We finally did it! We overcame the many obstacles and got family pictures taken!
Such a burden lifted. I’m the queen of procrastination when it comes to family photos!
But it’s done, and our friend did a fantastic job capturing this little group of people I’m blessed to call my family.
Strange how looking at your kids in pictures makes you see things you don’t always see. Like how quickly they are growing up!
I’m glad I have these photos to help me keep my focus, and to remember where my heart is.
There is no doubt in my mind that my husband will never leave me, or be unfaithful. (Incidentally, he has the same assurance from me.)
It’s a good feeling, and a good foundation for a marriage.
But I have to admit to you that there was a season in my life where I began to feel like that wasn’t enough. If you’ve been married for a while, you know that marriages have seasons; some are a little dry and not as full of feeling as others. The commitment is still there but the butterflies seem to have flown away.
It was one of those seasons. I knew he was committed to me. But it occurred to me that I didn’t just want him to be committed to me, and do all the things a good husband is “supposed to do”. I wanted him to be naturally drawn to me.
Ironically (or by divine appointment), not long after that I found myself listening to a close friend as she echoed the same heart’s desire. Her husband had continually assured her that he is committed to their marriage. She looked at me and said, “I want him to stay with me because he wants to be with me, not just because he made a promise.”
As I thought about how we were each feeling, I just couldn’t get away from that longing to not just have a commitment, but to be wanted. To be pursued. I wanted him to find ways to be with me, not just show up to a date I orchestrated. I didn’t want to just be his wife, I wanted to be his love.
And then all at once it made sense.
It’s as though I heard God say my name.
And you know how it feels so much more personal when someone says your name.
When your daddy says your name, or someone your respect, or even when that guy you had a crush on first said your name.
He said “Beth…”
“That’s what I want from you.”
“I want you to be excited to see me in the morning, and to plot ways to spend more time with me.”
“I love your commitment to me, but I want you to love me.”
You see, I’ve always been pretty committed to following God, believing that He is the One True God, worthy of my allegiance and wise enough to be trusted with my life.
But He wants more.
He wants me to pursue Him.
And I want to. And true to form, I find myself asking “But how do I do that?”
You saw my tendency to depend on formulas and how-to’s in this post, where I talked about wanting to learn to be still before God. And in this post, I know I want to learn to communicate intimately with God in prayer but again, I ask myself… “How do I do that?”
And now I’m asking; How do I get to that passionate, all consuming love for God? How do I mature into a love that is so strong that I can’t wait to rise in the morning and see what He has for me in His Word and in our conversations.
Oh how I want that!
I want Him to be my only pursuit. My only heart’s desire. I want to have all my needs met in Him.
He promises that you know.
So how do I get past my own heart enough to lay claim to those promises?
How do I lay down the earthly desires long enough to see that my every need is indeed, met in Christ?
I don’t have the answers. There isn’t a formula, a 3-step plan. But I’m pretty sure it has a lot to do with opening my eyes to who He really is; spending time letting His words sink into my heart, reflecting on the wonders of how He has cared for me so far. How can I not love Him if I really get to know Him?
I’m reading a book right now by Shannon Ethridge. It’s called Completely His: Loving Jesus Without Limits. I bought the whole set (there are 4 devotional companions to go with it) because I knew they would be good. If you’ve read anything by Shannon, you know I’m right! If you haven’t, you need to.
I really don’t want to tell you any details about the book for fear that I won’t do it justice. Let me just say, she is teaching me some beautiful things about God and His heart for me. I make no money whatsoever by telling you about this book, I just wanted to share it with you because it’s really proving to be a blessing to me. You can find it here: http://www.shannonethridge.com/store/
It’s clear all through scripture that God wants to be your only love. He wants you not just to obey (and we can’t throw that out because He says if you love Him you will keep His commandments) but to love Him with all of your heart, soul, mind, and strength. (Mark 12:30)
This is a God who wants to be loved by His bride. Amazingly, He is so faithful that even this is something that He is willing to cultivate in you. I believe that when I ask for more faith, I get more faith. When I ask for wisdom, I get wisdom. And when I delight myself in the Lord, He will give me the desires of my heart, indeed He will become the desire of my heart. (Psalm 37:4)
This past Sunday in church we sang a song that really helped me to reflect on this God who provides the gift He wants to receive from us. The last two lines are;
Into your presence you draw us. Now by your grace we come.
I found a recording of it for you, check it out here. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8xf3ODX2dfU
If you’re a parent, you’ve probably had a young child, at one time or another, ask you what you would like to receive for Christmas. So you think of a few things your little one could get for you. And then what? Daddy takes him to the store and gives him some money with which to purchase the gift for you. So, in essence, you’ve told your child what you want, and then been the provider of everything he will need to make that gift possible. God is like that. He tells us what He wants, and then He gives us everything we need in order to be able to give Him that gift.
I’m excited about spending more time with Him. And I know He’ll meet me there.
Is He calling you into a deeper love for Him? Do you want to feel that sense of all- consuming love that brings life to every part of you? This is all available from the God who made you. It’s not only available, It’s His greatest desire.
Are you intrigued by the idea that when God asks something of you, He also fully equips you to complete the task? If so, you may enjoy my book “Empowered Living; How God Equips And Encourages You To Be What He Calls You To Be”. It’s free for my subscribers. Just drop your name in the box at the upper right hand corner of this site and you’ll receive your free e-book. From there, you’ll receive a quick note in your in-box whenever I publish a new article.
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Photo courtesy of Dan/ freedigitalphotos.net