Thursday, February 28, 2013

Why guarding your heart actually means letting it run a little wild

I've been quiet on the blog for far too long.  I have been writing a Bible study and enjoying my girls and honestly, I have embraced distractions - probably more than I should.

Distractions are interesting...sometimes they are humerous...sometimes they are mind-numbing...sometimes they are an inconvenience when we need to finish a project or just be engaged in life...sometimes they are harmless...while other times I think they steal away our purpose...our intended life.

Some distractions are out of our control - case in point - a young man has been playing his ukelele for over 30 minutes at a coffee shop while I'm trying with all of my might to write out a Bible lesson.  I resorted to earphones with music blaring and the occasional evil eye (he eventually got the point and packed up his one man band).  Distractions that are out of our control have to be managed and endured at times...but most of the distractions in my life lately are self-imposed.  What about you?

I choose to be distracted by my phone far too often when I should be engaged with my girls - playing tea party or peek-a-boo.  I choose to be distracted by ridiculous t.v. shows when I could be talking to my husband about his latest business venture.  I choose to be distracted by ANY need when the house is calling out to be cleaned, and I choose to be distracted by my kids, husband, work, and to do lists when I hear God beckon me to step outside for a few minutes to enjoy His creation and have a little chat.

I've tried silencing some of these distractions with rules like - no phone use from 6-8pm...but that lasted for 3 days.  I took the facebook app off of my phone but still went to check status updates via the internet...and I'm realizing rules for rules sake never bring fruit in my life.

When my heart is distracted every area of my life embraces distraction, but when my heart is engaged and alive with His love and His purposes, things like social media, my phone, television, and conversations no longer take on the role of distraction but are rightly used as tools rather than escapes. 

Proverbs 4:23 says, "Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life."

I studied this scripture awhile back and had always taken it to mean that I should be on guard - that my heart was bound to do something crazy or get out of control.  I believed that I should fence it in - construct rules and plans so that it could be a solid well in which life could flow from.

But the more I studied, the more I realized that this was not the meaning of "guard" at all.  To guard something is to take care of it - to protect it - to nurture and allow it to thrive.  If I want my life to be full and adventurous then I need to guard my heart by taking care of it and allowing it to be alive and perhaps a little wild.

So that is on my agenda for today.  I'm going to take care of my heart - I am going to run outside and play with my girls and talk to Jesus and write and work and call a friend and talk to my husband and allow my heart to dream.  Life may look fairly similar on the outside as days past...but internally, I'm going to give my heart permission to live.  And I'd like to give your heart permission to do the same - it's time that we take care of our hearts.  Allow yourself to do at least one thing that your heart really loves, and watch as distractions become less appealing.

How do you take care of your heart?  Would love to know what that looks like for you. 


Brittaney said...

Ooh, this is good Paige. I had never thought of guarding my heart from this perspective. Thanks for sharing.

Sarah said...

Today I am getting on a plane to visit a dear friend in Florida for a long weekend trip! I am so excited. Thanks for this, it totally resonates and I feel God is showing me very similar things!

Paige Allen said...

Thank you Brittany...for some reason this perspective impacted me so much. I realized I can actually trust my heart - I just need to take care of it. It does crazy things when it is starved for attention...

Sarah - enjoy your trip! Soak in the sun - moments like that can be some of the most "spiritual" if we embrace them. Oh, and I'm a little jealous

kushagra said...


Jennifer said...

Such a good word!

Did you know that word 'guard' is my favoritest Hebrew word ever...Shamar?! (used only here...and in Gen 2 about the Garden)
You're's a word of many meanings and much depth.
Perhaps you should come have coffee with me and we could discuss and such as...

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