It’s a simple habit, but for the length of my life I have failed miserably to develop it with consistency. Nearly every morning, when I’m finished brushing my teeth, I can’t be bothered to make three twists to secure the cap back on the toothpaste. Next time I’m brushing my teeth, I have to fight through a formidable crust just to squeeze out the tiny amount of paste my chompers so desperately need. The CRUSTY doesn’t just mean more work in the morning (a time at which I need NOTHING extra in my schedule), it’s also COMPLETELY NASTY. All visions of pearl white teeth that sparkle in the sun flee in ABJECT HORROR from the nasty crust covered tube. Have you ever accidentally brushed your teeth with a little bit of the crust? YUCK. #mouthvomit

This morning, looking to be inspirited by the gospel of John, I was challenged to keep my heart soft. I chuckled at the idea of my heart being covered in crusty toothpaste, but the parallel was sobering. It doesn’t take much effort to stay connected to God, keeping a soft heart. Yet it’s so easy to fall into laziness and end up with a crusty heart. I don’t know what it looks like for you, but here are the things I do to keep off the crust:

Before I get out of bed, I commit my day to follow after God. Before I leave the house, I spend a more concentrated time in prayer. At some point during the day, I’ll have an INFUSION of God’s Word. The challenge for me is to slow down during the day, even for just a minute, to acknowledge God’s presence and ask where he is leading. Prayers of thankfulness keep me on track. Admitting and confessing my faults and sins puts me back on track. At the end of the day, I take time to consider the outcome of my life and what I have to learn. I may journal or intentionally spend some time being still.

I want to ABNORMALIZE the condition of my heart. I need tiny interruptions all day long to stay connected and CRUSTY-LESS. How do you fight off the crust?