Worship and Worry ~ A Tale of Two Sisters

Worship and Worry ~ A Tale of Two Sisters. Luke chapter 10:38-42  ~ The tale of Mary and Martha. One sister, Martha invited Jesus to her house. Yet, she is worried, distracted by many things.  Frustrated she has no help getting the meal ready, angry her sister Mary is doing ‘nothing’… Yet she is doing something… she is doing the one thing that matters. Mary is sitting at the feet of Jesus and listening to His teaching.

If I could walk in the sandals of these two women, I can see myself in both of them. I am not easily caught up in housework and fuss. I can easily let go of the daily tasks, to-do-lists and leave the house-mess. But. I am still easily caught up in the net of worry. I am distracted by many things. I might not be actively avoiding tasks for the sake of time with Jesus, but I am actively accomplishing much worry.

I am sitting at the feet of Jesus, yet immersed in worry while I’m there. I am actively sitting at His feet, but worry is looming while my soul is longing to be engaged. I am distracted by the many things I am not accomplishing while I am longing to hear the heartbeat of Jesus. This is not where Jesus wants me to be.

“It’s impossible to worship and to worry at the same time.”

I sang this phrase in worship over our church a while ago. This Truth saturated the room thru a lyric He stirred in my heart. I can not be fully in the presence of God, in worship, and worry at the same time. I must choose. 

I know the truth of both Mary and Martha. I have experienced both. I have been overcome by His presence, fully engaged in worship while doing the dishes and cleaning toilets. And I been embraced by His arms, settled in His love, simply Being with Him and doing nothing else. 

13043783_10154154564387430_4982852384633802288_n

Today I was given a gift of opportunity. I went running. walking. strutting… whatever you want to call it… huffing and puffing… I slow down. I see. She’s standing there. Beside her car, cigarette in one hand. Leaning back against the passenger door. I hear three words: Abused, hungry, rejected. “Hi” I greet her. She responds with a “hello” as well. This was a moment. God was opening a door to show His love to her. But I walk on…  I’m in a hurry. I am distracted by many things. I need to finish my run, walk, putter… I only have a set amount of time before I must be home. Before I need to pick up the kids from school. Pay the bills. Finish the chores… my mind is spinning.

I keep walking, 1 minute passes, maybe even less. Damn you, Time! And the lie I believe there is a lack of it. I turn around. Screw time restraints. Forget the rest of my putter… I stop. I turn back. I missed it! She’s gone. She’s driving away.

I won’t miss this gift again. I long to be in a routine of worship. I wrongly believed I was. It changed oh so subtly. I have been in a routine of worry. In worry I miss worship. In worry I miss Jesus. In worry I miss the gift to show His love. In worry I miss His presence. In one minute I missed her. 

God still loves me. This is not a beat myself over the head, I suck at following Jesus moment to bemoan and drive me into despair. This is a moment to listen. To learn. To sit at the feet of Jesus. In worship there is never a lack of time. In His presence, He fuels all that we need. In distraction and worry, everything can be stolen. This is a moment of repentance, humility and growth. I am learning ~ I never want to miss the One Thing again.

This is a moment to share. If this encourages you, pass it on! I am thankful for your reading.

In Him, Leslie

Running Prayers

A few days ago I went running –and by ‘running’ I mean trudging along the pavement loudly breathing, feet heavy with each step– picture an elephant running from a lion. yep. that’s me ‘running’. Still. I run. Slowly… surely… at an 11 minute mile pace. I run.

I left the house after piddling around delaying the inevitable workout. I was thankful for an opportunity to exercise in the beautiful outdoors and have some quiet moments to myself while Adam was home with the kids. The primary reason I run is for mental sanity. I’m not really burning off blubber or becoming a body builder with this speed — but I am keeping sane. When I run, I am a better mom. wife. friend. everything. For me, running is more of a mental workout. I worship, listen to sermons, or run in silence. Running is a sacred time of heart racing, muscle engaging moments connecting with my Creator, becoming undone in His presence.  

Within the first few seconds of take off, my excitement for this spiritual workout dwindled and I almost turned around. My knee began to hurt and I talked myself into continuing as a ‘fast walk’. –hey. better than nothing I assured myself– after a few minutes, I began running again. My knee stopped hurting and settled into my 11 minute mile pace and heavy breathing pattern. I was feeling pretty good.

About halfway thru my 3 miles of running blazing glory, my mind was focused on God and listening. I breezed by the family of baby ducklings living on the small lake near our home. I have passed them many times before, ooh-ing and ahh-ing at their cuteness. This time, I prayed a prayer of protection over the ducklings. Within seconds, my thoughts second-guessed this seemly silly prayer and I was surprised the prayer had even crossed my mind. Suddenly the prayer doubt was swept away by the sureness of His closeness. I was firmly settled in God’s presence as my feet clomped along with each obedient step. I felt fully in tune with His thoughts.

A moment later, I came around the bend of the lake and heard a dog approaching behind me. Unsure of the dog being on a leash, I turned around and saw two young girls running down the hill toward the path – one wrestling the dogs leash to keep him pulled back, the other holding a net. As I turned back toward the path, I noticed three more baby ducklings separated from the rest of their family. My heart sank. I knew.

I continued around the bend, and stopped on the bridge –adding more time to my already slow mileage– but my mothers instinct and Holy Spirit prompting, burdened me to stop and pay attention to these girls. I waited to see what I knew was going to happen. The girl with the net scooped up one of the ducklings holding it gently, while the other girl held onto the dogs leash.

