Tuesday, October 11, 2011

My Weekly Confession

I must confess…I feel like a failure in this group. I had such high expectations, but then life took me through a series of turns I hadn’t expected, and now I’m feeling burdened with this inability to keep up with these amazing women who are literally eating nuts and grains in order to become a better woman. Me? Not so much.

I’m not sure if it’s the timing that’s off, or if it’s just me who’s off. All I know is that so many “things” have attacked me all at once I find it hard to keep up. I can’t sleep at night, which in turn prevents me from waking up early or even allowing me TAG. I know. Shame on me.

Through all the turmoil of our current financial situation, my mother is now facing not only terminal cancer, but emphysema. In her crass denial that her lifestyle has nothing to do with her newfound killer, she has now turned against me in adamant anger and hurling hostility.  

Meanwhile, my car is on E and the red light is blaring. The pantry is not stocked with pastas, rice, flour, sugar, and spices. The only $160 I had to spend on food this month went towards items from a bulk grocery store that could feed us for 30 days: 10 pounds ground beef, a whole pork loin that was cut up for six meals, 6 pounds bulk pork sausage, French toast stix, English Muffins, a tub of mayo, 1 pound bag of frozen corn, 4 pounds of bacon, 3 pounds of butter/margarine mix, 3 dozen eggs, and dare I say it, 2 enormous bags of sour cream and onion potato chips at a fraction of the cost of any local grocery store. Now I’m really in deep, right?

That trip cost me $105. Now I had $55 to get 2 gallons of milk, 2 loaves of bread, two boxes of cereal, fruit bars/snacks for Tavin, a small bag of carrots, bag of onions, bananas, canned tomatoes for homemade marinara and meat sauce, and orange juice that’s not really orange juice but some kind of goofy juice-like concoction that there’s more of than regular juice and $2 less. That trip? $47. Since then (Friday morning), I’ve already had to buy two more gallons of milk at 3 bucks a pop. That leaves me with $2 for...well, nothing much.

We are watering down the juice to make it last, and cutting our portions down to make the meats last, and eating minimum vegetables in order to make what we had left from last month’s frozen bagged veggies continue to last through this month.

If anyone thinks we eat like crap, I’m sure they’re right. But we have limited funds for food, and I may not be feeding my family veggies and tons of wheaty grains, but I’m feeding them on a finagled budget. I have to be clever and resourceful with what little we have, and it has to go faaaaaaaaaaaaar. I may not be a woman of noble character in that regard, but I sure know how to squeeze a quarter through a dime hole.

I came home Friday morning after my shopping experience feeling on top of the world that I had just accomplished making $160 stretch for a whole month. I spent the rest of the day figuring out menus for every single day, for 30 days, carefully plotting how much of each item I would need. Had I spent most of my money on fresh veggies that would only last 2-3 days, we may have eaten better for those 2-3 days, but we would starve the rest of the month. So I failed this test of “noble character” endurance. And I shamefully stand by, feeling like a flee on a tick, as I read everyone’s brave approach to such a difficult calling, because I can’t do it.

(And please don't misunderstand my $160 for groceries as a complaint...it's a blessing I had even THAT much!)
Now, the one bag of chips that’s left (yes, we ate the other bag already) in the pantry will NOT be thrown away, as I am not a proponent of throwing food away at all. And…it will taste incredibly good when my mother yells at me for dumping all her alcohol down the drain and throwing out $200 worth of cigarettes so she can breathe and not fall down because the alcohol combined with her meds makes weak. So I’m saving them for that special moment when I will cry out to God with my lips, and feed my soul with chips. Again…fail, I know. But…good news is: at least I'm aware of my weakness.

What do I do now that I’ve failed on all fronts of being a woman of noble character? How do I participate and feel the other ladies pain when I’m not suffering my own? Do I do what I always do and just quit, or do I venture on in hopes that regardless of not going Vegetarian for 10 days, and not being able to be woken up by God at 5 AM, that I will still have a place in Women Nobledom?

I will feel awful knowing that all those noble women are eating like squirrels, while I’m living it up in the lap of meat luxury for the next 30 days, because eating right makes money tight.

My deepest respect goes out to all those brave, God-fearing, remarkably strong-willed women who are doing what God’s calling them to do. Bravo, ladies! (tipping my hat, while backing out with my tail between my legs)

Saturday, October 8, 2011

End of Week 2: Even Good People are Bad Sometimes

It’s been an incredibly rough—yet interesting—week. This week’s readings opened Pandora’s box and released something in me I thought was settled and resolved.

