Laurie said in her lecture this past week on repentance something along the lines of, if we don’t have a defined plan to put our sin to death, we’re not really serious about our sin. The Lord allowed me to see that I don’t take my sin seriously. Sure, when I see my sin and have to confess it to the Lord, I’m sad, I’m guilty, I feel remorse, but if I’m being honest, I think it’s more for the sake of being good versus the reality of seeing that I’m sinning against my God, my King, my true EVERYTHING who died for me to be able to have life.

I left study that night with a flood of emotions, first apathy in general to my conviction, then a pull up your boot straps type of mentality that I can make this plan and put this sin to death all in one week—oh goodness, if I could insert a sarcastic eye roll here to my flesh I would!

As has happened to me time and time again with my pull up your bootstraps and get to work mentalities, the feelings of excitement and determination fail me and I’m back to where I was to begin with, all because I looked to myself and my feelings to get me to make a plan to put my sin to death versus looking to the One who put my sin to death for good already. This particular time of excitement and determination did not last long at all. Basically by Wednesday morning after study (the morning after), I had overslept, rushed through my quiet time while trying to hold my eyes open, went to work, and my “plan,” which really wasn’t a plan at all, failed.

The Lord allowed me to stay here most of the week. I prayed for a plan, but I don’t know that I was really serious. I was going through all the motions of what you would imagine a “good girl” Christian to do—my flesh fall back. The day before Easter Sunday I read these two verses in my quiet time: “Incline my heart to your testimonies, and not to selfish gain! Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things; and give me life in your ways” (Psa. 119:36-37). Oh how I longed for this to be my prayer, my real prayer, my real desire.

I’ve been looking at a lot of worthless things—my new weight gain, my expectations of my husband and future family, the approval of everyone around me (did I say the right thing, did I talk too much, did I let them talk enough, will he still love me if…? The examples could go on and on). Even after reading those verses Saturday morning and knowing how many worthless things my eyes are fixed on throughout any particular day, most of the day my eyes were still fixed on the worthless. But there were moments when the Lord graced me with the ability to think on those verses, to really meditate on them in light of what I was looking at in comparison to Him.

Easter Sunday, as I listened to the preacher talk about Mary Magdalene coming to the tomb where Jesus had been laid on a morning that seemed so dark at first before coming to the realization that Jesus had in fact risen from the dead, the Lord brought these verses to mind again. The preacher talked about how life is mainly lived in the valleys, not the mountain tops, but the light returns and joy comes in the morning, because He has risen. We sang a song at the end of service about how joy comes in the morning and tears streamed down my face as I realized what type of perspective I truly have throughout my days, when the reality is that my Savior rose from the dead and I can have life in His ways.

Laurie quoted someone in another lecture, “What a man truly thinks about something is the heart of the matter.” What my eyes are focused on truly matters and it seems to be the beginning of where the Lord is leading me in this plan of repentance. I look at a lot of worthless things, maybe you do too, but let’s all fall at the feet of our Savior and beg for His grace to look at the only One who is worthy. The plan is not in full motion, but He’s forming it, and I’m thankful.

O Lord, “Incline my heart to your testimonies, and not to selfish gain! Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things; and give me life in your ways” (Psa. 119:36-37).

Planted for His Glory


“Aww shucks, I just rolled my eyes.” That’s what I wrote down, because that is what I think. Surely rolling eyes just isn’t that big a deal? Is it even a sin? Ok, maybe a small sin? It’s just so easy to justify. To ignore, deny, sweep under the rug, and minimize. Oh how easily my flesh can deceive me!

Laurie’s example of being quick to speak really hit me this week. Somehow I got to Proverbs and was amazed at how many verses speak to this. But what I found in Proverbs chapter six was a powerful reminder to me of how we really don’t take our sin seriously.

“There are six things that the Lord hates, seven that are an abomination to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers” (Prov. 6:16-19). So back to the eye rolling…haughty eyes are an abomination to the Lord! Forgive me, Lord.

