Thanksgiving Psalm

April 13th, 2015

Blossom

In my last post, I looked at the form of the Lament in the Psalms – the most common form used in the Psalms. I posted an example I wrote a year ago.

Yesterday, I thought it was time I wrote another personal Psalm. However, I wasn’t in the mood for a lament. I’d been trying to remember the bright side of being single lately, and I’d been succeeding. In fact, writing out the lament itself brought me to a happier place.

So instead, I decided to write a Thanksgiving Psalm. And I’d focus on the wonderful home that I feel was a gift from God.

Here’s the form of a Thanksgiving Psalm:

I. Introduction

I will exalt you, O Lord,
for you lifted me out of the depths
and did not let my enemies gloat over me.
— Psalm 30:1

II. Call to Praise

Let the redeemed of the Lord say this –
those he gathered from the lands,
from east and west, from north and south.
— Psalm 107:2-3

III. Account
A. Crisis in Retrospect

The cords of death entangled me,
the anguish of the grave came upon me;
I was overcome by trouble and sorrow.
— Psalm 116:3

B. Deliverance
1. I called.

Then I called on the name of the Lord:
“O Lord, save me!”
— Psalm 116:4

2. You heard and you intervened.

You turned my wailing into dancing;
you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy.
–Psalm 30:11

IV. Praise

Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love
and his wonderful deeds for men.
Let them exalt him in the assembly of the people
and praise him in the council of the elders.
— Psalm 107:31-32

So that’s the basic form.

My challenge is this: Try using this form, along with parallelism. (Repeat yourself!)

It’s a lovely way to remind yourself what God has done.

Here’s what I wrote yesterday morning. It’s not eloquent – just an example of how you can use this form to recount something God has done for you.

God is good.
It is always worth it to seek Him.

Praise the Lord for his kindness;
praise Him for noticing our needs and longings.
Notice the Lord’s compassion,
for He notices us.

I was abandoned and alone,
in debt after divorce,
a single mom with an empty nest,
pouring money into rent,
with a guest room that was never used,
with furniture for a family I used to have.

I asked the Lord if I should look for a home to buy,
or look elsewhere for a job?
Should I stay where I’d healed after my divorce
or look further afield for something new?

He answered to enlarge the place of my tent
and spread my tent curtains wide.

I thought I found a home—
farther from my church than I’d wanted,
but surely the best I could afford?
It didn’t have a view,
but couldn’t being nice inside make up for that?
Then it fell through, after inspections were done.
I had to start all over again.

Then I saw this place, and looked out on a lake.
The first place kept me busy
while waiting for the gift you had for me.

And every day I look out on my lake
and my soul is soothed.

I’m near my church family,
and the whole church helped me move.
Now a Small Group meets in my home,
and I’ve had more visitors than my last two homes combined.
Walking by my lake
restored my health after my stroke.
The birds and ever-changing plant growth
constantly speak of your loving care.

Father, I thank You for giving me the disappointment
that led to the perfect timing of the home you had for me.
Thank You for knowing what I needed in my life
for this time.
Thank You for giving me much more than I asked for
and always dealing with me with love.
Thank You for the egrets and the great blue heron,
the robins, blue jays, woodpeckers, and cardinals.
Thank You for the enticement to walk
and the soothing lap of the lake.
Thank You for Spring blossoms,
Summer growth,
Autumn splendor,
and Winter whiteness.
Thank You that Your gifts never run out
and You are good.

A Lament for Love

April 11th, 2015

Last year, I got to lead a Small Group going through the Psalms, using what I learned from a Psalms class at Biola University 30 years ago.

It touches my life when I try to use the ideas to write my own psalm-prayers.

The first idea is to use parallelism:
For each line, I repeat myself;
each thought, I express in another way.

You get the idea!

One of the most common forms used in the Psalms is a Lament. I’ve heard Christians list necessary components of prayer. They are usually along the lines of Adoration, Confession, Thanks, Intercession. For me, it gives new energy to try to pray in the form of a Lament.

