I Sing Because I'm Free

This WordPress.com site is the bee's knees

dream a little dream

 

IMG_2799

I woke up the other morning with JOY just flowing through my veins!  I mean, I was so excited, I couldn’t contain it!  I had the most amazing dream- it was one of those dreams that was so real, it was being in a movie!  I literally sat up in my bed and cheered- “Woohooo!!!”

The hubs was already awake, so I went into the living room to share the excitement with him, lol.

“Oh.My.GOODNESS!  I had the BEST dream EVER”, I tell my husband.

IMG_0487

Now, mind you, he’s not a morning person… so he smiled and said not now.  Go write it down and tell me all about it later.  He handed me a few pieces of paper from the printer and a pen and I sat down and tried to write fast enough to capture all the juicy details.

About 10 minutes later, he turned around to me and said are you STILL writing?!

Yep!  Almost done!

I won’t bore you with all the nitty-gritty details of my dream, but the main focus was that I had found something special that belonged to a stranger.  I tracked down the stranger and was about to give them this item, and then I lost it while I was in the mall.  I prayed and prayed that I would find it, and I had all sorts of shoppers and salespeople looking for it.

I remember the feeling of expectation I had in the dream- I just KNEW I was going to find this thing!  And sure enough, I did!  I was so overjoyed that I jumped up and down and raised both arms in the air and shouted “Praise the Lord, Praise the Lord!”

dsc_0281

And that’s how I woke up that morning!  I was on cloud nine!  I wanted to jump up and down and tell the whole world how much I loved the Lord.

But the coolest thing happened to me that day-  I had that feeling of joy inside me ALL DAY LONG! I started thinking about how awesome it would be to wake up praising the Lord like that EVERY DAY- simply because we have another day to enjoy life!

Life’s all about perspective.

How different our lives would be if we saw every moment as an opportunity to praise the Lord!

I will praise the Lord at all times.
    I will constantly speak his praises.  Psalm 34

5 Comments »

lean on me

img_2038

The heavens unleashed a downpour around us as the girls and I sat waiting in the drive-thru line.  We were at Chick-fil-a, where everything is their pleasure!  I just love that place!  Not only are they uber pleasant, but their food is always awesome.

Anyway, back to my story…

We were sitting there and a tan sedan was trying to pull in between myself and the car in front of me to park in the handicap spot on the other side of my van.  I watched the car slowly pull into the space and park.  The gentleman took his time getting out of the car.

In the pouring rain, he opened the car door and tried to steady his wobbly feet.  My best guess was that he must have been in his late ’70’s or early ’80’s.  He slowly shuffled down the side of his car to the trunk.  The girls and I were quite curious as to what he was doing.  He was taking his time and the rain was really coming down hard at this point!  As we continued to pull forward in line, we turned to see what he was up to.

We watched him carefully take out a walker as he slowly shut the trunk of his car.  He pushed it to the other side and that’s when we saw him open the passenger side. There sat a beautiful lady, all dolled-up for a day out with her husband.  He took her hand and she turned and placed her own wobbly feet on the ground.  He helped her stand and handed her the walker.

I had tears as I watched this man stand in the pouring rain, holding the door for this lady and helping her to her feet.

FullSizeRender

That’s what love is all about! I said to my girls through my tears.  Always putting your spouse first, because that’s what honors the Lord.  

We watched her maneuver the walker so that she could slide up the handicap ramp, and I watched as he rested his arm around her.

I thought to myself- doesn’t he need his own walker? And then I started to cry as I realized

he was leaning on her.

dsc_0281

Well a man shall leave his mother and a woman leave her home
They shall travel on to where the two shall be as one
As it was in the beginning, is now until the end
Woman draws her life from man and gives it back again
And there’s love
“There is love”- Noel Paul Stookey

 Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love. 1 Corinthians 13:13

4 Comments »

seasons in between

IMG_5742

I walked to the beat 

of falling leaves 

IMG_5759 

beneath my feet 

leaves thick as thieves

img_3259

I watched the foliage 

drift and sway 

img_3487

on this breezy, balmy

autumn day 

img_3488

I wanted to hit the pause button again this morning. This is my favorite time of year… that time when we are still full with Thanksgiving JOY and yet we anticipate all the excitement the Christmas Season brings!!   And secretly, I wish I could hoard pumpkin spice EVERYTHING so that I could savor it a bit longer…

IMG_5759

Speaking of this in-between season, I’ve got a ‘tween at home…  She marches to her own beat, and I honestly don’t know what’s going to come out of her mouth from moment to moment.  A strong willed child, she’s also a delightful mix of sarcasm, humor and wit.  Her name is “Sophia” which actually means wisdom.

