Some Chips and Cracks

We all love the feeling of that so called God High. You know. When you feel like you’re doing all the right things, loving others like Jesus loves others, and just being really in tune with the Spirit. Let’s all be honest and admit that so-called spiritual perfection is just impossible to achieve. I know it, you know you know it, and God knows it. He doesn’t expect perfection out of faulty humans. He was there when man fell in the Garden, thus sealing our fate of failure and utter imperfection.

It’s nights like tonight that I feel just defeated spiritually. I know that this week I haven’t given enough time to my Father. Sure, I finished my Bible study workbook back in the beginning of the week and felt accomplished, but I’ve been lacking in true heart and soul communication with God. There are times when I just cannot make myself slowdown to truly give my thoughts over to the Lord. So a weight builds up and burdens begin to creep on in. It’s truly an amazing thought that sometimes we just have to get to that breaking point in our soul for the purest and most simple prayers to come spilling out. Tonight was one of those nights.

I was soul-weary and felt as if I just wouldn’t get right with Jesus tonight. There was something I was holding onto, or rather something I just didn’t see that was weighing me down with an anxiousness I was quick to toss away. And that’s when it came. I am that vessel the potter has Created. Tonight I’ve got a few cracks in my clay. Maybe a few chips around the edges. I might even be tipped over on my side, about to roll off the table. But it’s just the simple prayer that can unleash the freeing power of Grace. “Lord, pick me up. Smooth my chips and fill in my cracks. Fill me to overflowing and cover me in mercy.” And like that He lifts my aching heart like a heavy cloak and tosses the garment into the fire. He rids me of my guilt and the filthy sin-stained mistakes of my wanderings and has re-made me.

It doesn’t always take fasting. Or memorization. Or song. Sometimes it’s nothing more than the distracted heart wearing itself out and finding it’s way home. To Jesus. And the Cross. And the reminder that I was never far away from Him to begin with, but rather just a little blinded for the moment.




Is presentation what it’s really all about?

Presentation. Don’t we always want that one thing that looks beautiful no matter the cost? A house. That handbag. The cup of coffee at that one shop that costs a paycheck just because of the swirly foam. I know my weakness is walking into my favorite store and seeing that dress on the mannequin that’s about twenty bucks too expensive, but I still think about buying it because I just gotta have it; Keep on walking right to the sale rack, please!
Beautiful things easily catch our eye. How glorious the picture must be to God to see His followers donating hours of the day to searching the Word and scripture memorization. How it must fill Him with such pride to see His people each morning and night in their prayer closet on their knees and lifting their hands in thanksgiving and supplication to the Father. It’s glorious indeed for the human mind because very rarely are we able to attain such high goals in our life with Christ. Even if we were to reach such goals, our sinful nature would undoubtedly distract us from giving of our full selves to the task of fully worshiping and searching God.

Over the last couple of months, this topic has played such a big role in my relationship with God. My life right now is so incredibly busy, and every now and again I find myself getting so discouraged by it. But at that point when I feel overwhelmed and weighed down by my stresses, I hear that whisper in my ear that tells me this is just a season. That I’m where I’m needed, and the chaos of everyday life is a beautiful thing filled to over-flowing the brim with blessings I’m undoubtedly undeserving of. I’m passionate about life and all that’s in it and as tough as I find it at times, I’m crazy for this journey that I’m on. Whether I’m up early with the sun to bask in the God’s goodness or staying up late with the moon praying to my Father about this life He’s given me, I find myself almost always putting some sort of unnecessary pressure on myself to bring what’s nearly impossible before God. Sometimes I feel as if my prayers just weren’t quite long enough. Or I left something out. Or I just didn’t read as far as I was wanting to in that chapter today. So an evening a couple of months ago, the Lord told me to stop. Just stop.

I was at work and it was nearing the end of the week. The hours I work are sometimes tough to handle, and this particular week my mornings were jammed packed full of duties and responsibilities before even getting to work in the afternoons. Of course, by the time I got home late at night, the last thing I had energy for was the fight to keep my tired eyes open and focus on my quiet time.
There was one particular night at work during this insane week where I just felt incredibly burdened that my spiritual life had been put on the back burner while life continued to fly on by. In that moment I cried out to God in an anxious plea to show me how to give of myself more to Him and not to allow me to take the easy road out of time with Him. I then began a slow panic with thoughts of how I just can’t give what I need to God. Then He spoke such quiet and simple words in a voice that was almost audible. “Stop.” Stop… relax… quiet…. Still. While God delights in those rare hours in our prayer closet, with the candles lit and incense burning (okay that never happens but let’s just get that image of full worship-mode in our heads), He knows we can’t always do that. In fact He doesn’t want that if we can’t do it with the right heart. He doesn’t want us to come to Him in a stressful manner or one of frustration. He doesn’t want us to make that time of one with the Father to be a time to over think and become un-enjoyable. And He definitely doesn’t want us to come to Him out of obligation, thus dreading the reward that has then become a task. No, I fully believe God the Father cherishes the smallest action of worship as if we’ve laid our life down for it. I feel the singer Amy Grant has worded it best in her song, “Better than a Hallelujah.”

