Well Worn

Here is a bit of the story of how this aim for our lives came about.   
You can also check on the label "Well Worn" for more future posts.  

Prayers for A Well Worn Life
To present all that I am, all my days, relationships, dreams, work, talents, skills and finances to the Lord, by helping and loving people the best that I possibly can in order to give the most worthy offering I can to my Lord.  All that I am and have and can give is from His grace, for His glory.   

These are our prayers, from which our lives very often fall very short, but towards which we are pressing in Christ’s grace, for His praise.  

Colossians 1:10-12
“And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord 
and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, 
growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power 
according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, 
and joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you 
to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light.”

Psalm 27:4
One thing I ask of the LORD, this only do I seek;  
that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life; 
to gaze on the beauty of the LORD and to see him in his temple

I John 2:28
“And now, little children, abide in him, so that when he appears 
we may have confidence and not shrink from him in shame at his coming.”

1) To submit myself to the Lord, by submitting my day and my soul in prayer and my mind and heart to the Living Word.  My life is not my own, I have been bought with a price.  To dwell on holy thoughts {thankfulness, worship, His promises, intercession}, to feed on and be fueled by His Word, so as to tune myself to Him who alone is worthy of my all.  To avail myself of means of grace for my soul's nourishment, just like I eat nutritiously and sleep adequately to be healthy in my body.  The Word, Prayer, the Body of Christ, Communion, Worship, Creation, Quietness...  May my whole life be an offering of worship to Him.
2) To pray like Jesus:  regularly, intimately, publicly, scripturally, kingdom-aimed prayers.  I want to have much in the way of his kingdom and not be ashamed that I asked for too little.  James 4:2.  Lead me to labor well in prayer.
3) To be worn well serving with joy, laughing at the days to come, gladhearted for the past, present and future joy, salvation!, we have abundantly because of Christ.  I want the grace that abounds for the humble who are empty of their own strength, the humble who serve the “least of these,” with patience and true compassion.  To plan my day, to make the most of every opportunity, by aligning myself first with what I'm called to BE.... and letting what I'm called to do, flow from that.  To be peace-makers, attentive to "the least of these," image bearers among all people... ambassadors who gladly, loudly affirm and promote common goodness while clinging with humility and love and tenacity to the Truth of Scripture.  To spend attention, to pay in smiles, to help our neighbors....  actively aiming to lower ourselves to lift others up, to lift high the Cross...
4) To  trust in the constant, sovereign goodness of God, that He who is powerful enough to to speak all that is into being with merely his word, that He knows the hairs on my head and that He Loves Me, rejoicing over me with singing.  No interruption will knock on the door of my life without His permission.  My Father is the Master Maker and I am His creation, and I belong to Him because of Jesus redeemed me, bought me back from the death that I deserve for my sin.  I have cause for worship, delight, praise every moment, everywhere I turn.   All of life is gift, grace.  He is the only eternal, all-worthy Beauty and it is right that I should live gratefully to His praise, marveling at His beauty. Help me Lord to be attentive to you beyond, behind, within the details ....  help me to abide in you, my Vine, through every moment.  

5) To fast regularly, to be humbled and made more aware of my every day actual NEED of the Lord....  it’s only my awareness that is dim, the need is always there, always great.  Fasting is an intensifier, as John Piper writes in Hunger for God and food (too much, especially) can be such a dulling drug.  Oh to be sharp and bright for my Savior!
6) To embrace hardships in my life as that which He will use for his glory, to beautify my soul, transform me more into his image, soften my rough, hard edges of pride, self-reliance, self-ambition, and ready me for beholding and radiating more brilliantly his glory.
7) To intentionally dwell deeply in gratitude, to pray and proclaim, to sing aloud grateful words with a grateful heart, daily... as means to fuel gladness, dwell in worship, and kill sin.  

