teach me your way, Lord, that I may rely on your faithfulness; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name... psalm 86:11

Friday, January 27, 2012

wandering minds...

“Our minds are always active. We analyze, reflect, daydream, or dream. There is not a moment during the day or night when we are not thinking. You might say our thinking is ‘unceasing’... Our ability to think is our greatest gift, but it is also the source of our greatest pain. Do we have to become victims of our unceasing thoughts? No, we can convert our unceasing thinking into unceasing prayer by making our inner monologue into a continuing dialogue with our God, who is the source of all love. Let’s break out of our isolation and realize that Someone who dwells in the center of our beings wants to listen with love to all that occupies and preoccupies our minds.” {henri nouwen}
I came across this Nouwen quote and immediately thought how relatable it was to the way my brain works… which slightly resembles a hamster on a wheel constantly running, running, running. Mental rest and stillness are hard to come by for this girl, and the crowdedness of my head typically doesn’t mesh well with the stereotypes of spiritual discipline that we’re encouraged to pursue for spiritual growth. But I love what Nouwen says, because the real spiritual discipline is learning to invite God into where we’re at. Instead of trying to force all thoughts out of mind to focus on the holy, we invite the holy to be a part of our right now.

While there is beauty in carving out time and space from our schedules (and thoughts) to sit before the Lord, I think there’s just as much beauty in consciously choosing to acknowledge His presence in the midst of our chaos. He’s there, He knows, and He loves us just as much in the mess and busyness as He does in the calm and still.

So today, I’m choosing to dialogue instead of monologue. Me and God have been discussing the swell of emotions with my husband’s new Youth Pastor job (praise God!), the anxiousness over finding an apartment and moving sometime in the VERY near future, the friendships I feel like I’m horribly neglecting, the ongoing to-do list I just simply don’t have time for, the cleaning of our apartment that isn’t going to get done before friends come over tonight… yup, this is where I’m at right now… and I’m so thankful that God is here with me in it.

“So here's what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering.”
...romans 12:1 (msg)...


  1. I love this. I also have a hamster brain and often have a hard time getting off the wheel of thought even to sleep. It has been helpful to turn that monologue into dialogue although I still forget far too often. Thank you for sharing this.

  2. I love what you've said about turning our monologues into dialogues with God. Very well said. My brain swirls with big ideas, worries, joys, to do lists, daydreams, etc....but my thought life is also where my greatest sins lie. It's there where I allow the enemy to have a stronghold over my feelings and thoughts instead of giving them over to God and allowing Him to wash my mind, my spirit and even my feelings. I want to take every thought captive and give it to the One whom I can dialogue with all day, every day. Thank you so much for this reminder.


  3. I LOVE Henri Nouwen. I feel like I can meditate on each sentence of his writing for hours. I love the idea of making a monologue a dialog.

  4. How true... and we become what we think about....
    I am your newest follower..pls follow back if you can.

  5. Wow, Denise, lots in here for me! I can really relate to this post and yes I need to "acknowledge His presence in the midst of our chaos." I need to invite the Holy into the madness that is my mind (love the hamster wheel analogy). Thanks for the post. and YAY to a new youth pastor job! Where are you headed??

  6. Hi Denise - my niece has that saying as one of her statuses. Such a great statement.
    God bless