If sin were not so serious, would we need the very life blood of the Son of God to cleanse us? If we minimize our sin, don’t we minimize the cross? If we deny our sin aren’t we denying our Savior?

In fact we are all sinners who deserve to be condemned to death.

In our memory verses this semester, God’s Word very clearly tells us that we once walked and lived in sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire and covetousness, which is idolatry (Col. 3:7). And it says that God’s wrath is coming because of these things (Col. 3:6).

“But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ — by grace you have been saved” (Eph. 2:4-5).

We do not need to be ashamed! “He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed” (1 Pet. 2:24).

We must not self-atone. That is just pride. I so needed to hear that because I do see how I try to make up for my sin, try to get it right, or even cover it up. Christ has atoned for our sin. He alone is the perfect and sufficient sacrifice. “In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins” (1 John 4:10).

Our Father made a way. Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life. I can’t see a thing in my daughter’s closet because there is no light! We must pick up the flash light by faith and have no fear to look and see the sin that remains. We simply must confess to our loving Father that we have sinned against Him and believe the truth of His Word! The parable of the prodigal son shows us the truth of who our Father is! There is no need to live in fear or shame. “And he arose and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him” (Luke 15:20).

I don’t want to sin against my Father and yet I feel my flesh so strongly resist fasting. Fasting is a work against the flesh. My flesh wants to live on Easy Street. But as I consider all that Jesus did for me, how can I not count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord (Phil. 3:8)?

May the Lord give us all much grace as we seek to fast and cry out to Him to change our hearts! May Jesus be glorified in each of us.

Learning to Live in the Garden of Grace


Where do I begin? I would describe myself as overwhelmed with emotions. At the beginning of this week, I was so ready to take on my fast of shopping. I was only going to buy things I needed such as toiletries and groceries. Worldly possessions had begun to rule over my heart. I would constantly browse the Internet for new clothes and home décor. I certainly didn’t buy everything I wanted but I would click that add to cart button just to feel like I was buying that top I wanted. The first couple of days I was doing very well. I didn’t click on the 40% off, $10 dresses, or Bogo emails. I was so prideful that it had been all MY doing.

It hit me like a sucker punch Friday evening when I realized I had an annual charity event to attend and I had gotten rid of all my dress heels during Spring Cleaning. I convinced myself it was a need and not a want.

As I stepped through the doors of DSW, I was so excited! I went straight for the clearance section to find dress shoes. It was crazy the amount of dress shoes there were to choose from. I stubbornly convinced myself that God put them all there for me. HA! After grabbing shoes to wear to the event I began to walk through the aisles and aisles of shoes, my flesh so happy. I began to make mental notes about certain shoes I would buy after the fast! I am so ashamed to admit I caved and bought sandals along with the dress shoes. I convinced myself it was a need and not a want because warm weather is approaching. I left the store so proud of myself that I had done so well.

The guilt didn’t begin to kick in till I began to write this blog post. Now I am ashamed and feel so raw. I am now realizing that I have let my flesh get in the way of honoring our Lord. How sweet it is that the Lord has revealed my wrong doing. My flesh does not want me to weep over my sin but yet I am. It is only by the power of the Holy Spirit who lives within me that I am even able to see my sin. It is now a new week and I am ready to tackle my love of worldly possessions once again. I am not sure how long I will continue this fast but I believe the Lord wants me to continue until my flesh is no longer aroused by the Instagram posts of my favorite stores and the e-mails I receive regarding sales. This is the prayer I will begin to pray over each morning and every time I feel my flesh becoming aroused.

O Heavenly Father,

I come to you knowing I am in love with worldly possessions. I want to love you more, I want to feel just as excited to enter your Word and worship you as I am searching for the perfect outfit. You are so much more than a new a dress. You are Lord. You are King of all. Your love fulfills me; it is all I need. I only need your approval, Lord, not the approval of my friends, family, or strangers. I know I can only deny my flesh through you. You are the strength I can rely on. I need to cast all my fear onto you God, because you can handle what I cannot. “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the pride of life, is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world passes away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever” (1 John 2:15-17, RSV).

In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.  

Showered in His Love