I Sing Because I'm Free

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when our love was young

on a bench

I linger to remember-

that feeling of old December

when you asked me

for my hand

I didn’t have to consider

if I wanted you forever

I said yes to love-

you were my man

and knew that I would never

have any regrets ever

even in stormy weather

I’d be your fan

I couldn’t wait to be your wife

we talked for hours, we planned our life

and you and I held hands

as we watched the setting sun

when our love

was young

 We recently visited my in-law’s house, the place my hubby called home for many years before we got married.  I was at that house every single day from the time we started dating until the day we got married.  I remember sitting on that bench by the lake nearly 20 years ago near their home and wishing time would just hurry up already! I wanted to be married and have kids and have a house of my own. I remember the desperation I felt at that time.  Life just couldn’t go fast enough for me.

Oh how I wish I could go back and chat with my 18 year old self!

I found myself sitting on that same bench this past week, remembering how much I took for granted back then…how I wished my life away.  Wouldn’t it be great if there were a pause button for “life”?   I wanted more than anything to sit on that bench and remember how it felt to be young again!

It’s hard for me to believe- this Christmas Eve it will be 20 years since my husband asked me to marry him.  I remember it like it was yesterday.

And if he asked me again today-

I’d still say “yes” 🙂

Rejoice, O young man, in your youth,
And let your heart cheer you in the days of your youth;
Walk in the ways of your heart…

Ecclesiastes 11:8 

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Love is moving

The hem of His robe is where our healing lies
The wounds in His hands are where our life resides
Love is moving, moving among us

The beat of His heart our steady rhythm
A soul of a King and a Kingdom
Love is moving, moving among us
Love moves
Love is moving, moving among us

He illuminates with a holy fire
And it burns with the flame of God’s desire
Love is moving, moving among us

The power of God is in His presence
And the mercy of Heaven in His movement
Love is moving, moving among us

So we reach, we reach our hands to Him
Just to touch, to touch the Healer’s hand
We fall, we fall in worship
Our God is with us

Love is moving, moving among us

by Audrey Assad and Christy Nockels 

I heard this beautiful song for the first time a couple of weeks ago. For a while now, God has been stirring within me a desire to do something!  I have been praying about what God wants me to do, and so I’ve begun going once a week to help with a local non-profit group to serve and do whatever they need.

Sometimes we want God to use us to do “big things”… but I am finding the greatest joy in doing the smallest of tasks.  I have been so blessed by making phone calls, sorting through donations, delivering stuff to those who are less fortunate, praying for people, and just making myself available.  

When we love God, His love transforms us.  His love moves us to serve, to love others, to give of ourselves, and to worship!

and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry
    and satisfy the needs of the oppressed,
then your light will rise in the darkness,
    and your night will become like the noonday.

Isaiah 58:10

God, help me to be obedient to Your nudge- and to do whatever You ask of me- no matter how big or small it might seem.  Help me to see others through Your eyes, help me to shine in the darkness, and to do all things with a thankful heart- and for Your glory!

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Back in my day…

back in my day

“Back in MY day…”

Yesterday I had the joy of sharing one of those “back in my day” stories with my daughters…

While I was looking through some pictures from a trip my husband and I took to Paris-B.C. (before children), I found something from my childhood that I have been looking for for years!

When I was about 10 years old, I wanted a tape recorder for Christmas.  I remember the day I got that red tape recorder and a set of blue “k-mart special” blank tapes, and it was the best present ever!  My sister and I spent countless hours recording ourselves singing and recording songs off of the radio.

Imagine my delight when I found one of those k-mart tapes last night in the box with my old pictures! It was like Christmas all over again!  I patiently waited until the next morning to play it in my mini-van… (yes, we have probably one of the last mini-vans to have a cassette player in it!)

70s-Panasonic-Mod-Red-RQ-44A-Portable-Cassette-Player-Recorder

best.gift.ever!!!!!!

I carefully slid the tape into the tape deck, not even sure if it would still play- but sure enough, I heard the crackly sound of the tape loud and clear.  It was like going back in time 28 years… I heard snippets of songs we recorded from the radio while we played in the background… then my sister and I sang our little hearts out.  We sang “The Greatest Love of All” in perfect unison, a cappella- and the sound was eerily familiar.  It could have easily been my own two girls belting out that tune.  My sister and I sounded just like my girls!

When my girls got into the van with me, I had to explain what we were listening to.

“Back in my day, we didn’t have cell phones with video recorders… or cd’s or youtube or iPods… We had to make “mix tapes”.  We had to actually *gasp*  wait for our favorite song to come on the radio and then time it just right to record it on our cassette tape.  Then we had to be really, really quiet so that we couldn’t hear ourselves on the tape.”

They looked at me like I was an alien. They were not impressed.

We continued to listen to the tape, and I had to stifle my laughter as I heard my sister and I telling each other “Shhh!!!”.  And then we couldn’t help ourselves… as soon as the chorus to a song we were trying to record came on, we belted it out.  The funny part was that we never, ever knew the words to the verses- we just made them up.

And while I was deep in nostalgic thought, listening to my childhood mix-tape, my own girls were bickering and belting out their own favorite tunes in the back of our mini van…

plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose!

