I Sing Because I'm Free

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Breaking the (food) chain

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peel me like an onion

heavy on the layers

I shed the outer skin

as I go to You in prayer

crying as I’m sliced up

a little more, I’m diced up 

I’m ready for the next plan

dump me in the pan

straight into the fryer 

turn the heat up higher

cook me till I’m done 

I’m in refiner’s fire

the hotter I’m becoming 

the more clearly I can see

molting all these layers 

leads me to transparency 

Tears welled in my eyes as I sliced the onion in half. I broke through that top layer of skin, and the tears freely flowed down my face.  Onions have a funny way of doing that to me.

I tossed them into the hot frying pan to sauté them. They sizzled as I stirred them back and forth. I was no longer tearing up, but noticed the sweetness of the aroma.  After they had been sautéd, their translucency was striking.  

Isn’t it something that an onion could be so drastically different in appearance, in taste, aroma, and in sight- after experiencing a little bit of “heat”?  Honestly, I don’t like being uncomfortable.  That’s why we all like comfort food, right?  It makes us feel good.  But it’s only an emotional reaction- not the real thing.

For  my entire life, I have used food for reward, punishment, pleasure, and emotional comfort.

I’m tired of being comfortable. I want to be all God wants me to be- and I really do believe that He wants me to be free from this ridiculous food obsession.

I woke up this morning, ready to cook some eggs, and I tried to tell myself that it was what I really wanted for breakfast.  Not true. I really just wanted a ginormous bowl of oatmeal.  But more than oatmeal, I want to break that chain…the never ending cycle of obsessing over food and using food for comfort.

And the only answer is more Jesus. And less self-gratification.

Less of me (literally and figuratively)…more of Him.

I’ve jumped into the frying pan with both feet, I’m feeling the heat, and I’m ready to be changed!

God- make me uncomfortable so I find comfort in YOU not FOOD! 

eat to live, not live to eat

There is power in His Name to break every chain!

Always be joyful.  Never stop praying- 1 Thessalonians 5:16-17 

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Piece by Piece

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putting together

history- and His story

one piece at a time

I picked up the tattered puzzle box off my bookshelf and carefully dumped out the pieces.  Little parts were stuck together, weathered from age.  Would all the pieces be here?  I thought this phrase in my mind many times as I carefully sorted the edge pieces from the rest of the bunch.  I wouldn’t know until I actually made an attempt to finish it.

It’s pretty awesome how I ended up with this puzzle.  I have always enjoyed putting puzzles together, and my husband and our girls have started a tradition of doing puzzles when we take vacations to the beach.  Well, I had written a blog post about how our family enjoys doing this, and one of my family members happened to read it.

Several months had passed, and I had taken the girls with me to visit my granny.  My aunt was also there when we arrived and she said she had something for me.  My granny had been cleaning out the attic, and she had found a bunch of things she wanted to give to the Salvation Army.  This Last Supper puzzle was one of them.  It sat in the trunk of my aunt’s car for months.  Then she read my post, and thought I’d like to have it.

When she handed it to me, I immediately looked at the box, and it was marked with the exact year I was born- 1977! How cool was that?!  My granny couldn’t remember how she got it, but it was like the puzzle had been waiting for me all this time.

What my aunt didn’t know was that I have always wanted a picture of the Lord’s Supper to hang in our dining room!  Isn’t God the coolest gift-giver?  Not only was I given a Lord’s Supper picture- but one I could spend hours of quiet time with Him putting together.  A double-blessing for sure!

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I finally took it out of the box the Saturday before Easter to work on it.  It looked like someone had put it together before- little groups of 4 or 5 pieces were stuck together- just enough to help me get going.

I kept hoping all the pieces would be there. After all, it was 37 years old! I finished putting together the jug and there was one missing brown piece. I didn’t give up.  I started on another section and kept going.  The next day, I looked under the tablet to pick up a napkin, and sure enough- there that little brown piece was- resting upside down on the floor!

I thought about how easy it is for me to give up.  Sometimes I can visualize my goal, but can’t see all the little steps in between.  I think that really is God teaching me to turn to Him- every step of the way.  As silly as it might sound, I trusted that these pieces would all be there.  They just had to be!

As the evenings passed, my youngest daughter sat with me for short bursts of time, fitting little pieces together.  We cheered a good “woohoo” every time we got another part finished.

I thought about how every single piece matters.  Every little piece- an important part of the whole. God uses all the pieces- even the seemingly insignificant piece of our lives to teach and mold us.  And we wouldn’t be complete without them. Every acquaintance, every relationship…every situation, every circumstance…all these little pieces make us who we are.

FullSizeRender-3And when we got down to the last few pieces, I asked my youngest daughter to help me.  I wanted her to have the joy of putting the last piece in place.

Every piece was there. I shouldn’t have been surprised, but I was.  I was grateful. Grateful that every piece was there- and grateful for all the little pieces of my life that have made me who I am.  I am thankful for this beautiful picture, and even more thankful for the time I spent praying, thinking, and spending time with my daughter putting it together.  God sure is awesome 🙂

For you created my inmost being;
    you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    your works are wonderful,
    I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
    when I was made in the secret place,
    when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
    all the days ordained for me were written in your book
    before one of them came to be.
17 How precious to me are your thoughts,God!
    How vast is the sum of them!
18 Were I to count them,
    they would outnumber the grains of sand—
    when I awake, I am still with you. Psalm 139

 

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New Life of Spring

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The Monticello Trail

Captivated by

changes of color, new life,

and a new season

For behold, the winter is past; the rain is over and gone. The flowers appear on the earth, the time of singing has come, and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land. Song of Solomon 2:11-12

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tall trees wave goodbye

to cold winter’s dormancy

and welcome the warmth

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dance against a perfect sky

on a perfect day

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Recently, I walked the Monticello Trail and it was stunning.  I was speed-walking, while listening to my headphones and holding my iphone out in front of me to take pictures.  I’m sure I looked just a little bit nutty.

