I Sing Because I'm Free

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rise and shine

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5 am, eyes open wide

the morning light

called me outside

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the moon and sun

played hide and seek

behind the clouds and mountain’s peak

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And when the sun

did finally rise

His splendor shone before my eyes

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the sky was crystal clear  

My hubby and I took a recent trip to the mountains and one of the things I most looked forward to was watching the sunrise.  From my home, there isn’t a good view of the sunrise, so while we were away, I couldn’t wait to watch the sunrise come up over the mountains!

The funny thing was that I didn’t even set an alarm that first morning- my eyes just popped open at 5am!  I’m definitely a morning person- but 5am is a bit early… thankfully He got me up right on time for the show 🙂

God is good!

 

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enjoying the view…

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early morning… you can still see the moon in the sky 🙂 

From the rising of the sun unto the going down of the same the Lord’s name is to be praised.  

Psalm 113:3

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What I’ve learned at 40…

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I’ve learned that 40 really isn’t that old

and not to believe everything I’ve been told

the older I get, the faster time goes

and the wiser I get, the more I know I don’t know

I’m a mom, and a singer- but those aren’t the things

that define me because I’m a child of the King!

I’ve learned it is better to give than receive

and when I focus on others, the blessing’s on me

I’ve learned that it’s better to wait on the Lord

than to simply do things on my own accord

As a mom, I’m still learning to love and be stern

and I’m learning I’ve still got a lot more to learn!

I’ve learned that money doesn’t measure success

and no earthly treasure will make me feel blessed

As a wife, I’ve learned marriage is a marvelous ride

and it’s been a great joy having him by my side

I’m learning that life is too short to hold grudges

and each day I get better at heeding His nudges

As a kid I could not wait to be on my own

but now that’s the opposite of what I’ve been shown

I’m learning to trust and to always depend

on Jesus for everything– He’s my best friend 🙂

Every day that goes by is a blessing to me

and yes- I’m STILL singing because I am free!

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I am turning 40 on June 9th.  After dreading this number all year, it has turned out to be the most awesome birthday EVER!  I haven’t even officially turned 40, and it has already been so great!  We took an awesome vacation to Florida a couple of weeks ago, I had an amazing surprise (early) birthday party at my church, I traded in my mommy-mobile (my minivan) for a newer car, we voted in a new lead pastor at our church after an entire year of waiting, and my hubby is taking me away this weekend for a belated anniversary/ birthday celebration! Oh, and I also reached my goal weight today 🙂

God is good!!  I am thankful and so very BLESSED!!

 

 

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joy comes in the morning

 

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OBX Sunrise

I sat in silence watching you

reveling in daylight’s debut 

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a front-row seat upon the sand 

morning sprung forth from His hand 

 

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we witnessed daybreak’s glorious light 

across the glassy ocean bright 

 

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like looking through a kaleidoscope 

the beauty filled my soul with hope 

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as I sat in silence watching you 

reveling in daylight’s debut

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I am a “sunset” girl- and I get to see them pretty often.

But getting to see an actual sunrise on the beach?  That’s a special occasion for sure!

It was going to be our last full day at the beach, and so we decided to get up super early and make the 5 minute drive to the ocean to watch the sun come up.  As I was drifting off to sleep the night before, my hubby asked me if I had set the alarm since we were going to get up at the crack of dawn to see this!  No- I had forgotten… huge shocker, lol… I forget EVERYTHING!!  But I just knew the good Lord will wake me up on time to get there, I smiled as I told my husband.

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Sure enough, about 4:30am my eyes popped open.

We drove the short distance to the ocean and as I walked across the dunes, it was like a wonderland.  Misty, slightly cloudy- the ocean water glittered like diamonds, shimmered with rosy hues as it reflected the dawn sky.  It was just stunning.

DSC_0416.jpgI could have sat there all day long.  The Lord woke me up right on time, and He gave us a magnificent morning.

God is good.

…but joy comes in the morning.  Psalm 30:5

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embrace the pace

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embrace the pace 

ain’t got time to be busy!

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here on the water 

the living is easy 

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no agenda to follow 

no schedule to keep 

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we don’t need no alarm 

just let me sleep!

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embrace the pace 

ain’t got time to be busy!

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here on the water-

the living is easy

 

 

 

 

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Even if…

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even if the sky 

grows dark and gray

even if the night

overshadows the day 

even if-

I will praise you

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even if those clouds 

swell up with rain 

even if the sun 

never shines again 

even if- 

I will praise you 

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Even if doubt 

whispers in my ear 

even if circumstance 

tries to bring fear

even if-

I will praise You. 

