I Sing Because I'm Free

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A Different Perspective

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On this beauty of a summer’s night

I’m captivated by 

the rustling leaves of sweet pear trees

and the vibrant colored sky

the view, it melts away my cares

and thoughts that brings me grief

and fills my heart with gratitude

His perfect love-

His peace

My girls and I recently took a road trip to see a dear friend. I took this photo from her backyard  as we watched the setting sun. It was a gorgeous evening.

I began to think about this peach tree, and how I would usually think it was in the way- blocking the perfect sunset view.  Isn’t it funny how being somewhere new gives us a different perspective?

The tree only added to the awesome picture He was painting that night. Instead of thinking things are in the way of what I’m looking for- I need to see these obstacles as part of His bigger plan…His bigger picture. I was blessed that night. God is good-all the time!

Lord, help me find joy in all things… help me to keep my eyes fixed on You, no matter what seems to get in the way!

Trust in the Lord and do good;
    dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.
 Take delight in the Lord,
    and he will give you the desires of your heart.  Psalm 37

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Love Lifted Me

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…blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”  John 20:29 

I adore little moments with my husband that bring me back to the early years… the days B.C. (before children) When we had so much free time, did lots of fun things, and simply enjoyed being together.   

We used to go to the gym together every evening -it was one of our favorite things to do.  That was like 14 or 15 years ago. Literally. I can’t even believe how fast time is flying by…

So, one recent evening, my dear husband listened to me whine again about how discouraged I am with my fitness routine, and that despite putting in lots of effort- I am not seeing any results. So he lovingly asked me “Why don’t you start lifting again? I can help you!”  

The last thing I really wanted was for him to show me how to do anything fitness related. After all, I used to be a certified fitness instructor…sheesh… 

I hesitantly agreed to be his “client”.  

And from our very first “lifting” session, I saw that old smile on his face.  You know- the care-free, laid back smile of the ole’ B.C. (before children) days… and he looked as young as the day we met.  And for those 45 minutes, it was as if we had gone back in time.

My husband may not be the fittest, or have any previous knowledge in how to train someone… but one thing is for sure.  He loves me and he believes in me- even when I don’t. When I think I can’t lift another pound, he is right there- cheering me on.  Helping me.  Encouraging me.  

Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize. 1 Corinthians 9:26-27

Slowly, I am remembering what it used to feel like to work out with a purpose! Remembering how strong I used to feel. Remembering what it was like to work out with passion- and to push myself farther than I thought was possible.  

And I must admit- I am learning to love lifting weights again.  Learning to love how strong God made the human body. And I love sharing this again with my husband- something that not only brings us closer together, but that is good for our health- one that will help us have many more years together.  

And to think I almost didn’t take him up on his offer to be my “coach”… 

Honestly, other than Jesus- who is better than my husband to turn to for support and encouragement?  

I told my husband I have faith again. Faith that I CAN do this. I feel stronger than I have in years. And even though I still don’t see any fruit from my labor, I know that He is strengthening me in more ways than I see.  Strengthening my body, my mind, and my soul; helping me to persevere… and the best part of all- He is strengthening my relationship with my B.H. – bestest hubby!

blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”  John 20:29 

 Love lifted me! Love lifted me!

When nothing else could help

Love lifted me!

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Blog Tour

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One of the things I love the most about blogging is finding and connecting with other awesome bloggers!  A talented, fellow blogger, Lorrie Bowden, has graciously invited me to join her virtual blog tour in this post.  She writes inspirational poetry, and has an eye for photographing the beauty around her.  Lorrie never fails to lift my spirits with her positive posts and her encouraging words. Her tag line is “Blessitude- I am so blessed and full of gratitude” and this shows in every thing she writes. Please visit her lovely blog!