Here are the parts of a Lament. I’ll give examples from several different Psalms. Every Lament does not necessarily have every single part.

1. Address to God

Answer me when I call to you,
O my righteous God.
Give me relief from my distress;
be merciful to me and hear my prayer.
— Psalm 4:1

2. Lament or complaint.

How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever?
How long will you hide your face from me?
How long must I wrestle with my thoughts
and every day have sorrow in my heart?
How long will my enemy triumph over me?
— Psalm 13:1-2

3. Review of God’s Help (Confession of Trust).

But you are a shield around me, O Lord;
you bestow glory on me and lift up my head.
To the Lord I cry aloud,
and he answers me from his holy hill.
Selah
I lie down and sleep;
I wake again, because the Lord sustains me.
I will not fear the tens of thousands
drawn up against me on every side.
— Psalm 3: 3-6

4. Petition.

Arise, O Lord!
Deliver me, O my God!
Strike all my enemies on the jaw;
break the teeth of the wicked.
— Psalm 3:7

5. Words of Assurance.

For surely, O Lord, you bless the righteous;
you surround them with your favor as with a shield.
— Psalm 5:12

6. Vow to Praise.

I will give thanks to the Lord because of his righteousness
and will sing praise to the name of the Lord Most High.
— Psalm 7:17

I was looking back over my journal, and a bit more than a year ago, before I briefly dated someone, I wrote a Lament-Prayer about my longing for love. Now that Spring is in the air, that raises a chord with me again.

So I offer the following Lament for Love. I know there are many out there who will echo my prayer. For those who already have a deep love in your life, let this simply be a suggestion of a form to try using in your prayers.

Hear my voice, O Lord!
I need you more than I even realize.
You know the future;
your guidance is best.
I want to follow your leading;
I want your plans for me to come to pass.
I don’t want to be swayed by my own emotions or selfishness or lust;
I want to follow your way.

Lord, I’m confused about what to do.
I’m so inexperienced, so naïve and vulnerable.
It’s been 10 years since I had sex;
my body’s longing for physical affection.
I’m hungry for affirmation,
so I will be easily swayed.
And I do feel lonely and inadequate.
Why did my beloved reject me?
I wonder if I am adequate
— and he told me I was not.
I drenched my bed with weeping
and my sobs were uncountable.
When any man is kind to me,
it brings tears to my eyes.
My heart is vulnerable
and easily swayed.

But you, O Lord, have been with me in the wilderness.
You have lavished your love on me.
You have made me feel loved;
you have held me in my most pained moments.

Please, Lord, give me wisdom!
Show me the way I should go.
Bring a man into my life who loves you truly
and who knows how to be affectionate toward me.
Bring someone who will want to serve you together with me,
and make it clear this is from you.

Surely your plans for me are good, O Lord.
Your lovingkindness is inexhaustible.
No one is as trustworthy as you.
Your faithfulness endures forever.

When You bring a great love into my life,
I will sing thanks to you.
I will tell the world how much you have done;
I will sing of your kindness.

Living in the Present, Gratitude, and Contentment

April 10th, 2015

Bloom

A few weeks ago, I was thrown for a loop when my son told me he’s applied to graduate a semester early, next January instead of a year from June.

That should be great news, right? But then after a couple days it hit me: I’m living alone now, but then I will be truly alone. My older son hasn’t even visited since he graduated from college.

Since then, it’s occurred to me that it could be worse: He could move back in with me. But my main thinking was that with all due respect, married people who complain about Empty Nest Syndrome don’t have a clue what a *truly* empty nest is like.

So I was having trouble thinking that way, and I’ve written about that already. But I thought it was funny what finally snapped me out of it and had me happy and content and joyful: I cleaned my bathroom!

It was the day before Easter. It was my day off, and I was having a super-productive day. As I cleaned my bathroom, I couldn’t help but notice how *much much much* more pleasant this task was than it used to be when I was married.

