Posts tagged desire


Just the other day I heard the words again…

“I want to read my Bible every day, I really do, but I’m just not disciplined…”

And this from a woman who works out and eats healthy and keeps her multi-tasking life in incredible order and her relationships in tack.

Not disciplined?

I don’t think so.

In fact, I think this highly disciplined woman, who wishes she was more consistent about poking her nose in the Word every day, is believing a lie about herself.

And she’s not alone. I hear it all the time.

I wish… but I don’t… because I’m undisciplined…

Discipline is not the problem.

Desire is!

And the reason the desire isn’t there is not because she’s bad or unspiritual or less-than-what-she-ought-to-be.

It’s because she doesn’t know what she’s missing.

Because if she had any idea how rich and full and satisfying— how need meeting and spirit-lifting this treasure filled time is— she’d never miss it.

And neither would you.

For the first decade or so of my spiritual journey of following after Jesus, I tried to discipline myself to read my Bible. And most of the time I was able to do it.

After all, Phil had led me that way from the beginning of our relationship. Every morning of our marriage I saw my husband get up in time to open the Word and spend anywhere from a few minutes to the better part of an hour systematically working his way from Genesis to Revelation.

But, frankly, I dreaded that discipline. It felt like getting up early to do homework. Not fun. Boring. Work.

Every once in a while something from the words I read reached out and grabbed my mind. But usually it was another’s words, some sort of devotional guide that spoke the loudest. I learned, yes, but I was far from thrilled with the process.

It wasn’t until I fell flat on my face in failure that the Word of God began to come alive for me. Faced with a shattered good-girl image, I became desperate for something more. Desperate to hear God speak to my failure, to show me how to live, what to do, how to sort through my unmanageable feelings.

Kind of like Job:

I had heard about You before,

But now I have seen You with my own eyes.

Job 42:5


And David:

I used to wander off

Until You disciplined me;

But now I closely follow Your word.

Psalm 119:67

And so my dear, disciplined friends, maybe what we really ought to be praying for is more desire. Asking God to wake us up every morning with the anticipation of a child at Christmas. Expecting God to speak to us, to feed us, to refresh and revive us.

Maybe we should pray that God will bring us to that place of desire as He did David. “ I desire You more than anything on earth.” (Ps, 73:25)

From my heart,


repost, Oct. 2013 



LETTERS TO MY SON: from drudgery to delight

She gets up while it is still night;

she provides food for her family 

and portions for her female servants. 

Proverbs 31:15


Dearest Matthew,

Last week in my letter to you I let you in on the secret so many women share— the whole intimidation factor in the Proverbs 31 description of a “worthy woman”. Since I read the chapter of Proverbs corresponding to the day of the month most mornings, I get faced with her seeming perfection once a month.

Who can do all she does? And if I tried, wouldn’t I get lost in all that work? Become a mindless machine, lose my own creativity, shrivel up inside, and have a massive identity crisis while failing to be perfect?

The fact is, this is an overview of a woman’s life, not what she did every day. Kind of a portfolio of one woman’s description to her son of what an intelligent and godly woman’s achievements can look like over a lifetime and how those doings can benefit her husband and family in such a way as to enrich their lives incredibly.

But notice her first act of the day— getting up early.

It was many years ago that I learned my need for those early morning hours alone. I’d tried and failed time and time again to be disciplined enough to get up early and read my Bible. I knew it was the right thing to do, but with babies up at night and a husband whose ministry mostly happened in the evening hours, it just seemed impossible. The thought of losing precious sleep to cross Bible reading off my list just wasn’t enough to rouse me from slumber.

It wasn’t until my world began to unravel that I discovered the truth this woman in Proverbs 31 lived every day— that it wasn’t more discipline I needed, but more desire. And that when I craved hearing God’s intimate speaking to me more than I craved a little extra sleep, and when that craving actually woke me up in the morning and propelled me into His presence, He had treasures of wisdom waiting for me.

The Bible often likens the Scriptures to food.  Jesus spoke of Himself as the Bread of Life, able to fill and strengthen and nourish us deep within. In the Psalms, God cried out to His people, “Open your mouth wide and I will fill it…. I would feed you with the finest of wheat; and with honey from the rock I would satisfy you.” (Psalm 81:10,16)

He longed for His people to listen to Him, to hear and obey the instructions He was waiting to give them.

The wise woman knows God hasn’t changed through all the days of history. He still longs for us to listen. He has tasks for us to do (Ephesians 2:10). Directions and impressions to lay on our hearts, wisdom and understanding to satisfy our longings.

Matt, I would wish for you a wife who is hungry enough to get up early and feast on God’s words.

A woman who listens carefully to the wisdom God gives and then goes to meet the needs of those whom God has given her to serve.

A woman who listens with a pen in hand, making a list of how the Father wants her to love that day.

A woman who sees need before anyone else does and applies the strength she’s already received from God to rise to the challenges of real life.

And son, I would wish for your someday-wife that she would have a husband who shakes off those sleepy morning cobwebs, gets out of bed, starts some coffee, opens the Scriptures, and listens.  Every morning.

I don’t have a list to leave you today. What I do have is a record of my own journey towards this kind of early morning listening. Maybe it will help you to see where you are headed as long as you keep crying out for more of Jesus. And maybe my own list will help you to lovingly lead a woman as she seeks to do the same.

I started with DRUDGERY,

grew up a little into DUTY,

tried but failed for a long time at DISCIPLINE.

Then life led me to a place of DESPERATION,

and that’s when DESIRE

for more of what He poured all over me

led to absolute, unending, every morning DELIGHT.

From my heart,


P.S. For those who are reading these letters:

Are you stuck in the DISCIPLINE phase?

Mad at yourself for failing too often to manage your life in such a way that getting up early to read the Scriptures and listen to God actually happens?

Let me give you a little motherly advice: ask the Father to do whatever it takes to fill you with enough DESIRE so that you will know the DELIGHT of rising early to listen for more.

And if you’re already there- will you tell us your story? I love stories, and I especially love hearing how God moved others to want Him more.