psalm preview some months ago me and my writers group had a psalms devo project...the "book" isn't quite out yet...but here is a preview.

Psalm 86
11 Teach me your way, LORD,
that I may rely on your faithfulness;
give me an undivided heart,
that I may fear your name.

Confession time. Sometimes when I am sitting in church I’ll write my shopping list for the week on my bulliten. Sometimes when I pray I fall asleep. Sometimes when I am reading scripture I try to read quickly so I can get some work done. Sometimes I don’t even pull out the Bible at all. I think David knows our tendencies to get distracted.
Most of us wear a lot of hats through out the day. Some of mine are as follows: wife, mother, friend, and teacher. I often forget that my most important role is a child of God. That all the other hats fall under this one. My days are busy. So busy in fact that I often don’t spend good quality time in prayer, or the word, or just listening. Oddly enough, I usually find time to catch up on my TiVo.
Throughout the day some things have to be immediately addressed. A crying baby must be fed, unlike the pile of laundry I have haunting me from the corner of the room. God doesn’t always seem immediate. Like something I can do later, when I have time.
My heart is divided. There are the tasks I need to get done. The ones I think I need to do, but probably don’t. The ones I should be doing and the ones I shouldn’t. Everything seems to get a little chunk of me and my time. However none of them probably get the part of me that they deserve. I mostly feel overcommitted, under satisfied and very, very tired. I will occasionally give up a commitment in attempts to simplify, but mostly I just think that if I organize my self better I can make it all work.
And then there is God. He seems to get what is left. Those tired moments at the end of the day. Those frantic please help me and thank you prayers said in anxious moments. Scattered with those moments when I get it. When I remember that God isn’t one more chunk of my pie that I have to serve up but the whole thing. My time, my money and my treasure all belong completely to him, not my to-do list or all the other distractions.
Loving God with my whole and complete heart is a struggle. Not because I don’t want to but because there are papers to grade, or a new episode of my favorite show on or dishes piled up in the sink. My heart is easily distracted.
So how do we get an undivided heart in this world full of iphones, and facebook and things that truly must get done. Verses eleven gives us a clue. It isn’t something we are innately good at. It is something we ask God for. Every day. Find him in every single thing. He is part of every item on your to-do list not just one check that usually ends up at the bottom.

at a loss

Tonight I lingered in the card aisle.
There is no such thing as a good sympathy card. They all pretty much suck. Although, the ones that say the least seemed to be the best. So I grabbed a clean white one with as few words as possible and had Owen help me pick out some flowers.

I then reluctantly rang the neighbors doorbell. Reluctant because I didn't know what to expect on the other end. One of my neighbors woke up to find her husband dead in his chair a few days ago. There is no card for that.

Her mom answered the door and ushered me and my children inside. I had secretly hoped that no one would answer and that I could leave my pretty flowers and sad card on the porch. Instead I found my self wisked through the latest rennovations, the herb garden and eventually landed on funeral plans. Another neighbor showed up and we all chatted almost easily about recipes, Jesus, schools and ashes.

The only thing awkward was that this woman was recently widowed. You could see her shudder a bit when someone used that word, but she quickly changed the subject. Part of me was secretly thankful that this woman was not a wreck. I don't do well with tears. But this all seemed a bit weirder. Obviously, it had not sunk in. I wanted to get my children home and in the bath tub and away from emotionally awkward conversations about dead husbands and basil all in the same sentence.

Instead we rambled on, and I promised to bring warm baked things on the day of the funeral, and I listened and commented and nodded in all the appropriate places. Owen spun in the office chair while she talked about her electric bill. I tried as hard as I could to get over the awkward and admire her new countertops. This is what she needed. To ramble. To talk about anything. To pretend just for a few minutes that things were the same. That there is not a funeral to plan. That instead there are simply bills to pay, and flowerbeds to weed, and lingering converations with the neighbors. We filled the hour with lots of words. None of which really said very much.

A plain white card tossed casually on the kitchen table said all the ones that mattered.