My mother is struggling with recurring breast cancer, and I have been praying for her diligently. Praying for a healing…for a miracle. My anger escaped like a genie in a bottle on Thursday morning. So many things had happened the day prior, and I kept my cool most of the day. But when I woke up Thursday morning for TAG, the second I sat with God, the floodgates were opened. I wailed in agony over my mother’s sickness that’s killing her, and demanded miracles from God, and told Him I was drawing the line in the sand. At one point—God forgive me—I took sides with the devil in agreement that God “sucked.” Yes, I said it. Out loud. With fierce anger. But that’s my relationship with God. It’s that raw and that real. I never hold back.

Here’s what I learned: When I got saved back in 1998, I was so sure of my salvation and my walk with God that I blabbed to anyone who would listen that I’d never walk away. My faith was so strong back then that I truly believe I could move mountains. However, a few years later, I surrounded myself with non-believers and was sucked back into an old lifestyle of alcohol, drugs and sex.

Since now finding my way back, I don’t make those bold statements anymore, because I know that I’d be lying to God and lying to myself. Several months ago, after praying for my mom and believing God told me she would not be cured, I got angry and told God, “Look, I can’t promise you I won’t get angry and walk away. All I can do is promise that I’ll try not to.”

And that’s a promise I can keep. Because with each new problem that arises in my life, I find myself eager to say, “Adios, God! It’s been a slice, but I’m outty!” 6:30 AM and I’m itching for a six pack of beer. Instead, I “try” to resist.

God honors my promise to try. It’s those bold, nutty, I’m-never-leaving-You promises that drive Him bonkers, because the second we do that is the second Satan challenges it, and more often than not, we end up in risky territory.

I can’t make that kind of promise to God, knowing full well I may not be able to keep it, especially when my track record shows I can’t be trusted. I’m trying…

And because of my efforts to try not to leave, God honors me. He shows me that He sees me in places before I get there, and He knows that I’m trying and I’m honoring my word to Him. So He lets me blow off steam and He allows me a day to walk away and be angry with Him. He gave me an entire day of rest. I slept for hours and hours, after years of restless sleep and months of anxiously trying to fix our financial problems. I slept…

My efforts to stay allows God to step back and let me figure it out, and I typically find myself asking for His forgiveness and for a Word. I get so hungry for Him that I could gobble up every morsel of scripture. “Pile your troubles on My shoulders,” He tells me last night. “I’ll carry your load, I’ll help you out. I never let good people topple into ruin.”

I’m glad that even when I say the ugliest things to God that He knows my heart and still considers me “good people.”

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Day 10: Prayer

“This is NOT working!” I heard myself scowl in a loud whisper. I stomped downstairs, threw down my book and tried to rearrange the furniture in the living room.

Waking up early doesn’t much in my home. It means rushing through prayers because I spent too much time in praise and worship, and forcing myself to crank out a devotional before my day begins, and making sure that every animal in the house has been completely satisfied. All the while my husband sleeps soundly in bed while our son is bounce-walking his crib all over his bedroom. The second Tavin hears mommy’s feet touch the floor in the morning, he pops up, ready to go. And I feel my chest fall in despair.

My prayer room is not working. It’s upstairs right off of our bedroom. The second I sit down in my comfy recliner, pull the down-throw over my tootsies, and grab my book to read, my 16-year old dog decides he’s going to wake up, too, and paces the floor until I huff and puff, throw off the throw, slam down my book, put my slippers back on and paddle downstairs again to let him out. By this time, Tavin’s in his room: “Mommy! Mommy? MOMMY!!??”

Just an hour. An hour of uninterrupted TAG. An hour of silence. An hour of… And we’re supposed to “tithe” at least 2.5 hours to prayer. I can barely get in an hour!

Inner chaos. “Forgive me, Lord, especially for my tendency to create inner chaos.” (Notes next to this: anger, frustration, resentment, fly off the handle.) So right here and now, I’m confessing my sin.

Today’s message seemed urgent to me, because my mom is suffering from recurring breast cancer. I’ve been praying for a complete healing, desperately trying to cling to the idea that God will restore her. With that said, I was under major attack this morning just trying to get through the Guided Prayer. It took me a half hour to make it past the second paragraph.

I just wanted some peace and quiet! I closed the French doors in the living room, tried to face the sofa in front of the window so I could “reflect”, but instead, I found countless crayons, toys and other various “stuff” behind the couch and began to clean and put things away. “This won’t do!” I said in defeat and moved the sofa back.