I was out running errands with both girls the other day, and my oldest commented that I’m getting old.  My jaw dropped as I turned to her with a look of disbelief that she would say such a horrid thing!

Well, I guess there’s a little bit of truth to that- I will hit the big 4-0 in June….ugghh….

Without skipping a beat, my youngest chimes in with her words of wisdom- “Mom, I like that you’re getting older- it means your more experienced!”

My heart warmed just a little bit as I turned to look at her lovingly.  “Soph, that’s so sweet!”

“Well, I just said it to make you feel better.  You ARE old!”

Sigh.   

But then, just a few days later, she surprised me again…

I went to my favorite grocery store the other day- Trader Joe’s.  If you’ve never been- you are missing out.  I love everything about this place!  The employees treat me like a long, lost friend- always eager to chit-chat and offer suggestions of new things to try.  I was desperate, I mean DESPERATE for more Pumpkin Spice k-cups, but, alas, they were all out.

At check out, the cashier asked me if I found everything I was looking for.  I told him how I wanted more Pumpkin Spice coffee.  We both commiserated over the ending of the “pumpkin season”,  and he shed an imaginary tear with me.

Then my  daughter piped up-

“But Mom, it wouldn’t be as special if you had it all the time!” 

So true.

Which reminds me to treasure those special days with these girls… because just like pumpkin spice- they are only young for a “season”!

“It’s been my experience that you can nearly always enjoy things if you make up your mind firmly that you will.” – L.M. Montgomery 

IMG_5750

2 Comments »

Now I See

 

img_3585

Clouds swirled in, I heard them call-

“come see us up the mountaintop!” 

img_3584

breezes swished in the apple-crisp air 

leaves swirled ’round without a care 

img_3581

the wind- it whirled and howled about

orchestrating a most glorious shout!  

img_3580

I felt the marvelous presence of Grace 

and His glory surrounded this heavenly place 

I awoke one recent morning to the most beautiful sight- streams of sunlight  were peeking through my mini-blinds in my bedroom, shedding light on blankets and girls and dogs strewn about our bedroom floor.  We had an adventurous evening the day before, and our girls decided to sleep on our bedroom floor, along with the dogs that night.

I was the first one awake the next morning, and I saw that moment as a gift from the Lord.  The girls looked like burritos- rolled up in blankets, and the dogs were curled up beside them.  My husband slept soundly beside me, and I was completely overwhelmed with God’s love.  In that moment, I realized everything that mattered to me was in that one room- and it was more than enough.  I had to fight back tears as I thought of the girls getting older, and how things will someday change.  I can’t bear to think of the day when they leave home…so I savored this rare moment when ALL of us were together, slumbering in the same room.

That overwhelming feeling of love was with me the entire day.  The girls and I went to the movies, and as we came out of the theater, we noticed the temperature had dropped significantly and the clouds were swirling in the sky.  On the way home, we went up to Carter’s Mountain to get some apples and cider donuts.  The view was just spectacular.

I have so much to be thankful for.

“…There is one thing I do know: I was blind, but now I see!”- John 9:25

 

 

 

2 Comments »

contentment

2016-09-20-19-23-13-1

I took my youngest daughter to the bus stop one recent chilly fall morning, and as I pulled around the corner-  I saw a rose colored sunrise in the sky, dew drops glistened on amber colored tree leaves, and lots and lots of kids. Happy children ran back and forth across the quiet street, playing with a new puppy. Mommas were gathered with coffee mugs in hand, some with their dogs leashed up along side them.

As I sat in my van (honestly I was hiding in my minivan… I was still in my pajamas, lol) my daughter said goodbye and dashed crossed the street.  She began chatting away with the other kids at the stop, talking excitedly, grinning from ear to ear about something.

And in that moment, I fought back tears.  Because this was my greatest dream as a child- to have a family! 

I have been so guilty of seeking happiness in the wrong places…and thinking if only this or that would happen (insert any number of random circumstances), I would be so much happier…

But that morning it hit me like a ton of bricks how greatly blessed I am.

I have a wonderful husband who loves me, and he’s a great provider for our family.

I have two amazing, healthy, intelligent girls whom I have great expectations of doing awesome things in the future… and my greatest hope is for them to serve the Lord in whatever they choose to do with their lives.

Our greatest source of joy is found only in Jesus… not in anyone or in anything else!

I told my husband that I felt like an old mom that day.  I came in the house from taking my youngest to the bus stop wearing exactly what I had slept in.  My hair was all disheveled, and I didn’t have shoes on.  When I look in the mirror these days, I see a few more laugh lines and wrinkles on my face.  And you know what?

