I Sing Because I'm Free

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Make Like a Tree and Leave

A sweet chestnut forest in the swiss alps(Ticino)

Since he himself has gone through suffering and testing, he is able to help us when we are being tested.  Hebrews 2:18

 

“Make Like a Tree and Leave”

everywhere I look

temptations lurk

seeking to derail

hoping I fail

and fall

into sin’s trap

sticky like sap

it clings to me

images of

the enemy

and what he

wants me to be

Get thee

behind me!

By the grace of He

and His mercy

I am now free

So to the enemy

I say-

make like a tree

 

 

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Son Rise Haiku

 

sun rise

Sky ablaze with pink

A marvelous creation

Praises overflow!

I have always loved haikus-  so simple, yet poignant! To convey a thought in such few words leaves much to the imagination, which is one reason I love them.  As the girls and I waited for the school bus this morning, I found myself looking up at the clouds in wonder.  How awesome He is that He would hand-paint our sky each day!  God is good!

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
    his mercies never come to an end;
 they are new every morning;
    great is your faithfulness.  Lamentations 3:22-23

Thank you, Lord, for another day to serve You, to worship You, and to see Your goodness!  May You use me today for Your purpose and for Your glory!

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Somebody’s watching me

A woman’s eye. Esperanto: Virina okulo. França...

Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are his dear children. Live a life filled with love, following the example of  Christ.  He loved us and offered himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God.  Ephesians 5

Everywhere we go, people are watching us.  On this particularly beautiful fall day, I ventured out to another doctor’s office- one I had never been to before.  I checked in and sat down in a chair close to the children’s play area. There was an elderly lady on one side of me, and a young man, who looked to be about 20, dressed nicely sitting directly across from me.  I smiled at them both and enjoyed the quiet music playing over the loudspeaker, and the warm sunshine breaking through the mini-blinds.

It was no sooner that I smiled at each of them that the young man slid down onto the floor, transfixed by a child’s toy- a bead maze- one much like my girls loved to play with as toddlers!   I watched him as he slowly moved each bead over to one side and then back again.  He then stood up and gently placed the toy back where it belonged and grabbed a book.  “The Wiggles” were on the front, as well as a clock that had moveable hands.  Once again, he was fascinated by each page,and changed the hands on the clock at every page turn.  I was overwhelmed watching him… I fought back tears as I thought about him and his family- and how precious life is and just how much I take for granted.

Most people know that I crack every joint in my body- like popcorn!  As I watched this young man become enthralled in the simple pleasures around him, I placed my hands on my head and jaw. POP! CRACK! POP!  And the young man quickly looked up from his book, startled by the loud popping and cracking, and tilts his head to the side, inquisitively.  I watched as he placed one hand on the top of his head and the other hand on his jaw and he began to attempt to crack his neck.  It was quite obvious he had not done this before, but he was imitating what he saw me do.  He awkwardly yanked his head from side to side as he smiled at me.  I had to hold back my giggles- not at the young man, but at how silly I must have looked to him jerking my own head back and forth!

This young man, who, at first glance looked much like a doctor himself, was so childlike and carefree.  When I open my eyes to the world around me, I can easily see how He uses simple interactions to remind me of this truth-  you never know who is watching you- and at what lengths they will go to imitate you.  Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do!

For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps. 1 Peter 2:21
Lord, help me to continue to see Your goodness in everything around me.  Help me to be Christ-like in every thought, every word I say, and in everything that I do.  Lord, help me be more like You!
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Kernels of Truth

English: Candy corn, specifically Brach's cand...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Oh, oooh!  Can I finish it?” my daughter begs as she holds up a plastic jar of “trail mix”.  This isn’t just some ole trail mix you’d buy from the store.  This is a home-made, one-of-a kind jar filled with sweet, salty goodness made by a friend.  Imagine this- teddy grahams, m&m’s, peanuts, and candy corn!  Candy Corn!  Sweet goodness…. Somebody STOP ME!  I couldn’t stop myself from eating this all day… so I welcomed my girls finishing off the delectable jar of treats.

