Pregnant with her first child,
Jill could barely contain her excitement over
the dreams and hopes she cherished for her unborn
baby, whom she had already named Mara (she was so sure it was a girl). She practiced
the lullabies she would sing as she nursed Mara
close to her breast. She imagined how Mara's
eyes would light up on Christmas mornings. She
dreamt of Mara's first day at school, her first
date, and her college graduation. She even imagined
how Mara might look in her wedding gown.
on a bleak November morning in the fourth month
of her pregnancy, Jill miscarried. Like a
sandcastle swept away in high tide, her precious
dreams dissolved in an ocean of despair. It
turned out that a normally harmless medication
prescribed by Jill's doctor produced an allergic
reaction, causing a miscarriage. Though Jill later gave birth to three healthy children,
she never stopped grieving for her precious
Jill's anguish is incomprehensibel to those of us who have never lost a child. Equally incomprensible is the grief our heavenly Father must feel when the dreams He cherishes for His beloved children never reach fruiton. Considering the wealth of potential
residing in each of us, His heart must agonize over gifts that are never developed, callings
that are never embraced, and purpose that is
often say, "God has a purpose for your
life." That's true. But it's also true
that we have a vital part to play in whether
or not that purpose is realized.
as newly conceived embryo needs the nurturing
environment of her mother's womb to gestate
and mature, divine purpose must also be nurtured
in a healthy environment. That environment is
your heart - often referred to in the Bible
as your spirit. And the condition of your heart
will have a powerful influence on whether or
not you reach your divine potential.
Bible says, "Above all else, guard your
heart, for it is the wellspring of life."
else does the Bible use the phase, "Above
all else." Clearly, guarding your heart
should be a top priority.
heart is the wellspring of life. Whether or
not the wellspring issuing from your heart brings
forth sweet waters or bitter depends entirely
upon you. From your heart flows purpose or mediocrity,
success or failure, joy or depression. Your
heart will define your attitudes, beliefs, thoughts, and choices -- ultimately, they mould your destiny.
are what you eat" is not only a true maxim
for physical health; it also applies to the
heart. Regularly ingest "heart junk food",
and every area of your life will suffer.
caring expectant mother would never intentionally
harm her unborn child by ingesting toxic substances
or refusing a nutritious diet. But it's surprising how many people neglect caring for their
as physical toxins can damage an unborn child
in his mother's womb, heart toxins will hinder
your gifts, dreams and purpose from maturing
to their divine potential.
toxins come in many forms. External sources
may include books, TV programs, and Internet
sites promoting themes such as violence, sexual
perversion, selfishness, and hatred.
counselor friend told me about a client who
came to him for help, overcome with guilt because
of intense sexual desire for his two young daughters.
During the session, this man admitted reading
pornographic materials, including those depicting
sex between adults and children.
He insisted there was no connection between
his pornographic reading habits and the lust
he felt towards his daughters.
nothing wrong with reading pornography,"
he said. "It doesn't affect me. It can't
hurt anyone." He felt terrible guilt and
confusion about the lust he had for his daughters.
But he refused to see the link between the junk
he was feeding into his mind and his perverted
sex offenders are avid consumers of pornography.
This reflects a basic life principle: garbage
in, garbage out.
heart toxins are equally damaging. These represent thoughts and emotions such as anger, bitterness, worry, hatred, pride, and impure lusts. If you dwell on these negative thoughts and emotions, your faith will weaken and you'll block the river of God's Spirit from flowing through your life.
responsible expectant mother is not merely concerned
with avoiding nicotine, alcohol and carcinogens;
she is also conscientious about getting proper
nutrition. She drinks more milk. She eats more
protein. She may take vitamins or other supplements.
we must invest the time to learn about the nutrients
that will benefit our hearts. Following are
three potent "heart vitamins" that
will nurture your heart, build your faith, and
empower you to embrace your purpose.
time each day in God's presence will nourish
your heart and inspire you with fresh vision.
last weekend I went hiking with my sister and
a friend in the mountains of British Columbia.
The trail started at the creek bed of the Sinclair
Canyon; then wound up, and up, and up. We were
amazed at how different the mountains, valleys
and canyon looked from different vantage points
on the way up the trail. From the vantage point
at the highest point of the trail, the canyon
walls that had seemed so huge and overpowering
from the creek bed now seemed small and insignificant.
takes you to the high vantage point of viewing
life from the perspective of God's greatness,
rather than viewing it from the perspective
of personal limitations and obstacles. Instead
of looking up at your problems and feeling as
though they are huge and insurmountable, you
see them from the perspective of God's power
you spend time in God's presence and focus on
him, your heart will be nourished with peace,
grace and power - providing a fertile environment
for your dreams to thrive.
key to nourishing your heart is to discipline
your thought life. Our thoughts and emotions
are inextricably linked. Next time you are feeling
depressed or angry, check your thought life.
What thoughts were going through your mind when
you began to feel depressed?
Bible says, "For as he thinks in his heart,
so is he." 2
In other words, the person you become will reflect your thought life.
must train our minds in much the same way that
a soldier trains for military action. Like any
soldier, you must be committed, disciplined
and consistent. Disciplining your mind not only
means immediately and aggressively rejecting
negative thoughts the moment they come to mind;
but also habitually training your mind to focus
on positive, godly thoughts.
Bible provides practical advice for our minds.
"Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever
is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely,
whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent
or praiseworthy - think about such things. 3
nurture your heart with creative activities
and hobbies. Ask yourself, "What stirs
creativity, vision and inspiration in me?"
me, spending time in nature refuels my creativity
and nourishes my heart. Besides reminding me
of the awesome majesty of my Creator, nature
calms my spirit, renews my faith and inspires
fresh vision. Playing the piano and writing are other activities that nourish my creativity.
you love nature, schedule time on a regular
basis to enjoy your favorite outdoor haunts.
If you love art, visit art museums. If you love
music, attend concerts. If you love flowers,
plant the most extravagant one in the neighborhood.
If you have always wanted to try painting, take
a course. Who cares if you never sell a painting?
That's not the point. The point is to cultivate
and express the creative nature that God placed
at least one creative hobby and make it a part
of your schedule. Never say that you don't have
time. You'll be a better person and you'll have
more to give to others if you take time to nurture
your own heart.
forget: All of life flows your heart. Your heart
is the very seat of your dreams and the womb
of your divine destiny. In light of that, I
suggest you make a "healthy heart' your
number one priority.
- The Holy Bible, Prov. 4:23, NIV
2 - The Holy Bible, Prov. 23:7 NKJ
3 - The Holy Bible, Phil. 5:8 NIV
Rushfeldt is an author, speaker, and online
magazine publisher who has been writing for
25 years. Her passion is to inspire and equip
women to reach their dreams. Her latest book,
Making Your Dreams Your Destiny - a woman's
guide to awakening your passions and fulfilling
your purpose, is now available in quality bookstores.
You may also order online with your credit card
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