The Heart of the Matter

I had an echocardiogram recently. It was much like the more-familiar ultrasound procedure often done during pregnancy. The technician took the wand and placed it over my heart, looking at the chambers and valves, measuring how fast the blood flowed and which direction it moved. I was able to watch for part of the time and it was oddly fascinating. There on the screen was my heart, even as it was beating inside my chest. It was a part of myself I never really expected to see.

God, see what is in my heart. Know what is there. Put me to the test. Know what I’m thinking. See if there’s anything in my life You don’t like. Help me live in the way that is always right. (Psalm 139:23-24, NIrV)

God,

You see me, inside and out, all the time. You know everything about my physical heart and the “heart” that holds joys and sorrows, desires, motivations, and fears. You understand what is happening and why, and how it will all affect everything and everyone else–things I just can’t know in the same way.

Please help me to listen to You, when You tell me what to do. Help me know how to think and say and do the things that You want for me, and to be able to remember that those really are the best for me. It’s hard sometimes to not understand, God. Please help me to trust that You understand and You know where we are going, even when I can’t see.

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Does It Count if My Mind’s Full?

I was talking with a friend the other day about her choices to be mindful. As she described it, “mindfulness” was basically just what I would call being present, or focusing on who she is with and what is happening right now, rather than distancing herself by rehashing the past or worrying about the future. I’m not so good at that.

I have two little boys who aren’t yet very aware of the consequences of life. I envy their carefree attitude sometimes. As an adult, not worrying can feel somewhat irresponsible. Of course I’m supposed to care what other people think of me, right? I clearly ought to make it my concern to consider how my actions will affect everyone around me.  On some level, I suppose that’s true. I can’t just rush through life willy-nilly never once considering the consequences of my actions. But if I am completely focused on then, I miss out entirely on now.

This is the day which the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. (Psalm 118:24, NASB)

God,

I’ve had the Sunday school song based on this verse running through my head the past couple of days. I feel like I don’t have time to rejoice. My mind gets so cluttered with all the things that need to be accomplished every day. The cooking and the cleaning and the schooling and the spending time with people to build relationships and the spending time on my own and the making money and the bill paying and … suddenly I’m in the middle of a Martha moment, anxious about how on earth I’m going to do all of that! Life sometimes feels like I need 25 or 26 hours in a day, just to fit it all in.

But You didn’t give us 25 or 26 hours–and You’ve said You give us everything we need (Philippians 4:19). Please help me to be mindful today. Rather than worrying about what I did or didn’t do yesterday or what I may or may not do tomorrow, let me recognize You right now. Help me to remember that I don’t need to focus on the things I don’t have any control over. You have not hired me to run the world and trying to do so will only wear me out. Let me rest beside quiet waters and allow You to refresh my soul.