In Your Heart

It’s not in your day job or side gig. Your credentials or diplomas. It’s not in your trophies or alma maters. It’s not in your bank account or retirement account. It’s not in your likes or followers. It’s not in the concerts you attend or the books that you read. It’s not in the movies that you watch or the instruments that you play. It’s not in the spouse that you have or the child that you raise. It’s not in the school you attend or choir you join. It’s not in your social status or relationship status. It’s not in the car you drive or the boat you own…

It’s not in your parents choices or your grandparents wishes. It’s not in your past heartaches or future concerns.  It’s not in your mistakes, accomplishments, regrets, or failures. It’s not in your report cards or paychecks.

It’s in your heart.

The decision each one of us makes day after day as to whom we will serve, lean on, and trust is our own. Your spouse can’t make it. Your parents can’t make it. They may try, but they can’t. As a parent myself now, this is terrifying, but I turn this over. Over and over. My kids will make their own choices. As will I. As will you.

To love the Lord our God with all our heart, mind, and soul may look different to people. It may lead to choices others may not make. He gives us different gifts, passions, and paths. When we ask Him to lead, our lives may take directions we’d never choose on our own. But, the beauty before us is a life lived trusting Him. Let God be your guide.

We find Him in our trials, we help others with what we’ve learned, and we choose Him day after day. In the ups and the downs, we have faith He is with us. And, it’s in THIS faith, that our strength is found. Our callings may be every bit as different as the circumstances we face. But, pointing to the same God, brings us together in one accord.

Brothers and sisters. Hearts to hearts. Trials to trials. Victories to victories. Peace and strength abounds. In one name. The name of Jesus.

 

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Same Kind of Different…

I look at hearts for a living…Every day, I take an ultrasound probe and I look into people’s chests. I look at the blood flow through the valves and chambers. I assess size, shape, function, and Doppler velocities.

After 17 years, I’ve come to realize that when I’m looking at the screen, it doesn’t matter what the person looks like laying beside me. Our hearts are all designed the same. The person I’m scanning could be black, white, Asian, overweight, anorexic, 95 years old, 18 years old, Catholic, atheist, smoker, vegan, a millionaire, homeless, a cheater, or the cheated. I can’t tell by the way their heart looks on my screen.

If I was only looking at a case study on a screen or was scanning through a sheet, I could only guess what that person looks like or lives like. It could be the cardiologist who reads my tests, for all I know!

This got me thinking about the God we serve. He knit us together in our mother’s wombs. He created our hearts physically and spiritually…the same. To physically pump and fire in a certain way. To spiritually crave Him. To seek Him for satisfaction when the world fails us. To love others and to find our greatest joy in serving Him. So…we are the same.

Yet, this same God who created each one of us in His image also thrives on variety. He made us to look different, gifted us differently, walks us through different stories, gives us different passions and interests. He loves variety. So….we are different.

I look at hearts everyday, but I am so relieved that nobody knows my heart like the One who created it. He sees it, He sees me, and He loves me anyway. He supports and heals my heart. He inspires and strengthens my heart. He pushes it to share and He helps it to rest.

The next time you see someone who looks or acts differently than you, think about their heart beating in their chest, it looks like yours. And, it is loved like yours.

Midlife Press

bored

I will turn 39 this year…The more mid life I get, the more I’m convinced these all too common midlife crises are stemmed from sheer boredom. Ruts, routines.

I’ve been in the same career for 16 years. Been at the same company for 12. It gets boring. So much so, that I can be busy and bored at the exact same time. Sometimes our comfort zones can get so comfortable they start to feel uncomfortable. I’m more convinced than ever that idle hands (and minds) are the devil’s workshop. Let’s be aware that we can be busy as heck raising kids, working full time, holding down relationships and marriages, entertaining friends and still get bored. It’s a restless heart syndrome. And, this doesn’t make us bad. It makes us human.

Last week my daughter was talking about how bored she was. She’s 9. She said “Mom, we do the same things! Morning and night. And, school! It’s boring too.” She said the same thing at church last weekend. “How BORING!!” She was in a rut. I knew exactly where she was coming from, but couldn’t help but lean over and say, “Trust me honey, this is the MOST exciting thing you’ll hear….ever.” I still got an eye roll. The sermon was about the second coming of Jesus. Is there ANYTHING more exciting than that? No. I say bring it.

We look for the next exciting thing. We yearn for a vacation, a new friend, anything to break the monotony. Newness. We crave a challenge. Something, anything to ease the day in, day out, same thing, every day. This boredom and desire for excitement and adrenaline can easily lead to some very poor choices with a devastating ripple effect. We need to be aware of what’s going on. Are we just bored?

What if we leaned into rather than away from what our souls crave the most? What if we leaned into our calling? Asked God what it is? Dug into our passions? Filled our minds with all that is good? Poured into someone’s life? Asked God how to serve Him more? Love the people in our lives better? Learn how….There is always something to learn.

How much better to get wisdom than gold! To get understanding is to be chosen rather than silver. Proverbs 16:16 (ESV)

How about rather than twist off, we twist on and dig in to what and Who really makes us tick. Ask Him how to jump start the rut we feel. Follow our passions. Step out. There is excitement and fear in that. And, that’s just the right combo of emotions for a good mid life press that just might better us and the world around us rather than leave a destructive wake. Can we spice things up in a positive way? Recognize it for what it is and be more aware of what we are looking to in order to change things up a bit?

We have individual interests and passions for a reason. What exhilarates you in a positive way? Do more of that. You may have stumbled upon your gift. When the routines of life leave us bored and restless, let’s press in rather than peel out.