I Sing Because I'm Free

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autumn-atic

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Golden leaves

dripped from trees

as I walked autumn’s

wonderland

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foliage bright

a glorious sight

crafted by

the Master’s Hand

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Final chance

to catch a glance

before the colors 

fade  

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was hard to budge

I felt the nudge

so glad that I obeyed

Praise be to his glorious name forever; may the whole earth be filled with his glory. Amen and Amen.  Psalm 150:6

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He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, Which yields its fruit in its season And its leaf does not wither; And in whatever he does, he prospers.  Psalm 1:3

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For everything there is a season  Ecclesiastes 3:1

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He made the moon to mark the seasons; the sun knows its time for setting.  Psalm 104:19

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You crown the year with your bounty; your wagon tracks overflow with abundance. 

Psalm 65:11

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eclipse

when clouds roll in

over a sky of blue 

and you can’t see the eclipse- 

what’s a girl to do? 

take a picture 

anyway! 

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I’m not really the best at planning ahead, so naturally I did not have a pair of “eclipse” glasses laying around the house.  But honestly, I wasn’t really interested in watching it… I’m just not that into you.

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Until I noticed the sky got all strange looking…and then I couldn’t look away.

 I admit it-  I was sucked into the eclipse obsession, trying my hardest NOT to look up, but still look around at all the cool clouds and colors.

 

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While the eclipse was a bust here in Charlottesville, I experienced my own personal “eclipse” that day.  It seemed as if a cloud were hanging over me when I woke that morning, and I was desperate to see the light of the Lord.  This was partly my own fault.   I’ve been spending way too much time watching the news and surfing the internet… spending time doing meaningless things that I could be spending with the Lord.  So I did everything I could to get my heart and mind completely focused on Him.

I turned off the tv.  I prayed.  I read scriptures.  I cried as I read through the Psalms…

Because your love is better than life,
    my lips will glorify you.
 I will praise you as long as I live,
    and in your name I will lift up my hands.  Psalm 63

I prayed that verse over and over. Because His love is better than life. And the more I prayed it, the more my heart felt it.  He is everything.  He gives me life.  And I thought- why would I ever choose to do anything other than praise the Lord when I have any “down time”?  It is through worship that He fills me up!

Then I watched church on youtube. The first service I clicked on happened to be a baptism service.  It was so beautiful- on one side of the stage, there were people leading worship, and on the other, a pastor was baptizing and praying with people.  You could hear the cheers as the people were baptized.  I was so moved- I cried tears of joy for these people I’d never even met!

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I mean- I was all wrapped up in worship.  Hands raised, crying, singing…

And then I moved on over to the piano.  Words and music flowed out of me effortlessly.

It was such an amazing God-filled day.

It made me really think about how I was spending my “down” time on a regular basis-

Are the things I’m doing bringing me closer to the Lord?

Or are they taking precious time away from Him?

His love is better than life.  

 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.  Philippians 4:8

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a psalm

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I love you Lord, for You are everything to me. 

You are my Protector, my Provider, my Life-giver

my Song Singer, my Joy, and my Redeemer!  

When my head hangs low, you lift it up

when I gaze behind, You shine light 

in front of me 

You mark my path

You pick up each foot, placing one in front of the other. 

It is not my strength, but Yours, Lord 

that keeps me going in the direction of Your path.  

When I see failure, You show me Your victory

When I see darkness, Your light leads me on 

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In our small group we have been going through the book of Psalms.  Being a music lover, the Psalms speak to my heart.  So many of these verses are found in old hymns, and even in the newer contemporary Christian songs.

After reading Psalm 18 one morning,  the Lord prompted me to write a psalm of my own- to praise Him for who He is to me, what He’s done, and what He continues to do in my life.

 Nearly half of the 150 Psalms are attributed to King David.  King David is one of my all-time favorites leaders in the Bible.  He is greatly flawed, yet he is described as a man after God’s own heart.  An imperfect man, yet perfectly in love with the Lord.

His story reminds me to-

constantly seek God’s will

to worship Him with all my heart

to trust Him at ALL times 

to remember what He has done in my life

and to praise Him at ALL times!   

I will praise you, Lord my God, with all my heart; I will glorify your name forever.  

Psalm 86:12
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what’s consuming you?

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For our God is a consuming fire.  

Hebrews 12:29

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I can become consumed with so many things…

What am I gonna make for dinner?! 

Do my girls have clean clothes?  

Did I remember to get those snacks from the store for their lunch? 

What am I gonna wear today?  What doesn’t make me look like a frumpy grandma? 

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But something happens when I see a blazing sky….

2016-09-02-19-56-36-hdrI stop obsessing about tomorrow.

And I stop thinking about what I failed to do yesterday-

I am consumed by the present

and His presence.

 

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Dancing with Jesus

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The sun streaming through the trees on a recent walk… 

I woke up one morning filled with joy-so much so, that I couldn’t stop smiling!  God had answered a very specific prayer of mine in a very special way. I didn’t call anyone to share the good news- I simply spent the day being quiet with Him- and that made the day all the more special!  Doing ordinary, everyday tasks, I felt His presence with me all day.