Candy corn has always been a favorite of mine.  I haven’t had it in years- until today, but the first taste of it brought me back to childhood.  Swirling leaves on fall days, wearing warm sweaters, sitting in my driveway talking about all sorts of deep things….like what we are going to dress up as for Halloween, and what our new favorite song was on the radio.

So I ask my oldest, as she steals each kernel of candy corn from the jar, how her day was.  She says “Oh, Mommy!  God really does hear every single prayer!”  I smile inquisitively and ask her what she means by that.  “Well, I prayed that there would still be one more piece of candy corn in the jar, and there wasn’t just one, there were two!”

I told her she was silly.  And then I had to correct myself.  If He cares for each sparrow that falls to the ground, how much more does He care for each of us?  And who am I to say God doesn’t deserve praise and glory for something as small as a my daughter finding an extra piece of candy corn?!

What is the price of two sparrows—one copper coin? But not a single sparrow can fall to the ground without your Father knowing it. And the very hairs on your head are all numbered.  So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows.  Matthew 10:29-31

And then, without skipping a beat, she continues to talk about her day.  She says “Momma, I think Ruby is starting to like church!” And then she bowed her head, folded her hands together,  and showed me how they both prayed for something today at school.

Jesus called a little child to him and put the child among them. Then he said, “I tell you the truth, unless you turn from your sins and become like little children, you will never get into the Kingdom of Heaven.  So anyone who becomes as humble as this little child is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven.  Matthew 18:2-4

Then it hits me- all those mornings I sit in my van at the bus stop and say prayers with my girls- maybe they really are listening!  Most mornings they rush to get out of the van, and sometimes I wonder if they even hear me pray.   I tell them we need to pray, and sometimes I hear them moan and groan about it.   I think the real lesson is in not talking about it- but simply doing it.  Our actions speak so much louder than our words.  We say “Do as I say” when sometimes I need to do less talking and more “doing”.

As she smiles and shares with me the important details of her busy day, I praise Him for the simple things… for sweet memories, candy corn, and simple child-like faith.

Lord, thank You for bringing back memories of what it feels like to be a child again today!  Thank you for candy corn and for sweet girls who help me eat it.  Help me to pray without ceasing and to praise you for all things- big and small- because You are worthy of it all! 

Family

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Oct 10

In the “Waiting Room”

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One Christmas, a wise cousin of mine shared something with my oldest daughter.  Katie was going to be turning the magical age of 8 in a few short months- the long awaited age we told her she could possibly get her first American Girl doll.  On that Christmas Day, she confessed that she couldn’t bear to wait 3 more months for this beloved doll!   My cousin told her that she was in the “waiting room” and that this was a very special time- a time of anticipation!  This was a time to dream and imagine what it will actually feel like to hold that long awaited American Girl doll!

Waiting for something is just no fun!  We want something we can’t afford- no problem!  We can just “charge it”!  We look for something in a store we need and they don’t have it-no problem!   We’ll just hit a few buttons on the computer and have it shipped directly to our front door!    I’m preaching to myself because I am the worst about waiting for something!  I can’t even make an appointment for a haircut because when I finally decide to have it cut, I want it done that day… how sad is that?!  I even found myself thinking my Keurig wasn’t making coffee fast enough this morning!

It’s even harder to wait on the Lord…

I remain confident of this:  I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.  Wait for the Lord;  be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord. – Psalm 27

Waiting is so difficult.  It feels like.. I.. am… slowlyyyy…. melting… away…

He must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less.  John 3:30

More of Him and less of me.  In times of waiting, I find myself drawing closer to Him.  I a learning to wait- not in frustration, but in complete surrender and anticipation!  As I bring my requests before the Lord, I know His will is to be done in His timing, and I thank Him for whatever that will be…

I took this to heart today as I waited in an actual doctor’s office waiting room-with my girls in tow.  A perfect storm for frustration.  But something different happened today.  I gave them clear expectations before we got there and explained that I was not feeling well.   I would normally play out all the scenarios of disaster in my head before we would even set foot in the doctor’s office… whining, fighting, complaining.which would lead to me feeling frustrated and weary…But not today!   Ain’t no time for that today!  The Lord took those thoughts from me and filled me with sweet anticipation!  We sat in the waiting room for quite some time, and the girls quietly played together.  Not a single fight.  A small miracle, I’d say!