8)  To pursue the glory of God in my life- my character in the dark- with my kids, my husband, the culturally different neighbors around me, friends and family near and far.  To daily strive towards, yearn for the refining work of God's love and grace, his forever good plans,  in my life.  To hate my own sin, to regularly confess it and receive, remember, rejoice in God's forgiveness towards me through Christ.  To not allow or tolerate unChristlikeness, or defend it with any human, cultural, hormonal, female, dumb excuses.  
9) To sieze every opportunity to proclaim the excellence of Christ's salvation.  Without loving God or others enough to speak clearly of sin and salvation in Christ as often as he gives opportunity, even with all these other holy aims, I will at best be only a resounding gong.  Oh to be compelled by the near reality of eternity and all the words of God for salvation and rescue from sin, for peace now and for eternal life.  
10) To love God excellently with my mind... To study his word and learn about, explore and enjoy his world well to God's glory.  Oh to stretch and exercise every capacity he has given me to give back to him the best offering I can and to enjoy the fullest extents of the wonders he has made!  What greater pleasure could there be than knowing and pursuing You, oh God?  In your presence is fullness of joy.... and pleasures forevermore?  Give us grace, Lord, to train our kids to love this glorious aim for their lives:  YOU, our Glorious King.

11) To love God with our minds... by being wise and discerning.   That we would see past the deceptive lures of this world and our flashy commercial culture to know what your Word says is true, what it says we need, who it says who we are.  Help us to love you with minds that hold fast to the truth that our feelings are not always (sometimes, are rarely) true.  Make us wise to be honorably honest about our feelings to ourselves, and appropriately to others, but give us strength to not be slaves to whatever it is we feel, however strongly we may feel it.    Teach us to explore and know our feelings and to faithfully decide what it real and right.  Help us to cling to the Truth of your Word to see rightly, to speak and to live wisely, humbly and lovingly; faithful to you and your word above our feelings.  
12)  To buy less.... much less.  What a freedom to not have to sort, clean, maintain, store, organize, repair, so much stuff....  How much easier than all of that is simply never buying so much stuff in the first place?  I love it!  What a joy to invest all that time and finances in more lasting things.  I want my time and my mind and finances to be free from the tyranny of stuff.  For sure I want to provide well for my family’s needs, but I don’t want that or any other excuse to defend a damned idolatry of possessions or status.  I want to work hard at "cooking in" so that we can gladly give more of our finances together to greater needs in the world and build skills and memories in the kitchen and around our chipped dining table.  How much a satisfying meal with family is a foretaste of heaven.... may we taste it often, well, together, and glorify the Lord in all the gifts of such a time!  (I’m not crystal clear on these details, but this Vision Trust video states that it would take approx 13 billion dollars to provide food for the world’s starving people each year.  And Christians in America spend that same amount on coffee.... and over 100 billion dollars each year eating out.)  Whatever we eat or drink...  do it all for His Name (stewardship, self-control, healthiness).  All for Him.   

13) To give strategically and with sacrificial generosity:  for people's lives-  health, homes, food, water, rescue and relief, jobs, education- and for Gospel endeavors among those least reached with the good news of Life in Christ.  Invest in what is lasting and needful and eternally good.  To let our clothes, furniture, toys, books, computer, be well worn and used up before I replace them so that I can give more generously to more lasting things- to people, to the kingdom of Christ!  (And to enjoy second-hand items for the same reason!)  To show the world perhaps just a bit, that current fashion trends are not the only clothes wearable.  We'll aim for "classic" (and if we fall off the trend charts completely, you'll still love us anyway.  Won't you?!)
14) To be diligent at our work, 6 days a week; to learn to love labor and service for the excellence of serving and blessing others with our work and offering it all to the Lord for His glory.  Lord develop in me a work ethic that honors you first in all that I do.  And as I strive after diligence, graciously keep me from being task-obsessed or defining my worth by my accomplishments.  Anchor my heart in Being Yours.  Help us, to expand our comfort range of temperatures and tastes.  Life, play, creation, beauty, and laughter are worth sweating or shivering for.  Ceilings are no match for a blue sky and every bead of sweat and splash of mud will earn a story worth telling.  Move me, move us outward, Lord!!

