"O LORD, my heart is not lifted up;
my eyes are not raised too high;
I do not occupy myself with things
too great and too marvelous for me.
But I have calmed and quieted my soul,
like a weaned child with its mother;
like a weaned child is my soul within me.
O Israel, hope in the LORD
from this time forth and forevermore."
The same verses from The Message because sometimes I just need things simplified...
"God, I'm not trying to rule the roost,
I don't want to be king of the mountain.
I haven't meddled where I have no business
or fantasized grandiose plans.
I've kept my feet on the ground,
I've cultivated a quiet heart.
Like a baby content in its mother's arms,
my soul is a baby content.
Wait, Israel, for God. Wait with hope.
Hope now; hope always!"
Did you know that sometimes I worry about what to write in this space? I struggle. I fret. I type and delete and start over. I restlessly write. All the while the voice inside my head telling me, "You're just not a writer. You're better with visual things or creating with your hands, but writing? Not your thing. You've always had a hard time putting your thoughts into words." And I'm realizing what vain conceit that is. What I'm really worrying about is not my words but what people will think of my words, right?
Ann's words about Upside Down blogging and her beautiful blogger's prayer hit the spot. Although I know people will read what I tap out here, I'm really creating for an audience of One....the creative One who created me with a penchant for the visual and the One who allows me to struggle with words, drawing me to rely on Him.
The notes in my study Bible convict....
"Pride results from overvaluing ourselves and undervaluing others. It leads to restlessness because it makes us dissatisfied with what we have and concerned about what everyone else is doing. It keeps us always hungering for more attention and adoration. By contrast, humility puts others first and allows us to be content with God's leading in our lives. Such contentment gives us security so that we no longer have to prove ourselves to others. Let humility and trust affect your perspective and give you the strength and freedom to serve God and others."
Hmm....dissatisfaction with what we have? Restlessness? Concern about what others are doing and thinking? Hungering for adoration? I'm so guilty of all of those things and I repent.....
I'm "contented sparrow" right? So, my prayer today is one of repenting of pride, choosing to be secure in how He created me, choosing to value His Words, reaffirming to Him that this virtual space will be a place to record His gift and grace and faithfulness, and thanking Him for a mind and hands to create for no other audience besides Him. Thanking Him for the knowledge that His Words typed out and also a simple recording of our days here both can honor Him. Recipes and lists of thanks, nature walks and nest feathering and seeing Him in it all can each have their place in bringing Him glory.
(By the way, all of this is partly why there are no comments here. I've wanted to protect myself from myself....from craving praise and adoration. But that doesn't mean I don't love y'all and crave relationship, which I most certainly do! Don't think twice about shooting me an email! I'd love to hear from you!)
As I sat here typing this, thinking about what photos to include, not wanting to post my weekend shots, I lifted my head, looked out the window, gasped out loud, ran to get my camera, and out in the frosty morning, captured this amazing gift...this unbelievable display of His artistry that laid me low...
No kidding, no Photoshop boosting of the color, it's all Him....
And all I had to do to receive this blessing, this reassurance from Him was to lift my head up. Tilt my eyes away from me, me, me and onto Him.
And I thank Him for all is gift.....
#596. brilliant fiery color painted across the sky
#597. brilliant twinkling stars just before the dawn
#598. contentment because of security in Him
#599. a body and muscles that didn't fail when pushed
#600. fuzzy-jammied, bright-eyed, crazy-haired little girl snuggly in the morning
#601. husband loving well
#602. a day of worship and rest
#603. friends like family who love You