I Sing Because I'm Free

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Seek and ye shall find…

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It happened again… I lost yet another piece of jewelry that I love- my sideways cross necklace…

I have lost many items of jewelry.  Once I lost my diamond wedding rings in the grocery store just down the street- and they were found. Another time I lost a gold earring out in the lake in our neighborhood-and it was found several days later by someone who was there the day I lost it and kept looking for me!

 For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.  Matthew 7:7-8

And I am reminded that it is good to look for things.. to seek the tangible and intangible.  There was once a time when I would shy away from talking about God because I didn’t know Him… what I didn’t know or understood scared me.

As we were driving yesterday, my girls began asking me questions… “Momma, who made God?”  “What does heaven look like?”  And instead of shrugging my shoulders and saying I didn’t know- like I would have done years ago, I told them what I do know.

Because I have been relentlessly pursuing Him, seeking to know Him through prayer, the Word, and through worship, I am not scared of these questions. It has been through having a personal relationship with Christ that I have come to know just how awesome He is!   I smile at the girls’ questions…

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.  Genesis 1:1

So I tell them that God has always been, and that He will forever be… and I tell them that I don’t know exactly what heaven will look like, but I can imagine it!  I tell them to think of the most beautiful place they could imagine… and then imagine being with all the things that make them the happiest they have ever been… I think heaven is going to be even better than that!  And we all smile together, each of us deep in thought about how marvelous Heaven will be!

And as I straighten and clean my room this morning, there I find my cross necklace- knotted up laying under a pile of clothes on my bed!  I smile and thank Him for His goodness.  Why do I love this sideways cross?  On Good Friday, several of us from church carried a large wooden cross and walked down a busy street in town, just as Jesus and His disciples did thousands of  years ago- and as I helped to carry the cross that day, I noticed that as we all held it, we carried it sideways.  Our burdens are lighter when we carry them together… He died on the cross so that we may live for Him.

Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it.  Matthew 16:24-25

This sideways cross reminds me that my life is not my own, and that He is with me, helping me to carry any burden that I may have… and helping me to seek Him and find Him in all things – and my girls remind me that asking questions is a good thing!

I love those who love me, and those who seek me find me.  Proverbs 8:17

 

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Waiting on You

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I am going to share one of my pet peeves today…

Countless times I have gone to a grocery store and have brought my girls with me.  Those of you with children know what a challenge this can be… so the fact that I make it up to the checkout counter in one piece with both girls and have not lost my marbles is a small miracle in itself.  So after everything has been rung up, I am reaching into my wallet to pull out my debit card and I hear the cashier say, “Waiting on you!”  Well, don’t you see that I am trying as fast as I can to get out of here and I have my card in hand, about ready to swipe??  

Patience is something I am severely lacking.  I cannot even bear to shop online because I do not want to wait 3-5 shipping days for my purchased items to be in-hand.  I pray for patience daily. I am not proud of this, but I also find myself wishing away the summer.  I have been blessed with two beautiful, healthy, fun girls, but summertime definitely requires more multi-tasking, disciplining, more balancing of “hats”, and much less “quiet” time-  and part of me longs for the routine of school days.

And as I am praying for patience, I see that God is speaking to me.  I opened my Bible and on the front page is this verse-

Children are a gift from the Lord; They are a reward from Him.- Psalm 127:3

And it hits me like a ton of bricks… My girls are a blessing- a gift from the Lord.  Stop wishing away these summer days and have joy in these moments. Enjoy being in His presence and enjoy the gifts He has given me.  

And then I realize that He is probably saying the same thing to me that the cashier says… “I’m waiting on you”…He is waiting on me…to be thankful and grateful for what I have and to stop complaining about all the things I can’t do, but to say I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength!  He is waiting on me to see His goodness in each and every moment.  He is waiting on me to see Him in every circumstance… and to focus on all the blessings He has given me!

So the LORD must wait for you to come to him so he can show you his love and compassion.  Isaiah 30:18

And He gently reminds me how patient He has been with me…How grateful I am for His grace and His love… and I am reminded that living in fellowship with Him each and every day is a blessing that I do not deserve.  