There’s a verse in Proverbs about how when the ox is gone, the stable is clean, but from the strength of the ox comes an abundant harvest. Married people reading this, the ox is well worth it! I don’t argue with that for a second.

However, as a single person, with no ox in the stable? Well, why not rejoice in the clean stable?!!

A wise teacher, Christel Nani, has pointed out that a good way to live in the present is to practice gratitude. When you’re thankful for the present, you’re not filled with regret or nostalgia about the past, and you’re not worrying or wishing for the future.

I think besides being grateful, we can actively enjoy things that we won’t be able to do so easily if our circumstances change — like clean the bathroom!

Later that same evening, I played Brahm’s Requiem — about Resurrection — and sang along to the alto part. I could sing as loudly as I wished, and it didn’t bother a soul. I could pour out my heart in praise to God, and not worry about bothering anyone.

Today’s my day off, and I decided to enjoy my wonderful lake. I walked around it and took some pictures of the beginning blossoms. I love my condo-by-the-lake. The truth is, if I ever marry again, I will probably want to live somewhere larger. It’s perfect for a single person, and fits my son well when he’s in town — but if my family were bigger, I’d probably want a bigger place.

So I am thankful that *today* I can enjoy the benefits of this wonderful home by taking a walk and enjoying the blossoms.

Tonight, I’m going to go to a gaming group and play some Eurogames. I love doing it, but it does take several hours on a Friday night. I love hanging around super smart people and exercising our brains and having a great time. Tonight I’m looking forward to listening to an audiobook during the long drive there and back, as well.

And the truth is, if I were in a relationship, I might not want to give so much time to this activity I enjoy so much. While I’m single, though? No problem!

A couple of years after my husband left me, someone made the mistake of complaining to me that her husband didn’t give her sex often enough. Oh my, I was angry with her! Please don’t remind me what I’m missing! By the same token, though, married people, it doesn’t hurt to remind yourself that your spouse won’t necessarily always be around. There are some wonderful things about having that person in your life today, even if they aren’t perfect. And who is?

So that’s my reminder to myself for today. To help with contentment — rather than thinking about what you don’t have and wish for, especially look for things you are privileged to enjoy *now* that you won’t necessarily be able to enjoy if your life changes.

I Am Not Alone

March 26th, 2015

I attend a Small Group of folks from my church who get together and talk about our journeys. We’re currently going through John Eldredge’s book, Waking the Dead. The book is talking about spiritual warfare and how demonic spirits try to get a foothold by getting you to make agreements with them.

Now, I think of myself as good at avoiding negative self-talk. But as I’ve become aware of this, I’ve noticed negative statements about myself which I’m tempted to believe.

I think one tip off that the suggestion might be of the devil? It often comes with the word, “See, . . .”

I’ve noticed lately, I keep getting the thought, “See, you’re all alone.”

It came when my toilet broke. It came when I had to call the police about a problem customer at work. It came when my oldest son had a birthday and I remembered really good times in my marriage. It comes when I think about that nice man I found on a dating site — who hasn’t been online since. It even came when my younger son told me he’s applied to graduate early.

How to fight this?

Being aware of these lies, I think, is the first step.

And the next step is rejecting the lies in the name of Jesus. And filling your mind with the opposing truth.

Deuteronomy 31:8 —

The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you;
he will never leave you nor forsake you.
Do not be afraid;
do not be discouraged.

And what better way to get truth into your heart than to sing it? I’m going to have to order Kari Jobe’s CD that includes this song, “I am not alone.”

While Waiting

March 21st, 2015

I was talking with a friend this week. She also is single, and she’d like to find a life partner. She wants the person God has for her. And has no idea what’s taking God so long to bring him into her life.

She hasn’t been passive. She’s done the online dating. She prays about it often.

And, yes, I’m in the same situation. No, I haven’t been looking as long as she has. I’ve only recently felt enough recovered from my divorce to have any desire to date.