I’m ok with that 🙂

I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.  Philippians 4:12

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.  Romans 15:13

IMG_2823

 

8 Comments »

a blanket of blessings

2016-09-17-11-47-34

stitch by stitch 

it was frozen in time 

I watched it grow 

and dreamed it was mine 

soft and warm 

like an autumn sky

an afghan brings memories

of days gone by 

 My mom recently and asked me if there was anything in particular that I would like to have that belonged to my Granny.  Oddly enough, something immediately came to my mind- an afghan.  Not just any afghan- it was one my mom had made for my Pawpaw nearly 30 years ago.

So I said to my mom- “Do you remember that old afghan you made for Pawpaw?  I would love to have it if it’s still at the house!”  She remembered it right away, and said she’d try to find it that weekend.

As a kid, I remember sitting beside my mom on the couch each night as she crocheted it.   I wanted that blanket!  It was soo soft, and I remember thinking about how much my mom must love her daddy to spend all that time making it for him!  I believe she gave it to him for Christmas that year.

And every time we went to visit Granny and Pawpaw, I saw that blanket folded neatly on top of his recliner.  I secretly wanted to sit in his chair so I could spread it across my lap and pretend it was mine!

Year after year, Every time I saw the afghan, the memories of those special evenings I spent sitting beside my mom, watching her crochet… those memories would come right back to me.

As I was sitting in church the following Sunday, I saw a text from mom.  They looked everywhere for the afghan, and mom went out to the garage to put something in the freezer- and there it was, in perfect condition tucked beside the freezer.

I was able to pick it up later that next week.  The afghan was a little stiff, and slightly musty from old age, so I carefully washed and dried it.  Now it’s as good as new!

Its not the afghan itself that’s special- it’s the precious memories it brings back to me…of being a little girl, sitting beside my Mommy on the couch…just simply being together.

“After all,” Anne had said to Marilla once, “I believe the nicest and sweetest days are not those on which anything very splendid or wonderful or exciting happens but just those that bring simple little pleasures, following one another softly, like pearls slipping off a string.”
L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Avonlea

8 Comments »

things aren’t always what they seem…

Like lots of middle-aged folks, I have a hard time going to sleep at night.  Now that summer is in full swing, our normal “school year” routine has flown out the window.  I have never been one to stay up late, and no matter what time I go to bed- my eyes pop open at the crack of dawn.  My hubby has always been a night owl, and our two girls have inherited this trait from him- much to my dismay!

So needless to say, it’s hard going to sleep early while the rest of the house is still awake. I have been keeping myself up ’til everyone is settled, but I still wake up around 5 am or so every morning. Imagine my surprise when I found this in Target the other day-

IMG_2342

ahhh….. deep sleep at last!!!!

Really?  I can get my vitamins and a special sleep potion all in one fizzy drink??  SOLD!!

I was hopeful- really hopeful, that I was going to sleep like a baby that first night. So around 9pm, I poured my glass of water and emptied one of the powdered packets into the glass.  I smelled the berry flavor as I stirred and then chugged it down.  It was actually really refreshing.  And the powder dissolved completely- another strange pet peeve I have (having powdered residue in my drinks really bothers me!)

I fell asleep really fast that night.  So fast that I didn’t even remember my head hitting the pillow.  But much to my dismay- I was awake by 1am! I was super annoyed.  This was supposed to be my sleepless cure!  I got up to use the restroom and then quickly went back to sleep.

Until I was up at 3am…you guessed it- to use the bathroom.  Again.  In fact, I used this Emergen-zzzz several nights before I realized it was actually causing me to wake up multiple times a night to use the restroom.

So whose bright idea was it to make a sleep aid that actually causes you to wake up to pee several times a night?!

I’ve laughed for days about this because I have one of the smallest bladders known to man, and also because it never crossed my mind that it might actually cause me to wake up!

I’d say a better name for this product would be Emergen-p!

11 Comments »

stop and smell the roses

DSC_0428.jpg

This week, I celebrated birthday #39, and it was also my 3 year anniversary of starting this blog.  I feel like I’ve been celebrating for a few weeks now, because my hubby surprised me with my birthday gift a bit early.  We took a trip to the beach a few weeks ago, and the day we arrived, he gave me a big box.  Seeing how excited he was to give it to me made me even more giddy to see what it was! DSC_0442

He bought me a nifty new camera- all decked out with different lenses and filters and a tripod… more stuff than I know what to do with!  And I love that he gave it to me when he knew I’d have the time to learn how to use it.    DSC_0444

One day while we were at the beach, we visited the Elizabethan Gardens.  The weather was gorgeous- just slightly breezy and warm.  With my swanky new camera dangling from my neck, we strolled through the gardens, taking in all the scenery.  DSC_0418

It was definitely a day to remember!  Just the two of us, leisurely strolling along without a care in the world- except to enjoy the beauty around us. DSC_0495

Here he is, trying to sneak away from the camera… holding my camera bag and map in hand…

I was so thankful for all the the Lord has  blessed me with, and for the wonderful husband He has given me to share my life with-  someone I still look forward to going on dates with.  Someone who makes me see things from a different perspective.  Someone who knows me better than I know myself at times, and who always sees the best in me.  DSC_0419

I’m gonna to make it a priority as I begin the countdown to birthday # 40 to

stop and smell the roses

to appreciate His creation

to spend more time with my family and friends  

and to seek JOY!

