I Sing Because I'm Free

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still sitting here with you

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wanderlust, we grab the keys

our thousandth date-just you and me

there’s nowhere else I’d rather be

than journeying

with you

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silence says a thousand words

our love is loud, it’s sound is heard

there’s nowhere else I’d rather be

than sitting here with you

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we banter on with simple chatter

we talk of life and all that matters

there’s nowhere else we’d rather be

than sitting here with You

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Our 21st date-a-versary was last week… it’s hard to believe that we have been together that long.  Merely kids ourselves, I remember those early days and the fun we had driving around and talking like it was yesterday.

We tried to go out and celebrate our special day last week, but life got in the way and it didn’t happen. Between girls with homework to be done, church, a very sick dog (who is 100% better now!), and the normal day-to-day things that need to get done, a date never happened.

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On a whim, my hubby asked me if we wanted to go watch the sunset last night.  It didn’t take much convincing from me- that’s my favorite thing to do!  No fancy clothes, no money needed, no detailed plans… just us and a car and a show-stopping sunset by our Wonderful Maker.

So we drove around and took in the perfect evening- the rolling hills, the silver lined clouds, and the stellar sunset.  We found a place to stop and take in the view.  All those years we’ve been together flashed before me.  It’s not about the things we’ve done, the plans we’ve made,  or the places we’ve gone- but about being together.

21 years of “dating”… and we’re still planning and dreaming together!

And to all these things, you must add love. Love holds everything and everybody together and makes all these good things perfect.  Colossians 3:14

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Fretting

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Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life?  Luke 12:25

For many years, I thought that worrying was equated with love- and that worrying was a good thing. After all, you don’t worry about something that isn’t important to you- or to someone you love.

It’s been a long, arduous process, but I am learning to drop those worries on His door step, one by one.  But some days I pick them back up.

And that’s what happened to me recently.

Nothing of great importance, but lots and lots of little things creeped into my thoughts and I found myself fretting over everything– and I mean EVERYTHING.

Doesn’t it seem like everything falls apart all at once?  That’s what happened in my home.  I tell my husband all the time that I am not good at being an “adult”.  As crazy as it sounds, even something as simple as calling a repair person to come fix an appliance gives me anxiety.

Philippians 4:6- be anxious for nothing

As the worship team and I were practicing and preparing for the service on Sunday, I found myself once again fretting and worrying about so many little things.  The song we were practicing was called “Cast My Cares”.  Tears started to flow down my cheeks as I played the piano and made mistake after mistake.  I stopped in the middle of the song and said we had to start again- and that it was all my fault.

 Instead of casting my cares on Him-  I had spent an entire week worrying. And it’s like a snowball… the worries start out small, but one leads to another and before you know it, it’s a GIANT out-of-control snowball rolling down a hill.  All week long I practiced and sang the words of that song, and yet I had not heeded it’s message.

In those few seconds before we played the song again, I surrendered ALL my worries to Him.  And just like that- I was able to freely worship!

The picture and quote at the top of the page is one that I saw this morning, and these words hit me like a ton of bricks-

we can’t worry and worship at the same time.

Worrying doesn’t help anything- and it doesn’t change our circumstances.  Worry leads to doubt… and when we worry, we’re not trusting God and His Word.

Instead of being a “worrier”- I want to be a warrior for Him!

‘Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’  Isaiah 41:10

 *image and quote found on http://bootcampbarre.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/worship763c42eee263343cdff439baa.jpg

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hummingbirds and being still…

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 fluttering wings 

impressive speed

they hover, they wait

for their turn to feed 

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sounds like helicopters

buzz through the sky

is it a bird? a plane?

it’s a hummingbird passing by…

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 they give and they take

without worry or care

having faith that their portion 

will always be there 

I had the pleasure of spending a few moments with a dear friend of mine. She’s a kindred spirit and someone I affectionately refer to as one of my “church mommas”.

Having grown up in a big city, bird-watching and gardening were never high priorities for me.  One of the best things about moving out to the country is the ability to slow down just a little and take in the sights and sounds of nature.

My friend happened to call me when I was running here, there, and everywhere- and she asked if I wanted to stop by her house to get some fresh vegetables from her garden. I knew I didn’t have much time, but I told her I’d stop by for a few minutes.

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which turned into a little bit more than a few minutes…

IMG_5044because I couldn’t stop watching those hummingbirds and butterflies fly around!

We sat on the porch together and watched those little birds zoom back and forth to the feeders and I was completely fascinated by them.

I noticed how they seemed to stop in mid air while they waited for their turn to drink from the hanging feeders. Their little wings fluttered so fast that you couldn’t even see them.

They were working harder being still and waiting than they were flying around!

Being still is an action that takes intentional effort

As I sat there on the porch with my friend, all the things I needed to get done that afternoon paled in comparison to what I was doing- being “still”…spending time in fellowship with my “church momma” and taking in the beautiful day He made for us.

Let all that I am wait quietly before God,  for my hope is in him.  

