Digging in to my Desires

Now that I have a little break from school (praise the Lord for no classes in May) I am playing catch up on my Bible Study.  While I still haven’t made it back to my lovely B-stud ladies to catch up with them (hopefully next weekend!), it has been so good to get back into our book. We’re reading Strong Women Soft Hearts by Paula Rinehart and I just finished catching up on Chapter 2 – Desire: The Language of the Heart.  Rinehart makes so many great points in this section.  She speaks so clearly to, what I believe to be, a commonly held belief that to be a “good Christian woman” you have to give up your desires.  But these desires and longings are important.  Rinehart quotes Nicole Johnson who says,

ImageI think it is often easy to suppress our desires because they can be scary, intimidating, or even painful.  If we don’t pursue our desires we don’t have to worry about failing, we can avoid our fear of the unknown, we can keep things contained in a nice little box…and we don’t have to put our trust in God.  Additionally, suppressing desires is often seen as a sacrifice and a way to serve God.  But Rinehart says, “God does not deaden desire – rather, he awakens desire and transforms it.”  She goes on to quote Eldredge who says:

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 So rather than pushing our desires to the back of our minds, we need to claim them and pursue them.  “As you bring your heart to God, he will place his desire in you to such an extent that your desire becomes his for you.  So when you pray about a longing, and the desire remains, you can trust that God has left that in place for a reason.”  That’s really cool, right?  I mean, there is a desire in your heart…and as you give your heart to God, your desire can become God’s desire. By praying earnestly about those desires and longings, you can determine what is a real desire…what God has clung to as a desire for you and what he has pushed aside.

So, the challenge: Pursue your desires, pray about your desires, don’t let fear keep you from your desires.  Rinehart puts it this way:

Where would desire take you if you didn’t douse the flame of possibility before someone else attempted to blow it out?  If you didn’t rain on your own parade?

A little green goes a long way

I’ve been in a bit of a funk lately and I think it stems from not spending enough time outside.  I’ve been neglecting my workouts or choosing to workout at the gym instead of outside.  I find joy in being outside.  I love being in God’s creation and I’m almost always in a better mood after taking a walk or run.  Even a drive through the country lifts my spirits. I put an end to that lack of outdoor activity yesterday.  The above pictures is a view of the field next door before I left for work.  Beautiful, right?  I love walking to my car and seeing that pretty long grass every morning.  It’s great.

Stairs at Percy Warner Park. I have fond (or not so fond) memories of track trips to those stairs during high school. We were forced to run them, suicide style. Trust me…it was hard, and I was in super shape at the time!

After work I met up with a friend and ran through Percy Warner.  We stayed on the road and hit some awesomely steep hills, but it really helped me re-energize and renew focus on health and fitness.  So thankful for accountability of a friend to keep me motivated.  Sometimes I find it hard to stay committed on my own.  I need someone there beside me to keep me going and push me to work harder…or even to workout at all.

I think part of this funk is also related to my spiritual life.  I haven’t been very committed to reading the Word or to prayer.  Prayer and the Bible are essential to a good relationship with Christ, and I haven’t been as devoted to that relationship as I would like to be.  I need to find a good independent study to do.  I want to dive deeper into the Bible.  Any suggestions?