DSC_0424.jpg

The Lord is my strength and shield.
    I trust him with all my heart.
He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy.  Psalm 28:7

DSC_0503

For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit-  Romans 15:17

DSC_0483

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13

DSC_0490

21 Comments »

If you love something, set it free…

IMG_1690

Sometimes as a mom, we have to let go of our own dreams for our kids so they can pursue their own passions.   I’m not ashamed to admit that I sometimes live vicariously through my girls. We want for them to experience the same joys we had as children, while at the same time- we want to make things better than we had it, too.

One of those things for me was being involved in chorus.  Although my girls love to sing, they have NO DESIRE to sing in chorus.  It broke my heart a little bit, but both of them have been playing in the band at school.

My youngest came home the other day and begged to take a different elective next year.

But you are so good at the clarinet!  You will regret it if you don’t continue! I told her.  I secretly wanted to cry when she told me she didn’t want to do band anymore.  She loves art and wanted to explore other things in school.

Honestly, I wanted to put my foot down and not give her the option of quitting.  I think as parents we have to encourage our kids to do the things that they excel at- because if we don’t, who else will? But my husband and I talked and he asked me if I wanted her to do band because it was something I wanted for her.  He felt like we should give her the option to choose what she wanted to do.  I thought my heart was going to break, but I told her that evening that it was her decision. I had to trust the Lord and let go of my own desire for her.  She chose to not take band and I begrudgingly signed the form for her.

This past week was my daughters’ band concert. I was so sad that my daughter opted not to do band next year, I didn’t even want to go that night.  I watched my youngest walk onto the stage and she found us instantly in the audience.  She smiled the whole time she was up there. I was so proud.  I watched all of them tapping their feet to the beat, bobbing their heads up and down to the tempo. They finished, and my youngest was brimming with pride.  I held back tears, knowing it was the last time she would be sitting up there.

photo 1

It was a bittersweet evening.  I can’t explain why, but every time I go to a band or a chorus concert, I get really emotional. If it weren’t for my involvement in music in school, I don’t know where I’d be today.

And then later that evening, my youngest daughter sat near me and began to cry.

Momma, I DO want to do band!  And I want to play all through high school.  Please, can I change my schedule?   I don’t ever want to stop…

I hadn’t imagined it. She really does love to play.

If I had put my foot down and made her take band next year, she may have not had that epiphany. I was so thankful that she realized how much playing in band meant to her that night.

It was truly the greatest Mother’s Day gift I could have received this year.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart
    and lean not on your own understanding;  Proverbs 3:5

photo

6 Comments »

when things get in the way

 

IMG_1809.jpg

We were searching for the perfect view of the sunset the other evening.  In two weeks we will be at the beach where we’ll have a perfect view for 7 straight days!  But why wait?

So we went to the lake, hoping to see the sunset.  And wouldn’t you know it- those darned trees were in the way.  Just like they always are.  Every. Single. Time.

IMG_1812.jpg

And then as I tried to snap pictures, my handsome hubby tried to dodge them.  I still managed to get him in this one…

IMG_1817.jpgWe watched the young lady on the pier walk away, and we thought we had the beach all to ourselves.  Just as we started talking and reminiscing, an elderly gentleman walked up to us.

“And you thought you were going to be here all by yourselves,” he said with a twinkle in his eyes as he approached us. He told us he was 85 and he had been married for 50 years. He shared all sorts of random memories with us, including stories from the glory days of baseball- which happens to be a passion of my hubby’s.

As they talked together, I thought about all the times our “dates” have gotten interrupted, or when the trees have gotten in the way, or when our plans have changed.  Most times it would leave me being frustrated- because my focus was always on ME- wanting to make MYSELF happy.

But watching the joy on this elderly man’s face as he shared his memories with us made the evening even more lovely. And seeing my husband share this sweet moment with a total stranger made me love him even more. Life is so much more full when we make it about bringing joy to other people, when our days not about our own agenda- but when we focus our attention on others.

All that stuff that gets in the way?  I’m convinced those things are really blessings in disguise- if only we know what to look for!

13 Comments »