I Sing Because I'm Free

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Every Moment I Surrender…

Going through the motions… I have been here  so many times.  I have been through many seasons of feeling so completely connected to God,  and then there are other times when I feel nothing…  I wrote this song a while back when I was praying for God to show up and fix a problem, and I felt like I was doing everything I could do, and I was really, really frustrated.

Just when I think I’ve given all, You show me just how short I fall… Every moment I surrender…

About the time I thought I couldn’t do any more, I realized that I needed to completely surrender it to God.  Even though I was praying relentlessly, I was not trusting that He would take care of it in His time.  I wanted Him to tell me to do something… I know now that all He wanted me to do is to trust Him and lay my  burdens at His feet…. and wait…

But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles.  They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.  Isaiah 40:31

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Matthew 11:28

Make Me Yours

I’m doing all the things that I know to do

I’m praying every day-

I need You to be more than just the written Word

Let it live inside my heart- make me Yours.

Awaken my passion- light this spark.

Show me I’m not alone

Won’t You melt this heart of stone?

Fill my life again and make me Yours.

Strengthen me for each new day

Lord, show me Your perfect way

Fill my life again and make me yours.

Draw me closer to You

through the storms of life.

I lay them at Your feet

I sacrifice-

Everything I have I give to You

Use this, Lord,

Make me new.

Just when I think I’ve given all

You show me just how short I fall

Every moment I surrender to You

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Being Christ-Like… even while doing yard work…

 

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We despise yard work.  I don’t say this lightly.  In fact, despise is not a strong enough word for how we really feel about this activity.  We are both “city-folk” and came from homes that had parking pads instead of long driveways.  So, we have a big mess of a yard that needs a lot of work done to it.  We finally took the plunge and got mulch.  That seems like a small step towards redeeming our yard, but we did it… I’m not talking about a little pile of mulch… I mean a ginormous dump-truck sized pile… to be spread over our entire backyard.  

We are both head-strong and like to do things our own ways.  

Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord- Ephesians 5:2

He is a planner, I am care-free.  He likes to organize, I live and thrive in disarray.  Organized chaos, I like to call it!  He likes things his way, and I like them mine…

So, realizing my own tendencies, and knowing that he probably already has a plan in mind of how to spread the mulch, I hold my hand up in a truce… 

“Let’s be Christ-like today,”  I say with a smirk on my face.. he knows what I mean.  I lift my hand and we high-five each other.   I love him and I am going to try my best to be his helper today.  He loves me and he is also going to do the same.  It is a gorgeous day. I am going to  enjoy being with my husband.  

Is there any encouragement from belonging to Christ? Any comfort from his love? Any fellowship together in the Spirit? Are your hearts tender and compassionate?  Then make me truly happy by agreeing wholeheartedly with each other, loving one another, and working together with one mind and purpose.  Philippians 2

And so I break out in song as I rake… “praise God from whom all blessings flow… praise Him all creatures here below….” and my husband chimes in.  He shovels mulch into the wheelbarrow, and dumps it as I quickly come behind him, raking it and evening it out.  We are working like a well-oiled machine.  

It is a joy to be like-minded with my husband and to share the common goal of taking responsibility for something we have long overlooked.  Our labor is beginning to bear fruit, as we look out over our back yard and see what looks like a carpet of chocolate.  

But the best part of all is knowing that we did this together!  

And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity- Colossians 3:14

 

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Putting the Pieces Together

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Deep thoughts…. as my girls watch The Brady Bunch in the next room, my hubby is on his way home from work.  I am lost in thought as I enjoy a quiet dinner at the dining room table.

We took a family vacation last year to the Outer Banks and it was probably the best week we have ever had together- that is until this year’s Outer Banks vacation!  We discovered something we love to do as a family- puzzles!  We become lost in thought, mindlessly matching up colors to like colors, edge pieces to edge pieces… there is something therapeutic about building a puzzle.  It takes teamwork, lots of time, patience, and the final picture is the ultimate reward.

We went to Barnes and Noble last Sunday on my birthday and decided to get a puzzle to work on at home.  Why wait until vacation next summer for the festivities to begin?!  David picked out two puzzles and had the girls choose which one we would get.  They chose a colorful one with hot air balloons- rainbow colored ones!

As I sat at the table eating my dinner this evening, I see that all the edges of the puzzle have been put together and there are many little clusters of joined puzzle pieces….. then I think about how God is forming our lives.  He has built this beautiful framework for each of us.  I have spent so  much of my life  putting the wrong pieces together, trying to fit in here and there…   and then I think about how many years I have been with my husband and wonder why we have waited this long to put a puzzle together… married for 16, and we’ve been together for nearly 19 years!  You’d think we would have tried just about every hobby in the world in that amount of time!