God, please forgive me. This is ridiculous. I just want peace for a few minutes to make it through today’s assignment. Please God…

And as I began to read, I rested my head on the back of the sofa and heard…nothing. Silence. Quiet. Peace… Thank You, Lord. And my day was readjusted, just like that! I wrote my NOTE TO SELF blog, and thankfully had notes I made last night, and allowed Jared to get Tavin out of bed and play upstairs for a while until I was done.

About a half hour later, after Tavin had his breakfast and the day was proceeding without my permission, Jared came up to me as I was making my second iced coffee for the day. Earlier I was going to scold him for putting all of his clean, folded clothes on the floor, RIGHT IN FRONT of the dresser, but thought twice about it (she brings him good, not bad). So he asked me, “What were you going to say earlier?” And instead of telling him that I can’t get to the dresser with all of his clothes on the floor, I smiled and said, “I bring you good, not bad all the days of your life.” And he chuckled. “You know,” he said, “I’ve noticed ever since you started this Proverbs 31 book that there is a change in me. I have more faith and I’m learning how to honor my mother and father. I just wanted you to know that I see the change in you, and it has changed me, too.”

I think I’ll end my blog there. On a good note…not bad.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Week 2: Days 1 & 2

Selecting is Protecting

Being selective doesn’t mean just making wiser choices, it can actually mean cutting whole entire things out of your life.

Every time you go the movie, rent a movie, or buy the DVD, you are investing in a lifestyle that does not mesh with your belief systems. Mine started with Brad Pitt. Boy did I gush over him before I was saved. Now, I can’t stand the site of that cheating, pot-smoking, God hating louse! I have officially boycotted all his movies. I refuse to see them regardless of how appealing the storyline appears because I know by going to one of his movies, I’m paying his bills. Don’t you get that? WE are what makes Hollywood lucrative. We are the ones who make the celebrities. Not the movie producers, not the writers…but us! Every dime we invest is money in their greedy, grungy pockets. And with every penny we give them, they invest it in demoralizing our marriages, our children, and our society as a whole. We are basically paying them to ruin us! We give them money to mock us, portray a false picture of us, and humiliate us. By us, I mean Christians and/or Conservatives.

Cutting “things” out of my life isn’t a difficult task. When we live to do the right thing in hopes of not only changing ourselves, but ultimately making a lasting impression on the world, we need to chop it on the block.

Decisions, Decisions

Oh boy, here’s my lifelong agony. What to do, what to do? Oh well, I’ll just do nothing.

Partow hit the nail on the head when she said that we are inundated with varieties of every kind and every thing. This is where the world gets us, catches us off-guard and knocks us on the head. Partow explains, “To cope with the complexity, some people let others select for them. They go with the flow and unquestioningly follow the crowd. They take the path of least resistance.” You know what I wrote next to this statement? “I sometimes just don’t choose anything at all and quit instead. I get too overwhelmed.”

I have yet to finish my college education because I just don’t know what I want to be when I grow up. So I opted to be nothing. I mean, I’m something. I’m a mom. But do you know how many “job titles” I’ve held over the course of my twenty professional years? I was a:
§  Receptionist
§  Office Clerk
§  Training Coordinator
§  Trainer
§  Editor
§  Marketing Coordinator
§  Executive Assistant
§  Freelance Writer
§  Scriptwriter
§  Retail Clerk
§  Cashier
§  Cocktail Waitress
§  Bartender
§  Sales Consultant

To this day, I’m still trying to figure out what to do with myself. I don’t know which one of those titles suit me best.

You should see me trying to make decisions on office supplies, or groceries. Major purchases, like computers, cell phones, or TVs…forget it. That takes MONTHS! I just…don’t…know! So, most of the time I just…don’t.

Ask any modern day woman why she’s so unhappy, she will tell you she’s overwhelmed. She confused. She’s overworked. There’s not enough time in the day. Sound familiar? Because too many women are trying to have it all. Have you seen how much “all” there is out there!? Trying to have it all will push you over the all-encompassing edge. Who can do it all? Who can even try? The modern day woman is trying to be: a career woman, a mother, a wife, a best friend, a daughter, a sister, a car pool, a Soccer mom, a PTA leader, a chef, a housewife, a volunteer. The list could go on and on. 