But yes, that desire is there. I recently expanded my search radius (regarding physical distance) on an online dating site, and found a profile of a man who sounded like a wonderful match for me. I even sent a message. He’d last been online the day before.

It’s been two weeks — and he hasn’t been online since. So much for that. At least I don’t feel rejected, since he never even read my message.

And I have to believe that God had a hand in even that. That maybe he would not have been such a good match as he seemed from what I read. Or simply that the time is not right for us to meet.

There’s a balance between being passive and being active — and I want to find the place of trust.

Anyway, I was having my quiet time this morning, and God gave me a lot of comfort. I thought it would be worthwhile trying to share some of that comfort, trying to talk about my journey — for the sake of the other women in the same situation.

After this introduction, I’m hoping I can be shorter with more regular posts. Today some key thoughts were:

1) God is so good. And my life is so good right now.

Last night, I went to a gaming group and had a wonderful time playing board games and card games with three men whom I’m friends with, one a co-worker and a particularly good friend. He’s in a relationship, and we’ve figured out we’re not a match — but he’s still such a good friend, and gives me a male perspective on things. And he’s the first very close friend I’ve had who’s a man since my marriage fell apart (from my ex-husband being *too* good a friend with a female friend) — and I had missed that, and treasure it now.

Today I’m going to go see Cinderella with a lifelong girlfriend, and I’m really looking forward to that. I find myself singing “A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes” — such a lovely song.

I am loving my job lately, and feel like I get to make a difference, and get to bring a lot of joy to it.

I still love my home which I bought two years ago. The small lake outside my window, and the wildlife that frequents it and the flowers that bloom around it all simply feed my soul.

I once heard Christel Nani say that giving thanks is a wonderful way to live in the present — to keep from obsessing about the past (a problem after a betrayal) or worrying about the future. It’s also good to keep from focusing on what you don’t have.

2) God has brought me through so much. It was not at all what I wanted or expected, but he has brought good out of it all.

The verse for this is Hosea 2:14 —

Therefore I am going to allure her;
I will lead her into the desert
and speak tenderly to her.
There I will give her back her vineyards,
and will make the Valley of Trouble a door of hope.
There she will sing as in the days of her youth,
as in the day she came up out of Egypt.

Leading me into the desert was alluring me?

Actually, So Much YES. I have learned so much about the tender love of God *because* of all I went through.

3. God is still writing my story. And I can still trust him.

In the Psalms, David doesn’t pray by telling God what to do. He tells God where he is and what he’s feeling. He reminds himself what God has done in the past. And he joyfully realizes that he can trust God and that he knows what God will do is good.

As for what comes next in my life? Today I’m able to say these words with the Psalmist, which I hope will also encourage my sisters and cousins who would like some romantic love in their lives:

Psalm 27:13-14 —

I am still confident of this:
I will see the goodness of the Lord
in the land of the living.

Wait for the Lord;
be strong and take heart
and wait for the Lord.

So that’s where I am today. But this is so much a journey.

How about you? Does any of this ring true and help you on your journey?

Forgiveness, Stage Two

March 3rd, 2015

Today Matthew West’s song “Forgiveness” came on the radio.

I got to thinking that there’s more than one stage to forgiveness. You can try to clear away the anger, and you can do that — you can choose not to be angry.

But with a traumatic wrong, such as being betrayed, there’s an extent to which you have to learn all the ways you were hurt. You can’t just bury it away, or you won’t be healed. You have to uncover the lies told about you — because if you don’t, even if you try to cover them over and forgive them being told, you’re going to believe them.

I’m thinking about things that maybe never even registered in your brain — but hit you in the heart.

What made me think of all this? Listening to the song didn’t make me cry. I think it’s one of the first times I’ve heard the song and I *feel* lovable. I am no longer hurt by the lies that my husband left because I didn’t deserve to be loved.

And feeling lovable again also makes it easier to forgive.

