A Heart That Serves

Today’s post is on Chapter 5 from the book, A Woman After God’s Own Heart.  If you haven’t read this book, I highly recommend it.

Much like this author, my marriage saw it’s share of rocky moments in the earlier days.  Even though we were both Christians, we didn’t always make Christ the center of our marriage.  After 16 years of marriage, here’s what I’ve learned:

  • Love is more than a feeling – it is action!  After the honeymoon phase, that’s where REAL love steps in.  It is hard work.  You have to give, not just take.  I look back now and can see how very selfish I’ve been.
  • God did not call me to change my husband!  I spent too much energy complaining and nagging about what I saw or didn’t see in him.  I’ve learned that I am responsible for my personal relationship with God, not his.  So I’ve had to ask myself, “Am I obeying God’s word?”, “Am I living in a way that pleases God?”.  I would encourage you to ask yourself these same questions.  Are you reading your Bible daily?  Are you praying for God to change you?  Are you covering your husband in prayer?  If you can answer yes to these questions, you will see God working around you.  Be patient though, because God’s timing is not as fast as we’d like it to be.  It is important to note that above anything we pray for and ask, our ultimate goal should be desiring God’s will to be done.
  • I had a distorted view of what it means to submit to your husband.  God’s word is clear that man was created first.  Woman was created as a helper for him.  Through reading the Bible daily and praying to be a woman after God’s own heart, I was able to see things through a different perspective.  Everything hinges upon God’s word.

We are called to serve.  My job assignment from God is to serve my husband; to help him.  If you are reading this and your husband is not a Christian, you are still called to serve him.  Many men are won to Christ because their wives lived out Christ’s love before them.  Remember, it is our job to share the good news – the message of salvation.  It is God’s job to call the person to himself; it is God’s job to change the heart and transform the life.  We are called to obey God’s word and serve others with love.

Would you join me in this challenge?

  1. I will read (no matter how much or how little) my Bible every day.
  2. I will pray for my husband’s needs or concerns.  Pray for him at work; that he be shielded and protected from evil; if he is unsaved, pray for his salvation.
  3. Ask my husband at least once each week, “What can I do for you today?”.  Watch how his countenance changes or how encouraged he may be from this simple act of love.



An Obedient Heart

Chapter 4 ~ The Heart That Obeys

I have found David…a man after My own heart, who will do all My will.  Acts 13:22

I have learned through this  book study that there are specific key ingredients needed to become a woman after God’s own heart:  devotion to God, devotion to His Word, devotion to prayer and an obedient heart.

Devotion to God means putting Him first.  As Christians, we are to daily die to self; to take up our cross (whatever that may be for each of us) and follow Him.  I am not the center of attention.  It is not all about me.  It IS all about Christ in me!  For me, being devoted to God’s Word is to get up early before anyone else in my house is up, read my Bible and pray.  Starting my day this way….every day….gives me the strength and support I need for anything I may face.  Devotion to prayer is definitely my area of weakness and the one that I am working on using my little prayer binder.

The Bible contains all we need to live this life in a way that pleases God and points others to Him.  We love because He first loved us.  That love should not be based upon our feelings – love is more than feelings, it is action.  We forgive others because we have been forgiven for so much.  If we truly love God, we should want to obey Him and His Word out of our love for Him.

If you want to have an obedient heart towards God, stay in His Word.  Concentrate on doing what is right, according to God; not the world and certainly not your feelings.  Stop doing what is wrong – God’s Word will show you.  Confess your sins and weaknesses and pray about them.  Ask God to cut out anything that you are struggling with and then trust Him.  Clear up things with others.  Finally, continue on in your journey with the Lord until He calls you home.

Satan would have us focus on our imperfections and everything we’ve ever done wrong.  He also loves when we focus on the imperfections of others.  “Our enemy Satan delights when our failure to obey God keeps us from serving Him.  You and I can all too easily wallow in the fact that we’ve failed God and then allow our emotions to keep us from going on and following after Him.”  I have done this in the past by hanging on to past mistakes.  God had already forgiven me but I held onto it and never forgave myself.  Philippians 3:13-14 ~ forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.


Prayer Changes Things

I am rereading the book, A Woman After God’s Own Heart by Elizabeth George in case you’re just joining me.