15)  Help us, please Father, to do hard things, go to hard lengths, to persevere in developing difficult skills, in serving humbly to benefit others.  Teach us to give our best effort and be confident with our offerings, not shying from opportunities because we aren't the best.   And give us joy as little drummers who present to you and give to the world, for the sake of others, the best that we have, the best that we are without thought of comparison, boasting, or measuring our worth by any standard other than You.   And give us humility that even though we can publish our hobbies for the world to see (if they ever wanted to) that doesn't mean that we should quit our day jobs....  give us Your Spirits' blend of humility and confidence that pours out all of our talent and joy and pursuits for the good of others and your glory alone.  Lead us in wisdom for how to invest our talents and joys and labors for you.  (Father, would you lay your claim, press your calling on the hearts of our children that as they grow, that they would grow up with vision and skillfulness for the ways that you have planned to use their lives?  Lord give this grace, for your glory!)
16) To rest well daily and weekly.... to embrace my own finiteness and go to sleep to be well charged for a new day.  May each day begin with stillness before my King, to be guided in His Word and His way....to serve and  behold and explore, proclaim and demonstrate the excellencies of God.   Lord teach me to seize moments of stillness, selah, throughout the day to quiet my soul and to worship You.  
17) To remember that labor for myself, for my reputation and fame, for applause from others (even from my own family) is idolatry, a broken cistern that will never satisfy me and will leave me ashamed.  Labor for the world’s acclaim, or even for any person, is not worth being worn out for.  Let all my work be an offering to the Lord and it will never be in vain.
18)  To learn the grace of self control for my wildly emotional heart and wildly flailing tongue.  Oh to set a strong guard over my tongue, to turn the other cheek, go the extra mile, and enjoy the fruit of "smile and nod" instead of regretting wasted, wrong words.  
19)  To work hard to build habits, patterns of JOY, to communicate calmly as peace-makers, to maximize creativity and thoughtful intentionality, in our family, our romance, and all our relationships.  Theme nights, bike rides, water guns, reading aloud, dress-up, home theater, bubbles and balloons, cooking together, parks and needful popcorn.   To go an extra mile in planning and effort for a double return in laughter and memories as well as in healing and peace.  Our God is a great creator and made us to be like him, so may we be excellently creative~ inspire us Lord!~ and diligent with all the relationships and responsibilities you've given us for your greatest glory, oh God!
20) To keep a spacious, gracious heart....  open handed.... realizing that my hard work doesn’t guarantee a smooth ride.  Grace.  Flex with whatever He fills my cup up with...  He poured it in there and He will work it all for his glory and my good. 
21) To dim the lights on the "super heros" who never have to sweat, learn from a mistake, or persevere through a hardship that seemed bigger than they were.  To look away from the princesses whose charm is deceitful, whose beauty is vain, and whose romances are absolutely ridiculous.  To inspire our kids to delight in the great truth that there is nothing anywhere in the world that compares with the splendor, magnificence, beauty or power of Jesus Christ,  him crucified, and his eternal redemption secured for us!  And for the adults, to model this in our hearts and lives too, so that we don't fill our eyes and ears and hearts with celebrities or sports stars to linger in our thoughts.  (Help us also to put before our kids excellent literature: stories of valor and bravery and battles worth fighting, character, nobility and wisdom well learned, well lived.  Excellent literature and outstanding biographies:  oh how much there is to learn and enjoy from such living!)

22)  To keep eternity before us in our hearts and minds, as our motivation, to serve the needy, help heal and comfort the sorrowful and suffering, and to persevere through all the trials and temptations and dull seasons of this world....  to keep our souls steady and strengthened with the only Word that won't fade away in all eternity, to keep our hearts and eyes and thoughts and lives anchored with the Certain Hope that we will see our Savior and He will be worth every tiny sacrifice we ever got to make for Him.