Delighting in the Undelightful

This blog is called “the delighted heart” based on Psalm 37:4. (My very first post explains why.)  I want to be transparent with y’all, sharing what the Lord is teaching me through His Word and Holy Spirit in real time, not just what He has taught me in the past.

The past few weeks, I went through an intense time of enemy attacks, the likes of which I hadn’t experienced before.  I found myself going back time and again to 2 Corinthians 12. If you haven’t read it you should. The apostle Paul is so transparent, talking openly about a thorn in the flesh, a messenger from Satan that has been tormenting him. I have read this chapter so many times throughout my life, but as I was reading it this last time something jumped out at me… Look at 2 Corinthians 12:10:

That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

Did you catch that? Paul delights. I think we could say that Paul possessed a delighted heart while going through some major trials. He even delighted in those difficult circumstances. Woa.

The very last thing I want to be is weak or go through difficulties. But for Christ’s sake I can. Because that is when His power shines through us. When we are weak, He is strong. Shouldn’t that be our greatest delight? To glorify Him and exalt Him whatever the cost, even if while we are weak?

The past couple of months have not been all rainbows and sugar cookies for me but guess what… my heart is ABSOLUTELY still delighted in Him. Possibly, even more so than before, because I saw first-hand that His grace is sufficient for me. That, my friends, is delightful.

With love,


You are Beautiful

Ellie hair

My daughter needs a haircut. Her hair is long and beautiful, a pretty golden blonde that I want to bottle up for myself. She always begs to wear it down, but I usually put it up in a ponytail to keep it out of her face. The other day, I surprised her and told her to bring me a headband instead of a ponytail holder. I brushed out her beautiful hair, put on the headband, and told her that’s how she was wearing it to school. She looked in the mirror, her face lit up, and she said, “I love myself mama.” Her words caught me off guard because they were so innocent and pure so I asked her to repeat them. ”I love myself.” Then she skipped out of the room beaming. I wanted to cry out of love for her.

Why is it so hard for us to love ourselves? I am not talking about a narcissistic, obsession. I mean an authentic acceptance of who we are in our own skin. Almost all of us struggle with so much insecurity, sometimes spilling over into self-loathing. I would imagine that even the most gorgeous women in the world have things they would change. Even many who seem to love themselves so much are compensating for something. And yet, despite what the media tells us, or what others around us say, we are each so beautiful.

It made me think how our Father must desire that we, his sons and daughter, love ourselves. Psalm 139:6 says,

“I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it well.”

We see in Genesis 1:27 that we are each made in the image of God. And yet I often think I am too this, or not enough of that. I look back and am saddened over the hours wasted obsessing over the things I don’t like about myself. How sad that must make the One who created me and looks on me with love.

There is nothing wrong with taking care of ourselves, but when we allow it to contradict what Scripture says, it becomes a stronghold in our lives that steals our joy. I don’t want that for my daughter, and God doesn’t want that for me. The next time I see new wrinkles and those wiry gray hairs, I may just look in the mirror and force myself to say, “I love myself!”  And then make an appointment with my hair stylist to cover up those grays 🙂 Or maybe I won’t! Either way I am thankful that God’s Word tells me my inner beauty is more important than the external, and that my King thinks that I am beautiful. Isn’t that what matters most?



A Love of the Law

So in my last post, I mentioned that I got a new Bible. I was so excited to use it!! I left it out on my bed, and when I walked back in the room I found this… (picture has been staged to reenact the actual event….)


My boxer Moses was eating my new Bible! I am not even kidding you! And he has never chewed on a book in his life. Sooo bizarre!  I am convinced that he can read Hebrew, and he wanted to keep the Old Law buried!! I explained to him that I understand we are under the New Covenant and GRACE, but he wasn’t convinced. ☹

Anyways.. I don’t really believe my dog Moses is the real Moses (ha!), although whether he can read Hebrew is debatable… dogs are smart!! But here’s the point. Can you relate to how my Moses feels about the Bible? Maybe you don’t try to destroy yours, but do you view it as a book of rules to follow that burden you? Do you feel like it’s one more thing you are “supposed to do”?