I count my blessings as I worship Him in the many “waiting rooms”.  I thank Him for who He is, for what He does, and for the amazing things He will do!  I thank Him for the small things- like having a peaceful time in the “waiting room” at the doctor’s office with my girls, and for doctors who can help us feel better.  And I do my favorite thing while I’m in the waiting room- sing!

Lord, thank you for being my Father and for knowing me better than I know myself.  Thank you for all the wonderful ways You show that You love me.  Thank you for Your Word and for allowing me to see all of Your goodness in the land of the living!  

Here’s one of many songs I’ve written about being in a “waiting room”…

Father To Us All

Lord, take my hand and lift me up again.

Lord, help me stand on Your solid word again.

I’m listening to You, for I know Your way is true

I’m giving all myself away, in Your holy name I pray…

And I reach for You-

And You take my hand and lead me through.

You calm all my fears

And You dry up all my worried tears.

Just to be still and know that You are always in control

You are Father to us all, and You hear us when we call.

Help me believe and take a step of faith

I need Your grace with each move I make

My hope’s in You alone

For You are my life and song

I’m giving all myself away

In Your holy name I pray…

songs Uncategorized

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Oct 3

I Need More Coffee!!! Thoughts and a song on Isaiah 55

 

Deutsch: Dunkin Donuts in Berlin

Is anyone thirsty?

 Come and drink—
  even if you have no money!
Come, take your choice of wine or milk—
  it’s all free!  

Why spend your money on food that does not give you strength?

 Why pay for food that does you no good?

Listen to me, and you will eat what is good.
  You will enjoy the finest food.

Isaiah 55

I rue the day that Dunkin Donuts came to my neighborhood!  I literally pass it multiple times a day– every time I enter or exit my neighborhood.  It calls my name- “Julieeeeeeee- you need more coffee!!!!”  And if there is any truth to the saying “You are what you eat” – then I surely expect to turn into a pumpkin from all the pumpkin coffee I drink!!!

It’s not the donuts that I am drawn to- it is the rich, decadent, hot (or sometimes iced) coffee that “calls” me.  It is the irresistibly quick “pick-me-up” that allows me to be a little extra cheery for the girls when they come home from school- that quick burst of energy that enables me to do chores at super-human speed – that’s what I love most!

But then the inevitable happens- I crash… hard! I.can.not.hold.my.eyes.open.  And I’m grumpy.  Real grumpy.

So, one day I was sitting in the line at DD, patiently waiting for my afternoon cup of joe and it was taking a little longer than usual.  No worries.  I actually had my Bible sitting there in the seat beside me.  Not a bad driving companion, eh?  Well, I figured I might as well spend my time wisely.  I opened it up and out jumps Isaiah 55.

Is anyone thirsty, come and drink– well, sure I am…  I’m waiting for my coffee right now!!

Even if you have no money- it’s all free–  well, you got me there.  This is definitely not free and it adds up when I do it several times a week…

Why do you spend your money on the food that does not give you strength?- ok- you got me there too.  I know that I don’t really need this coffee. And yes, the energy is good, but it is only temporary.

Listen to me and you will see what is good–  Alright, Lord.  I hear you loud and clear today. I need to turn to You and Your strength- and indulge a little less.

I got my coffee and prayed about His Living Word that spoke to me in the drive-thru.  I made the long drive home (just kidding… it’s like a 30 second drive) and vowed to drink a little less joe and to feast a little more on His Word.  I sat down at my piano and I put the scripture to song….

songs

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