You will show me the way of life,
    granting me the joy of your presence
    and the pleasures of living with you forever  Psalm 16:11

I had to drive into town and run a few errands- nothing special- but He was there. I remember there being lots of road work and traffic- things that would normally irritate me- but as I sat there in the car, I felt His hand in mine.  It didn’t matter what I did or where I went, feeling His presence in such a way was the most wonderful thing I could have imagined.  As I was driving home from running errands, I noticed the sunlight glittering through the trees.  I remember exactly where I was on the road when I had this vision…

A picture flashed in my mind. It was instantaneous, and yet it felt like an eternity.  As I drove up the curvy road, I saw a vision of Jesus and I holding hands- standing with our arms extended.  We twirled in circles and danced around like children. Sunlight sparkled all around us and there were flowers everywhere.  And then it was gone. It brought tears to my eyes as I thought about what it will be like to be in heaven, worshipping Him for all eternity.

I told my husband about my experience the next day.  I shared with him how I felt His presence all day, and about catching this glimpse of what heaven might be like.  He smiled at me and said it sounded like I needed to write a song about it… and so I did!

“Dancing With Jesus”

It’s a new day

I’m singing your praises

thankful and grateful for all that you are

Driving around

sun shining down

and I see a vision of 

You and me

Your presence is real

I’m moved in my soul

I grab Your hands

as we sway to and fro

I’m dancing with Jesus

Singing, rejoicing, 

and worshipping Him

I’m dancing with Jesus

I rest in Your arms and I know

You are with me wherever I go…

A moment it was

frozen in time

a glimmer of heaven

and what it might be

Amazing and sweet

feeling complete

I surrender all that I am 

at your feet..

How sweet it will be

when Your face, I see

when I get to heaven

and dance with You there

Forever more

and always I’m Yours

In your presence I will 

forever adore You 

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Standing Tall

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Standing tall- a radiant sunflower on a recent day trip

 Listen, stay alert, stand tall in the faith, be courageous, and be strong- 1 Corinthians 16:13

It’s the little things that make me smile.  Sunflowers are one of those things.  I can’t get enough of them.  A daydreamer at heart- I could stare at them all day if I’d let myself!  I remember seeing them when I was young, and wondering how on earth they could have such a huge, beautiful bloom and still stand so tall on such a thin stalk.

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God’s business is putting things right; he loves getting the lines straight, Setting us straight. Once we’re standing tall, we can look him straight in the eye.  Psalm 11:7 (MSG)

I remember when I was in elementary school feeling self-conscious of how tall I was. Feeling like a giant, I often walked around with hunched shoulders, hoping it would allow me to fit in and not be noticed by others for my tallness. Standing tall meant that I would be standing out above the crowd- literally. It was during my adolescence that I took notice of sunflowers and how beautiful they are.  If they somehow had the strength to stand tall, certainly I could find it the strength to embrace my tallness and do the same.  I began to realize all the beautiful things I missed out on seeing by hunching and looking down all the time.

And one of the things I detested about myself as a child, I have grown to appreciate. I love being able to grab something off the top shelf for a friend, or a fellow shopper in the grocery store.  By His grace, I now stand tall for my faith in Christ. And I stand tall for my fast-growing daughters- who look up to me (literally and figuratively) and follow my example.

God’s business is putting things right; he loves getting the lines straight, Setting us straight. Once we’re standing tall, we can look him straight in the eye.  Psalm 11:7 (MSG)

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I Wait

I am lost, lost, lost 

without You, You, You

showing me, me, me

what to do, do, do

so I wait, wait, wait, 

patiently-ly-ly

as I sit in 

sweet surrender

at Your feet

won’t You sing

over me

with your sweet sweet 

melody 

 I wait patiently

as I worship

at Your feet

Therefore the LORD waits to be gracious to you, and therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you. For the LORD is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for him.  Isaiah 30:18

I remember being worried sick over little things that were completely out of my control.  And every single time, whatever it was, it worked itself out. Or He worked it out, unbeknownst to me.  When my girls were babies, I taught piano and voice lessons out of my home. I was blessed with wonderful students who would take turns being my “helper” and they would watch my girls while I taught.  Often, one would get sick or something would happen and I would not have a babysitter.  I remember the sheer panic I felt, as if my entire world was going to end. But each and every time, He met my need.  

I think about all the unnecessary stress I caused myself over worrying- not to mention the gray hairs I added to my head.  It has taken me a long time- and I have a long way to go- but I am beginning to see these things as opportunities- for God to show me how faithful He is.  Often when we say “wait”- we mean to “stop”.  When God asks us to wait, He calls us to action– to worship with adoration and expectation! He wants us to commit our situations to Him, and to know that He will answer- in His timing, in His perfect way.   

I wrote this song recently as I waited for Him. And I’m still waiting…and the worship is sweet as I look to my Heavenly Father for guidance and direction- in all things!  

The waiting doesn’t ends- until He calls us home.  

I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.
Psalm 27:13 

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