Yesterday in our small group, we talked about Psalm 19. It’s a beautiful Psalm of David describing how God reveals himself to us. In verses 1-6, David speaks about God’s revelation through nature and then moves on to how God reveals himself to us through His Word. Look at Psalm 19:7-11 below.

The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul;
The testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple;
The precepts of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart;
The commandment of the LORD is pure enlightening the eyes;
The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever;
The rules of the LORD are true, and righteous altogether.
More to be desired are they than gold, even much fine gold;
Sweeter than honey and drippings of honeycomb,
Moreover, by them is your servant warned; in keeping them is great reward. (ESV)

Notice that David is talking about God’s, law, precepts, rules, etc. We cannot deny that God’s instruction is not only for our good but IS good. David is singing the praises of God’s law. Delighting in the LORD is delighting in His Word, which includes his rules for us! (I have never been a fan of rules, so I never thought I would say that!!)

Look at what he says in verse 7, “the law is perfect, reviving the soul.” When you stop and think on that… it’s contrary to everything our human nature and culture tells us. We think the law is a downer, something to suppress us, but David tells us it revives us!

I read something from Charles Spurgeon that just blew my mind. The King James Version reads in verse 7the law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul.” Spurgeon said that the Word of God is the great means of conversion; in other words, the Word of God is the great way by which we are saved. It contains the Gospel! So God’s Word has the power through the Holy Spirit to revive our souls from eternal death to eternal life, and then daily it revives us when we are worn down, weak , weary, etc. How cool is that?

And skip on down to verse 8. “The commandments of the Lord are pure, enlightening the eyes.” The NIV says, “The commandments of the LORD are radiant.” OK, when I think of commandments, the word “radiant” does not come to mind. (Just being honest!) But I have experienced God’s commandments opening my eyes. When we walk in His ways, we are walking in the light. Our eyes are opened. It’s no wonder Psalm 119:105 says “thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.”

One of the reasons I am so passionate about God’s Word is because I have been on the side where it seemed like a bunch of rules I had to follow. I felt overwhelmed with the legalistic side of Bible study, and so I just threw all His “law” out the window. I learned the hard way that He gave us His Word, His instructions for a reason, and they are in fact for our good. Who would have thought?! 😊

After a tough season in my life forced me to rely on Him and His Word in a new way, my eyes opened up to the wonderful things in His law. Today when I read His Word, I just can’t believe He gave it to us. It often overwhelms me in a good way, and literally takes my breath away. My soul is revived, my heart rejoices, and my eyes are enlightened. It is the most amazing adventure. I am so far from perfect, and I am reminded daily how desperate I am for His grace. But His Word sustains me.

If you have not experienced God’s Word in the way David describes it, if it seems like a book of rules or outdated stories that have nothing to do with your life, something that you are “supposed” to do, ask the Lord to open your eyes to the wonderful things in His law.  And keep reading His Word. It is one of His greatest gifts just waiting to be unwrapped.

Have a wonderful Monday!




Through the Eyes of a Child

EllieThe other night, I was doing a devotion with my 2 munchkins, and we started talking about how Jesus helps us in our daily lives. My 7-year-old daughter Ellie, gave me this really confused look. She asked, “Mommy, how does Jesus talk to you? How does He tell you what to do?”

Talk about a deep question! Quickly, I realized that Ellie thought Jesus talked to me and other adults audibly, and she had been frustrated that she had not heard him yet. That blew my mind! Isn’t it interesting how children think? How do you explain to a 7-year-old how the LORD guides us in our daily lives? How do you explain it period?

It just so happens (wink wink 😊 ), that I have been studying Psalm 25 the last two weeks. Verses 8-9 say,

Good and upright is the LORD; therefore he instructs sinners in his ways. He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them his way. (NIV)

  • First, how amazing that our God, who is good and upright, instructs sinners, (that’s me!), in His good and upright ways! That is His grace in our lives; we do not deserve it. He is a good, good Father.
  • Second, “he guides and teaches the humble…” It is important that we are right with the LORD. Harboring pride and sin in our lives is the fastest way to block His guidance and direction the Holy Spirit; we just don’t want to hear it!
  • Finally, look  at the verbs in these verses. The LORD “instructs, guides, teaches…” Our God does not leave us hanging. What does he instruct, guide and teach? HIS way… The God of the Universe teaches us HIS way. If you have ever felt like you are alone and don’t know what to do, you are NOT! We serve a God who promises to teach us. This is just one verse, but it is ALL throughout Scripture.