I am thankful for the changing seasons, for His beautiful creation, and for the hope He gives us-

that we, too, can be renewed

and have a new life in Him!

There is a time for everything,
    and a season for every activity under the heavens-  Ecclesiastes 3

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Minding the Nudge

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Friday evening’s vibrant sunset

Steadfast keeping eyes on You

You never fail to see us through

our circumstance and mundane days

when we seek to walk Your ways 

So I mind each little nudge 

I listen and I do not budge

revealing purpose in due time

He knows best- Father of mine! 

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Sunset pic #2

It was a lovely evening.  One daughter at a sleepover, and the other one sitting at the dining room table playing a board game with a friend.  I was sitting with them, putting together a puzzle.  All was peaceful, and then my daughter jumped up and said we have to go outside and see the sunset!

We would have missed it if she had not been on the  lookout.

I find that’s true with my walk with Him as well. When I am seeking Him, when I “mind the nudge” to go and do what I feel in my heart He asks of me- He always shows up.  I woke up one morning last week, thinking about someone and praying for them. I didn’t know how to get in touch with this person, and for some reason, I couldn’t get them off my mind… so I kept on praying for them- every time He put that person on my heart.

The next morning, I had planned to take the girls out to eat brunch and do some shopping.  I had been in a funk for most of the week- for no reason in particular, other than I was coming down off the excitement of Holy Week and Easter.

So we woke up the next morning, and headed off to the restaurant to have breakfast. It was a gorgeous morning and we had such a good time people watching and chatting about girl stuff. After we ate, we headed off to do some shopping.  

Isn’t it funny how you can make your own plans, and then He reveals what His plan was all along?  All week I had intended to go to this place, and all week I had been praying for this one specific person- who I didn’t even know how to get in touch with.  And guess who was there shopping?  That very person who I had been praying for!

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Sunset pic #3

Now, I have lived here for (almost) 11 years, and I have never- not even once– seen this person in any store I have ever shopped in, that I can remember.  It was definitely a God- incident that I saw them there.  Teary eyed, I hugged them told them about how I had prayed for them all week… and God met us right there in the middle of the store.  His timing is perfect.

I thought back on the entire events leading up to that moment we saw one another.  Every little detail… that He put this person on my heart all week… and that He put me in the exact spot at just the right time that morning… it really is amazing to see how He orchestrates the events of our lives when we are minding those little nudges.

My walk with Him gets sweeter as the days go by.  He’s like that sunset-

some evenings we wait…

and wait…

and don’t see a thing.

And then other evenings, He aligns everything in perfect order and we catch a glimpse of Him.

He’s always there- we just have to be on the lookout!

 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:18

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My not-so-Martha Stewart “silk tie-dyed” eggs…

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Our bird’s nest from last year!

I am definitely not the most creative mom on the planet.

But, I do try to do fun things with the girls.

Around Easter time, we do little things like bake bunny cakes and we have mini Easter egg hunts.  It’s those fun little traditions that will make great memories for them when they are adults.

This year, I took a stab at dying eggs with silk ties.  Yes, it sounds a little strange, but it was also another great opportunity to go thrift-store shopping to find some super awesome ties to use for our little project!

So we tugged and pulled the ties apart…

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while my youngest patiently (not) waited for the scissors to cut her ties…

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and then we wrapped them with tender loving care…

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Oh no…I forgot the twist ties to secure the material around the egg! So I used mini rubber bands instead…

Epic fail

I ended up fishing for broken rubber bands in the boiling water…

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And burned my fingers replacing the broken mini rubber bands with clamps and fabric coated rubber bands. We let them boil for 20 minutes and then allowed them to cool for a bit.

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I must say that the colors were slightly disappointing, but it could have been because I didn’t secure the fabric as well as I should have, and it would have been better if the silk ties we purchased had been darker, more vibrantly colored…

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But my oldest daughter said it all with this comment-

“Momma- they didn’t really come out that good.  But I think we had a lot of fun anyway!”

That’s my girl!

There is much JOY to be found in the JOurneY!!

 Just because someone else can do it better doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t try it yourself!

What a relief to know my girls didn’t want “picture perfect” eggs… they just wanted to spend quality time with their momma!

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The morning after

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Easter Sunrise from our church

 the morning after 

we continue to proclaim-

“He’s risen, indeed!”

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Easter Sunrise

The joy of celebrating His resurrection grows sweeter as the years go by.

The thing is- I don’t want to stop celebrating!

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 Jesus said to her, “Mary.”

She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, “Rabboni!”.

17 Jesus said, “Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’”

18 Mary Magdalene went to the disciples with the news: “I have seen the Lord!” And she told them that he had said these things to her.  John 20:16-18

I love reading the story of Mary and Jesus.  I can hardly imagine how overjoyed she must have been to realize that He was, in fact, alive!  He immediately tells her not to hold on to Him- but to go!  There is some Good News to be told and although she probably wanted to “tarry” in that garden with Jesus, she was ready to go when He said go!  For me, there is always a little bit of a “let down” after Easter… so much preparation for the “big day”, and then before we know it, the day is over with. Sometimes I wish I could “tarry” in those sweet moments of worshipping Him!  Reading His Word today reminded me that there is still lots of work to be done, lots of Good News to share, and that the Resurrection Day isn’t just “a day”- He is Risen- in the present tense!

And that is worth celebrating and praising Him for every moment!

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