Lovely, a Poem Inspired by Psalm 84

Psalm 84

How lovely is Your dwelling place, Lord Almighty.

Your Scriptures speak those words to me.

I am a dwelling place of Your Holy Spirit.

Your Scriptures speak those words to me.

You tell me I am a lovely home for You.

You assert I am Your beloved.

Make that declaration match my experience.

I ache for Your Presence in the depths of my being.

How precious to me are those times when I have felt You near.

How often I am fooled into believing my longing could be filled by something besides You.

Better is one moment with You,

One moment aware of You,

One moment listening for You,

One moment praying to You,

One moment remembering the distance You have travelled to be with me,

Than the magnitude of moments I spend flitting from place to place, looking for satisfaction elsewhere.

How lovely is Your dwelling place, Lord Almighty.

How lovely am I when I remember You dwell with me.


That was my reflection on Psalm 84. Link up with your own Psalms Journey post below! And stop back next week for a reflection on Psalm 85.

learning to be

This is the time of year for reflection. We look back at what we were and look forward to what we want to be. We face our regrets, celebrate our victories, and set new goals for the future.  

Last year was the first time I jumped on the One Word 365 bandwagon. I chose “pursue.”

One Word 2013: Pursue

 

2013 was supposed to be the year I did all these things I wanted to do, but yet tended to procrastinate or avoid.

 

In many ways, I caught the vision of what having one word can do for you. Many times when I was tempted to sit back on my heels, my word would rise up in my heart and push me forward. I am grateful for its influence.

 

And yet, there is still so much I didn’t do. It’s difficult for me to look back on my initial post, and compare it to the year. I wish I had achieved more. I can rationally understand how things I couldn’t have anticipated in the beginning of the year affected my schedule and my priorities. I know that I am a limited human being, and pursuing some things means saying no to other things.

 

And yet, in my heart and soul, I feel disappointed.

 

Which leads perfectly into my word for this year.

 

Be.

 

In the last several months, I have realized how difficult it is for me to accept myself as I am. I am my own worst critic. I consistently see all the ways I could improve.

 

be- oneword365

 

Even this little logo I made. I wanted to do something simple, to highlight just the word: be. Yet I kept tweaking and nudging and working on this “simple” graphic way beyond the time I had set aside for it. I even created more than one version before coming back to the original.

 

I need to learn to let things be. To accept things and move on and know (not just in my head but in my heart and soul) that my worth is not dependent on how perfect things look or what others think of me.

 

Be.

 

And in other ways, I have realized how much I still have to learn about myself. I am not sure what about me stems from my best-created-self and what stems from my sin and brokenness. I need to learn who I am so I can be that person.

 

Be.

 

And as I go through this journey, I long to feel, not just know, but feel, that I am be-loved. Right now. I don’t have to pursue more, or look better, or do something as good as that person I admire. I can be myself and I will be loved.

 

Be.

 

This will be a very different journey than 2013. And like 2013, there are probably some things coming my way that I am not anticipating. But that becomes a part of this too, doesn’t it? Whether this word goes the way I expect it to or not, I can be me and I can be okay.

 

How about you? What word would you choose for 2014?

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It's Time to Stop Performing

Be careful what you say, because you may have to listen to your own words.  

That thought is playing through my brain on repeat this morning, as I realize how I need to listen to my own advice. The words I spoke in a message not long ago on living like we are loved.

 

I spoke on the story of Jesus and the children from Mark 10, the one in which he welcomes children into his arms and blesses them. That story is sandwiched between the story of the Pharisees quizzing Jesus about divorce and the rich young ruler telling Jesus he has obeyed all the commandments.

 

The placement of the stories highlights to me an important distinction between the kids and adults in these scenes. The adults are living like they are performing- trying to ask the right questions or do the right things- for each other or for God. The kids are living like they are loved- assuming that they can come to Jesus just as they are and He will take them in his arms.

 

Original Image Source: http://mrg.bz/FmR7jC

So, my main question that night was this: Are we are living like we are loved or living like we are performing?

 

Which means I am forced to ask myself the same question.

 

In the past several weeks, I have been weighed down by insecurities. I walk around with bags of nerves about my writing, my speaking, my work, my parenting, my appearance, and my friendships. Bundled up with my anxieties are some ugly feelings like jealousy and envy and pride, which are particularly heavy in my arms.

 

I am tired. I need to put these weights down. In order to do that, I have to figure out where they are coming from. And I’m pretty sure the answer to that lies in my own question.

 

I am performing.

 

I walk around trying to look my best for others and wonder what they think of me. I don’t walk around with the security that I am loved. My arms aren’t wrapped around the shoulders of Jesus, so I fill them with baggage from each interaction I have along the way.

 

How would things be different if I lived like I am loved?

 

I’m going to have to start answering my own question.

 

How about you? Do you live like you are loved or like you are performing?

 

(If you are interested in the audio from that message, you can find it on this page: http://www.thetableatcpc.org/series. It’s a message in the “Valuable” series titled “Kids.”)

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