today, i am taking inventory.

not the easy kind…sorting out which clothes still fit, identifying which groceries need to be bought

the tough, very personal kind.

what drives my day? why is it so easy to find fault and blame, and so difficult to love?

do i live in such a way that others can see the kindness of the LORD in my life?

how can i get rid of all my selfishness? am I really moving forward with God, or are we still stuck on the same stubborn lesson?

God has put someone new in my life. she is understated. wears a size 8 jean when a 6 would do. has seasoned speech. chooses every word carefully.

is positive when there could be so many other things to say…

she is not meek, or passive, or easily pushed around

she is kind and strong

an inner strength that can only come from daily prayer and complete devotion to the LORD.

and i marvel at her, although she doesn’t know.

i count our meeting as a key juncture in my life, and accept her as one of my divinely appointed teachers.

none of us really wants to be taught, because we all hope that we have arrived at a place where we have it all together.

i know i don’t have it all together, even more so as i see the way this woman handles each conversation so graciously.

i know i need to open myself up and let God do deep work in my heart, trim off the rough edges

touch my thirsty soul and teach me how to really love.

life is.. life. as my friend ann kiemel says. it just carries us places, and sometimes, beyond our grasp.

it happens whether we can face it or not. and there are a million reasons why we harden our hearts along the way.

the pain is too much, the conflict in our lives cannot be settled easily, there are so many disappointments and unexpected turns.

and many of us have turned away. i know i have.

and now, i want to turn back

i want to chase a pure heart

feel God’s sun on my face, be shaped by my friend and my LORD, become something beautiful for Him.

mercy

today, i am taking inventory and i am not pleased…

there are secret stashes in my heart. bitterness here. judgment there. and resentment in another corner.

but Jesus looks at me and He sees His blood. how can that be?

he doesn’t look at my list of shortcomings and line them all up as if the shame me…

he looks at me with eyes of mercy.

i want to refuse to let satan drag me to places God never intended for me to go

fight off shame and embrace courage

i want to open my heart to God’s resurrecting power.

i want others know that beyond all the obvious miracles in my life

God has done a miracle in me.

if He can raise His Son out of a grave, He can create Godly character in me

grow a new branch off of my tree.

i am so thankful that i serve a God who is not appalled by my inventory.

“Show me your ways, LORD,

teach me your paths.

Guide me in your truth and teach me,

for you are God my Savior,

and my hope is in you all day long.

Remember, LORD, your great mercy and love,

for they are from of old.

Do not remember the sins of my youth

and my rebellious ways;

according to your love remember me,

for you, LORD, are good.” Psalm 25:4-7