“Hey girls, you probably shouldn’t pick them up… ummm… it could mess up their feeding with their mom.” I wasn’t sure what else to say, and these girls weren’t being malicious toward the ducklings, but I knew I needed to say something. After all, I had just asked God to protect these ducklings and I was pretty sure the mother duck wasn’t okay with her baby being caught and cuddled by a human. I think the girls were surprised I said anything or that anyone was paying attention. She replied “Oh sorry” and quickly let the duckling go back to its mother, who was quacking loudly distraught over the whole incident, I’m certain ;).

As I continued my run, I asked God why He prompted such a simple prayer for baby ducks. His response — I care about every detail, no matter how small. Listen attentively for My voice. I will prompt you to pray for greater things — and He did.

When I run, I may move slowly thru the mileage, but I know my prayers are mighty, moving mountains for His glory upon the earth. May His Kingdom come more quickly even now. Amen.

Have you ever prayed a simple prayer only to discover the depth and understanding of it? Share your thoughts! Feel free to comment and follow this blog for more half written records on our journey!

In Him, Leslie 🙂

insanity

some days i think i’m going insane, ifffff…
insanity is ‘doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.’ [at one time, Albert Einstein was given credit for this quote]

“brush your teeth, change your clothes, get ready for school, put your shoes on, brush your hair, do your homework, don’t whine, don’t fight, don’t mess around – just GO to the bathroom if you need to…”

i tell my kids the same thing over and over and over again – every day – expecting this time they will do what i am asking them to do without my having to repeat myself over and over and over again. i’m expecting different results, right? daily, i do the same tasks over and over and over again – the dishes don’t disappear, the laundry won’t wash itself, the bills won’t pay themselves. insanity, right?

a few weeks ago, i began the work out program insanity
i love running. and usually that’s my exercise of choice
but i realized i needed to do something different, if i was expecting different results. 
so the insanity began.
i’ve peed my pants while doing the jumps.  [sorry, tmi] after having 3 babes au natural, this happens.
i’ve sweat more profusely than any other time in my life. i’ve debated taking a shower before and after the workout because of the insane amount of sweating with this workout. 
i’ve never sounded more ridiculous while trying to be healthy. seriously, these power and diamond jumps evoke weird noises when you’re giving your all to this work out. 
buuut… if i’m working out in the evening – and then eating noodles for dinner at 10pm – it might be, just might be, pointless.
so i’m working out with insanity and i’m expecting different results.

buuut… insanity is not really ‘doing the same thing(s) over and expecting different results’.
insanity is actually defined as:

1) a deranged state of the mind usually occurring as a specific disorder (as schizophrenia)

2) such unsoundness of mind or lack of understanding as prevents one from having the mental capacity required by law to enter into a particular relationship, status, or transaction or as removes one from criminal or civil responsibility
3) a: extreme folly or unreasonableness



 b: something utterly foolish or unreasonable


the insanity work out program is centered on exercises which work on/from your core. physically, our core is primarily what keeps us together.
it is all about your posture, keeping the correct posture for each exercise, and making sure your core is always in check.

whether you’ve been exercising a long time, or never have, our physical core needs the most focus. everything hinges on our core.

so what about our spiritual core?
we have to maintain our spiritual core, keep it in check, and work on having a correct core posture, or it will get flabby and out of shape and cause us heart problems… hmm… the same as our physical core.

my hearts core desire is to maintain a spiritual posture of surrender. 
if i am surrendered to God, i can fully abide in Him, lean on Him to keep my spiritual core in check and trust the Holy Spirit to convict me of sin.

there are many things that can impact the deterioration of our spiritual core… leading to sin – and even insanity. 
one of the most disruptive areas of sin that can absolutely crush our spiritual posture of surrender, is pride. 
pride is the polar opposite of surrender. 
part of our spiritual work out plan should be to keep our pride ‘in check’.

how can we avoid insanity? 
in the same way a physical work out needs to be maintained on a regular basis, keeping our spiritual core in check is a continuous activity.
this can’t just happen in a church service on christmas, easter, or even once a week on sunday mornings…
sin never takes a day off.
how do we maintain a healthy spiritual core? everyday we must be spending time in God’s Word, in worship, in a posture of surrender.

in the Bible we can read of King Nebuchadnezzar, who was filled with pride. even after he saw the miraculous works of God and praised Him, still his own heart was filled with pride. he was humiliated, stripped of his rulership, and… eventually he went insane. {Daniel 4:28-37 NKJ}

The king spoke saying, “is not this great Babylon, that I have built for a royal dwelling by my mighty power and for the honor of my majesty? While the word was still in the kings mouth, a voice fell from heaven: ‘King Nebuchadnezzar, to you it is spoken: the kingdom has departed from you!”… that very hour the word was fulfilled concerning Nebuchadnezzar; he was driven from men and ate grass like oxen; his body was wet with the dew of heaven till his hair had grown like eagles’ feathers and his nails like birds’ claws.


we are responsible for our core posture.
physically, we need to maintain an exercise routine and build up our core posture.
spiritually, we need to maintain our core posture of surrender unto the One true God.

it’s never too late to start building your healthy core posture. 
physically, start today – start with 1 mile – 25 sit ups – 10 push ups – whatever you can do. just do it.
spiritually, start today – read your Bible for 15 minutes – pray for 10 minutes – take 5 minutes to listen to a worship song.

there is always hope for physical and spiritual restoration.

“at the end of time I, Nebuchadnezzar lifted my eyes to heaven and my understanding returned to me. I blessed the Most High and praised and honored Him who lives forever… at the same time my reason returned to me… now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and extol and honor the King of heaven, all of whose works are truth, and His ways justice. and those who walk in pride He is able to put down.”

what’s your spiritual posture? how are you maintaining your spiritual core?

thank you for reading 🙂 as always, feel free to comment, share and follow this blog.

In Him, Leslie