Psalm 62:5

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late fees…facing the shame of my overdue library books

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This is how I will remember what we’ve checked out from the library… taking a photo of my fabulous finds 🙂

My fears

of what “might be”

are far worse than

reality

Only realized in 

retrospection

so I’m striving to do

better

and not be such a 

“fretter”

as I take the time for  

reflection

I have a little confession to make: I am a procrastinator…and a little forgetful.  So once I have procrastinated- even just a little bit– it’s quite possible that I have completely forgotten to do whatever that thing was in the first place.

Like returning library books.

We went to the library several times last summer, and once the girls were back in school- I simply forgot to return our books.  So, a few weeks past the due date, I dropped our late books off at the library. They were not open at the time, so I put them into the outside book drop.  I felt shame over how late these books were.

The thought crossed my mind that maybe I could get through their childhood without ever returning to the library again.

And then summer came once again…

“Let’s go to the library!” one of my girls suggested.

I admit that I came up with every excuse in the book to NOT go to the library.  Only because I didn’t want to face the shame of once again having extremely late books.  After a ridiculous amount of begging to go, I finally gave in and chose to act like a responsible adult. Surely my late fee wouldn’t be more than like $200?

As I climbed into the car, my other daughter reminded me that we still had one of the books from last summer.  I ran in the house, and sure enough- I found yet another book we had had for MONTHS.

The 5 minute drive to the library felt like 5 years.  I had a lump in my throat and felt like I was going to have a panic attack. We pulled up to the building and I slowly began my walk of shame, with the late book in hand. I approached the counter and began to fess up.

“Please forgive me.  I am ashamed, ” I earnestly confessed to the librarian- in those exact words. The lady behind the counter gave me a puzzled look. Clearly she had no idea how embarrassed I was.  She took my book, scanned it and told me the damage. She wasn’t phased in the slightest.

“That will be $40”

“That’s it?”

I couldn’t believe it!  And I was even more embarrassed that I had waited so long to face the music.

My fears of what might happen are always far worse than reality. How silly I felt for holding onto that guilt for all those months.

You know what is even better though?  That we can come to Jesus- no matter what our sins are, no matter what we have done or how much time has passed…and there is never any “late fee” to be paid.

How many of us don’t feel worthy of His forgiveness?  The sad thing is that we punish ourselves when we choose to feel guilty and ashamed of things we have done.  We all fall short- but His grace is sufficient, and He is there to catch us. In Christ, we are freely forgiven!  When we go to Him to ask for forgiveness and to make things right- He tells us our “late fees” have already been paid in full!

The lesson I learned that day was  priceless- far more valuable than that $40 late fee!

For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.  -Romans 6:23

 

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squinting in a fog

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the fog had settled 

low and warm 

upon the ground 

and without form 

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a silent blanket

waits for night

hiding in the wake

of twilight

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keeping watch for coming stars

that hang down from the sky afar

expectantly I wait for Him 

even as the day grows dim

We don’t yet see things clearly. We’re squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But it won’t be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright! We’ll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing him directly just as he knows us!  

1 Corinthians 13:12

Even when I can’t see through my circumstances- I trust Him 

Even in moments of doubt- I have faith in His promises

Even when I don’t understand- I know His thoughts and ways are higher

He is good and is always worthy of my praise

Our Heavenly Father always knows best!

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For I know the plans…

“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.  

Jeremiah 29:11

Recently, I received a message from someone that simply said this-

“your words matter.”

A great encouragement to me… and a reminder that our words carry meaning and that we should choose them wisely- and that sometimes our silence can speak volumes.

Whenever I am seeking God and find myself without words, I sit and play the piano.  The video I am sharing here today is of a song I wrote some time ago… at a time when I was desperate to know what His plan was for me.  It is a comforting thought to know that Jesus is interceding for us and knows exactly what we need – even when we can’t put it into words for ourselves.

Today,  I sat at the piano and my hands began to play this song again.  For so long, I prayed to know what His plan was for me… but the longer I walk with Him, the more I recognize that His plan-  and His desire- is for me to simply know Him more intimately.

 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being,  so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.  

Ephesians 3:16-19

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stuff gets in the way

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Last night’s sunset peeking through the trees…

all these things

get in the way

blocking my clear vision

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stuff that I’ve stuffed

here and there

distracts me from my mission

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too much stuff

makes me feel stuffy 

every breath becomes a chore

with all this stuff 

stuffed everywhere

I can’t take it anymore!

I often complain about the view from my house.  I can’t see the sunset very clearly due to all the trees around us. I know-it’s a really insignificant problem to have, but I long to be out in the open air where I can gaze at the stars and see the sky for miles and miles.

Lately I have been feeling the same way about my home. I LONG to see open space in my rooms.  I can’t find anything, and I can’t see anything clearly because of all the STUFF that is stuffed everywhere.  We aren’t “hoarders” or anything, but we definitely have way too much stuff.  And all this stuff is consuming me- consuming my time, my thoughts, my energy…and it’s zapping me of my JOY!!

I am spending way too much time trying to find places for things, and way too much time looking for things I have miss-placed!

Having too many things leads to me having to make too many decisions…NO GOOD for a girl who already suffers from being indecisive!

So I am on a mission to GET RID OF STUFF and to restore order to my chaotic home.

less is more

more time to clearly see and enjoy the things and people I LOVE!

Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy,and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven,where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Matthew 6:19-21 

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