 

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One size fits all

Photo on 8-30-13 at 12.14 PMThere once was a mom from the ‘ville 

She was so cool, she was “chill” 

too fly to keep junk

in her mini-van’s trunk 

She finally took those bags to Goodwill!

I had a little “aha” moment today…  It’s not all that life changing- but it was for me!

I sat in my youngest daughter’s room and folded clothes with her.  Her room is an absolute pigsty.  Her biggest hurdle is that her bigger sister passes down all her clothes to her, so she has lots of things in her room that will eventually fit.. that almost fit… along with the many things that she is able to wear.  Then she is also given a few things by friends which she refuses to get rid of- because in her mind, those clothes are pieces of her friends… they remind her of them.  And so I told her this morning-

“We are getting rid of EVERYTHING that you do not wear TODAY.  EVERYTHING!!”

It was completely a God thing, because she shrugged her shoulders and just simply said “ok”. Let me just simply say- that NEVER happens…

I continued to tell her all this “stuff” in her room was getting in the way of all the things that she actually could wear RIGHT NOW…that look great TODAY.

And one by one, she folded and gave away many pieces that she loved, but that did not fit her.

Seeing how easy this (usually) daunting task was for us today inspired me to practice what I was preaching to my daughter.

I pulled out a dress I wore when I first found out I was pregnant with my first daughter – after I had lost 100 lbs and was in the best shape of my life. I loved that dress… but not as much as I love my daughter.  And why do I want to keep a reminder of the body that I will never have again?  I folded the dress and put it in the bag.

I pulled on a pair of pants that were a little snug.  I loved this pair of pants… the soft cotton felt like velvet on my skin…but once again, they were not flattering. I folded them and put them in a bag.

Do you watch survivor?  You know that final walk where the remaining contestants walk and remember all the other contestants that left before them?  That is sort of what I did today.  I took a walk down memory lane… and it’s not the actual pieces of clothing that I love… it’s the memories I made while I was in them.  And no one can take those away from me.

And I realized- again– that I need stop longing for how I used to look, for the size that I am not…and love me for me.

Today I’m thankful that love comes in “one size fits all”!!

Above all, clothe yourselves with love-  Colossians 3:14

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His Eye is on the Sparrow

Image

Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered.  So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.  Matthew 10:29-31

What is your passion?

Mine has always been music…to create music through singing and playing piano.

Do you know what fuels your passion?

It took me years to realize that my passion was NOT for music- but for Jesus– and that He uses music to express Himself to me.  When I sing or play piano is when I feel closest to Him.

All my life I sang because it made me happy.

But now I sing because I’m free…I have freedom in Christ!

My mom always gets me the most thoughtful gifts!  Last Christmas, she asked me what my favorite Bible verse was.  I told her there were just too many to chose one.  So, she surprised me with the beautiful necklace in the above picture- with the line from one of my favorite hymns- “His Eye Is On the Sparrow”… which just happens to be the title of this blog.

This necklace has proven to be the gift that keeps on giving.

I wear it a lot because it reminds me why I sing- and who I am singing for.  And it just so happens to open the door for some of interesting conversations, too. Like a while back I was getting coffee at Starbucks. The barista asked me about the necklace. She wanted to know if I sang.  And right there in Starbucks, I shared with her why the necklace was special to me and then sang the song for her.

He really does work through ALL thingseven a little necklace– to draw others to Him.

I will sing to the Lord as long as I live;

I will sing praise to my God while I have being. Psalm 104:33

I sing because
I’m happy
I sing because
I’m free
His eye is on
on the sparrow
And I know
he watches me

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the fog lifted…

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perspective changes 

when the fog lifts- we see what 

was there all along

Speaking of fog…over the summer I got to “view” this gorgeous place-  Swannanoa Palace … and it just so happened to be under a heavy blanket of fog that day- adding to the mysterious but still lovely atmosphere.  I had the joy of going back to Swannanoa with my sister and a dear friend recently, to catch a glimpse of the clear mountain views and to take a few more pictures.

I am so thankful for the visit with my sister and our childhood friend!  It doesn’t matter how much time has passed between seeing each other- it’s like no time has passed at all when we are together…and it’s just like we’re kids again!

It is one of the blessings of old friends that you can afford to be stupid with them

– Ralph Waldo Emerson

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panoramic views from the Palace tower

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crystal clear view from the palace tower

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panoramic views from the tower

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the overgrown, but still beautiful pergola

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the pergola on a perfect fall day

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I found this little ivy covered bridge in the garden

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can you imagine waking up to a view like this every day?!

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a view to remember…the Blue Ridge Mountains

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The stunning foliage around the water tower

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Have you ever seen a hydrangea bush this big?!

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The best view of all… my girls and their cousins!

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The water tower (or Rapunzel’s tower… as I like to call it)

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the view of the gardens from the stairwell

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The best view of all… my sister, my dear friend, and our wee ones 🙂

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Swannanoa Palace

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The stained glass TIffany window

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The magnificent stairwell

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The only way to have a friend is to be one

– Ralph Waldo Emerson  

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