Chapter 3 – A Heart Committed to Prayer

I will lift up my eyes to the hills – from whence comes my help?  My help comes from the Lord. ~ Psalm 121: 1-2

Last year when I read this book I created a prayer journal of sorts.  I purchased a little binder and 5 divider tabs.  This served as a visual for me to pray for myself and family.  I have prayers specifically for my spiritual journey, prayers for my husband and children.  Here lately, I haven’t invested as much time in prayer as I know I should.  Reading this chapter again reminds me not to push prayer aside because of the busyness of my day.

I am still learning how to pray meaningfully.  When you pray, you can use the acronym: ACTS= Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication.  Similar to the Lord’s pray, we should start off by praising our Heavenly Father.  That’s adoration!  Next comes confessing any sin in our lives and turning away from it so that our prayers will not be hindered.  Thank God for all He has given you.  Finally bring your requests to God, but pray for His will to be done.  If you have a hard time with your words and need a starting point, there are many prayers online.  There are a few I’ve found online called, “Praying for your husband from head to toe” and “Praying for your children from head to toe”.  Pinterest is another great source to search for prayers.  I have a Pinterest board where I pin ideas, verses, and prayers that encourage me towards becoming a woman after God’s own heart.

Prayer changes things!  Sometimes your circumstances change but more importantly prayer changes you!  I have had quite an attitude, but after going to God in prayer my heart softens.  Prayer changes me.

Spiritual Roots!

Jeremiah 17:8 ~ For you shall be like a tree planted by the waters, which spreads out its roots by the river.

Chapter 2 – A Heart Abiding in God’s Word (A Woman After God’s Own Heart by Elizabeth George)

Do you sometimes feel like a plant being tossed around or knocked completely over every time the wind blows?  Without strong roots, a plant has no support.  The same can be said of us when we don’t spend time daily reading our Bibles.  Although our spiritual roots cannot be seen by others, how we respond and react during good and bad times is a direct result of how much time we’ve spent with the Lord.  Trials and temptations will come our way.  A crisis will pop up.  God’s word and His spirit transforms and renews us so that we are not tossed around by our ever-changing feelings.  If Jesus got away from the crowds of people to spend quiet time with God, how much more do we need it?!  In an earlier post, I shared that my quiet time is at 5:30.  My desire is to discipline myself to get up each morning to read scripture and pray.  There have been days where I would get up, turn off my alarm and crawl back into bed.  And I can tell you that those are the days when I did not have the strength I needed and later regretted not starting my day with God.  If you don’t read your Bible every day, I would encourage you to start.  Any amount of time you can do is better than no time.  Time spent in God’s word is never a waste of time!

A Heart Devoted to God

I am quite ashamed to say that I haven’t posted in over a year!  I set out to share my thoughts from reading a book, A Woman After God’s Own Heart by Elizabeth George, and got side-tracked big time!  I know some of you have purchased this book.  I hope you will join me in picking it back up and reading through it again.  So, here goes….my third attempt (Lord help me).  I love this book so much, I am rereading it a chapter at a time and posting my reflections.  Please feel free to share your thoughts as well.

Luke 10:42 ~ But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.

Chapter 1:

For as long as I can remember, my mom was an early riser.  I can remember seeing her sitting in the rocking chair with her Bible in her lap.  My first glimpse of a woman with a heart for God.  She knew the importance of time with God.  The greatest thing that I learned in this chapter was that my perspective was off.  I became focused on ME; my feelings, my frustrations, my unmet needs, expectations gone wrong, insecurities and the list goes on.  What changed?  I took my eyes off of the storms around me to focus on the one who calms the storms!

How can you become a woman after God’s own heart?

1.  Choose God’s ways at every opportunity.  The only way to know God’s ways are to study the Word of God.

2.  Commit yourself to God daily.  I try to start each day with God and when I miss a day, I can tell a difference in my attitude!  He gives me the strength and energy needed to sustain and carry me throughout the entire day.  Even when you don’t FEEL like spending that quiet time with God…..do it anyway.  Time in God’s word and praying is never wasted.

