The desires of our hearts.

Hearth posted something this mornning that has kept me in a thoughtful place most of the day. I’m going to post a bit of a teaser here, followed by the comment I left over at her place. She wrote:

The hard bit is being asked to be honest about wanting the things I still want. I learned, veryveryvery thoroughly, the lesson about giving all your desires to God, and if something was becoming an idol, dragging it up to the altar and leaving it there. I learned the lesson about submitting my will and my desires to God’s plan, no matter how I felt about it.

That was a good lesson. That was an important lesson. But I can’t get on with learning new lessons until I stop obsessing about this one. It wasn’t the LAST lesson.

Not sure if I learned that lesson as thoroughly as she, but I’m certainly working on it. Except maybe I’m not because, as I noted in the comment I left on her post:

Getting things sorted, identifying what a tendency or feeling is at its root; yeah. I struggle mightily with that one myself.

Truth? I spend so much mental energy not desiring. It seems selfish to want anything when I have so much. I couldn’t begin to tell you what my deepest deisres are. I can tell you what I desire for my husband and kids -and by that I mean things that they would also desire for themselves- but for myself? I am confused.

I hardly ever think about what I want because asking for anything seems to me to like asking for a hot fudge sundae when set before me is my very own perfectly iced cake. I don’t ask God for much for myself besides the spiritual sounding stuff that *good Christian women* should ask for.

Suddenly, this tendency smacks to me of trying to manipulate God, because surely He knows that I have desires, including those “icky” temporal desires, even if I am hiding them from myself. I’m wondering now if my desires, wherever I have them buried, might reveal themselves to my conscious mind if I would be more careful to delight myself in Him.

File this one under the paradox of faith that wrestles, I guess.

 

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13 thoughts on “The desires of our hearts.

  1. Even the little nagging things that keep going wrong:

    ~ Broken fridge
    ~ Leak under tub that means we have to get a new one cause my man had to tear out the old to get to the leak in the ground and fix it
    ~ Struts giving way on the truck
    ~ My injured shoulder (off and on pain nothing serious)

    All I can think to think (despite the fact that these things are costly when coupled with the expense of tuition for the fall) is “Well if these are the biggest problems we have, life is very good. At least we have the cash on hand to take care of them all.”

    More truth? Not that I fancy suffering even a little bit, but I wonder if the fact that our life is so good isn’t part of why I have this struggle. Our kids are good, even the young women. The man and I? If that gets any better I don’t know if I can stand it. Everyone in good health. Our needs are all met.

    On the one hand, I think that perhaps I am just really true content and grateful and don’t want anything. Is that even possible? On the other, I think, “What kind of person doesn’t want ANYTHING? Well, except maybe my 28-inch waist back which ain’t never gonna happen anyway.

    Maybe I’m over thinking it, yet another symptom of abundance and its tendency to induce navel gazing, LOL?

    Now I feel stupid and narcissistic. Gonna go buy food to feed Jo and her big crew tomorrow.

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  2. Okay, I can think of a few things that I want:

    ~ I want to be able to help my husband shoulder some of the financial load of our family (even if only a little) in a way that doesn’t take me away from my primary directive.

    ~ I want to *like* whatever kind of part-time, from home work I can manage to do.

    ~I want to to get and more importantly STAY-healthy, but I don’t see that as something to ask for in prayer as only I can choose to consistently do the things which make for good health.

    ~I want my girls to meet good men and get married. They do as well, but they are not panting in desperation, thinking something is wrong with them without a guy. But yeah, I’m praying for that. And I actually have a couple of friends praying for that as well. Feel free to join THAT prayer circle, my friend. Jump right on in!

    So ultimately, my problem isn’t one of not wanting anything, but a problem of feeling as if , given the problems some people have to deal with, my wants seem petty and superficial.

    I keep thinking, “When I read the prayers of Jesus or Paul, I don’t see any evidence that I should be asking for anything temporal in nature.”

    But ultimately, this is something I have to work out for myself, I think. And *for myself* I don’t mean by myself literally, as God is ultimately always there. But you know what I mean, right?

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  3. Yes, admitting sounds about right. But what good does it do, ultimately, to admit if you’re not going to ask? ‘Is it *kosher* so to speak, to ask for any of these things given that none of them are particularly necessities?

