I Sing Because I'm Free

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Daddy’s Silly Songs…and a song about them

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Tomorrow is my oldest daughter’s 11th birthday!  What a wonderful blessing she is!  Sweet as pie, eyes as blue as the sky, loving, and kind… she’s a beauty inside and out!

She is quickly leaving behind the little girl things like dress-up and playing with dolls… but just the other day, she warmed my heart when she said just how much she loves it when Daddy sings his Silly Songs at bedtime!

Since the girls were very little, we have had the same bedtime routine.  I pray with them every night, and Daddy sings to them. They think it’s the best thing ever.  Any child who has been here to sleep over can tell you about the ruckus that occurs in this house for the 5 minutes before, during, and after one of Daddy’s Silly Songs.  Have you heard of Silly Songs with Larry from Veggie Tales?  Well, they are nowhere NEAR as silly as my husband can be!   He will ask them for a word, and then uses the word to make an entire “silly song”!  And I don’t know that I’ve ever heard anyone with laughter as loud as my husband’s!

Even though my husband works long hours, I am so thankful that most evenings he is able to be home to tuck them in bed and sing them their song.  This is the highlight of the evening for both of the girls.  And I admit, I smile, too- even though I know this is not settling them down for bed, lol!   Every time I see how silly he is with the girls, God reminds me that I need to laugh a little more with them, too!

I wrote a song about our evenings.  When I am stressed to the max doing homework with the girls, cleaning, phone ringing, making dinner, playing referee… I quickly remember that everything’s going to be ok- because I have a loving husband and father who is going to come home to us… and his silly songs will make us all smile!  When I hear him singing with the girls, I am reminded how very blessed I am!

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. 1 Corinthians 13:13

Oh- and Happy Birthday, Katie Bug!

 It’s Gonna Be Okay

There are times when I feel
my patience wearing thin
at the end of the day
is when it all begins
Momma’s in high demand
and I’m feeling torn in two
dinner, dishes, laundry, homework,
and dog is barking, too.
Then I remember that I’m not alone
Daddy’s working hard to give us a home
And He’ll be here to say goodnight
And with all of us home, everything’s alright!
It’s gonna be ok, daddy’s coming home tonight
He’ll tuck you in bed and He’ll turn out your light
He’ll sing a silly sing and you’ll both sing along
and momma will pray with all of her might
it’s ok, ok, ok….. ok, ok, ok
Seeing daddy reminds me
that I need to be more silly
And not take everything
quite so seriously
Then he comes to their room
and he asks for a single word
he creates the silliest
bedtime song
that You have ever heard!
And I thank God for my family
and all the blessings He’s given me
A thousand love songs I could sing
But a silly one- that’s daddy’s thing!
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The Cloud Lifts

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clouds gently disperse

exposing the brilliant sun’s

extravagant light

I had a cloud hanging over me this week.  I got up one morning and didn’t feel like doing anything.  Tired, and lacking energy, I felt like staying in bed all day.  My husband made up a wonderful word to describe my “funk”-  moopy… a lovely combination of mopey and moody…If I had let my thoughts stay there, it most definitely would have been a less than stellar day.   But I got up, went through the normal morning routine, and prayed.  I prayed a lot.  Honestly, I didn’t really even feel like doing that, either.

Fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out- Romans 12:2 

Even though a cloud was hanging over me, I knew His light was shining bright behind it.  I have to remember to hold tight to Him and not be lead by my emotions.

Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it- Romans 12:2

What does He want from me?  Obedience.

To keep pressing on.

To trust Him completely- even when I don’t see the light.

To take everything I routinely do and offer it to Him as an act of worship.

And you know what happened?  I got more done that day than I had in a long time!  And before I knew it, the cloud went away and He was shining brighter than ever.

So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it.  
Romans 12:1-2  The Message

Lord, I am grateful for an extra dose of Your grace and the strength on those days when I am not “feeling” it.  Help me to focus on You- in spite of my circumstances, and to praise You at all times.  May my eyes look up to You, and may everything I do bring You glory!

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The Master Creator

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Oh, crafty table
You draw me near
the possibilities 
are endless here…
a thousand things
within my view
 we love creating
something new! 