Mind you, what I’m trying to say is that it takes time and work at healing. (Ten years in my case. And the work is never finished.)

I do believe forgiveness helps the healing. But healing also helps the forgiveness.

And today, for at least the length of the song, I felt happy and lovable and forgiving and loving toward my ex-husband and thankful for the family we had and our years together — as well as excited about the future and simply knowing there’s lots about me to love. And finding someone who does will not be impossible or incredible. And I’m going to live an exciting, vibrant life, whether single or with someone who loves me.

And I am, in fact, worthy of love. And, yes, forgiveness is freeing.

Reading to Children

March 3rd, 2015

IMG_4648

Yesterday I posted about reading Fox in Socks for our library’s Seussathon. (I also read The Sneetches and Other Stories, Horton Hatches an Egg, Green Eggs and Ham, and Mr. Brown Can Moo… Can You?)

Reflecting about my long history with Fox in Socks also reminded me how completely part of who I am is a delight in reading to children.

My Mom taught us to read before we were in Kindergarten. But the fact is, with the younger kids, we older ones had a lot to do with that. I learned at a young age that the process of watching a small child learn to read is next to miraculous. And I wanted in on it.

So as a kid, I learned both that being read to is cozy and warm and loving and wonderful, and that doing the reading to a younger child is the same.

Then, of course, I read to my own sons. I married a man who had a wonderful reading aloud voice, and read to the boys as much as I did. (Did I love that about him? Did I actually fall for him when we were reading Winnie-the-Pooh out loud in a group in college? Um, yes I did.)

Now my boys are grown, so there’s no one at home to hold in my lap and read to.

So how lucky am I that I get to do this on my job?!?

Mind you, I’m an introvert. Too frequent programs burn me out fairly quickly. However, the perfect thing about it is that as a manager, I don’t do many programs myself — just enough that I still love it.

Bottom line, I get to read books to children. And I get paid for it. I am a lucky woman!

Prayer with Thanksgiving

February 8th, 2015

I haven’t updated this in awhile, and after a good sermon is a good time to do so.

I mentioned the cancer scare in my last post, but not that it subsequently got worse. I had a biopsy done under general anesthesia, and the doctor found three places to biopsy — but the results came back BENIGN. I have “reactive lymphoid hyperplasia” — basically some overgrowth of lymphoid tissue, reacting to infection somewhere else in my body. But the important thing is that it is not cancer!

Still, I think the lessons I referred to in my last post still bear thinking about.

And today the pastor preached on Philippians 4:4-9, and the part that applies to this is the part about bringing your requests to God *with thanksgiving.*

Now, I know this is the way to pray! I think of myself as good at this — but that’s an arrogance that really has no place in prayer!

And certainly, it appears I can apply this in my prayers for others. After all, if I am thanking God as I pray, that implies a level of trust — that He is actually going to work this out. But it should not imply that it must work out the way I say it should. Can I let God be God?

Last Spring, when I was leading a study in the Psalms, it struck me that David doesn’t spend a lot of time telling God what to do. He lays out his worries and his needs and his fears. He asks God to act. And then he thanks God because the Psalmist knows he will come through. He thanks God for what He’s going to do.

That might be a good model in prayer for others. Can I thank God for what He’s going to do in my ex-husband’s life, even though that’s going to be totally apart from me? Can I trust God enough to believe that, as He has brought all kinds of good into my life through the situation, He will also bring lots of good into my ex-husband’s life — even if he never does even admit that what he did was, at the very least, unkind?

Oh, how I dance around what I’m willing to hope for him! Because it’s so hard for me to admit that, just maybe, I don’t actually know what’s best for him, and, just maybe, it’s no longer any of my business.

But God loves him and knows him. And that is true of anyone else I may care to pray for.

And I am so thankful that God is in control and not me!

Take the ones I love, Lord. Walk with them on the path that is best for them. Thank You for the path on which You’re leading me, and thank You that You know what is best even for these ones I love.