The rules are to invite three other bloggers to join the tour, and to give them a Monday to post on.  I am asking them to post on Monday, August 3rd. Then, they are to answer 4 questions about their writing…

  1. My first blogger is January, who blogs at  http://coffeewithashotoffaith.wordpress.com.  I am blessed to have her as not only a blogger friend, but a friend in real life as well.  She is a fantastic writer who shares straight from her heart about her personal walk with Christ, raising her three children – including one with special needs – and also about her ministry. Her openness and honesty in her writing is truly beautiful to read!
  2. The second blogger is Tanya, who blogs at  http://godscharacter.wordpress.com  She is one of the first bloggers I connected with when I started blogging. She has written several series of posts, including “A Family That Prays Together” and “Find us Faithful”. She shares scriptures and often writes about parenting.  Her love for the Lord shines through in her writing. Her posts are heartfelt, sweet, and always uplifting!  
  3. The third blogger is Chris Ludbrook, who blogs at http://unhiddenlight.com.  He has a wide variety of things on his blog- including original music he has written, poetry, and essays. A Christian, he describes his blog as a place to share his journey: “This is about letting my light shine, no longer will I live in the fear of who I am, my light is bright & beautiful & it’s time I stopped hiding it.”

I am also going to mention a 4th blog-  http://brittanymoultroup.wordpress.com.   Brittany is a worship leader with a lovely voice and a beautiful heart for following Christ.  I always look forward to reading her thoughts on scripture and worship! 

I hope you take the time to visit these wonderful blogs.  I truly enjoy following and reading each one of their posts!!  

Here are the answers to my four questions…

What are you working on/writing? 

I am currently working on recording a CD of original Christian songs I have written over the last few years.  It is a work in progress, and I am excited to be on this journey!  It has been a long process, but I am soaking up every new thing I learn along the way. I try to write blog posts once or twice a week, and write music or poetry as the Lord inspires me. Most of my creative focus is devoted to serving Him and leading the worship ministry at my church.  

How does your work/writing differ from others of its genre? 

I think everyone has a unique voice. I don’t write to be different- my writing is an expression of my heart and of my love for God. 

Why do you write/create what you do?

Most of the songs I write come out of spending quiet time with the Lord.  They are my personal,  heart-felt prayers, experiences, and desires put to music. Several of the songs I have written have been a collaboration with my husband.  He writes beautiful lyrics and I have set them to music. I began playing piano when I was about 10, and started making up my own songs right away. Funny enough, my first song was called “Sunset”…which is fitting because 25 years later, that’s what I love to photograph most- sunsets!  I love to take photos of His beautiful creation and sing His praises… so I create out of having a desire to share what God has done- and continues to do-in my life. I write out of obedience to Him.  

How does your working/writing process work?

I have to be inspired!  Most times, when I write a song it comes together in a very short time- a matter of minutes.  I don’t make myself write if I am not in the mood to do it.  So, I basically wait for Him to inspire me- and then it flows. He is always faithful and gives me MUCH to write about! 

Thanks for reading and I hope you take the time to visit these other blogs! Be Blessed!

 

 

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Spinning in Circles

 

What goes up must come down

I’m on the fast track

back to the ground

I don’t know if I’m going 

left or right

but I’m holding on to You

with all my might

I’m looking for a sign

to tell me where I’ll find

You

feels like I’m 

Spinning in circles

turning round and round

spinning in circles

trying to keep my feet

on the ground

I’m spinning in circles

falling down upon my knees

losing control

but I know

You are with me. 

sitting here spinning wheels

Not getting anywhere

Well, that’s how it feels

can’t see the forest through 

the trees

but I’m trusting You to fill me 

with your peace  

and I’m looking for a sign

to tell me where I’ll find

You

I wrote this song recently. I often feel like I’m spinning in circles and don’t know if I’m coming or going.  But I fully trust that He knows. I may feel off-balance as I spin around, but I know that He won’t let me fall- because He is my center of gravity.  Each time I feel I am losing control – He reminds me HE is in control…and to surrender every thing and every moment to Him.  

All to Jesus.

I surrender.  

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The Cool Factor

Evening sky through my daughter’s eye…

I think we all wonder if our children think we are “cool” or not… 

I guess I’m aging myself and that I am “uncool” for even using that word. I don’t know what’s relevant today- hip, dope, happenin’… yes, I am revealing my uncoolness with every word I type.  

BUT

I try to remain true to who I am, and who God calls me to be.  