3.  Cultivate a hot heart.  Pray for a heart that is on fire for the Word of God and the things of God.

This body of ours will one day fail.  Make every day count for eternity.  More importantly, know where you will spend eternity.  Work out your salvation and be ready!  My goal is to continue on this journey….studying, praying, learning, growing, surrendering….closer to God….closer to becoming a woman after His own heart.

The Pursuit of God

Have you ever set your mind to do something on a particular day and then that day comes…..and goes…..and still you’ve not accomplished it?  Two months ago I shared my excitement about a book I had just finished reading and planned to share how God has used that book in my life.  Some of you have even bought the book with anticipation of working through it with me.  Oops!  Life and distractions took over, but I believe all things happen in God’s perfect timing, so here goes.

My current favorite book is “A Woman After God’s Own Heart” by Elizabeth George.  I’ve always had a desire to grow closer to God but I wasn’t consistently and actively pursuing this in the best possible way.  After sharing my frustrations (you know….job, balancing work/home, parenting, etc.) with a friend, she led me to seek out some wisdom from the pastor’s wife, someone whose life experiences I could relate.  It was through these meetings with her (this book and the Bible) that I discovered I was focusing on what I DO for the Lord instead of time WITH Him.  This became the total shift in my priorities and perspective.  So, here are my thoughts and reflections on the first four chapters, entitled “A Heart Devoted to God”, “A Heart Abiding in God’s Word”, “A Heart Committed to Prayer”, and “A Heart That Obeys”.

One of the first things I was encouraged to do was set aside a daily quiet time, and by that I mean time to pray and study scripture.  Without that, nothing else was going to work.  None of this was new to me; I’ve been taught this but haven’t been serious about guarding this daily time with God and making Him my number one priority.  I prayed about the best time and getting up early before everyone else in my household works for me.  My daily time is 5:30 a.m……me, my coffee, my little binder (more on that later) and Bible.  I start my mornings praying over each person in my family and since I’ve been doing this with God’s help, I’ve noticed a tremendous change in my heart, my attitude, my perspective and it has trickled down to Fred and the boys.  Some of my prayers include praying that we’d have a heart on fire for God’s word; praying that God would purpose in my heart to become a woman after His own heart; placing us all in God’s hands to do with as He will’s.  Don’t start thinking that I’ve got it all together though, because I STILL mess up.  But God’s grace and mercy are there to help me start each day again.  The transformation into becoming a woman after God’s own heart is God’s work in us.  We have to place ourselves before God and let Him do as He wishes for He knows best.

To have a heart devoted to God, not only did I need to guard my daily time with Him, but I needed to say no to things which are wrong, as well as things that are good, so that I could say yes to the best things.  Anything that was taking away time from my top priorities:  God, Fred, the boys, etc, I said no to.   So, I took my cake page down from Facebook.  Decorating cakes is something I enjoy, but now I can enjoy making special cakes for my family.

Becoming A Woman After God’s Own Heart

My heart’s desire has always been to do God’s will and grow closer to Him, but I had been going through the motions for awhile!  This November will be 5 years since Mom went to heaven and it seems that I let Satan use my grief to rob me of my joy and purpose since that day.  Emotions can control you if left unchecked and it certainly spilled over to my husband and kids.  In one of those frustrating moments, I felt led to ask a wise Christian woman to “mentor” with me as a way to learn how to better help one of my sons.  She agreed and after some thought she lovingly said, “It’s not your son that is the problem…..it is you.”  Ouch!  My toes were stepped on, but you know, she was right!  We started reading the book, “A Woman After God’s Own Heart” by Elizabeth George and that is when God began working on my heart to grow, stretch and strengthen me.  I will be honest, I didn’t always want to meet with her and some days I cancelled.  In looking back, I KNOW Satan did not want me to go because he did not want me to grow in the ways of the Lord.  Now we are nearing the end of this book and let me just say, if you have not read this book….you need to!!!  It has been life changing for me!  God has used this book in ways I couldn’t even imagine!  My husband and kids are reaping the benefits of this book as God has altered my heart, my perspective, and renewed my passion and purpose.  My heart’s desire is to become a woman after God’s own heart, much like the Proverbs 31 woman.  I will be starting this book over again on my own and blogging about it.  I welcome you to purchase your own copy, read and comment along with me here!  Let God fill you up so that it overflows to others.