Hear my cry, O God;
Give heed to my prayer.
From the end of the earth I call to You when my heart is faint;
Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.
For You have been a refuge for me,
A tower of strength against the enemy.
Let me dwell in Your tent forever;
Let me take refuge in the shelter of Your wings.

Ps 61:1-4

I’m not one much for resolutions.

Pretty much, I tend to fail at them somewhat spectacularly.

Nothing like substantial failure to really boost your self esteem, you know?

I’ve found the most effective changes have been just to choose to do something – and then :gasp: – do it.

I know – wild, right?

For years I tried to give up Coke. Tried and tried and tried – failed and failed and failed. One day – May 29, 2007 to be exact – I did. Without much fanfare or fancy footwork – just being prepared – having a plan, and saying out loud that I was gonna do it – well – it worked. I haven’t had a single Coke since – or any other soda. Not saying I don’t want one now and then – but not going there.

Literal MONTHS ago I starting to have this nagging persistent longing to do something that I began doing as a teenager – and a new creation. A very wise, very loving, truly incredible woman (Roberta Wollen) dared me to commit to memorizing scripture. You know – the Bible. You know what? I actually did it. Lots and lots of it.

Without fail – not one second of the time, effort, or resources required to do so has ever been anything but an investment that has returned about a bazillion fold blessing in my life.

One summer, when I was on staff at Sambica, a friend decided to use the Topical Memory System and invited me to join in. A-M-A-Z-I-N-G. Super – phenomenally – amazing.

Then, when I was in Bible School, one of our professors required us to memorize whole chapters – each week! – for his class. My first thought was IMPOSSIBLE! I was carrying 18 credit hours, working nearly full-time, was volunteering at church, and taking care of my Dad who was terminally ill. Funny thing how that impossible requirement was not only possible – but clearly remembered – all of these years later. Can you recite Psalm 103 from memory. I can – and only thanks to that professor!

So… I’d been thinking thoughts like, “I really ought to start memorizing again.” and “It would be so good for me to memorize more!” and “If I had an ounce of discipline in my body, you’d think I could devote it to at least memorizing some scripture!”

In short – feeling pretty much like it was unattainable – and maybe – well – okay, I’ll say it out loud – like all of the physical crap I’d been through since my stupid ibuprofen fiasco may well have affected my ability to memorize. And so much easier to just assume that – than to actually break down and do it.

Lazy, lazy girl.

So – one day at the library I came across a book – and much contrary to the method I normally employ (research online, decide if I will commit the time to read it, if I’ll like it, know something about the author) to choose books to read – just grabbed it off the shelf.

God’s kinda sneaky sometimes.

Sometimes he takes away your carefully constructed methodology to give you a chance to look up long enough to meet His loving eyes and remind you of His love…

and Faithfulness.

And why He calls you me to do stuff to start with.

I should maybe interject here I didn’t get into this book to start with. But I trudged through a couple more chapters and then – whammo – yeah – got sucked in. Enough so that I promptly got online and ordered the two follow up books in the series through the library!

Long story short – the theme of this book was God’s way of reminding me that His Word is nothing short of living breath in a life that so has no strength to draw breath on it’s own – and so desperately needs His.

So – I’m gonna do it.

I’m gonna start memorizing again.

And I’m gonna start with the verses up there at the top in Psalm 61. I was reminded of them in an old recording (How the West was One double album) and it really spoke to my soul. So I’m starting there.

I wish I had a more organized plan – but I’ll be honest – I don’t.

I’m typing up the verses, printing them out on a 3 x 5 index card, putting them on the window sill above the kitchen sink, and until I’ve got them down word for word, there the card will stay.

That I can – and will do.

So – not a New Year’s resolution – as a return to a healthy practice of my youth – that I should never have stopped with!

Join me, if you’d like.

6 thoughts on “Refuge

  1. Good for you, Dina! Currently, I have Psalm 1 written on an index card and sitting right here at my desk at work. I figure if I’m gonna do this, I better start small. 🙂 Making a habit – or concerted effort – at Scripture memory has never been my strong suit. However, I typically go right to the Bible (or when I need an answer or some encouragement, which is really often. By virtue of seeing the same verses again and again, I’ve got many memorized. If not word for word, close enough that I can find them through my concordance or a quick web search. Topically, I know right where to go for several common situations, but I know I can do more – and better. So, my motto for 2011 is to simply TRY. Good luck and may God bless our efforts!

  2. Dina, what a great post. I want to memorize Psalm 61 with you 🙂 I’ve always thought it so cool when some people could just memorize so much scripture. Will you let us know when to start memorizing the rest?

    Also, I’m excited to check out that book series!

    • You betcha, Diana. I’m looking at several options, and will post here when I choose a more formal course of action – or not – maybe I’ll just find God moving me to commit a particular scripture to memory, and then post it here. 🙂

      Hope you enjoy the books. All I can say – still – is WOW. Like – really.


  3. It sounds like we have a lot in common…God, chickens…except I haven’t been able to give up Coke yet! (One day soon, I know.)

    My family is planning to get chickens in the spring. Thanks for the honest details. It is very helpful for us beginners.

    • Hey Kristen! reat to meet you!

      Okay – so just to warn you – the chickens – WAY more addictive than Coke. 🙂 Just saying… I have a feeling giving up Coke was a walk in the park compared to what it would be like to giving up chickens! But hey – if you have any questions – let me know, okay?

      And yes, you’re right – we do have a lot in common! Stopped by your blog briefly. We went through 6 miscarriages, lost a baby at 23 weeks, and then… William! 🙂 Interesting how God uses those incredibly dark moments to weave together a precious and beautiful thing.


      • Thanks for checking out the site!

        It’s also funny that you call your chickens “the girls.” My next door neighbor has the same nickname for her four (…that’s all we can have in the “city limits” here).

        We also had a daring hawk…who ate two of her first four. We’ll be cautiously warning our girls when we get them. Though, as I have learned from you, it will most likely be to no avail. 🙂

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