    Even the euphemistic use of “health” is, for most women myself included, more honestly translated beauty. Since my husband thinks I’m beautiful (he’s not a guy who says what he doesn’t mean and calls me beautiful all the time), what’s my underlying motivation there? Is it okay to have an underlying motivation?

    I’m hashing this stuff out rght here mainly because I believe these are common struggles Christian women who are trying to walk out a strong and sincere faith wrestle with and don’t know how to process. Or if we should even be processing them at all?

    Basically, how much of this stuff is legit neutral (since many of them may not be inherently selfish), and how much of it is something else?

    I guess that’s a case by case, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling type of deal, huh?

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  4. Well. I dunno. Have you ever asked for something sinful, in actual prayer? I mean, have you ever even TRIED to speak those words? Did they make it out of your mouth? Did an apology and repentance follow in less than 30 seconds? I’m sure someone somewhere can do that, but at your level of maturity? I can’t imagine it.

    I think of this as a parent-to-a-child. I’ve been pretending to be less dependent on the Father than I am, so going back to a childlike, “oh, pretty!” is good for me, good for my faith walk.

    I’ve got two kids – one of them insists that he doesn’t really want anything, anything is fine – and the other has a pinterest wishlist that goes on for pages. Guess which one is more fun to shop for? If I like giving presents, good presents, so does God.

    Now, obviously God knows what I want, even when I pretend not to want it. For me (YMMV), saying I don’t want something (that is not explicitly sinful) is tantamount to saying, “You’ve hurt me by not giving me this thing, so I’m not going to trust you with the secrets of my heart”. It exacerbates problems I already have with second-guessing myself and pretending to be someone I am not. Which are problems, ultimately, with Truth. I don’t want to be out of alignment with Truth, because God is Truth, so that sets me out of alignment with Him.

    I’m not saying that being more childlike like this, starting this bit of my journey, is comfortable. It’s not. I’m also not saying that everyone needs to be in the same spot with what needs doing in that walk of faith. Also no. I couldn’t have come to this point without passing the sign that said, “drag it all to the altar”.

    For me, 2017 was SUPPOSED to be a year of being, not doing. And I’ve epic-failed that – I just don’t like to not-do. I keep picking things up and **trying**. God is sitting on me and forcing me to get real with that – which will take me to the next stop on the journey. I’m being changed. Frankly, it’s a bit scary, I’m not in my comfort zone. (One always sounds as if one is, in writing). Serious paradigms being broken here.

    FWIW – when I say I’m doing more asking, more admitting, it’s not “and I’d like it next thursday, with chocolate sauce”. It’s a releasing/trusting thing. I’m learning to “wait and see what the Lord will do”, not “give the Lord my grocery list”. Does that make sense?

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  5. A lot of the time I feel like my wants are so simple yet they keep eluding me. I dunno. Maybe having more than 323 sqft for 4 people will help me be more content. 800 sqft sounds like luxury now, so it’s certainly been a lesson in perspective.

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  6. Well, no. I can’t recall asking for anything sinful You’re right that I have been on this journey long enough to appreciate and understand what sin is. And yes, what it isn’t.

    But I see where you’re coming from, and while I felt a little bit of angst about even entertaining this particular trian of thought, I think this has been instructive and a few things have come into focus.

    All the things I listed? I think I get that wanting them is not bad nor does it signify a lack of gratitude on my part. To the extent that any of them are layerd over sinful desires, I can trust that that can and will be made clear even as I am honest with my Heavenly Father about wanting them.

    I often characterize myself as a “raging Protestant”, but there are times when I feel like anything but because I forget that there is a middle ground between “Gawd as my sugar daddy who exists to make me feel good” and “God as my loving Father with whom I have a real and living relationship.”

    I tend to err on the isde of discounting the relational aspect out of fear of becoming like so many Western Christians who can’t *see* that walking this walk sometimes means we don’t get what we want, we don’t feeeel good, and we have to be accountable to His commandments even when it costs us.

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  7. @ Annasach:

    I have learned a lot about contentment and making the best of things from your few posts and pictures.

    You could be a minimalist guru, lady!

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  8. Man I’m trying, but packing up really emphasizes how even “little” is a big pain. I find myself fantasizing about my own micro apartment with a mat on the floor, lol. Too many moves in a short time will do that!

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