Layers Exposed

It came slow. Steady. The voice was small at first. Gradual. I would hear it faintly through reading His Word. In-between my husband’s sentences. Through my toddler’s eyes. During prayer. In a blog post here and there. Not one resource of mine did God leave out. He used them all to speak to me. To answer my prayer and show me what I needed to lay down at the cross this year.

And I’ll never forget that moment. The instant I realized I was standing in front of Him fully exposed. Completely ashamed of these layers revealed. The ones I had concealed so well I’d forgotten I had them.

Having my sinful-self exposed to His light stung. I wanted nothing more than to run to a dark corner and hide. Pick up my comfortable layers and pretend this never happened.

But it was what I had asked for. I wanted Him to help me become less so He could fill more of me. It wasn’t until now, however, that I realized how much less I needed to become. And when He asked me to let go I began to see how self-absorbed I was. How much I cling to things familiar. Easy. Painless.

He’s right, though.
I have broken one of the Ten Commandments.
I might have broken two.

~~~~~~~~~~

The awakening happened in stages. First with reading His Word. The small observation I couldn’t get out of my head. The same one I finally blogged a question about. The very question my sweet friend, Dolly, answered in comments.

It was my toddler God used to finally open my eyes. When my boy asked me what “the day of rest” meant and why I didn’t have to do it, I knew.

I’m no better than the Israelites. I’ve broken the Sabbath.

God has said it time and time again —
nothing is so important we have to do it 7 days.
God has asked time and time again —
would we please take one day out of our lives and focus on Him?
(Exodus 20:8-11)

Father, forgive me, I know not what I do…
No, that’s not true. I didn’t know because I wasn’t looking.

I wasn’t abiding by this Commandment because it was easier. It’s convenient to spread out my cleaning duties into 7 days. Sure I spend Sundays with my family. At a more relaxed pace. Yes I worship Jehovah with a church family. But I still spend my free time at the computer instead of with Him. I still busy myself with miscellaneous tasks on my ever-growing to-do list. Seven days a week.

Lord, I hear You now. Jesus, I’m so sorry this sin was put on You. I am bending low, asking for grace once again.

This is what I will do:
I will intentionally take a day off each week. Off of Social Media. Blogging. Cleaning. Running Errands.

And spend it with my Redeemer and family instead.

But God didn’t stop there. He wasn’t done showing me layers I needed to peel back.

I will also pick a day each week to refrain from eating wheat and sweets — my two biggest crutches. And will pray I learn the manna lesson as a result. (I expanded on this some in another post.)

And I won’t stop at Easter.
These old habits are being left at the cross.
This will become my lifestyle.

Friends, this is only the beginning. The introduction to what God has shown me on my Lenten Journey. And I must confess I didn’t want to post it. I’m not used to being so raw to new friends, old family, people I don’t even know.

But God used Jennifer and this profound post. God used my friend Dolly and her reply. To speak to my calloused heart and encourage me to get over myself.

If it’s okay with you, I plan on revealing a few more things He’s shown me. Layers I need to peel. With His help, I’ll be able to stand at the cross this Easter unashamed, shining in grace. Newly molded.

How about you? What has God been showing you as of late? What layers are you peeling back? I’d love to hear. 

Thanks for sharing your time with me.

Simply striving,

Nikki

It’s my first time linking up to:

and am happy to be back at:

Where this week’s topic is a heart healing moment.
Yes. this was one of mine…

Along with:
 and 

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40 thoughts on “Layers Exposed

  1. Oh friend. He just brought me to the point of giving up bread and grains almost completely (like a 21 day fast from them at first, and now I only have them maybe, and I mean maybe once a week). Sweets, oh yes, I need to kick them out, for good. When I start back writing again, I’ve planned on writing a “God said so” post for things in my life. Can’t wait to join you in the raw vulnerability He’s called us to.

  2. Ok, I’m just having one of those days where God is convicting me about so much! I need to take some time and dig deep into what He’s telling me to do. Nikki, your words here today have been used by Him to minister to my heart. Love much, friend!

    • by reading your last post, I’d say you dug real deep, Katie! So proud of you for not running away from the Refiner’s fire. and still you find time to encourage me. Thank you, friend! love to you!

  3. Nikki, what a beautiful, soft, open heart you have to hear Him, to heed His voice in you. I love how He makes the whispers louder too, through community, through who He gathers up around us to speak His truth. I am so blessed by His pursuit of me like this — and here, you bless me with your modeling of what it looks like to choose Him, wherever He calls. Oh, it is going to be so good! I can’t wait to hear more. Thank you so much!

    • Thank you, Jennifer, for taking time to encourage me. You have blessed me so. Yes–I am so grateful He keeps pursuing me like that. that He even turns up the volume pulsing on my heart so I don’t miss the beat. This dance is a challenge for me, but I’m learning. I’m striving. and by His grace and His lead, I’ll learn it in no time.
      and I’m thrilled to have you along for my journey as well as share a glimpse of yours. Thank you!

    • It IS good to know I’m not the only one, Jerri! Thanks for helping my heart heal by sharing that with me. I’m certain we can both take this off our struggle list in no time!