Now practically how does the LORD teach us? Well I can only speak to my personal experience. I think I really burst Ellie’s bubble when I told her that up to this point, God HAS NOT boomed down from heaven speaking to me. Nor has he texted me. (My 5-year- old son actually asked me that question. ) I’ll tell you what I told Ellie.

One of the big ways God teaches me is through His Word. The more I read it and ask the Holy Spirit to teach me and open my eyes, the more I am blown away by its truth, power, and life. Just yesterday, my pastor taught a sermon on Daniel 6, the story of “Daniel and the Lions Den.” Do you know that I have been doing a separate study on Daniel, and I “just happened” to read Daniel 6 the day before? Do you think maybe the LORD wants to hammer something home from this passage in Scripture? I’m still trying to figure out what it is, and I am hoping it’s a figurative lesson and not a literal one.😊

What about you? Have you ever heard a message or read a passage in your quiet time, and then had a situation where it was so applicable that you could not deny that it was more than a “coincidence?” That is the power of God’s Word. Hebrews 4:12 says,

For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. (NIV)

The more consistently we are in His Word, the more it guides our lives. Psalm 119:105 says, “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and I light unto my path.”  I had heard that verse a thousand times but never really understood what that meant practically. Only recently have I experienced how God’s Word can literally help me walk in the ways I should go. I can choose to walk in the light or the dark, but I have the torch in my hands.

So back to Ellie. I did my best to explain to her how knowing God’s Word helps me go through life, whether I am scared, sad, happy.  Just when I thought I had completely blown it she looked at me and said, “Mommy! I think I understand! So you are saying that when I know Bible verses, I have them in my head and God will help me remember them when I need them? And the more I know the Bible, the more those thoughts are in my head? And they will help me wherever I go?”

Oh, how I wish I could just freeze that moment in a picture forever, that sweet little girl with her big blue eyes, so innocent and sure. Yes, baby. That’s exactly right. His Word will always be with you, wherever you go.

Show me your ways Lord, teach me your paths. Guide me in your truth, teach me. For you are GOD, my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long. Psalm 25:4-5 (NIV)

Enjoy your Monday, and may the Lord guide you in His truth this week 🙂


Our Ultimate Desire

Have you ever been reading God’s Word when a passage or verse just jumped out at you? That’s what happened to me with Psalm 37:4. I came across it while reading through the Psalms in my early 20’s. My quiet times were spotty at best, and a woman at my church suggested the Psalms as a good way to get into the habit of daily Scripture reading.
“Delight yourself in the LORD and He will give you the desires of your heart.” It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out what drew me to this verse. As a young mom, I must admit I might have interpreted the verse like this: “So all I have to do is love God, and He will give me everything I want? I’ll take a bigger house, a better job for my husband, two more babies, and I would like to lose the baby weight without trying… And, oh, can I also have it together at all times?  Sounds like a pretty great deal to me! Can I get this verse painted on a plaque for my kitchen?!”  (See actual  kitchen sign below that my mom gave me for Christmas that year- ha!)

psalm 37 4
But over the years, the Lord  started to show me something. The more I began to truly delight in Him (not just going to church, being “good”, or saying the right things), the more those desires changed to what He wanted for me. The things I listed above are not inherently wrong, but I discovered that I was elevating some of them before Him. I found that they would never truly fulfill the desires of my heart. The God of the universe is not a means to an end.
When we delight in the LORD, getting to know Him more through His Word, and spending time with Him, our desires begin to change. They start to line up with His will for our lives, and ultimately, we desire Him! The more we delight in Him, the more we desire Him, which makes us delight in Him even more! Everything else in this world will leave us wanting more. These longings point us to the only One who can satisfy. And it He is oh so delightful.
“Let them thank the LORD for his steadfast love, for his wondrous works to the children of man! For he satisfies the longing soul, and the hungry soul he fills with good things.” Psalm 107:8-9