Kara’s Collection: Distant Hearted Living

from an article originally posted June 2, 2014...

Yesterday I was asked how my summer had started. My simple answer was that it started at a pace that was leaving me frayed and edgy. I struggled with sleep last night and my night thoughts are always a battle for truth and peace. This morning I woke and slowed down. My oldest woke first to the loud sounds of the trash truck and snuggled in my bed. She then lived as my shadow through my morning routine. Snuggled in bed we quietly woke as we watched Jason ready for his day. He talked with us through his day of appointments and asked over my plans. His day, full—mine, not so much. I needed a slow, slow morning.

My long daughter and I drifted downstairs and found blankets and rocking chairs on our front porch. I started by reading in Proverbs together, pausing over thoughtful verses. Proverbs, always a good place to start when your heart needs to slow down and remember to listen. Then my tall daughter sat quietly as I looked out into the cool morning.

I have been thinking much on the distance of my heart. In the busy of life, the heart grows so cold and distant quietly. It’s a slow moving away from peace. Yesterday, I could look at a calendar full of people, but had to honestly assess the distance in my living. I want to embrace the best of life, but can the best of life be embraced if we are living distant from the one that gave us life?

After reading in Proverbs this morning, I headed over to Jeremiah. One verse really struck me; it had been previously underlined.

Yet my people have forgotten me
days without number.
— Jeremiah 2:32

This little phrase gave me pause. Days without number. When life is full, full of the best of life, but when the heart goes without remembering. Days without number of forgetting. That is me. That is my heart, my struggle, my weakness in going.

The quiet front porch pause this morning was the best of life. It was the quiet stopping, reflecting, praying, repenting.

Jesus, that is me. Forgetting days without number. Forgive me. Help me to stop before I go. Help me remember before I go. Help me to pause and look, then all that is wondrously good will be filtered through the best of what you have brought into each breath.

If I want to embrace grace, living, today, I must quiet my going to see the giver of the grace, the author of my today, the one that gives me the ability to go. I want to incarnate that giver of grace through my actions, my play, my cleaning, my girlfriend chatting, my library moments, my laundry folding. Incarnate—the living through me—the living in me. But it must start with remembering. It must start with repenting that I have forgotten days without number.

In the remembering this morning, my heart has been calmed, my focus restored. Now I’m ready to face my kitchen sink looking for grace, I can meet the endless requests of my children with calm, I can pack lunches and meet my ladies at a park ready for the best of today. My going is not my struggle; going grabs the best of life. But starting without remembering, going without pausing, busy without quiet; well, I forget. I forget at the heart of going is to capture what has been given, and who has given it. I am owed nothing but given everything. When I go without stopping,I forget the filter through which the best of life is given. Grace.

That this day, today, I would see Jesus. That. That would be a great good day. So, we will head out with sandwiches packed, sunscreen on our skin, and our hearts set on Jesus. In the going, there will be grace. The very best of today.

How is your going? Do you have space for stopping? Do you struggle to remember the goodness that has been given. Who is at the center of your going? Have you, like me, forgotten days without number? Are you peace faking as you live in your summer moments? Or are you drinking deeply from the giver of your moments? Lift your face today, acknowledge all that has been generously given. There is grace in going, but let us not be a people that forget days without number? Let’s go and grab the grace in today. And remember, remember who has generously given.

My heart is quieted, humbled, and ready to dance, to play, to clean, and to remember. Won’t you join me? It’s so great to start the day, the summer, my going and forgetting with repentance and remembering. Now I walk into today forgiven, peaceful, and prayerfully remembering to look for Jesus and grace in all of life.