Refined Heart Living: Where did the name come from and what does it mean?
I started using the hashtag #RefinedHeart back in 2014 when I was living in Portland,OR. I had traveled to some tulip fields in April by myself and spent time wandering, praying, & reflecting. It was a week after Easter and Luke 24:32 kept running through my mind "They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?” I thought about Jesus coming to these men after the resurrection and the way their hearts were burning, He had opened their minds to understand the Scriptures and had left them with a fervency for the word. I can recall reading a passage from @Shereadstruth saying "Do we continue down the road as a different person because we walk with Jesus?" I kept thinking about how God uses challenges to help us grow- through our weakness we are made strong through Christ's power and grace (2 Corinthians 12:9) We can come boldly to Jesus with our challenges and prayers knowing that He walks with us and knows our prayers before we even ask. So this was the start of documenting the refining of my own heart through the word, my circumstances and the way that God continued to move over the last several years.
I have always had such a passion for writing and journaling, but slowly I began to see that the Lord had something bigger in mind and that I needed to start writing and sharing more of my heart. Around the same time (April 2014) I had started a blog LightLoveLauren. Then, early this year I started contemplating a new name for my blog and now business (even though I didn't know it then). I have continued to use the phrase and have documented my own refining through #refinedheart. I started thinking through a new name for the blog and my website and the Lord just put on my heart "Refined Heart Living"-- living in such a way that is a reflection of that refining.
Now before I lose you completely, while my writing is often spiritual and my original intent in "Refined Heart" was spiritual, I do feel that Refined Heart Living is also secular. To be refined means to remove impurities or unwanted elements from a substance or process- this is often seen in gold, oil, or can even be in our own hearts by God's word, or simply by the encouragement of friends, feedback from a boss, or even from challenging experiences we go through. We often hear the phrase "refine by fire" because that is how impurities are removed from Gold. So when someone says, "you have a heart of gold" I can't help but think of the refining process that someone's heart has been through.
“But He knows the way that I take [and He pays attention to it]. When He has tried me, I will come forth as [refined] gold [pure and luminous].” -JOB 23:10 AMP The Lord knows the way we take, He sees every step, He pays attention and loves is so much. There are things in our lives- circumstances, challenges, relationships that "try" us, and even still God uses it all for good. We will come forth as refined gold!
From a business standpoint refine means to develop or improve so as to be precise or subtle "building up a more refined profile of the customer's needs." Refined can also mean to improve something by making small changes in particular to make an idea, theory, perfect, polish up, hone, fine tune. It also means to be elegant and cultured in appearance, manner, taste. Some synonyms include cultivated, cultured, polished, styled, elegant, sophisticated, well mannered, gracious, polite, discerning, fine.
To me, Refined Heart Living means to live in such a way to continually refine and be refined in heart to live better and more boldly for the Lord, our families, friends, customers- those we live with, work with and those we get to love and serve on a daily basis.