Learning from Illness

January 5th, 2015

When I reviewed Louise Hay’s book, You Can Heal Your Life, I reflected on my own resistance to the idea that affirmations can actually affect your health. However, I also pointed out that the maladies I have suffered from do seem to be helped by her affirmation “prescriptions.” So I continue to read her books, admittedly with a dose of skepticism.

Then, a few weeks ago, I had a CT scan done of my neck which found an anomaly in my left pyriform sinus (behind my vocal cords) which could possibly be cancer. They did an additional MRI and put a scope down my throat, and I was hoping it was a false alarm, because they thought it might just be normal variation. However, my neck and throat have been hurting since, so I’m going to ask them to go ahead and do a biopsy.

It just so happened that when I got the news about the scan, I was in the middle of slowly reading Louise Hay’s latest book, written with a medical doctor. And I was on the chapter about problems in the mouth, neck, and throat.

Now that I’m again afraid there might be an actual problem, I thought it would be worth revisiting her words.

In addition to the current problems, the stroke I had 3 years ago happened because of a right vertebral artery dissection — an injury in my neck.

First, she says neck problems relate to communication, but I don’t really think I have a problem with that. Why, I’m a writer at heart. I love words.

Then I read this:

Problems of the neck are often found in people who — even if they have flawless communication skills on a regular basis — become inflexible and frustrated when they are unable to control the outcome of a situation….

Neck pain, arthritis, and stiffness often come to those people who have amazing communication skills — both listening and speaking. Trying to see both sides of almost any story, they often become ill when their ability to clearly communicate things doesn’t work as they expect it to. When an argument can’t be settled by talking or when something in their lives goes wrong and they can’t control it, they often become aggravated and stubborn, sticking to their opinion and refusing to consider other viewpoints. The frustration that leads to the breakdown in communication often creates illness in the neck.

And, well, when I read that, I immediately thought of my ex-husband.

Mind you, I’ve been working hard on letting him go. I’m no longer praying that he will come back to me. But I still pray that he will come back to God. I still so wish that his faith would be restored.

There’s more from Louise Hay:

People with neck problems, in general, tend to not be as good at the listening aspect of communication because they cling to set opinions and block out new ideas. They tend to be stubborn and inflexible and unable to see or understand other people’s points of view.

— I thought I was good at new ideas.

But then I realize that about faith? Not so much.

Now, I’ve come a long way. I’m not *nearly* as much a little Pharisee as I once was. But I just can’t believe that my ex-husband is doing the right thing rejecting God. And I also don’t believe he did the right thing rejecting me or having an affair. And Divorce is Wrong. And, yeah, I guess I’m still stubborn and inflexible.

More from Louise Hay:

Once your neck is healthier, some fundamental changes must occur to maintain equilibrium while moving forward. Learning to accept your emotional limitations in the middle of a discussion is one key to improving your neck problems. You do have an amazing skill for intuitively listening, understanding, and making logical arguments. However, you must accept where your intellectual power to reason and communicate ends. When you encounter conflicts that you can’t resolve, don’t push your opinion stubbornly, adding to the frustration of the situation. Instead remind yourself that there are multiple answers to every problem. Realize that your role is only one part of the solution. Finding balance between what you can control and what you can’t and knowing when it is time to walk away from conflict will lead to better health in the fifth emotional center….

We can create so many problems for ourselves by our attitudes. Stubbornness, inflexibility, and trying to fix other people against their will can all contribute to neck problems.

Trying to fix other people against their will. Um, yeah.

Then it hit me even harder when I was talking with my sister on the phone and started telling her about Louise Hay’s description of people with neck problems. She laughed (Laughed!) because the description was so apt.

I had imagined that I would tell her this and then explain, despite her incredulity, that I suspect this description might, a tiny bit, apply to me.

I am an INFJ, and I recently read a post about Myers-Briggs type New Year’s Resolutions where I related to the ENFJ resolution:

“I resolve to avoid meddling in the lives of my loved ones, even if they are making a mistake.”