I’m not a morning person at all. And God help me, I’m trying to get up at 5:45 AM every morning for TAG and writing. Before I know it, it’s 8 AM and my son needs to get out of bed because he’s been bouncing around in there since 6:30. By that time I’m stressing out because after getting my iced coffee, letting the dog out, and feeding the cats, I only had a few choice minutes with God. And now I’m feeling guilty because my son’s doing an Indian chant aching to get out of his crib and start the day. Again…who has time for all the other “stuff”? I can barely make it to 8 AM without becoming exhausted.  

With that said, my areas that need a bit more attention to selection are: financial priorities, diet/food, and time usage—go figure!


God must be doing something amazing in me, because I seem to always be one day ahead of myself, almost as if our daily assignments/topics are confirmation for what He’s trying to do. Yesterday I posted on the Proverbs 31 Women facebook page that I incorporate scriptures into my daily affirmations, and I actually used Psalm 1:1 as my example.

I’m glad to know I’m on track, but I’m worried this train will be seeing a new set of tracks soon, leading me to a whole new destination of self-knowledge.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

End of Week 1

I have a heart to change the world, one aching woman at a time, staring with myself.

I have begun a journey that refuses to allow me to pull over for a pit stop. I’m in for the long haul considering my goals and hopeful ministry.

Some things that have happened over the past seven days on the first trek of this adventure has been uplifting and encouraging, yet confusing and frustrating. Trying to find my hidden sin wasn’t easy, because don’t we all look at ourselves and claim perfection? You don’t? Oh, well…it must just be me, then. Because I don’t always know my sin. Sometimes my sin is not knowing my sin. I scratch the surface and say, “No God…no sin here.” And God must laugh.

Surface sin is easily overlooked and mistaken as “mistakes” or everyday life occurrences. We poo-poo it away. Not good, but justifiable. It just doesn’t look all that bad…on the surface.

But it’s that deep-rooted sin that has been lingering around for so long we don’t even know it’s there. We are incredibly clueless about it. For some it’s pride in unusual forms, and for others it's unforgiveness that keeps needing excuses.

Today I had an encounter with my own personal sin. It attacked me, persuaded me, and lured me in. I battled with it for a few minutes and then decided to walk away from it. I called my mother and cried. In the process, something beautiful came out of it. My mother and I shared a lovely forty-five minutes encouraging one another in areas of our lives that have been such struggles. When I went back to face my sin head on, I resolved myself to resist taking the bait. I found a healthy, positive, loving way to deal with it instead.

Quite honestly, what I’ve learned this week is to trust God entirely! That doesn’t mean I’m doing it entirely, it just means I know I need to. I also know that I’m often afraid of what God will say to me, so I tend to cut my time short with Him, or plain and simply don’t give Him an opportunity to speak to me. I must be missing out on a lot…

Week 2? Bring it on! I'm ready. (Thankfully I haven't jumped ahead in the book, because my other weed that needs extensive pulling is always running ahead of God! "Show me God and I'll go...ahead of You, of course...)

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Day 4: A Woman of Confidence

God is apparently trying to tell me something. I’ve always valued myself as being a friend someone could confide in, because I know how to keep a secret. However, God must think otherwise, because today’s lesson in, Becoming the Woman God Wants Me to Be, was nearly the same lesson I got in my Joyce Meyer devotional, Hearing From God Each Morning.

Partow writes, “Be trustworthy in secret things so God can have full confidence that you will bring him good, not harm, all the days of your life.” And Joyce explains, “What we pray about is between us and God…”

Oh boy…what have I done?

I usually know when God is speaking to me, because He will always confirm it at least twice, almost immediately. Today, though, I’m confused because I don’t tend to tell anyone much of anything. I probably would though if I had more people to tell, but since I don’t, I can’t. I do tell Jared everything, and I’m pretty sure that’s okay…or is it?

Along with the Proverbs 31 study, I’m also studying, The Prayer of Jabez, with my husband Jared, and yesterday I had my first encounter being able to use the principles of Jabez and I think I may have boasted about it a little bit on Facebook. In my jest, I believed I was giving God the glory, but in hindsight, I think I may have made it look as if I had done something important. I was just so excited that the prayer works that I felt I needed to shout it from the rooftops, but apparently God is showing me to keep the miracles a secret for now.

Sometimes I feel the need to share what God has shared with me in my private time so that when the promise passes, I can say, “See! God said He’d do this and He did!” My intentions are good, but I think it’s time to resist the urge to share the secrets God tells me, even if it is about me. I just get so excited when God moves in my life….don’t you? Don’t you sometimes just feel like you’ll explode if you don’t share what God did in your life?

I need to learn to zip my lip. God needs someone He can confide in, and I desperately want to be that person! So when He tells me something, and I want to share it, I need to seek His permission first, just as I would with anyone else’s secret.

