Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Day 34

I was challenged today to think of what spiritual disciplines come easy for me and what do I struggle with the most. There are a lot of spiritual disciplines such as scripture memorization, fasting, prayer, bible study, journaling, etc.

Of the ideas mentioned, I think I do well with prayer and journaling. I talk to God a lot throughout the day and pretty much about anything. I try to bless God with my words but I also want to be authentic. If I voice my true feelings it breeds life within me even if it's about my life's struggles or my saddest moments. If I try to pretend how I feel and not voice those thoughts and emotions it tends to breed dissatisfaction down deep within.

With journaling, I finally got my mojo back. I used to write a lot. I wrote details about life, poetry, songs, etc. My heart literally cried out on paper. Then life became survival and I lost the ability to process my deepest thoughts on paper (long before my computer came along). I no longer felt the relief of emptying my heart on paper. I remembering seldom even proofreading what I wrote. I just wrote.

And I try to keep that through process intact here on this blog. I do proofread and spell check. I can clean it up grammatically and check my spelling, but I want my first words to be my last words. I seldom take more than 20 minutes to write this blog. I don't want it to consume me. I want it to be a natural outpouring of my soul

Scripture memorization comes harder for me. As anal as I am you'd think it would be easier. I have an attention for detail. I remember entire conversations, much to my husband's utter frustration. Yet I struggle with remembering where scriptures are. Crosswalk.com and the Bible installed on my iPhone are my trusted companions. If I quote a scripture and someone asks me where that is - I can look it up quickly. I justify that at least I know enough to know the general thought of the scripture but really I am not satisfied with that.

I also struggle with bible study. I guess really they go hand in hand. I go through periods where I devour Beth Moore studies on my own and listen to a ton of sermons but then I ebb and flow and struggle to get something in. I do read a lot of books by Christian authors that I definitely believe develop my faith. But why do I find it so hard to literally open my bible and start reading?

I want to be in LOVE with scripture. I see Beth Moore and Margaret Feinberg on a video and their love for God's word is evident on their faces. They are in LOVE with God's word. Or I listen to a podcast by Matt Chandler and Erwin McManus and I hear the love of scripture in their voices.

Don't misunderstand me. I don't want to be Matt or Erwin or Beth or Margaret. But I want to experience love for the word of God that they have. I want to soak in scripture - to find my place in the word. I truly believe the word of God changes our lives. I've seen it at work. It's living and breathing - completely viable on it's own. Yet I struggle with it. Sigh.

I will still do bible studies and listen to my favorite preachers and teachers, but I want to develop the desire to dive into the scriptures on my own. I don't need a theology degree to search out God's truth. I know how to read and I know how to ask questions. And using a Strong's Concordance to search out Hebrew and Greek meanings is not rocket science. I make it so much harder than it needs to be.

I feel like this is a hurdle that I have to make it over, in order to move forward on this journey. Would you please lift me up in prayer about this?

Today's Reflection: Lord I truly I believe Your word is life. It's not outdated or unreasonable or unable to be understood. Please develop in me a desire to read Your word, to hunger and thirst for it. I want to feel Your Spirit talk to me and commune with me as I search out your truths. As You give me understanding and insight, I want the scriptures to reside within me, embracing me and fulfilling the life You've called me to.


Allison November 4, 2009 at 8:06 AM  

I will lift you up as I pray for myself in this area. You know it is an area i struggle with also. But, it is also something I long for as you do.

sheri November 5, 2009 at 12:02 PM  

When I was in the deepest part of my depression and I was still TRYING to survive, I couldn't put my thoughts in words to journal or even pray. But in desperation to cry out to God somehow, I wrote out Psalms & Scriptures in my journal. To keep from harm, I had to keep my mind busy. Sometimes I did word "searches" in the concordance on words that I needed to hang on to, i.e. trust, hope, press on, whole heart, wholeness...Kinda weird, but now when other women come to me in desperation, I often recall those words that I clung to so tightly during those times. By journaling those scriptures in full, God hid them in my heart. Now, I can look back at those journals and see how God brought me thru a really difficult time. You might try that when a Scriptures really touches and you want to hang on to it.

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