old patterns of thnking

I circled back to these patterns of thinking just as I circled back to the stale thoughts of what I was not. It was an old habit. Each time I revisited this way of thinking and seeing, I discovered new layers of false understandings of God. God’s love, to me, still stopped short when we fell short. He was a loving Father – to a point – but when I failed him consistently, God seemed to me to be a middle-age man, tired of my failure, exasperated by what I wasn’t, and too stretched to extend grace.
Somehow God helped me reach up into His heart and speak what I saw and felt there. As I spoke the words, my mind raced with thoughts. Is this really how God sees a heart? Can God change my perspective in an instant? But the power of the words I released lifted my eyes to the God who delivered them. God’s Father-love came in, when I spoke it out. I learned it as I said it. Delight and life from a tongue can change a soul. 
Every Bitter Thing is Sweet by Sara Hagerty

What do our circumstances say about God?

God was working every angle to change our knowledge about who He is. We realized that our lives aren’t, in fact, a series of rewards for doing things “right.” They are strung-together surprises that continue to speak more of who He is than who we aren’t.
What if all of life, all of our understanding of God, starts—first—with Him?
But when God helped us see circumstances as the catalyst to a new understanding of Him, they became the testimony of Jesus in our lives.
Look! Not at what is happening to us but at what that says about God.
bitterEvery Bitter Thing is Sweet by Sara Hagerty


“It was adoration – practicing, trying it out, seeing what it looked like in my life – that led me to this new perspective on God. It led me to a Father who longs not merely to be served but also to be known. Who longs for us, His creation, to know the cadence of His heartbeat.

“I pressed pause on my day to say His Word back to Him. I aligned my haphazard thought life with the Truth that changes. I started the habit of telling Him who He is, using His Word. And I let His Word reframe my experience.

“As I utter those strong words about Him with my weak voice, words I can barely believe when they leave my mouth, something inside me shifts.

“I begin to know Him not through my own interpretation but through His.”  Every Bitter Thing is Sweet, pg 94, by Sara Hagerty


How does one go about adoring God? It’s easy enough to do in church, when singing songs of praise and adoration, when thanking Him for the good in my life – when I remember to thank Him -.  But how do I go about adoring God on a regular day, doing the same thing day in and day out, just making it through my work day when once again I can be home, in my pajamas and doing my own thing? How do I adore God when the person on the other end of the phone has just cursed me out because I was unable to give her what she wanted or meet his immediate needs. Or that same person whom I don’t know, will likely never know, don’t want to know, has just blamed me for losing his job or missing her appointment? How do I adore God in those circumstances?

If Ms Hagerty is to be believed, it’s a matter of saying God’s Words back to Him.

Yesterday, during a work break, I was alone in the room and I pulled out the Bible and read Psalms 1 out loud. A couple of times, saying the words slowly so they would absorb into my being, into my thoughts. And I felt lifted. I felt I could go on with my day with a measure of peace. The rest of the day was a blur of phone calls, reports, complaints and I didn’t think anymore about it – or God – during that time. But I was able to maintain a sense of stability and stillness through it all.

Maybe I should continue to practice, to try it out, saying aloud the Word of God back to Him. Maybe that will help me keep focused on Him and not on me. Maybe that will bring peace and stability to my day when I can so easily spin out of control.

Lord God, help me to adore You in my everyday life, my everyday moments of life, my every breath.