when you really want to put first things first

I keep going back to it. One of my favorite scriptures. Deuteronomy 6: 5-9. I have read it a thousand times and quoted it often, but had I really understood it until now?

5 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. 6 These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. 7 Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 8 Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 9 Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.

Deuteronomy 6: 5-9

You see, as a young wife, I was so in love with my husband. I enjoyed cleaning our house. I loved making dinner for him. I cherished every moment we were together. And, yes, I would say, I loved him with all my heart.

As a young mother, I was also in love with my children. Focused daily on how I was going to work in and through their lives to bring them good things. Protect them. Nurture them. Train them. I didn’t think I was capable of loving anyone more.

Recently it hit me. That maybe, just maybe, I had it all wrong. Yes, it is true that I need to love my husband and my children, but I also realized that maybe in those early years, and at times even now, I may have everything out of order. That the scripture teaches that I need to love Him with all my heart. More than anyone else. More than anything else. My love for Him has to come first.

And, to really love someone, you have to make time for them. Find a way to just be with them. Learn more about them. Seek their good. Every day.

I can’t imagine going one day without thinking about or spending time with or seeking good for my children. I long to be with them. To celebrate life with them. To share their burdens. To kiss their boo boo’s. To just be there for them. Every day.

So, if He commands that I love Him with all my heart, soul and mind, how then can I go day after day without being with Him?

This realization came after months of praying for more of Him and less of me. I knew I desperately needed it, but had no idea how to even begin to train myself to do just that. Just be there with Him and for Him. Every day.

I also realized that in order to really be the wife, mother, daughter, friend, and co-worker I desperately needed to be, I must put first things first. My love for Him.

I must put first things first. My love for Him.

After hours spent on my knees praying. And, hours spent with my mind searching the scriptures. And, even more hours praying for wisdom, I think I better understand why He wants us to love Him with all our hearts and not our children. Or, our husbands. Or, our parents. Or, anyone but Him.

No, I don’t believe it is purely for self-seeking worship purposes on His part. I believe it is as much for our benefit as anything else.

“Do you know that nothing you do in this life will ever matter, unless it is about loving God and loving the people He has made.” ~ Francis Chan

Yes, when we are able to love Him with all our heart, soul and strength then His power works in us and through us. He allows us to love others the way we are actually commanded. As ourselves. His power opens our hearts to be able to tell our children again and again of His commands and promises. By focusing on loving Him, we will want to tell people on the road all about Him. By giving all we have wholeheartedly to Him, we don’t lose anything. Instead we gain everything.

Hence this name. With All Her Heart. I committed this place to Him before I ever typed the first word, and am trusting in Him to be ever present here.

I am embarking on a journey to love Him with all my heart, soul and strength and would love for you to join me. Day by day. It’s not a process to be taken lightly, nor will it be a short journey. But rather, one to be covered in prayer and thanksgiving. And, savored. I am certain, if His presence joins our journey, then He will be all we need.

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  • Reply Jeanie July 15, 2015 at 4:02 pm

    What a beautiful reminder of what love is all about. Thank you. I will enjoy joining you on this journey!

    • Reply Jennifer Woodward July 15, 2015 at 7:42 pm

      So grateful we are all in this sweet journey together, Jeanie!

  • Reply Tina B July 15, 2015 at 5:59 pm

    Beautiful words and a great reminder! I look forward to reading more and learning with you!

    • Reply Jennifer Woodward July 15, 2015 at 7:43 pm

      Thanks, Tina! There is so much to learn sweet friend…grateful we get to do life together!

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