“God loves a lullaby in a mothers tears in the dead of night,
Better than a Hallelujah sometimes.
God loves a drunkards cry, The soldiers plea not to let him die
Better than a Hallelujah sometimes.

We pour out our miseries, God just hears a melody.
Beautiful the mess we are, the honest cries of breaking hearts
Are better than a Hallelujah.

The woman holding on for life, the dying man giving up the fight.
Are better than a Hallelujah sometimes
The tears of shame for what’s been done,
The silence when the words won’t come
Are better than a Hallelujah sometimes.

We pour out our miseries, God just hears a melody.
Beautiful the mess we are, the honest cries of breaking hearts
Are better than a Hallelujah.

Better than a church bell ringing,
Better than a choir singing out, singing out”

So while we as fleshly humans want to present to God our very best in worship, sometimes a simple whisper of “Jesus” is better than a hallelujah sometimes.

Introducing WMWH

I am so extremely excited to welcome you to With My whole Heart!  For years now the Lord has given me a desire for words and writing, and I want to use it for His glory any way that I can. My prayer is that this journey I’m now on will be exactly what He wants it to be and nothing more or nothing less. I’ve asked God to grant me the right words and topics to discuss, as well as giving me the right heart in everything that surrounds this.

So here’s a little info on how this whole thing started…

I graduated high school (2012) knowing exactly what I would be doing with my life. I felt confident that God had pointed me down the path to take, so I planned  for such. I was ecstatic for my future. I won’t bore you with details, but about six months or so after graduation I began to feel the Lord pull the rug from under my feet, sending me on my first real trial in my newfound adult world. I followed where He led, and it allowed me to stay at my job a couple more months. I then knew for sure that the Lord wanted me to abandon all the plans that I had felt so certain about not so long ago. I just couldn’t wrap my mind on why I’d get so close to achieving what I felt the Lord laid out for me, just to *literally* be back at square one. I had absolutely no clue what I was supposed to do with my life. Where I was supposed to go. Or what to even dream of.  By now, it was a full year since graduating high school and summer was fast approaching. I knew that what I needed to do was dedicate that entire summer to prayer and devotionals, searching for what God might have me to do once fall came. So I did just that. Let me say, those two and a half months allowed me to grow in the Father more than ever before. It taught me how to daily study the Word – I’m talking each morning I devoted hours to searching God’s Word, and along the way searching my heart for the person I was slowly becoming. I was also extremely blessed during this period to maintain a small income nearly every week by babysitting for family friends and neighbors. Alongside that, it was a tremendous comfort to go through this soul-searching time still living at home and with my family’s support.

…the whole reason for my spiel (I know, not what you were exactly looking for when you came here) was that during that summer when I was learning to be an adult, I was getting into regimented daily quiet times. I was searching the Lord’s will for me, and I found Him more and more along the way. It was during this time I picked up the hobby of journaling, with the hope that it might document my journey of finding myself and possibly be a help to someone in the future who may be going through what I was. Through this everyday-not-so-special hobby, I realized my deep love for writing that would continue to grow over time. Along with writing, I realized how deep my love for stories was (fiction is a quick way to my heart, fyi), along with just beginning to see a desire to write my own someday. In the years since, I’ve loved jotting down quick quotes that catch my eye, an inspirational phrase my mind might conjure up while dealing with a stressful day, or a story line that I think might become the makings of a book I could only dream of writing. I’ve since started coming up with a short devotional idea I would occasionally post on Facebook to encourage friends and family.

I’ve prayed and sought His wisdom.  I’ve thought about it then got too busy for it. I dreamed of doing it, then talking myself out of it. But I’ve finally done it. I’ve started With My Whole Heart as a way for me to share with the world what He’s impressed upon me as I’ve sought Him when I’m stressed, exhausted, feeling weak in Spiritual battle, or just needing Jesus in this crazy world we live in. So here it is! This is whats on my heart, with my whole heart. I’d love to have you along for the ride.