Outcome: Allows their friends to fail at their new year’s resolutions, then sits each of them down to talk about what went wrong and how they can fix it.

I have to say that my sister did get me wrong in one aspect. She started talking about ways I could feel more compassion for my ex-husband. That is not the problem. If I didn’t still love him deeply, it wouldn’t bother me that he’s so wrong!

I suspect that meddling in other people’s lives is an INFJ and ENFJ failing. Because first we see the world in black and white. Then we are able to intuit what other people need. Therefore, we know what is best for everyone around us! Yay!

This is actually something of a superpower in my job as a librarian, because I am very good at knowing what books other people really “should” read. However, I am able to let it go once I make the recommendation, and I don’t mind if they don’t follow it — because I know myself how long it takes me to get around to reading recommended books.

But with life choices? With someone I love deeply? There it’s so much harder for me to accept their choices that seem completely wrong to me.

I’m actually not crazy about the affirmations Louise Hay proposes to help change your thinking. She suggests, “I welcome new ideas and new concepts and prepare them for digestion and assimilation.” Or, “It is with flexibility and ease that I see all sides of an issue. There are endless ways of doing things and seeing things.”

This isn’t consistent with what she pointed out above that such people do try to “see both sides of any story” — but have a hard time when we can’t convince others with what we’ve learned.

Also, I’m not particularly sure I want to accept new ideas that suggest it’s ever acceptable to cheat on your spouse. Or that it’s ever a good idea to reject God. (Accepting the new idea that Divorce Can Be Good is something I still struggle with. And since I was the one who filed for divorce the final time, I do want to get there.)

However, I do believe that God can bring good out of absolutely anything and that some people will have to go through hell before they truly understand God’s great love. Some people learn much more effectively when they do it the hard way. And that’s Okay.

And I definitely want to be the sort of person who lets those I love make their own choices, even when I think they are bad choices.

I wrote my own affirmations, and I hope I can learn to think this way:

“I put my loved ones into God’s hands.”

“I love and respect my friends and family enough to let them choose their own paths and make their own mistakes.”

And the truth is, it’s hard to go through life knowing what’s best for everyone else! As I tried to explain to my sister, it’s no problem with people I don’t care about. If I hated my ex-husband, what he does wouldn’t bother me. Even with my sons, it doesn’t bring me as much agony to let them make their own mistakes, because I can see that they’re learning and growing.

With friends? I do have a natural inclination to meddle. With people I love? I so want them to have a good life! Let them use my insight! I know what they should do!

Well, maybe not.

I wonder if it will help my neck problems if I can learn to love and respect my friends enough to put them in God’s hands, to acknowledge that He actually knows better than me, and to let my friends choose their own paths and make their own mistakes.

It certainly can’t hurt.

Delight

January 1st, 2015

Happy New Year!

I’m thinking about a Theme for 2015 and verses for 2015, and I’m coming up with “Delight.”

I want to especially remember to Delight in the Lord this year. But also remember that He’s said He delights in me.

How amazing is that?

My verses for 2015 were going to be Psalm 37:3-4 —

Trust in the Lord and do good;
dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.
Delight yourself in the Lord
and he will give you the desires of your heart.

But after looking through all the verses I can find that use the word “Delight” (See below.), I think I will add Zephaniah 3:17 —

The Lord your God is with you,
he is mighty to save.
He will take great delight in you,
he will quiet you with his love,
he will rejoice over you with singing.

Using my handy-dandy Strong’s Concordance, I want to look at some other verses that use the word “delight.”

I Samuel 15:22 –

But Samuel replied:
“Does the Lord delight in burn offerings and sacrifices
as much as obeying the voice of the Lord?
To obey is better than sacrifice,
and to heed is better than the fat of rams.