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You turned my wailing into dancing;

you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy,

that my heart may sing your praises and not be silent.

Lord my God, I will praise you forever.

 Psalm 30

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Burning embers

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like burning embers 

 the daylight flickers and fades

calming the night sky

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This is where “church” is for me-

anywhere there is an open sky and and a grand view of nature…

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For many years, church was a place I went to spend time with God and to be filled up.  Church service was the only place I sang Christian songs, and the only time I earnestly prayed for much of my life.  I was a Sunday Christian.

Now I am overjoyed to be used by Him- to be serving Him and leading worship every week. It’s an awesome thing that now I “get to” serve and help lead others to worship and be “fed” after all those years of being a “consumer” of church…

but after a Sunday Service, I am often left feeling empty and completely drained.

So when I need to “recharge”, I spend time in nature… this is “going to church” for me now.

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Last Sunday evening I jumped into the car and found a perfect spot to worship.  I turned the radio up loud and sang as the colors glowed in the sky.  I felt a peace come over me, and every care I had faded away with the daylight.

And the intimate evening sunset “worship” service was spectacular 🙂

Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe,  for our

“God is a consuming fire.”  

Hebrews 12:28-29

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His word is in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones.

I am weary of holding it in; indeed, I cannot.  

Jeremiah 20:9

 

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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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There’s always a silver lining

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silver-lined clouds on a beautiful day

a blessing is found 

when our praises abound

As we worship Him- He is refining

He shines on us grace 

When we seek His face

He alone is our silver lining

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He knows every care

when our words aren’t there

there’s never a reason for hiding

His Son intercedes

He knows all our needs

He alone is our silver lining

FullSizeRenderRejoice always,  pray without ceasing,  in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.  1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

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Songs in the Sky

FullSizeRenderSongs in the sky- 

five lines and four spaces

perfect melodies sing

the notes of His graces

air breathed clouds

 bring shades of harmony

heavenly tones

a brilliant blue-hued symphony- 

Praise be to God alone

and all for His glory! 

Then those who sing as well as those who play the flutes shall say, “All my springs of joy are in You.” Psalm 87:7

FullSizeRender I glanced up this morning, and I saw Him writing music in the sky.  Those little jet lines made a perfect music staff reaching up to the heavens.  It truly was a fantastic sight.  I couldn’t help but praise Him for the little ways He connects with me.  FullSizeRenderIt was like He was painting a symphony- the sky, His presence, the little birdies singing.  His creation is awe-inspiring.

Oh, how I love Jesus…because He first loved me!

God saw all that he had made, and it was very good.  Genesis 1:31

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All Dried Up

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At first glance it seems as if 

it doesn’t stand a chance

all dried up and withered

due to “desert” circumstance

I admit, I haven’t been

as faithful in its care

I left it by itself

as if it wasn’t even there

but as I take a closer look

a new bud, do I see?

I think it’s not done living yet-

A second chance for me!

IMG_3398I actually cleaned today.  Yes- that’s a small victory worth writing about in itself.  In the process, I thought I’d “clean up” this poinsettia that seemed destined for the dump.  Remember when I predicted the demise of my gorgeous poinsettia  before Christmas?  Well, I had given up and was ready to send it on it’s way to the trash.

I carefully sat the plant in the kitchen sink- after my daughter helped me clear away all the dirty dishes, and I picked each dead leaf off, one by one.  Crinkly, colorless, and void of any life- these dead leaves willingly fell into my hands.  As I cleared all the dead stuff away, to my surprise- I noticed that there were signs of new growth at the top.

So I cleaned it up, watered it, and left it in a sunny spot.

I thought about how much easier my own life would be it I would willingly get rid of things that are keeping me from growing.

I sat the poinsettia back onto my table, knocking over one of my favorite coffee cups. It was broken beyond repair. I have had this cup for over 15 years. It was given to me by a student on my last day of student teaching when I was in college.  I felt like I never really connected with these high school kids, and because of that- I thought of myself as a failure.  Until one of the students came up to me and gave me this coffee cup and a balloon.

It meant the world to me. It was proof that I had mattered to someone.  I’ve drank coffee from that cup nearly every day for the last 15 years.  And for the past 15 years, I’ve also held onto that feeling of “failure”- as unfounded as it was.  So, as I cleaned up my mess and threw the cup in the trash, I agreed to let go of that memory, too.

So, I’m throwing away the “dried up” thoughts and memories that are holding  me down, and throwing away the “dried up” leaves that are preventing new growth on this plant that is still hanging on!

Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead  Philippians 3:13

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