overflow of the heart

This adjustment to life in Italy has been harder than I thought it would be.  Don’t  misunderstand me…it isn’t the adjustment to marriage that has been hard. It’s just that “culture shock” has been difficult this go-around.

Two new cultures rather than one: Italian culture and the Army culture.

I’ve blamed my discontent and restlessness on that. The two months that I’ve been here have been spent living from weekend to weekend, trip to trip.  And I’ve been counting down the days till we move back to the US.

Until today. I realized today that it is not actually culture shock that is causing my discontent, but a tragic mis-alignment of my priorities.

Life in Uganda with five littles was crazy. I allowed the twenty-year habit of meeting with the Lord every morning to lapse. My moments with God became exactly that: a moment here and a moment there. God multiplied those moments and taught me throughout the day to rely on Him, but now, in the absence of littles and the abundance of time, I have not renewed the habit of setting aside time each morning to read and pray and journal.

Scripture is filled with verses showing the grievousness of not being in the Word:

The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.  Luke 6:45 ESV

Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.  Proverbs 4:23 NIV

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my Redeemer.  Psalm 19:14 ESV

 (italics mine)

It’s not that I’ve been necessarily been putting bad content into my heart…I’ve read great books and listened to good sermons and music in the past couple of months. It’s just that I’ve not been regularly going to the source of those good messages.  The consequence of not being in the Word has been the consistent growth of selfish desires, including but not limited to, dissatisfaction with daily life, insecurity, anxiousness, ungratefulness, a judgmental attitude, envy, etc…

Did I just admit all that??

So here is my commitment: to read the Word of God daily, to get back in the habit of prayer-journaling, and to blog about it. My plea to you is two-fold: ask me what I’ve been reading and be reading the Bible yourself and tell me about it.

Self-discipline takes time, but the Holy Spirit has promised to be our guide and our helper and I’m relying on Him to convict me when I fall short.  I know from past experience that the Lord honors the time I spend with Him.  It’s worth it.

6 responses to “overflow of the heart

  1. It is tough to be in a place for only a few months. Tough to try and build relationships when you’re going to leave 90 days later. I’m often convicted when I’m impatient with a situation, and say, “Obviously my priorities are not matching up with reality, and these emotions and attitudes that aren’t fruits of the Spirit reflect a heart that has somehow mis-ordered things. Where can I look to find joy in places I don’t normally turn to?”

    Also, it’s the middle of winter, and until you experience Italy in the spring (which you’ll catch the beginning of) feeling restless is totally natural.

  2. Pingback: The Amazing Truth 022312 « Mennonite Preacher·

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