Let My Heart Be The House

There are steadfast hearts that still beat strong
In the valley of their torment
There are hearts with walls built all around
Misfortune and pain to prevent
There are mended  hearts in the aftermath
of healing from sorrow and pain
But let my heart be the house that becomes your abode
And let your Spirit reign.

Let my heart be the house that becomes your abode
Let my will to yours comply
Your plans that are good, meet the hopes that I had
As you set to purify.
I cannot fulfill my hopes and dreams
By trying to dodge Your plan
Let my heart be the house that becomes your abode
And let your Spirit reign.

I keep in my heart that’s become your abode
Soothing balm for the traumas of strife
Wonderful words filled with healing and hope
Oh your wonderful words of life!
I ponder these words and lean closer to hear
Whispers of your infinite plan
Let my heart be the house that becomes your abode
And let your Spirit reign.

I know there are deep seated habits in there
And flashbacks of long ago frights
That cannot coexist with the love and the grace
That dwell in immaculate light
And so I present, with complete confidence
This heart, to redeem for your own
Make it into a house that becomes your abode
For the sake of your will alone

Let my heart be the house that becomes your abode
Make my will to yours comply
Take the good, take the bad, take the weak and the strong
Wise, foolish – purify
Let me take my seat at your nail scarred feet
As you take up your domain
Let my heart be the house that becomes your abode
And let your Spirit reign

L Hedges
6-2015

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To My Children…and their children…and their children’s (future) children

Mother’s Day typically is a day when we honor our Mothers, and if we are Mommas, we get to be honored.  I’m doing something different this Mother’s Day, and passing that honor onto my children, one of whom is married to a Momma, two who are Mommas themselves, and the youngest who is not yet a Momma, but is developing some mad nurturing skills of her own to be used one day in the future.  In honor of them I want to share a poem I wrote.

My children…

Oh, how we love you
Long before we’d seen your face,
 we loved you
And we prayed that God would fill you with His grace
and come along beside you
And that you’d love and follow Him.

We delight in you!
As we’ve watched you learn and grow,
our eyes were always on you
With each victory we cheer, and thank God
for His goodness to you
And the work he’s doing in you

How we pray for you
As you navigate the storms of life,
remember, we pray for you
That God would comfort, guide, protect and teach
the wonders of his goodness to you
And that you’d follow in His ways.

L. Hedges, 2010

The Thorn

The Thorn

I stood a mendicant of God before His royal throne
And begged Him for one priceless gift that I could call my own.
I took the gift from out His hand, but as I would depart
I cried, ‘But Lord! this is a thorn! and it has pierced my heart.
This is a strange, a hurtful gift which Thou hast given me.’
He said, ‘My child, I give good gifts and gave My best to thee.’
I took it home, and though at first the cruel thorn hurt sore,
As long years passed I learned at last to love it more and more.
I learned He never gives a thorn without this added grace:
He takes the thorn to pin aside the veil that hides His face.

~Martha Snell Nicholson

2 Corinthians 12:And to keep me from being too elated by the abundance of revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan, to harass me, to keep me from being too elated.
Three times I besought the Lord about this, that it should leave me;
but he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” I will all the more gladly boast of my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
10 For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities; for when I am weak, then I am strong.

Common Sense – How to Be Happy

common sense 5

I love paradoxology.  I believe Jesus and His Apostles did too…consider:

  • Matthew 10:39 – He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for my sake will find it.
  • John 12:24 – Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.
  • Romans 6:18 ~ and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness.
  • 2 Cor 12:10 ~ For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities; for when I am weak, then I am strong.
  • Philippians 3:7,8 ~ But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as refuse, in order that I may gain Christ.
  • James 4:10 ~  Humble yourselves before the Lord and he will exalt you.

…and my favorite, which is the topic of this post, Acts 20:35 ~ In all things I have shown you that by so toiling one must help the weak, remembering the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”

Because we are self-centered by nature, we can get so caught up in the pursuit of an elusive feeling of happiness, that we lose sight of the goal itself, that is the state of being happy.  The sad fact is, many of the things we pursue that we think will make us happy, only serve to bring us down, and we are stuck with a growing void in our lives, and happiness continues to escape our grasp.

I think Mother Theodore Guerin nailed it when she suggested that we will be happy when we turn the focus away from seeking to acquire it for ourselves, and instead aim to provide happiness to others.  When we are focused on the happiness of another, a strange phenomena occurs, without even trying to gain it for ourselves, it has unpacked and taken up residence in us.  This is a practical application of the teaching in Ecclesiastes 11:1, that of casting your bread upon the waters, and having it return to you after many days.

I am reminded of a sweet little poem that I found when I was a young mother:  Enjoy.

What We Give Away

The more you give, the more you get.
The more you laugh, the less you fret.
The more you do unselfishly,
the more you live abundantly.
The more of everything you share,
the more you’ll always have to spare.
The more you love, the more you’ll find
that life is good and friends are kind.
For only what we give away,
enriches us from day to day.
~Author unknown

Jesus, I love you!

Jesus, I love you;
I adore you,  I honor you, I give myself to you.

Jesus, I see you;
I appreciate you, I thank you, I worship you;

Jesus I need you;
I lean on you, I depend on you, I place my trust in you.