Psalm 1:1-3 —

Blessed is the man
who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked
or stand in the way of sinners
or sit in the seat of mockers.
But his delight ins in the law of the Lord,
and on his law he meditates day and night.
He is like a tree planted by streams of water,
which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither.
Whatever he does prospers.

Psalm 16:5-6 —

Lord, you have assigned me my portion and my cup;
you have made my lot secure.
The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
surely I have a delightful inheritance.

Psalm 18:19 —

He brought me out into a spacious place;
he rescued me because he delighted in me.

Psalm 35:9 —

Then my soul will rejoice in the Lord
and delight in his salvation.

Psalm 35:27 —

May those who delight in my vindication
shout for joy and gladness;
may they always say, “The Lord be exalted,
who delights in the well-being of his servant.”

Psalm 37:23-24 —

If the Lord delights in a man’s way,
he makes his steps firm;
though he stumble, he will not fall,
for the Lord upholds him with his hand.

Psalm 43:3-4 —

Send forth your light and your truth,
let them guide me;
let them bring me to your holy mountain,
to the place where you dwell.
Then will I go to the altar of God,
to God, my joy and my delight.
I will praise you with the harp,
O God, my God.

Psalm 51:16-17 —

You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it;
you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings.
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;
a broken and contrite heart,
O God, you will not despise.

Psalm 112:1 —

Praise the Lord.
Blessed is the man who fears the Lord,
who finds great delight in his commands.

Psalm 119:16 —

I delight in your decrees;
I will not neglect your word.

Psalm 119:24 —

Your statutes are my delight;
they are my counselors.

Psalm 119:35 —

Direct me in the path of your commands,
for there I find delight.

Psalm 119:47 —

for I delight in your commands
because I love them.

Psalm 119:77 —

Let your compassion come to me that I may live,
for your law is my delight.

Psalm 119:92 —

If your law had not been my delight,
I would have perished in my affliction.

Psalm 119:143 —

Trouble and distress have come upon me,
but your commands are my delight.

Psalm 119:174 —

I long for your salvation, O Lord,
and your law is my delight.

Psalm 147:10-11 —

His pleasure is not in the strength of the horse,
nor his delight in the legs of a man;
the Lord delights in those who fear him,
who put their hope in his unfailing love.

Proverbs 11:20 —

The Lord detests men of perverse heart
but he delights in those whose ways are blameless.

Proverbs 12:22 —

The Lord detests lying lips,
but he delights in men who are truthful.

Isaiah 61:10-11 —

I delight greatly in the Lord;
my soul rejoices in my God.
For he has clothed me with garments of salvation
and arrayed me in a robe of righteousness,
as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest,
and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.
For as the soil makes the sprout come up
and a garden causes seeds to grow,
so the Sovereign Lord will make righteousness and praise
spring up before all nations.

Isaiah 62:4 —

No longer will they call you Deserted,
or name your land Desolate.
But you will be called Hephzibah,
and your land Beulah;
for the Lord will take delight in you,
and your land will be married.

Jeremiah 9:23-24 —

This is what the Lord says:
“Let not the wise man boast of his wisdom
or the strong man boast of his strength
or the rich man boast of his riches,
but let him who boasts boast about this:
that he understands and knows me,
that I am the Lord, who exercises kindness,
justice and righteousness on earth,
for in these I delight,”
declares the Lord.

Jeremiah 15:16 —

When your words came, I ate them;
they were my joy and my heart’s delight,
for I bear your name,
O Lord God Almighty.

Micah 7:18-19 —

Who is a God like you,
who pardons sin and forgives the transgression
of the remnant of his inheritance?
You do not stay angry forever
but delight to show mercy.
You will again have compassion on us;
you will tread our sins underfoot
and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea.

Malachi 3:12 —

“Then all the nations will call you blessed,
for yours will be a delightful land,” says the Lord Almighty.

I Corinthians 13:6 —

Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.

What will I delight in this year?

And I hope to remember, through thick and thin, that the Lord delights in me.

What will my Father sing over me this year?