The Landscape of My Heart

It’s been a tough couple of days. I have never been more thankful than I am today that the Lord is with me. If you could see the landscape of my heart WITHOUT the Lord, you’d see a surface similar to the moon – colorless, dusty, thirsty, barren. You’d see a waterfall sans water, a rainbow without color, a flower without petals, a butterfly without wings.

I want to share with you how the God of all comfort is providing comfort to me while Jon, Cadi and my mother-in-law are traipsing around London.

Yesterday I was invited to attend my nephews’ soccer game. The twins are four years old, and this is their first soccer season. Caleb was the self-appointed goalie (in this league at this age, they do not have goalies, but Caleb runs to the goal and stops the opposing team from getting goals. He figured this out on his own!), but Seth was a reluctant player. He reminded me of myself when I tried out T-ball as a child: I spent more time in Mom’s lap than I did on the field! Seth wanted to play as long as he had the ball and didn’t have to fight anyone else for it. I think he might prefer a sport that has more clearly defined roles. He’ll probably love it once he gets older and they start learning about positions.

I got to see Caleb and Seth and my niece Grace, my brother, his wife, and my parents also drove in for the game. It was a brief visit, but oh so nice! Seeing them all was just what I needed to lift my spirits.

Great Books
Have you ever spied a book in the bookstore or library and had a nagging feeling that you really NEEDED to read it? That’s the way it has been for me for awhile now with the Yada Yada Prayer Group book series by Neta Jackson. I saw the books but thought they might be a little too “fluffy” for me. I like all sorts of stories, especially thrillers and historical fiction. Boy, was I ever wrong! I picked up the first two Yada books and have finished them in 2 days! Let me tell you, I read those books and felt an immediate need in my soul for a group of friends like that unveiled in these books. My heart has been lonely for Christian relationships ever since we moved back to Texas. It is taking a long time to really get to know the people around me, and many times I feel discouraged. I spoke with my mom on the phone last night and commented to her how much I NEED to find a Bible study where I can be eyeball to eyeball with the ladies so we can share each other’s lives.

God Breezes
Imagine my surprise when I found out what today’s sermon was about at church: Friendships! Is God talking to me, or what? I’m listening, Lord!

“Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up! Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.”
Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

Whoa! God is preparing my heart for some deep friendships. I can feel it. But the deepest friendship of all is the one I am having with Jesus. There I was, feeling perhaps a bit sorry for myself because I haven’t found a place for myself yet, when Pastor Bill reminded me of Jesus’ friendship with me.

“My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.”
John 15:12-15

Who picks you up when you are down? In this crowded but uninvolved, high-tech but low-touch world, who catches you when you fall? Encourages you when you are weary or weak? Who do you pick up, catch, and encourage? Those are your friends. If you can’t think of anyone immediately, take heart. Your first friend is Jesus.

One of the songs we sang was I Am A Friend of God. Here are some of the lyrics:

Who am I that You are mindful of me…That You hear me when I call..Is it true that You are thinking of me…How You love me… it’s amazing
I am a friend of God…I am a friend of God…I am a friend of God
He calls me friend
God Almighty, Lord of Glory
You have called me friend

As if that wasn’t enough, when I returned home I had an email in my Inbox from an old friend I hadn’t heard from in a year. Thank You, Lord!

It’s been on my heart for awhile to host a Beth Moore Bible Study in my home. I haven’t pursued the opportunity yet because I wanted to make sure if I did it, it was done for the right reasons and at the time the Lord is prompting. My “problem,” if you call it that, is that homeschooling limits my free time. Jon travels so frequently that I can’t rely on him to watch Cadi for me while I conduct a study. So I had a thought: why not do a mother-daughter study? For those of you who have done several studies, can you think of one that might lend itself to a multi-age grouping? I know I’d need to adjust the format — perhaps have a separate prayer time for the girls upstairs while the moms pray downstairs. If I did a Beth Moore study, could the girls watch the DVD with us? I know Cadi would do just fine, especially if she was filling in the blanks, but it is so true that girls (both old ones and young ones) sometimes get the “sillies,” and then we’d be distracted. If you have any ideas on how I could structure this, or if there are any out there specifically for mothers and daughters, can you let me know?

Music Miracle
Okay, so some of you might not consider this a miracle, but you will if you are as technologically ignorant as me! I’ve never figured out how to work the AppleTV contraption. It allows us to play our iTunes over our TV. I couldn’t get it to turn on this morning, so I did pray and Praise God that He is the God of technology as well as of everything else. I still couldn’t get it to come on, so I gave up and started breakfast. After about fifteen minutes, I heard the AppleTV gizmo start up — Praise!! It started working, and I got to begin my day with some Chris Tomlin.

Today is Jon’s birthday. My heart is aching that I’m not with him, especially since it was my own choice not to go with him. He wrote me an email and said that Cadi got to light a candle and say a prayer at St. Paul’s Cathedral. I hope he took a picture of that moment, but for now I can just see it in my mind’s eye.

If I did not have my God, I would be flogging myself mentally for not having the courage to go. Instead I am praising Him, remembering his promises, loving Him, and using this time to grow closer to Him. As a result, the landscape of my heart is not gray or barren. I may feel saddened and grieved about missing Jon’s birthday, but I am assured that the Lord is the Lord of us both, and that He ties us together no matter how many miles apart we may be.

I praise you, Father!

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