Jesus, I long for you;
I wait on you, I serve you, I believe in you.

I anticipate your return.

 

 

Lean a Little Closer

Lean a little closer, Lord – I can’t hear what you’re saying;
My ears are open to your voice, as I continue praying.
Lean a little closer, Lord, and tell me what to do;
I’m trying to wait patiently to hear a word from You.
Lean a little closer, Lord, I want to know your will,
But how can I step out in faith when my life is standing still?

Draw a little nearer, Child.” He answered quietly;
I’ll lean closer down to You, as you draw near to me.
Come nearer now, my daughter, and I’ll show you my plan;
If you want to know my ways, walk with me, hand-in-hand.
Draw a little nearer, Child, He repeated tenderly;
You can’t step out in your faith, ’til you learn to lean on Me.

God gave me this verse when I was a young Momma, living in Texas, far away from family and anything familiar for the first time.  I was a slow learner at sitting still and drawing near to the heart of God.  There was so much I didn’t know, so much I was wrongly taught, so much I wish I could go back and educate my young self on.  But one thing I knew, and the Lord affirmed it when He inspired these words, I knew that if I was feeling far from God, it wasn’t Him that moved.  In my immaturity, I expected Him to chase me, scoop me up and draw me to Himself, and ya know, maybe He does that with some people, but not with me.    Always the gentleman, He continued to wait until I was ready to follow Him, since He was the Lord, and I the servant.  And while He waited patiently, He continued to speak quiet little affirmations to my heart, promising to come to me, to show me great and mighty things, to teach me His ways, and to support me.

That was over 20 years ago, and I’ve found Him to be faithful and true.  I just need to recognize His presence in my everyday life.  Brother Laurence lived over 400 years ago, and wrote a timeless classic called “Practicing the Presence of God”.  You actually can read it online for free, and I encourage you to do so. There is a deep, rich assurance that comes to me in the simplicity of the knowledge that Jesus is present with me;  I find His presence empowering me with a quiet strength, and confidence whether I be in a trial, or working in the mundane affairs of what has become my life today.  He is like a dear friend that doesn’t always require conversation, but with whom we can still experience a close connection, just enjoying His company.

Balance

balanceThis word, how I wish for it, and chase it, and fail at it.  I call it the “b” word, because it is the nasty word that always springs up when I feel like I have lost it.  I’ve been thinking of this “b” word a lot lately, as I have time to think and plan, and dream.  I came up with an acronym for it, as a follower of Christ, I see “balance” being defined as the Beautiful Arrangement (of) Life Activities, Necessary Commitments, (and) Emotions.  It is the ability to arrange, prioritize, and joyfully accomplish the Lord’s calling and will for our lives.

In other words, if I’m happy at home, keep an immaculate house, have clothed and fed my family, but don’t follow through on the outside things I’ve committed to do, I’m imbalanced.  If I joyfully serve and busy myself with the Lord’s work, but neglect the needs of my family, I’m out of balance.   I can have the perfect plan, and can make it to all my appointments on time, but, if I’m out of control and angry all the time, I’ve lost that balance.  And it’s important to remember, that God has not called me to the same commitments to which he has called my sister, neighbor, daughter, or friend.  Comparing myself with them is an effort in futility, it will not get me where I need to be in accomplishing His will for my life.  My eyes need to stay on Him, for focus, balance and peace.

I would appreciate your prayers for the development of balance in my life…because this season of waiting is quickly coming to an end, and I’m going to need it!

 

 

 

The House by the Side of the Road

Written by Sam Walter Foss

Let me live in a house by the side of the road,
Where the race of men go by –
The men who are good and the men who are bad,
As good and as bad as I.
I would not sit in the scorner’s seat,
Or hurl the cynic’s ban;
Let me live in a house by the side of the road
And be a friend to man.

I see from my house by the side of the road,
By the side of the highway of life,
The men who press with the ardor of hope,
The men who are faint with the strife.
But I turn not away from their smiles nor their tears –
Both parts of an infinite plan;
Let me live in my house by the side of the road
And be a friend to man.

I know there are brook-gladdened meadows ahead
And mountains of wearisome height;
And the road passes on through the long afternoon
And stretches away to the night.
But still I rejoice when the travelers rejoice,
And weep with the strangers that moan,
Nor live in my house by the side of the road
Like a man who dwells alone.

Let me live in my house by the side of the road
Where the race of men go by –
They are good, they are bad, they are weak, they are strong,
Wise, foolish – so am I.
Then why should I sit in the scorner’s seat
Or hurl the cynic’s ban?
Let me live in my house by the side of the road
And be a friend to man.

When I worked at an Assisted Living Facility, a dear WWII vet who had memory deficits, one day rattled off a few lines of this poem, and cited the author. He said he was made to memorize it in Junior High, but couldn’t remember it all anymore. I looked it up when I got home from work that day, and it has become one of my all time favorites. Before I met this gentleman, I had never heard of Sam Walter Foss, now I’ll never forget him, and I feel I identify with his heart cry in this verse. enjoy.

New England poet Sam Walter Foss (1858-1911) evokes the age old image of
a humble house where the weary traveler finds a welcome – a house such as
Baucis and Philemon’s – to remind us that we are here to help one another
along life’s journey. Friends are “help-mates” to each other.

By New Things Posted in Poetry