, priorities, home, impact and heart?

Why do I feel stressed, worried, harried, inadequate, tired, insecure and out of control?

  • Why do I feel stressed, worried, harried, inadequate, tired, insecure and out of control?

What do the answers in the above questions reflect about my life?

  • What do the answers in the above questions reflect about my life?

How does God want me to respond?

  • How does God want me to respond?

 

For clarification, I will add a non-exhaustive list of personal notes and answers here–some are just examples, not personal:

1. What am I doing?

  • help-meet to my Chris,
  • caring for/ nurturing our children–watchful of their hearts, time, schedules, and activity,
  • tending to our home–cleaning, cooking, orderly, filling the needs and gaps, yard work, making it welcoming and fun,
  • web design,
  • A Martha Heart,
  • other computer related activity–emails, scheduling, other work,
  • interaction with friends, prayer and encouragement,
  • exercise,
  • and much more

2. What are my goals?

  • To lighten Chris’ load, so he can be the best at what he does–to connect with him, continue building relationship, love and friendship with him. To laugh with him daily. To hear him. To pray for him. To brighten his day and be the highlight of his day, so that coming home is a good thing.
  • To pour into our children life and joy, to equip them and teach them, to help build moral character into them, to tend to their needs. to delight them and make them laugh, to help them grow in the vein of things they enjoy and are pursuing, to pray for them and love them. To hug them often and smile more than I frown.
  • To help our family in whatever way we need–financially, scheduling, planning–keeping my hand on the pulse of our home
  • To make our home welcoming and inviting to friends and family
  • To grow personally in pursuing Christ
  • To improve my health and the health of my family
  • so much more, you get the idea

3. For checking alignment, I look at my goals and see how they fit with what I am actually doing–not what I say I am going to do. I can say I am going to exercise all I want, even pay for a membership at the YMCA and buy healthy groceries, but if I do not prepare healthy foods and actually go to the YMCA and exercise, my goal of improving my health is not aligned. It is what I actually am doing that must line up…and if not, I make action steps.  Tomorrow, I am going to make taco salad for supper and exercise for one hour at the YMCA. Then I follow through on those steps.

4. Who am I impacting? My husband, my children, my extended family, my friends, my connections in my communities (locally and on the Internet) and even strangers!

5. My priorities are what I do FIRST, then SECOND and so on.  These are the daily things I choose.  If what I choose is junk food and facebook all day long,then my priorities will not bring about my desired goals. A priority is what I do…not what I hope to do or plan to do.  It is what I DO.

6. Look at the signs… (these are just examples, not really my answers)

  • Wrong Way–It is fine to waste 5 minutes finding out when Katherine Hepburn died, but then researching all the bunny trails from that point and being there for an hour is too much!
  • Yield–The Holy Spirit in me, as a sealed believer in Christ, will remind me of where I need to slow down and yield to his promptings…whether it is the food I consume, the books or movies I read or the relationships in my life that do not benefit me or them and so on.
  • Stop–Clear sign–this pie will still be here, I do not need to eat the whole thing.
  • U-turn–I have gone too far in playing games on my phone.  I am spending three hours a day on them.  I need to limit my time here.  20 minutes total in the morning, noon and night are enough.
  • Danger–This relationship with a friend/ family member is becoming co-dependent, I need to ask the Lord how to proceed with caution and slowly back away, while respecting the person and making good, firm boundaries.
  • Slow, curves ahead–Treacherous cliffs are all around, I need to slow down here and see why my child is lying to me on a continual basis and why their homework is not getting finished.

7. Where am I residing?  Where do I spend my time each day–in the car, at home, on the computer, at my desk, with friends, etc…where and how am I spending time?

8. If the places I reside and how I spend the time do not reflect the goals I have for me and the ones I impact, then I need to begin to say NO–even to good things–to say YES to the best things.

9. Steps toward my goals might include giving up some things I like (even like a lot–like satellite TV) for invested things I love and want to enjoy–a trip camping this summer with our kids.

10. I try to take stock every week or so.

11., 12. and 13.) These are questions for me personally.  They basically are my actions steps and perhaps even my non-action steps.  What needs to start and what needs to stop? They are a gauge of where I am and where I want to be…between are the steps to action and the actual carrying out of each one. I prayerfully consider them.  I memorize scriptures–apply the Truth of God’s Word, like the one above, that reflect my goals and my struggles in reaching the goals I have set (sometimes, God’s Word causes and prompts me to change my goals). Then I stop and ask and answer the questions above again–adjusting as necessary.

I pray this helps you, dear friends–it is prepared with love.

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The Desires of the Heart

Easter Lily

I love those times when the Lord lets us know so clearly that He hears those inward sighs and wishes that spring up in our hearts and minds as we go through our days.  I didn’t put them into a prayer or request and yet I realize that He has given me the desires of my heart.

This week has seemed spiritually flat to me. I have felt disengaged and unprepared to celebrate the powerful reality of Easter. My prayer life seemed so mechanical. I wondered how my grandchildren who live very far away were faring. I hoped the real meaning of this season would come through despite their being blitzed with all the images that have no substance.

