Close to His Heart

While I was babysitting a few days ago, I started thinking about the little seven-month old I was holding. He can get so upset sometimes, especially when he’s tired or hungry. But when I wrap him up and hold him close to me,  he begins to settle down and even rest his head on my shoulder. With this posture he can feel the rise and fall of my chest and hear the steady rhythm of my heartbeat singing him to sleep. He is peaceful and content to rest on me.

Oh, that I would be like this with my Savior!

Seeing this little one made me think about my posture towards the Lord. I can become so upset sometimes when I’m weary, fearful, or hungry for spiritual food, but I so easily forget where my peace and contentment are found.When I’m close to my Savior’s heart, I become aware of how sovereign and constant He is. When I’m close to His heart, my perspective begins to align with His and my heart begins to beat in His rhythm instead of my own. And when I’m close to Him and chose to trust Him I can rest.

I’m so thankful for His character and for the lessons He teaches His children through everyday things.Enjoy the journey with Him!

In Him,

Laura

“You keep him in perfect peace
    whose mind is stayed on you,
    because he trusts in you”

Isaiah 26:3

“Delight yourself in the Lord,
    and he will give you the desires of your heart.”

Psalm 37

 

“Choose”

 

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Forever there will be new, exhilarating, fast.

But you’ve got me falling slow, easy, deep.

I love to pretend I could fly and touch the clouds that sit so proudly upon the wings of the sky.

Yet you let me down gently, softly, faithfully to solid ground-

Working your way into my dearest affections.

The taste of adventure and grand romance,

The feeling of safety and home,

If I had the choice which would I choose…?

LVS

Decided to try a little free verse this time! Actually this is what happens  when I read too much Anne of Green Gables… 😉

A Love Dare

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Out of all the pins I have saved on Pinterest, this one has been the most re-pinned out of all of them. Why? Because so many people can relate to it. Let’s face it -it hurts to open up and then feel the sting of rejection. Or to build a relationship and then witness that change because of disagreements, misunderstandings, or simply the course of time. Loving anyone is a risk- to our own comfort and self-centeredness. Once you have been hurt in a relationship it seems to go against everything in you to want to invest again. And yet…somehow we crave it. We were made for relationship and community. The Lord said “let Us make man in *Our own image.*” And Jesus prayed for and urged his disciples to be in unity with one another and with the Lord, just as He had fellowship in the Trinity.

Most of us can probably relate to the words penned in this quote by C.S. Lewis. But what amazes me, is how much more our mighty God and Father relates to it. He sent His only Son Christ to earth to sacrifice everything, suffer pain, rejection, and death all for the glory of God and love for His creation. All for the sake of Love. He loved deeply, hurt badly, and in the end still said It. Is. Finished. He is our hope and example. He loves us perfectly and still pursues relationship with us even when we reject Him and place other things before Him. So, love God and love others. Do it graciously and with boldness, knowing that He has gone before you and will go with you. And find comfort that there is grace more than sufficient for our mistakes!

Enjoy your journey!

Laura

Keep Looking Up- Psalm 13

“But I have trusted and relied on and been confident in Your lovingkindness and faithfulness;
My heart shall rejoice and delight in Your salvation.
I will sing to the Lord,
Because He has dealt bountifully with me.”
-Psalm 13 AMP

“One of the keys to transitioning from depression to delight is choosing to look up, not down.” Such a good word for me today. I often get so distracted and discouraged with worries of this world and caught up with my own struggles and forget to look at Him. Then when I realize what is happening, I feel painfully convicted.The more I stare  at the darkness of my surroundings, the darker my perspective becomes. But when I look at Him, trusting Him to help me shift my eyes, His radiant Love Light changes everything about me and my heart towards my circumstances.The truth is, I can trust Him and give Him praise in the midst of every circumstance because He has been faithful and He WILL be faithful according to His purposes. He is so compassionate and gracious. And I’m extremely thankful for that today.

Hope you are having a good week friends! Keep looking Up.

“If” (Psalm 124)

A couple of weeks ago our church began a series on the Psalms of Accents. As well as reading the chapter for the week and spending time in prayer, one of the challenges is to re-write the psalm of the week in our own words. I will confess I haven’t been very consistent in following along with every daily discipline, but this week’s psalm really hit home for me. These particular psalms have been encouraging to read because they are about fellow Believers on a journey. As they ascended to Jerusalem every year to celebrate their feasts, the Jewish pilgrims faced hardship, danger, and doubt. But still they sang. I admire their honesty, and though their feelings didn’t always match up, they acknowledge that the Lord was their help and hope no matter what. This example challenges me to keep singing real authentic songs to the Lord as I journey. As well as to keep in mind the great hope we have living on this side of the cross. Hope you are encouraged by this as well! Keep pressing on!

This week’s psalm is Psalm 124. Here it is re-written in my own words.

“If the Lord had not been on my side, if He hadn’t been for me-

I will say-

If the Lord had not been on my side fighting with me when men accused me and came against me, then they would have prevailed.

I would have fought for my life while they held it in their hands.