I’m going to have to "learn to discern" what’s a secret and what’s not, and that may be my biggest obstacle.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Day 3: Meditate

Chew on This

Not too long ago I decided it wise for my life to “chew” on the Word, so today’s assignment to meditate on scripture wasn’t something new to me, but it was a wonderful reminder!

What’s great about memorizing scripture is that it allows us to also pray it. When we are lost for words, God has plenty. When we are unsure of what to pray, God has a prayer.

Ironically, after reading today’s section, I opened my bible—The Message translation—and literally fumbled upon Psalm 119, the very scripture quoted today. I couldn’t help but notice that not only did it truly follow what the lesson was about today, but it also spoke directly to me concerning some personal things that are going on in my life.

I copied the Psalm from biblegateway.com and wanted to share The Message version with You. I chopped it up a bit, but by doing so, it becomes a brilliant, beautiful prayer to “meditate” on today. Personalize it. Pray it. Know it. Live it.

I am blessed when I stay on course,
walking steadily on the road revealed by God.
I am blessed when I follow his directions,

doing my best to find Him.
You, God, prescribed the right way to live;
Oh, that my steps might be steady,
I thank You for speaking straight from Your heart;
I learn the pattern of Your righteous ways.
I'm going to do what You tell me to do;
How can I live a clean life?
By carefully reading the map of Your Word.
I'm single-minded in pursuit of You;
don't let me miss the road signs You've posted.
I've banked Your promises in the vault of my heart
Train me in Your ways of wise living.
I delight far more in what You tell me about living

than in gathering a pile of riches.
I ponder every morsel of wisdom from You,

I attentively watch how You've done it.
I relish everything You've told me of life,

I won't forget a word of it.

Be generous with me and I'll live a full life;
not for a minute will I take my eyes off Your road.
Open my eyes so I can see what You show me
of Your miracle-wonders.
Give me clear directions.
My soul is starved and hungry, ravenous!—

insatiable for Your nourishing commands.
I've been careful to do just what You said.
I'm absorbed in pondering Your wise counsel.
Yes, Your sayings on life are what give me delight;
I'm feeling terrible—I couldn't feel worse!
Get me on my feet again. You promised, remember?
Train me well in Your deep wisdom.
Help me understand these things inside and out
so I can ponder Your miracle-wonders.
Build me up again by Your Word.
Grace me with Your clear revelation.
I choose the true road to Somewhere,
I post Your road signs at every curve and corner.
I grasp and cling to whatever You tell me;
God, don't let me down!
I'll run the course You lay out for me
if You'll just show me how.

God, teach me lessons for living so I can stay the course.
Give me insight so I can do what You tell me—

my whole life one long, obedient response.
Guide me down the road of Your commandments;
Affirm Your promises to me—promises made to all who fear You.
What You say is always so good.
Preserve my life through Your righteous ways!

Let Your love, God, shape my life with salvation,
exactly as You promised;
Don't ever deprive me of truth, not ever—

Your commandments are what I depend on.
I'll guard with my life what You've revealed to me, guard it now, guard it ever;
I cherish Your commandments—oh, how I love them!—

relishing every fragment of Your counsel.

Your promises rejuvenate me.
I set Your instructions to music and sing them

as I walk this pilgrim way.
I meditate on Your name all night, God,

treasuring Your revelation, O God.
I live by Your Word and counsel.

Because You have satisfied me, God,
I promise to do everything You say.
I beg You from the bottom of my heart:

smile, be gracious to me just as You promised.
No for a minute did I forget Your plan for me.
I get up in the middle of the night to thank You;

Your decisions are so right, so true—I can't wait till morning!
I'm a friend and companion of all who fear You,

of those committed to living by Your rules.
Your love, God, fills the earth!
Train me to live by Your counsel.

Be good to Your servant, God; be as good as Your Word.
Train me in good common sense;

I'm thoroughly committed to living Your way.
I'm in step with Your Word.
You are good, and the source of good;

train me in Your goodness.
I focus my attention on what You are saying;
I dance to the tune of Your revelation.
Truth from Your mouth means more to me

than striking it rich in a gold mine.
With Your very own hands You formed me;
now breathe Your wisdom over me so I can understand You.
I can see now, God, that Your decisions are right;

Your testing has taught me what's true and right.
Oh, love me—and right now!—hold me tight!
 just the way You promised.
Now comfort me so I can live, really live;

Your revelation is the tune I dance to.
Let me live whole and holy, soul and body,

so I can always walk with my head held high.