Yesterday God gave me a wonderful opportunity to share with my neighbor, who is lost, the true meaning of His death, burial, and resurrection. It went really well. In the past she has gotten defensive, but this time it was so obvious that the Lord is working and wooing her. Suddenly it seemed my heart was flooded with the joy and reality of His glorious gospel.

Today my eight year old granddaughter called and told me about the meaningful experience that she had at church last night. The staff had put a lot of work into helping the children experience His last days and what He had suffered and accomplished for us. Step by step she recounted Jesus’ final days and His resurrection. She delighted in telling me each and every detail. We had a wonderful in-depth conversation with her leading the way.

The words from Lamentation have flooded over me as I have pondered how He has satisfied my heart with His open and gracious hand.

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 Thy faithfulness. Lamentations 3:21-23

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Putting Our Words Into Action

Last week Holly wrote about our friend Joanne Heim (see “When It’s Your Dear Friend” here). Since then, it seems as though the world has turned over, upside down, and around again. I still can hardly grasp that beautiful, vivacious, caring, giving, compassionate, graceful, funny, smart and generous Joanne lies in a hospital bed in a coma. People all over the world are praying for Joanne, her husband Toben, their daughters Audrey and Emma, Joanne’s sister Kristen, her mom Kay and dad Chuck, and the team of doctors who are treating her.

We’ve been doing a series on prayer this month, participating in the 31 Days of Online Ministry series with several other sites/blogs. We’ve explored some of God’s many names and characteristics as well. I love this series, and I especially love these topics. But I find my mind and my heart keep going back to Joanne and her family.

Holly and I both feel that praying for Joanne is extremely important ~ essential, really. That’s why, for the next few days, things are going to be quiet here on A Martha Heart. We want to dedicate our time to praying specifically for Joanne.

Please join with us in prayer for our friend and sister in Christ. If you have ever come into contact with Joanne, you know how incredibly special she is, and how much she loves the Lord. If you haven’t met her or read her blog, you’ll find everything you need to know at The Simple Wife.

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When It’s Your Dear Friend…

Joanne and Kristen

Perhaps you are my friend on Facebook or Twitter.  Perhaps you are tired of my asking prayer for a friend. Maybe you have even hidden me now from your feed for you are tired of reading about it. And that’s ok.  ‘Wish it was that easy for my dear friend and her family to just push HIDE and make it all go away. Unfortunately, it’s not.

But when it is your dear friend, and there is nothing you can do but pray and ask others to pray, I hope you will be the kind of friend who becomes driven by prayer.  This month, as we spend the month praying through the names of God, little did we know that one of our own authors (who stepped down for family time at the beginning of the year) would need every single name and characteristic of God to cover her.  Our Joanne Heim is facing a crisis. And we are on our knees for her. (Photo at left links to all her articles on A Martha Heart, if you’d like to read them.)

I am on my knees for her. She is the kind of friend, who would do the same for me.  We have a two way relationship.  We have a dear friendship.  We are sisters in Christ.  We tarry in prayer for one another. 

This is the kind of friend who sends flowers, when she’s praying for me.

This is the kind of friend, who invites me over for lunch and then gives ME a gift basket.

This is the kind of friend, who shares deep truths she is learning from God’s Word.

This is the kind of friend, who tarries with me in conversation, never making me feel like I am TOO MUCH or NOT ENOUGH. She accepts me, as I am.

This is the kind of friend, who I never wonder if she is FOR me.

This is the kind of friend, who thinks I am special and lets me know in 100 ways.

This is the kind of friend, who loves to read as much as I do!  She also loves Jesus, her family, home and Bible study–and makes me want to be fully committed and growing better in all of that. I am just better for knowing Joanne.

This is the kind of friend, who prays with me.

This is the kind of friend, who rooms with me–even though I sometimes snore.

This is the kind of friend, who teaches me new things, like knitting.

This is the kind of friend, who will take time away from her very busy schedule homeschooling, being a student in seminary, wife, mother and a host of other things and spend it with me–without a hurry or care.  Just unrushed time, as friends.  I am thankful for that time right this second.

This is the kind of friend, who will spend the day with me at a French flea market.

This is the kind of friend, who shares her mother with me.  I have enjoyed both lunch and a conference with her mom–and felt adopted and loved and welcomed.

This is the kind of friend, who will take her mother’s knitted project that didn’t quite turn out, take it apart and restitch it–giving it as a gift to her mom this past Christmas.  I told her, she is just like Jesus–making all things new.  How beautiful.

I don’t know about you, but THIS is a rare kind of friend.  And when she is fighting for her life, I will storm the gates of  Heaven and constantly remind all to pray for her.  I will be a nuisance for the sake of this friend.  I just will.

Will you please pray for my dear friend, Joanne Heim?  She needs our prayers.  Please go to her blog here: The Simple Wife or follow her husband Toben on Twitter for news and updates.

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