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Family Grace
By Shawnelle Eliasen

Heart Open Before the Lord

Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts. (Psalm 139:23)

Logan gave me a vase of tulips for the dining room table. It’s lovely. The vase is a cylinder, tall and elegant. The tips were tight buds when he brought the vase home, and now they’re soft, yellow blooms.

But what draws my attention isn’t the silky petals. It’s the bulbs. They’re fully exposed. The tear-shaped anchors, holding energy and life, are cupped by tiny plastic prongs in the bottom of the vase. A daily refreshment of water keeps them nourished and strong. There is no soil. And I’m moved by this.

I think it’s because something that is usually hidden from sight is now open and exposed. Fully vulnerable for viewing. The bulbs are usually buried under earth, secret and shrouded. Not to be seen, known or explored. But this vase leaves them uncovered and open wide.

It’s how I want to present my heart to the Lord.

I think of David’s plea for the Lord to search him and know him, and I want to echo this heart in my own life. The inside-me that is often covered to others, buried, protected and unexposed–I want it laid bare before the Lord. Open. Honest. All hidden things uncovered.

Then he can begin the molding, shaping, holding and healing. A heart open to his work, for his glory. It seems to me a beautiful thing.

My vase of flowers means much to me. My son knew it was something I’d enjoy. But I’m thankful, when I walk through the dining room and it catches my eye, that God intended these tulips for something even more.

Lord, let my heart be fully open to you. Amen.

Shawnelle Eliasen and her husband Lonny have been married for twenty-five years. They have five sons and raise their bevy of boys in an old Victorian near the Illinois banks of the Mississippi River. Their sons, Logan, Grant, Samuel, Gabriel, and Isaiah, range in age from twenty-one to six with Shawnelle home teaching the youngest three.

Shawnelle has been writing for six years, contributing regularly to Guideposts magazine, Daily Guideposts devotional and other inspirational publications.  She would say that life with her men moves faithfully, on fast forward.  But it’s her heart’s desire, her passionate prayer, to see God’s goodness and glory in the fullness of her days. She longs to see Him in the unexpected moments, unexpected places, changing the ordinary to extraordinary and bringing quiet, sustaining grace.