I'm waiting for Your word of hope.
I keep a steady gaze on the instructions You post.
Everything You command is a sure thing.
In Your great love revive me

so I can alertly obey Your every word.

What You say goes, God, and stays,
as permanent as the heavens.
Your truth never goes out of fashion;

it's as up-to-date as the earth when the sun comes up.
Your Word and truth are dependable as ever; that's what You ordered—

You set the earth going.
I'll never forget the advice You gave me;

You saved my life with those wise words.
Save me! I'm all Yours.
I look high and low for Your words of wisdom.
I'm only concerned with Your plans for me.
I see the limits to everything human,

but the horizons can't contain Your commands!

Oh, how I love all You've revealed;
I reverently ponder it all the day long.
I've become wiser than the wise old sages

simply by doing what You tell me.
I watch my step, avoiding the ditches and ruts of evil

so I can spend all my time keeping Your Word.
I never make detours from the route You laid out;

You gave me such good directions.
Your words are so choice, so tasty;

I prefer them to the best home cooking.
With Your instruction, I understand life.
By Your words I can see where I'm going;
they throw a beam of light on my dark path.
I've committed myself and I'll never turn back

from living by Your righteous order.
Festoon me with Your finest sayings, God;

teach me Your holy rules.
I inherited Your book on living; it's mine forever—

what a gift! And how happy it makes me!
I concentrate on doing exactly what You say—

I always have and always will.

I love Your clear-cut revelation.
You're my place of quiet retreat;
I wait for Your Word to renew me.
Take my side as You promised; I'll live then for sure.
 Don't disappoint all my grand hopes.
Stick with me and I'll be all right;

I'll give total allegiance to Your definitions of life.
I lovingly embrace everything You say.
I shiver in awe before You;

Your decisions leave me speechless with reverence.

Take the side of Your servant, good God;
Let Your love dictate how You deal with me;
teach me from Your textbook on life.
I'm Your servant—help me understand what that means,
the inner meaning of Your instructions.

Yea-Saying God, I love what You command,
I love it better than gold and gemstones;
Yea-Saying God, I honor everything You tell me,
I despise every deceitful detour.

Every word You give me is a miracle word—
how could I help but obey?
Turn my way, look kindly on me,

as You always do to those who personally love You.
Steady my steps with Your Word of promise

so nothing malign gets the better of me.
Rescue me from the grip of bad men and women

so I can live life Your way.
Smile on me, Your servant; teach me the right way to live.
You are right and You do right, God;
Your decisions are right on target.
You rightly instruct us in how to live ever faithful to You.
Your promise has been tested through and through,

and I, Your servant, love it dearly.
Your righteousness is eternally right,

Your revelation is the only truth.
The way You tell me to live is always right;

help me understand it so I can live to the fullest.

I call out at the top of my lungs, "God! Answer! I'll do whatever You say."
I called to You, "Save me so I can carry out all Your instructions."
I was up before sunrise, crying for help, hoping for a word from You.
I stayed awake all night, prayerfully pondering Your promise.
In Your love, listen to me; in Your justice, God, keep me alive.
You're the closest of all to me, God, and all Your judgments true.

Take my side and get me out of this;

give me back my life, just as You promised.
Your mercies, God, run into the billions;

following Your guidelines, revive me.
I don't swerve from the directions You gave.
Take note of how I love what You tell me;

out of Your life of love, prolong my life.
Your words all add up to the sum total: Truth.
Your righteous decisions are eternal.

I'm ecstatic over what You say, like one who strikes it rich.
I love what You have revealed.
Seven times each day I stop and shout praises
for the way You keep everything running right.
For those who love what You reveal, everything fits.
I wait expectantly for Your salvation;
God, I do what You tell me.
My soul guards and keeps all Your instructions—
oh, how much I love them!
I follow Your directions, abide by Your counsel;
my life's an open book before You.

Let my cry come right into Your presence, God;
provide me with the insight that comes only from Your Word.
Give my request Your personal attention,

rescue me on the terms of Your promise.
Let praise cascade off my lips; after all,

You've taught me the truth about life!
And let Your promises ring from my tongue;

every order You've given is right.
Put Your hand out and steady me since I've chosen to live by Your counsel.
I'm homesick, God, for Your salvation;

I love it when You show Yourself!
Invigorate my soul so I can praise You well,

use Your decrees to put iron in my soul.
And should I wander off like a lost sheep—seek me!
I'll recognize the sound of Your voice.