A Fettered Heart

A Fettered Heart

Can I just invite you into my morning? All the little details that are typically left out of a blog post? Today, they will be included because sometimes a peak into someone else’s crazy feels good.


Welcome to my morning.


It is quiet at this very moment. (Except for the sound of giggles and little voices upstairs playing.) I have three “littles” today and the day will be active. So busy that I almost didn’t get my oldest on the bus today.


Thank you Lord for pulling my eyes towards the clock just in time to grab his coat and usher him out the door. Be close to him today as he navigates the halls of kindergarten.


I sit down to write this post. I have a heating pack on my belly because–womanhood. I am fighting the urge to just stop right now and tidy up the already destroyed house because–three littles.


Deep breath. “Be still and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10)


Have you ever had to write something (specifically spiritually-based) and just felt empty?






But then, because God is faithful and He meets with me this morning, this song is brought to the forefront of my mind:


“O to grace how great a debtor

Daily I’m constrained to be!

Let Thy goodness, like a fetter,

Bind my wandering heart to Thee.

Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,

Prone to leave the God I love;

Here’s my heart, O take and seal it,

Seal it for Thy courts above.”*


I wonder, what is a “fetter”? A quick google search and I find the definition:


fetter: restrained with chains, typically around the ankles


There you are, Lord. Once again, You meet me right where I am.


It only took a few minutes this morning. A few minutes of slowing down–putting aside the housework, allowing the children to play and make a mess–and I am ushered into the heavenly space of my Father’s courts. He speaks to me and even moves me to tears.


The littles are now in dining room, just a few feet from me, and their giggles and creativity in playing bring me joy instead of anxiety about the mess of toys.


Thank you, Lord, for these little people. Help me to have patience today. Help me to show them You, over and over and over again. Fill me up so that only You flow out of me and into them.


My thoughts drift back to the fetter. God’s ways are counter-intuitive. Who would ever want to be restrained with chains around the ankles to someone? No. The world tells us differently: don’t let anyone tie you down; don’t allow anyone to tell you what to do or not to do. BUT WHEN we understand, experience and fall in love with our good good Father, something changes. We understand God and His qualities, and our love and adoration for Him draws us closer. Instead of desiring what our sinful hearts want, we find ourselves singing and praying like this:


Lord, chain me to You. My heart wants to wander. Everyday my heart tugs me into sinful places…places that I know are not for my benefit or fulfilling. Lord, bind my heart to Yours. Seal it for You. Coat my heart with Your Holy Spirit that cannot be penetrated or moved.


Because the chains that bind us to our Heavenly Father are light:


“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)


I have to step away from the computer to help the littles get a game down from the shelf that I am certain will only cause trouble. I decide to let them give it a try.


Yeah, that game didn’t go well. I help them pick up all the tiny little pieces spread across the kitchen floor and return the game to the high shelf. The littles are back to playing with the million toys strewn across the living room floor. Already I feel it. The feeling of a wandering heart….one that wants to quickly move from the peace God has just bestowed on me to anger at the state of the living room floor.


Lord, once again, here is my heart. Take it. Seal it. Shackle it to You with the lightest yet strongest of chains.


Perhaps that song should say: O to grace how great a debtor, MOMENT BY MOMENT I’m constrained to be.


And the littles are fighting. They need my attention.


Lord, thank you for filling me up once again. Overflow out of me and into the hearts of the littles You have given me today. Help me to be the ambassador You desire for me to be in their lives. Thank you that because You have shown me grace over and over again, I can extend that same grace to them, pointing them back to You.


The peaceful playtime in the house is gone, but the peace in my heart is full.


Thank you, my friends, for entering my morning with me. Let’s do it a little more often. Share life with each other, that is. If you don’t have a community surrounding you that you can pray with and grow in the Lord together, let’s work on that. Maybe it’s a New Years resolution? Maybe Imperfectly Brave can help you. We have lots of resources right here at your fingertips.


As I get up to diffuse a situation with the littles and wipe away the tears and snot, let me share one more crumb from the Heavenly feast that the Spirit is giving me:


“Let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:1-2)


Today I pray that you chose to lay aside the heavy burden of a wandering heart and chose the freedom that comes with being bound to the One who cares more deeply for our souls than we can imagine.



*Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing

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