I think about life, and the picture God is trying to paint with it.  We have all these pieces, and the framework… but we have to let Him guide us as we put the pieces together.

We walk by faith, not by sight- 2 Corinthians 5:7

The first thing we do when we put together a puzzle is make sure we can see the box clearly so we know what colors to look for.  We walk by faith when we put our puzzle pieces in God’s hands.  We can’t see the picture He is painting, but we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose- Romans 8:28.  

I am anxiously waiting to see what kind of beautiful picture He will put together in each of my children’s lives… and my husband’s.. and my own.   Time is flying by and I don’t want to waste another minute wondering what kind of picture He is painting.  I’m putting all my pieces in His hands…

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The Kindness of Strangers

Going out to lunch… this is something we do almost every Sunday after church.  Some Sundays it’s family time, and sometimes we go out with friends.  Since today was Father’s Day, it was Daddy’s turn to pick the restaurant and it was just the four of us.  Daddy decided to go to the one restaurant that Sophie does not like. We all love the food, but there is this one little thing that scares Sophie to death…

The movie “The Incredibles” has been one that we have always loved, but Sophie does NOT love this movie!  The character Edna scares her for some reason, and always has.  Well, the restaurant that Daddy chose just happened to be one that has a movie poster of “The Incredibles” hanging on the wall.

Daddy got to the restaurant first and told them to seat us far away from the poster. Sophie agreed that it was Daddy’s day and that she was going to be a brave and not look at the poster.  Well, we got inside the restaurant and she stared at the floor, desperately trying not to look over at the poster, and just as she whizzed through the aisle, she hit her shoulder on the corner of a table, really hard.  I felt terrible, and I knew why she was walking so quickly, and why she wasn’t looking where she was going.  She tried to hold in her tears, but they flowed down her little cherub cheeks.

The waitress who saw all of this came over and offered her ice for her shoulder, and asked what she could do to help.  I explained the whole thing about the poster and her fear of it and   the waitress was so kind.  She immediately walked over to the wall and took it down.  She didn’t ask her any questions and didn’t make her feel uncomfortable.  In fact, she said how about we give you some ice cream to make you feel better.  Well, you KNOW that immediately stopped her tears and she was smiling in no time!  We got to our table, and Daddy had seen the whole interaction from afar.  I explained what had happened, and just that quickly the waitress came with a milkshake for Sophie, and then brought one for Katie as well.

I am so thankful for the kindness that these waitresses showed to my daughter.  All of our kids have their own little quirks or fears.  As a parent, I want to protect them from any and every fear that they have, but I know that this will not always be possible.   I am proud of Sophie for wanting to face her fear, and I am grateful for the kindness of the waitresses who helped make an awkward situation a little better.

Philippians 4:6 says  Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  I frequently tell my girls this verse.  I know that there will be times that I cannot protect them from their worries and fears, but I pray and trust that the Lord will always be with them.  I am thankful that He used the kindness of the waitresses today to help Sophie face her fears.

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Grace Like Rain

I love the rain.  I love the sound, the feel, the smell, the mood it evokes.  It is elegant and musical.  Rain seems to have a personality all its own.   My love affair with rain began when I was a little girl.

I never felt like I “fit in” as a child.  I was tall, terribly shy, and overweight.  Most days I didn’t feel like I had a friend in the world.  As a child, I often felt like I was looking through my windows watching all the other kids play and have fun.  It wasn’t any fun feeling left out.  So, when it rained, it brought me a little bit of happiness… because EVERY OTHER KID was sitting inside their house wanting to be outside.   As a child, when it rained, I felt like I finally “fit in” with everyone else.  We were all miserable!

I still love the rain- but for very different reasons.  It makes things new- gives new life to plants and makes every growing thing just a little greener.  Green is also my favorite color, in case you didn’t know… Our cable satellite dish always seems goes out when it rains and it conveniently happens when our favorite shows come on, but it beckons me to take a “time out” from TV and snuggle up on the couch and read with my girls, or play with our beloved dog, Remy…My favorite thing to do when it rains is to sit at my piano and sing and play worship songs.  Rain brings a certain spontaneity and creativity that I adore!

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.”– 2 Corinthians

You see, God has the power to change us.  I am a new creation because I am His!  He continues to transform me inside and out- and He has changed the way I feel about rain.   I am no longer that child looking through the window, praying for rain to make me feel whole.  Now, I can praise Him for each drop of rain that comes down, for it is by His grace that He makes me whole!  I see the rain fall and I am reminded of the grace that flows down on us each day.  I am reminded of the old me and how far He has brought me.  I am thankful and grateful for all that He is, and all that He has done for me.

 

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