They would have overtaken me in their anger, and the waters of adversity would have overwhelmed me.

The feelings of despair raging inside would have swept over and engulfed me.

*But God.

Praise the Lord who counseled me and delivered me!

He is my comfort and stay. He has not allowed me to be torn apart. He has not allowed my undoing.

Rather, He has provided a way of escape. He has set me free-Eternally from sin and despair.

My help is in the name of ‘Yahweh, the Maker of heaven and earth-Creator and Sustainer of all, and my good Father!

Amen!”

Also, check out Psalm 94 for more encouragement!

In Him,

Laura

 

“Tread Softly”

Old thoughts, new appreciation. 🙂  It’s encouraging to come across raw emotions and truths such as these sometimes. Looking back on my journey, things that seemed so big at the time never left His hands. And my old thoughts might even be helpful again as I am always learning… Hope they encourage you too!

Laura Clayton 2016

Tread softly young woman, lest you tread on fragile hearts.

If those hearts are tread upon, precious dreams may also be torn apart.

Tread softly young woman, there’s much to be learned, yet there is no class,

Yes, please remember it’s as if you tread on glass.

The older you grow, many people you will meet,

But step carefully, lest you leave a trail of scarred bare feet.

It’s true, you may be their first love, and they yours,

But, choose for yourself a very straight course.

Always look Up and press in,

And remember if you fall there’s a new place to begin.

In the arms of the Father, all wrongs are made right,

For every broken heart, there’s a promise of new light.

Tread softly young woman, the weight of hearts is not yours to bear, \

But rather a privilege for you to share.

 

 

“Words”

Laura Clayton, January 2016

Oh words, let me bend you, and oh phrases let me mend you.

I long to make you say what I feel- It’s as if I’m trapped inside your meaning.

If I were to punctuate the sentences I penned you into, it wouldn’t satisfy.

Questions, exclamations, and long pauses would smudge together and end some lines of my life.

Oh words, let me tell you of the questions; reassure you of the worries in my pages.

I ache to know their answers, and escape my question marks.

If I were to tell you of all the questions, it would only tire you.

Questions could fill every page and end every sentence, but oh how they could not contain the depth of the story.

Oh words, let me delight you, oh lines let me invite you.

I long to tell you of the exclamations found in the careful arrangement and pattern of your words.

If I were to describe the value of the joy I have found in words, no sum could do it justice.

Many exclamations would be present, inked skillfully between thoughts, but each one would exist because of one Word.

Oh words, let me warn you of the pauses and breaks in my pages.

I hope to convince you of their purpose, for I fear you’ll only find them pointless.

If I were to go on about them, I think it still wouldn’t do, for you haven’t read them.

Long pauses lie in some of my greatest lines, pleading with me to rest and trust-only heaven knows what’s coming next.

Oh words, let me bend you, and oh phrases let me mend you.

I long to make you say what I feel- It’s as if I’m trapped inside your meaning…

 

 

 

 

 

evening hymn

Oh how easily I wander. Bind my heart to you Father…

1. “Come, thou Fount of every blessing,
tune my heart to sing thy grace;
streams of mercy, never ceasing,
call for songs of loudest praise.
Teach me some melodious sonnet,
sung by flaming tongues above.
Praise the mount! I’m fixed upon it,
mount of thy redeeming love.

2. Here I raise mine Ebenezer;
hither by thy help I’m come;
and I hope, by thy good pleasure,
safely to arrive at home.
Jesus sought me when a stranger,
wandering from the fold of God;
he, to rescue me from danger,
interposed his precious blood.

3. O to grace how great a debtor
daily I’m constrained to be!
Let thy goodness, like a fetter,
bind my wandering heart to thee.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
prone to leave the God I love;
here’s my heart, O take and seal it,
seal it for thy courts above.”

-Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing

Proverbs 23

“Heart Inside a Box”

I wrote this nearly two years ago!  Today I found myself thinking about life and love similarly, so I went looking for this post and decided to share. Hope it encourages you to love even if you’re afraid.

-Laura Beth

“Sometimes it seems it would be easier to lock your heart inside a box. There it would never be broken, never hurt, and never lost. It would be safe. As the years passed by its rate would never change, on and on it would pound to the same familiar rhythm. Inside a box, it would never have to risk skipping a beat, or not  being able to slow its pace once it had quickened. It would be comfortable, never knowing risk.

Yet, would it ever truly be alive? Should it be given the chance to feel even if it means to ache? The heart may experience deep sorrow, devastating loss, and even begin to feel as if it has been shattered into a thousand pieces. But, mingled with grief and sorrow, deep trust, joy, and love can also be found. The heart is fragile and breakable, but if laid at the feet of the Savior it is redeemable and healable. Could it be that the strange reality is it is better to feel everything than to feel nothing at all?

To those whose hearts are locked away, please unlock the box. The heart is made to be alive not merely to be left ‘safe’ inside a box. Though it may be uncomfortable at times, and life may leave scars, I believe to feel is to risk, and to risk is to truly live. Is your heart inside a box?”