In the beginning God created…  Genesis 1:1

There is something so freeing and beautiful about being creative!  My daughters love to make things- clothes for their dolls, purses my oldest even made a Barbie house out of  cardboard that  looks just like Laura’s house from Little House on the Prairie! 

They have begged me to learn how to sew.  I finally bit the bullet and bought a sewing machine.  I have used one before, but not for years!  I think we all had fancy ideas that this new sewing machine would magically pop out of the box, thread itself, and be instantly ready to create things for us.  I am not very patient, and I knew that this was going to require an abundance of it!

I took it out of the box,  and I read every direction- front to back.  The girls were looking over my shoulder, patiently waiting to put their foot on the pedal.  I threaded the bobbin and got everything in proper working order.  The girls brought me material to sew into a pillow.  Simple enough! I made one perfectly straight seam,  and then the second time I tried- I heard a horrible noise.

I took the bobbin off and the little metal pieces all came apart.  I read and re-read the directions on how to put them back together, and I quickly got frustrated.  I felt a giant meltdown bubbling up inside me.  I literally wanted to throw these pieces against the wall.  I quietly asked the girls to go play for a while.

I put them together every which way I could think of.  I had no one to help me, and I felt like I had let the girls down.  I did the only thing I could think to do… “Jesus, please help me,” I said quietly, praying He would somehow help the situation.

“Mommy?  Why did you just call Jesus?”  My youngest overheard me in the playroom as I prayed out loud.

“Because I need His help.”  It was the honest truth.  I was so frustrated, and I didn’t want to have a melt down.  As I calmly prayed, after a few tries- I got it back together.

As my youngest watched me, I thought about how we are so much alike.  She, too, can get very frustrated and angry over something so small in mere seconds.

She, too, likes to try new things.  And she likes to do everything all by herself!

When she gets frustrated…I get frustrated… and it is a vicious cycle.   I need to be more patient with her and show her that even Mommy needs Jesus to help keep me from getting upset.

Casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. 1 Peter 1:7

I needed the girls to see that mommy really doesn’t know what I’m doing all the time, and that being an adult doesn’t mean you know everything.

Even as an adult, there’s nothing I can do all by myself!  I need Jesus to help me with everything! Not just the big problems in life, but the everyday ordinary things… after all, He is the Master Creator!

Thank you, Lord, for reminding me to come to you in every situation… no matter how big or small it may be. I thank You for giving us hands- to create, to make music, to lift in wondrous worship of You- our Master Creator!

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Taking a time-out

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a lovely sight
of winter white
like I’ve dreamed of for so long
gonna put aside 
some time to play
and sing a happy song
all the other
things can wait
the whole world stops today
coffee, snacking,
and chillaxin’
is the snow-day way!

I long for snow days like today- when the whole world seems to stop and everything is put on hold! I like to think that He is giving us a time-out.  Time to take a step back from the ordinary routine and to live in the moment!

I was reminded just how much I need a time-out as I prepared myself to take Remy, our dog, for a walk this morning.  I got my favorite flavored K-cup of coffee started so that it would be cooled to the perfect luke-warm temperature by the time I returned.  After I took the dog for a quick walk (really, it was more like a “hop” since he is so short and the snow was quite deep),   I came inside to my hubby smiling at me.  I forgot to put my cup underneath the Keurig, so my beloved cup-‘o-love was spilled out all over the counter top. No, it wasn’t the first time I have done this!  Always thinking of a million things at once, something always goes awry!

I heard a pastor this week preach about priorities.  He stressed that we can become so busy that we forget to take time out of our day to spend with God.   Jesus often went away from the crowds to be alone with His Father and pray.  The busier I am, the harder it is to hear God’s quiet whispers…

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Today is a great day to slow down and enjoy a time-out.

A time-out to pray and spend time alone with God.

A time-out- to regroup, to focus…to breathe, relax, rest…to give thanks for a warm home filled with love and family.

A time out to worship and enjoy His wonderful snow-white creation!

There is nowhere to go, nothing pressing to do- it’s a day to simply live in the moment… and make more cups of coffee..and be thankful.

