The Truth is in the Handbag
Shari Braendel

"Since you are my rock and my fortress, for the sake of your name lead and guide me." Psalm 31:3 (NIV)

I recently watched as a frazzled shopper fumbled around in her bag trying to find her allusive keys. As she dug through her overstuffed purse, multiple items spilled out, landing on the counter and falling to the floor. Quickly, she began collecting her items.

I thought about her pretty purse, beautiful on the outside but hiding an unruly mess on the inside. And then I started thinking about how alike women and purses can be.

Maybe you're like a small purse that only has the capacity to hold a few things. Yet you try stuffing more into your life than you can hold, only to get frustrated. Perhaps one of those things is God: He's been crammed into a tiny space in your world and you don't give Him much room to rule because you feel more comfortable when you are in control.

Perhaps you're like a big purse, carrying all kinds of things. You're involving yourself in so many activities just because you can; with no real purpose to why you're doing it. You end up flustered like the shopper digging for her keys because you haven't spent the time needed to organize your spiritual life.

I know you're not a handbag, but when applying biblical truth and application, what kind of purse are you most like?

It's not God's desire for our inside to be out of sync with our outside. He desires for us to have our hearts turned toward Him and have our very pulse in beat with what He is doing in us.

Where should we start to curb the chaos, release our controlling tendencies and lighten the busyness to fall in step with God?

Start by being still. For some, that will go against every fiber of your being, but try it. Perhaps you abide in chaos because it's masking what is really going on with you, just like your pretty purse hides the unorganized mess within. Sit quietly and pray for God to help you be keenly aware of Him. Nothing that you are going through is a surprise to God.

Next, relax and trust the Lord. Sometimes feeling out of control causes you to hyper-control everything around you. Let go of your fears, doubts and worries and make room for God in your life.

Finally, clear your calendar. We overbook and over-schedule out of habit and now busy feels normal. Is your fast pace driven by fear, or does it define your value or identity? If so, re-evaluate where your time and energy are being spent and why.

Making a change doesn't come easily, but it can be done. Although seeking out time with God, learning to trust Him, and reorganizing your priorities can feel uncomfortable and difficult at first, I know for sure that it's not nearly as hard as living overcommitted and out of control.

Together, let's commit to cleaning out our "purses!"

Dear Father, will You please meet me right here, right now and quiet my heart so that I can rest and regroup? Thank You for the comfort of knowing that while I sometimes get waylaid, You never take Your eyes from me. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Related Resources:
Do You Know Him?

Visit Shari’s blog where she is giving away two spectacular handbags and signed copies of her brand new book, Good Girls Don't Have to Dress Bad!

Walking with God in the Quiet Places: Devotions for Women by Various Authors, including Lysa TerKeurst

Intimacy with God: Establishing a Vibrant Quiet Time and Prayer Time by Tara Furman

Take a quiet moment to read our free resource, Good Thing or God Thing?

Application Steps:
Take a moment to journal what you are thinking right now. This is for you only, so feel free to be absolutely honest and dig deep.

Challenge yourself to make one change; slow and steady wins the race.

Do I believe God is in control?

Do I trust Him with my whole heart? If not, what am I holding back and why?

If God has more planned for my life than just coping, can I embrace a change for the better?

Power Verses:
2 Thessalonians 3:3, "The Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen and protect you from the evil one." (NIV)

Hebrews 13:20-21, "May the God of peace…equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen." (NIV)

Zephaniah 3:17, "The Lord your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing." (NIV)

© 2010 by Shari Braendel. All rights reserved.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sometimes as I have put God to the side, this very thought has come to me. I find time to do all the things I want to do, but very little time for God. Yesterdays devotion and todays just spoke to my heart. I started yesterday to try and put time in with Bible reading. That is something I have put to the side and I know that is wrong. Thanks for the devotion.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you Shari! I have to admit if I were a purse I would be STUFFED! Need to trim it down a little and trust God to fill in the blanks. And He will! Also I went over to your website. LOVE IT!! Wonderful job! I put it on my favorites and will be going back routinely.

Anonymous Kate Spade ;) said...

Thank you Shari! I love tangible analogies because now, everytime I dig through my purse, I'll be reminded that God has things under control - there is order among the chaos.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you! What a wonderful analogy. Being a mom of 4 I so often feel I have to do equal "volunteering" for each child and then not only God but my children can get overlooked because of all I am doing for them! Thank you for putting into words so perfectly what my soul already new!

Anonymous Judi said...

Several years ago I had to attend twice weekly physical therapy sessions for an injury to my left shoulder, neck and back. Relief from the nagging pain and stiffness would only last until the next session. One day as I was leaving my dedicated therapist assured me that he would not give up on me. As soon as I threw the handles of my handbag over my shoulder his eyes lit up. He led me to the office scale where we weighed the culprit.
I went out and purchased a small wallet purse I could wear accross my chest. Carrying only the essentials my pain dissappeared. Your devo is a very real reminder to live life lite and uncluttered.
God bless you.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

i was just reading acts 3:19 this morning when i woke up with a bad dream. i am a single parent and haven't been intimate with a man for nearly ten years. i spent too much time with facebook account last night and did not even pray before going to bed. the dream i had was sex with a man that it felt real and gave me a yucky feeling when i woke up. i did not even like the man in my dream. i wrote on my journal this morning and that verse spoke to me.

i have a lot of spending reciepts in my purse and a few toys from my child. :) it could be my spending habits and my longings to engage in sex, because i miss the sexual intimacy! i did not do it physically, but i may have allowed my mind/heart to become impure. i desire to honour god with my pure heart, body, mind and soul!

i do not want to have that kind of dream again and it was freaky how it can enter in my mind through a dream.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Speaking of Proverbs 31...check out . It's an awesome company that got the name from Proverbs 31.

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