One of the things my girls have joked about is the fact that I like to take lots of pictures.  They do not like having pictures taken of them, and so for the most part, I don’t press the issue.  I see the immense value in being with them and not having the pressure of capturing every moment on camera.  BUT the one thing I love to take pictures of is sunsets- which, by the way, is sort of not a cool thing to do- according to my girls.  

Nevertheless, I continue to do the things that bring me joy in hopes that THEY will do the things that bring THEM joy- and not worry about what other people think.  

One of my girls expressed sadness that other friends do not share her affection for playing with dolls. I tell them if it brings them joy- then they should not be concerned about what other kids think. And so I choose to do the same thing.  We shouldn’t take up hobbies or do things we don’t enjoy just to “fit in”. It’s okay to be different.  

So, imagine my immense JOY when my older (insert, the one who thinks I am the uncoolest of all) points out the beautiful sky as we were driving last night.  

“Momma, can I see your camera?”  

“Sure, babe.” 

I began to turn the phone on, and she quickly yanks it out of my hand.  

“I know how to do it…” she says, completely and utterly annoyed with me. 

I am secretly smiling inside, because I know she’s going to take pictures for me.  

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Evening Sky #2

And I listen as my girls talk about how beautiful the colors are… and my oldest says she wants to be a photographer when she grows up…and then they tell their friend (who we brought with us to church that night) how much they love watching sunsets with me every evening.  

This one is my favorite of them all…

photo 1The power line pole looks just like a cross.  Several years ago, when I first said YES to God and to ministry, I prayed to Him as I drove.  I asked Him to show me that I was going in the right direction.  As I looked up, I saw many of these power line poles lining the winding, hilly road- and at once they all looked like crosses, much like the one my daughter took a picture of.  A simple moment with me and Jesus- but one I will never forget. For several years, I have tried to capture a picture like this…what a blessing it is for my daughter to have taken this beautiful photo.  

As I plant little seeds in my children’s lives and encourage them to follow their hearts and to do what brings them joy, I have been given a treasure in these beautiful pictures. Ones that my daughter took out of love for her uncool mom, without any prompting from myself. One that shows me that my girls really are taking in His beauty and that they learning to appreciate the little things… and that is the COOLEST thing of all! 

Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.  Psalm 37:4

 

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The Reason

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Our evening sky as I looked to Him last night…

When I question everything

and all that I hold dear

when I bring it all to You

I feel Your presence in my tears

I know You are here

 

When I’m feeling like a fish

out of water in my own skin

like a jagged puzzle piece

that’s just not fitting in

I know I fit in with You

 

I’m no longer looking back

I’m looking up to You

You’re the only reason

for everything I do  

 

You’re the reason I sing

You’re the reason for living

In your presence i bring

a song of offering

You are the reason I sing

 

When I’m feeling all alone

Like no one understands

You remind me You’re enough

and to rest within Your hands 

All I need is You

 

You remind me that my home 

is not a place I’m sitting in 

and that peace is found in You

I let go and let You in

I know You are here

 

I’m no longer looking back

I’m looking up to You

You are the only the reason

for everything I do. 

 

 

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Light Finds Us

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darkness closes in

even so, the light finds us

and never burns out

What a comfort to know that no matter where we are, or how dark our sky gets- His Spirit is always there. As the girls and I drove through a terrible storm last night, all I could do was pray and sing with all my might.  I thought of pulling over, but felt Him nudging me to keep on going.  I sang as I drove…

“I love You, Lord… and I lift my voice… to worship You, O my soul, rejoice!  Take joy my King in what You hear.  May it be a sweet, sweet sound in Your ear.”

It’s when we can’t see the light that our faith is made the strongest.  He is the maker of Heaven and Earth, the Creator of darkness and light…and He knows the depths of our hearts- and our every need. There are times when we may feel vulnerable and afraid, but in our heart we can find peace and rest when we worship Him.

Where can I go from your Spirit?

Where can I flee from your presence?

If I go up to the heavens, you are there;

if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.

If I rise on the wings of the dawn,

if I settle on the far side of the sea,

even there your hand will guide me,

your right hand will hold me fast.

If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me

and the light become night around me,”

even the darkness will not be dark to you;

the night will shine like the day,

for darkness is as light to you.

Psalm 139

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