This is the day the Lord has made;  we will rejoice and be glad in it. Psalm 118:24

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Breath from Heaven

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Clouds

billowed through the sky

As if God Himself

had breathed 

down

from Heaven

Sure, why not! I thought to myself as I pulled my mini-van over.   On my way home from a busy day, I remembered the few trips my family took to the Blue Ridge Mountains when I was a child.  I parked my van at the scenic view off the interstate and  I thought about how far we would come just to see this!  It was the exact spot I once stood with my family as a young girl.  I remember feeling so small as I looked out over the vast, rolling landscape. Who would have thought that all these years later God would make this my home- and  that I would be standing in this exact spot- in awe of how far He has brought me.  As I stood there, I felt as small as my 10 year old self- and closer than ever to my Heavenly Father. 

 “Who am I, Sovereign LORD, and what is my family, that you have brought me this far?  2 Samuel 7:18

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Holding Hands With You

God works in the most amazing ways!

I got a message from my long-time friend, Dianna, last week.  One of her close friends had written lyrics for a song- words that came from her quiet time with God- and wanted them put to music.  With the Lord’s leading, Dianna thought of me and sent me the words.  I sat at the piano, prayed, and He worked out the music in my heart quite quickly.  Since I always share the testimonies behind the songs I have written, I asked my new friend, Jenny- whom I have not met in person- to write her testimony behind the beautiful words she wrote-

The lyrics for “Holding Hands with You”, started out as my teary, tired soul texting itself out to God on my new iPhone. (After I found out I could write myself notes on my phone – one of my best discoveries yet!).

I’m a usually tired mom of two little girls, Kayla a vivacious 8 year old (who happens to have Cerebral Palsy and Autism from a birth injury) and Kallie, a spirited 2 year old who is like a whirlwind of chatter and shenanigans everywhere she twirls.

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I don’t get a lot of sleep because my oldest doesn’t.   The resulting physical and mental exhaustion of not sleeping and taking loving care of a child who needs help with all of her daily living activities and needs, can get you down and dreary fast, let me tell you.  Sometimes, I’m in a pool of hazy despair before I can say “birth injury”, and it’s all because I try to do things by myself.  I forget I have this loving, all-encompassing God that just wants to love on me and hold my hand.  It’s as simple as that.  He wants to help me every step of the way, and when I remember that, I don’t even have to get to the point that all I want to do is sit and hold hands with Him. I can even feel a little dance coming on as I go through my day’s challenges. 

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BUT, since I’m human and frail and have long agreed with myself that I am NOT a super “special needs” mom nor do I want to be, I often forget this and have to sit right back down with my head hung with spiritual fatigue, and just hold His hand.  And you know what?  He has never let my hand go once!

I thank you, Julie, who I have not met in person, but who I already know as a precious spiritual friend, for giving God-breathed wings to my soul song.

Thank you too, Dianna Swenson, our mutual cherished friend, for helping me take that scary step of faith and sharing the lyrics with Julie!

The Lord is my strength and song,
And He has become my salvation  Exodus 15:2

My friend, Dianna, and my new friend, Jenny are truly inspirations to me.  I am blessed to know these strong women who love the Lord, and humbled that He would bring us together in this awesome way!  I pray this song will bless your heart and encourage you in your weakness to draw strength from our Heavenly Father- and simply rest in His presence and hold His hand.

“Holding Hands With You”

Too

Tired for petty games,  I lay down my hand and succumb,

Walk away from the table, and seek transparency

Jeopardy is not the theme I envision

Peace and solitude is all I want

Problem is , it can’t be had until found

God help me help myself

I can’t hold my head up

Maybe I can just sit here for a while

Just holding hands with you

Just holding hands with you.

Too

Blue to look for hope,  I give up trying to see through haze,

Take my chances and stay where I am

Optimism isn’t working for me

Rest and quietude is all I want

Challenge is, I can’t muster up the strength to cease

God help me help myself

I can’t hold my head up

So, maybe I can sit here for a while

Just holding hands with you

Yeah, just holding hands with you

Too

Loved to be ignored, I am cherished back to life

While I sit in inauthenticity

Adoration is what saturates me, It’s nothing that I did

Thing is, it’s nothing that I found

God help me help myself

I can hold my head up

When I sit here for a while

Just holding hands with you

Just holding hands with you

J. E. Redick

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