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Being Christ-like while cleaning…

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“Noooo!!”  my children moan, as I tell them that we all need to clean our rooms…

Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips!  Psalm 141:3

Motherhood is a wonderfully fulfilling part of life that often brings me to my knees in prayer.  What an enormous responsibility it is to train up a child in the way he should go (Proverbs 22:6). I tell them that part of mommy’s job is to teach them how to clean and cook and take care of household duties.

So after I give instructions to my girls about cleaning their bedrooms,  my youngest tells me to come in and help her.  Often  I would get irritated at this request, and immediately demand that she begin the process herself, but something made me take time from my own cleaning duties to help her with hers.

Lord, help me to be self-less, and Christ-like… putting my girls first…the things I need to do can wait…

And so I put a smile on my face and sat in her floor…

With sheer glee on her face, she picked up each article of clothing and put it in a drawer, the whole time saying how proud her friend would be when she saw her clean room.  She asked me to make her bed, and I did.  She carefully put stuffed animals on it, and put away everything on her floor.  She happily chatted with me while I was in her room helping her make it tidy…

And then it hit me- one of the most important things I can do as a mom is to build relationships with my girls.  Loving, trusting relationships that show them that I care about them, about their feelings, about what they like.  And so I listened to her talk about how excited she was to have a friend over this evening, and I shared in her joy.  I can remember the anticipation of having a friend over and wanting to make them happy.  How special it was to see life through the eyes of an (almost) 8 year old!  It is the little things like this that make being a mommy just about the most wonderful thing ever!

So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.  1 Corinthians 10:31

When we do things with others in mind it makes them more meaningful.  When we do things for His glory, it makes them acts of worship!   I seriously dislike doing dishes,  but when I think of how much my husband will appreciate walking into a clean kitchen, it brings me joy.  I love to hear the girls giggle with anticipation as they hear Daddy coming up the steps of the basement, eagerly waiting to hear his praise for  their hard work.  They took pride in their cleaning today, and so did I.  And the girls and I grew a little closer in our relationships. Mothers and daughters… learning and growing together- doing mundane chores with others in mind.   And I grow in my relationship with Christ as He reminds me that He is the center of my life and my home.

as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord- Joshua 24:15

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Takin’ Out The Trash…and yes, I wrote a song about it…

 

 

I’m taking out the trash.. literally and figuratively… (btw, hubby, we forgot again to put the actual trash out this week!!!)  Yeah, I’m not the best at cleaning and cooking and being a housekeeper… just a few more things He shows me much grace for!

Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?  Matthew 6:25

I am finally getting rid of things- clothes, to be exact.  You know the ones- the “goal” clothes… the ones we stare at and envision how it will feel to finally wear this or that, as if our entire lives would change with each piece of clothing we torture ourselves with. Instead of holding onto these little reminders of what I am not, I am going to remind myself of this-

For you created my inmost being;
    you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    your works are wonderful,
    I know that full well.  Psalm 139

About a year ago, I did a little experiment.  I decided to go an entire day with no makeup and put absolutely no effort in the way I looked. This was an “errand” day.   I wondered if people would really look at me and treat me any differently.  You know what I found?  My day was no different than usual… except that I didn’t focus on my outward appearance. It was actually very freeing!  The way I look does not change who I am… I am God’s child… fearfully and wonderfully made…

You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy,  that my heart may sing your praises and not be silent.  Lord my God, I will praise you forever.  Psalm 30:11-12

Forget my “goal” clothes…. My goal is to daily clothe myself in the joy of the Lord!  Who needs all the clutter of extra clothes lying around anyway?! I will not make my self-worth tied to the size of my clothes, the number on the scale, the friends I have, the mistakes I have made…  I’m taking out the trash, getting rid of junk I don’t need and all those negative thoughts that are swimming in my head.  Lord, fill me with Your truths….

 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made-  Psalm 139

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