  4. Oh, girl. My post today was a result of the Sabbath that I finally took yesterday. I’ve been on this Sabbath journey for almost year and a half. It takes a lot of work to break down these old habits of mine…these old strongholds just don’t break easily. So glad you were vulnerable. Nice to know someone else struggles as much as I do with this.

    • Your post blessed me so much, Jen. Thank you. and for some reason it’s true. my misery does enjoy your company…
      So encouraged by the strides you are making in overcoming this! I’m determined to see this through and I’m confident with His grace, we can both take this off our struggle list in no time! Hugs to you!

  5. I’ve been feeling the tug to lay our Sundays at his feet, using it for rest and to fast from media on that day. Things keep coming across my path on this, and soon, I believe our family will begin this new discipline along with others he’s leading us to. I’m glad you shared your heart. 🙂

    • And I’m glad you stopped by again today, Audra! Thank you for sharing your heart with me. I love how God speaks to us by what crosses our path sometimes. Trust you will be blessed by whatever decision is best for your family. and thank you for encouraging me on my path! 🙂

  6. Dear Nikki,
    How you bless us with your seeking Him and then obeying Him as He reveals truth to you…I love how He uses us in our collective and individual brokenness to bring healing and wholeness to us as individuals and as the family of God…standing with you sweet friend and sending you a BIG HUG and love 🙂

    • Thank you, Dolly. I am loving it, too. That we can share our burdens and scars and find healing and wholeness individually and collectively. What a blessing this body of Christ is! I will take your big hug and send one right back 🙂 love to you and will continue to pray for your friend.

  7. Such worthy pursuits you are giving yourself to, Nikki. I can’t wait to hear how God uses them in your life in the days to come. 🙂

    • Thank you so much, Beth. I’m thrilled you stopped by — it’s been awhile since we’ve visited.
      I’m so blessed that He continues to pursue me. . .
      May you delight in Him this week!
      All for Him,
      Nikki

    • Thank you so much, Shelly. Yes–who says God doesn’t write on walls anymore. maybe we just need to slow down to see it…
      So blessed to have you along for my journey. Thank you!

    • Thank you so much, Laura, for your encouragement! I must admit, this post took 17 drafts before God was okay with what I said…
      ::Sigh:: but I’m striving!
      All for Him,
      Nikki

  8. nice to meet you for the first time, Nikki. linked up at Painting Prose with you. i struggle with putting it all out there, too. then again, i can’t NOT–know what i mean? God calls me to be humble, honest, letting His light shine–but this is so hard sometimes, isn’t it? feeling exposed to the world, no skin on, it aches, like birth-pains when we are growing–i wrote about this too. on the journey with you, friend. blessings!

    • Sweet Nacole, I’m so thrilled you stopped by today! I do know what you mean…the catch-22 of putting it all out there. I’m realizing it hurts whether I put it out there or not, so I might as well share and hope and pray it soothes someone else’s hurt. Your post touched my heart, friend. Enjoyed my time on your beautiful blog. thank you so much! Hugs to you!
      All for Him,
      Nikki

  9. Beautiful on so many levels. Your words. Your photos. And, most importantly, the God-Truth that resonates from all of it.

    Really glad you linked. I’ve been blessed. And I know others will be as well.

  10. This reminds me of when Eustace peeled back the dragon skin in Voyage of the Dawn Treader…your willingness to be transparent is beautiful and will reveal a baby’s clear and soft skin brand new and glowing underneath. Thanks for sharing with Painting Prose! You blessed many with this!

    • I seriously need to put Voyage of the Dawn Treader on my list…I keep hearing about it (I’m so behind…) Thank you for reminding me!
      Always appreciate it, Kim, when you stop by and share with me. Love having you and love linking up to Painting Prose! Thank you!!!!

  11. God is so awesome in so many ways…He shows us how He still loves us in our shortcomings. He sees our future, He knows our thoughts…but yet He still reaches out to us and helps us correct our shortcomings. He allows us another breath to say “Lord forgive me”. “Help me to be what YOU desire me to be.” I join you in giving more to the Father, and less to myself and my agenda for my life. My life is His life, My plans are His plans…Only for His Glory.

    Nikki, I truly appreciate how you allow God to minister through your blog, so many times they have come just when I needed to hear an encouraging word. 🙂

    • So blessed by your comment, La’Sonnia — thank you! I am so thankful for that additional breath He offers us….what grace!
      I am delighted to have you along this journey with me of decreasing so He can fill us with Him. To God be the glory!
      I am so touched by your kind words–thank you so much.
      All for Him,
      Nikki

  12. I love those whispers that leave us forever changed! My goal is to learn to enjoy the journey, even when it includes those times that He is peeling back the layers.

    • Yes–it IS hard! striving to change my perspective from “Just do, do, do” to “just be, be, be”. Instead of Doing things for Christ, I’m taking the mindset of Being Christ to others. And for some strange reason, it’s helping me to follow this commandment and simply Be with Him for one day a week. I must tell you, I really am enjoying my Sundays being unplugged! 🙂
      Thrilled you shared with me, sweet Alene. Hugs to you!

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