Monday, March 23, 2009

Lay Down Your Lovies

One morning, my nine-year-old daughter caught me in the middle of my quiet time when she woke up. She laid down her lovies and crawled onto my lap with open arms. The way our snuggle was positioned, I could feel her heart beating against my chest. She nestled there perfectly content and quiet for at least five minutes. Then as she let go and looked straight into my eyes with pure admiration, she leaned close in and gave me an Eskimo kiss, then looked at me again and gave me a butterfly kiss. She went back to the clench hug and said, “I love you, Mommy.” They were moments to be branded on my heart forever.

About a half hour later, my seven-year-old daughter (at the time), came down the stairs and found me in the same position (still trying to finish my alone time with the Lord). She hopped up on my lap with a bunch of stuffed Webkinz lovies in her arms and hugged me.

“Sweetie, why don’t you put your stuff down, so Mommy can give you a real hug,” I suggested.

She replied, “That’s okay, I’m all warm and comfy.” 

We had our bulky snuggle time for a few minutes, she got down, gave me a quick, wet smack on the cheek and said, “Love you, Mom,” as she went on her merry way to begin her day.


This tangible experience became a spiritual example for me. When I go to my Heavenly Father, do I lay all my “stuff” at His feet so that my whole heart and mind can cling to Him? OR do I hold on to the things that make me feel warm and comfy inside, halfway embracing our relationship? Both of these scenarios are in contact with Him, both illustrations communicate my love for Him, but the first is deeper and fuller and will produce the fruit of the Spirit in the ripest and richest way.

“Love the Lord your God with ALL your heart and with ALL your soul
and with ALL your mind and with ALL your strength.”
Mark 12:30

The idea of this sounds beautiful, but how can it work practically? 

When I look at any verse of worship or devotion to the Lord, I try to put hands and feet on it to help me out. Let’s sort through the following Love The Lords:

• WITH ALL MY HEART ~~~ My heart is what gives life to my body. It is the place where the things I love to do, the people I love, the situations in my day and the passions I have are turned into emotion.

• WITH ALL MY SOUL ~~~ My soul is the whole me, that which identifies me and makes me feel whole.

• WITH ALL MY MIND ~~~ My mind is where the main battle occurs, where the choices are decided, where the output of what is in the heart and soul is processed.

• WITH ALL MY STRENGTH ~~~ My strength is my efforts, and it is a direct result of what comes out of the mind.

To have the fullest abiding relationship with the Lord, we must lay down our lovies and fully cling to Him. Is there anything or anyone we love more than Him? Is there anything or anyone we love as much as Him? Is there anything or anyone that distracts us from fully loving Him? Lay it down. He wants every part of us…there’s nothing He desires for us to keep to ourselves--

“For in Him we live and move and have our being.”
ACTS 17:28a

Father God, You have loved us with a gigantic, perfect, whole, unconditional, 
surrendered love. We are so thankful. Work in us that kind of love today, LORD, 
through the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit. In Jesus' name, Amen.

16 friends shared a comment:

Beth in NC said...

What a great comparison. I love the story of your babies snuggling with you, and I can totally relate to a hands full of favorite toys. Ha.

Yes, we should go to our Lord without holding onto anything but Him.

What a sweet visual to start my day.

God bless!

Kim @ Homesteader's Heart said...

Oh it's so true. Great post my friend.
Big hugs to you today!

Joanne Sher said...

LOVE this. Such an incredible reminder.

Runner Mom said...

Oh, LauraLee! This was a wonderful post! Am I laying my lovies down at His feet? I tend to hold onto them longer than needed. This scripture in Acts really spoke to my heart! Going to my Bible now to read it and highlight it!


Kathryn said...

What a wonderful analogy, LauraLee!

Our Good Shepherd laid down His life for us without reservation (reference John 10).
I pray that we all will be willing to release temporal comforts and artificial substitutes in order to embrace the Lord with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength.

May He richly bless your day! :-)

Unknown said...

Wonderful Post!

I just dropped by to let you know that I have enjoyed following your blog, and have given you a blog award! :)

Laury said...

What a great word today, Laura! I love this part especially because I'm yearning to have these kinds of intimate times with the Lord:

She laid down her lovies and crawled onto my lap with open arms. The way our snuggle was positioned, I could feel her heart beating against my chest. She nestled there perfectly content and quiet for at least five minutes.

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

An undistracted heart...that's what I long to bring to Him, everyday. Most days, I'm like your second daughter. I just bring it all with me. How thankful I am that my God is faithful to weed out the unnecessary. It's kindof like the Mary/Martha thing, don't you think?

Have a great week.

Laurie Ann said...

I love it, LauraLee! What a parallel! Great spiritual application here.

Christine said...

My first thought when I started reading this was, how it must make our Heavenly Father feel to have each of and everyone of us come and hug him first thing when we wake up every morning. What a wonderful post...thank you so much for sharing this. =O)

Anonymous said...

This is beautiful. Something I'm going to be thinking about from now on when I come to my Father...

Denise said...

This blessed me, thank you my friend.

Lori Laws said...

What a profound message from an everyday occurance... Clinging to lovies. That is definitely the Holy Spirit. His little messages to us about His love simply blow me away!

Terri Tiffany said...

I love the Lay down your lovies and the wonderful example in the first part of the post. Thank you for a nice blessing today! ANd thank you for your kind words on my blog today as well. I'm glad your conference went well!

Patty Wysong said...

Wow, La, that really socked me.
Thank you--I needed that one. Today.

Yvonne Blake said...

Ahhh...Lalee, this is so touching...and also piercing. I think too often I hold onto my "lovies" and don't experience true fellowship.

Thank you, Sweetie!