take a walk

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take a walk with me 

see the landscape through my eyes 

become like children 

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clouds illuminate 

and direct my attention 

to our Creator

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glittering sunbeams 

highlight the snow’s afterglow 

and dance in the sky 

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the sun awakens 

ice crunching beneath my feet 

the only sound heard 

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take a walk with me 

see the snowscape through my eyes 

become like children 

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There’s a patch of old snow in a corner
     That I should have guessed
Was a blow-away paper the rain
     Had brought to rest.

It is speckled with grime as if
     Small print overspread it,
The news of a day I’ve forgotten—
     If I ever read it.

Robert Frost 

 

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hurry up and wait

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hurry up and 

wait- 

what’s the rush? 

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lay down a while 

and feel the lush 

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fresh dewy grass 

beneath my feet 

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a  morning’s walk 

nearly complete

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perched under a kelly-green

foliage canopy

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that’s where you’ll 

be finding me! 

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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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Wait for the Lord;
    be strong and take heart
    and wait for the Lord.  Psalm 27:14

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get thee behind me

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“get thee behind me” 

everywhere I look

temptations lurk

seeking to derail

hoping I fail

and fall

into sin’s trap

sticky like sap

it clings to me

images of

the enemy

and what he

wants me to be

Get thee

behind me!

By the grace of He

and His mercy

I am now free

So to the enemy

I say-

make like a tree

Since He himself has gone through suffering and testing, he is able to help us when we are being tested.  Hebrews 2:18

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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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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

art and worship

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I had my boundaries stretched this past week.  I love how God turns my thoughts upside down and takes me out of my comfort zone.  We all have ideas in our head about what it looks like when people are worshipping– whether we are engaged in the singing or intently focused on the pastor preaching the message during a Sunday morning service.

“Mom, do you think I could bring coloring pencils and color while the pastor is preaching?” my older daughter asked me this past week.  She explained that it is hard for her to focus, but that during her classes at school, she “doodles” and that it helps her listen better.

I admit- I didn’t know what to say at first, because she’s not so little anymore. I am ashamed to say that part of me worried about what other people might think if I allow my (almost) 13 year old to color during the service.  But, I love to doodle- and I can definitely say that it helps me to focus, too. So I told her she could- as long as she was discreet and as long as she sat beside me and LISTENED to the message.

After I finished the last song during the music part of the service, I sat down beside her.  She quietly took out her pencils and began to fill in the little patterns. I was mesmerized watching her, and part of my own creative brain longed to color with her! As the pastor led us to a time of prayer, I went back to the piano and played.  When we were finished, my daughter had already put away her things and was all smiles.

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My daughter’s colorful creation

I began to think- coloring with your hands isn’t all that different from me playing the piano.  During almost every prayer I am “doodling” on the piano keys (which I like to call “noodling” around).  And for me- that is absolutely worship!  I am praying silently as I am playing- and I always feel more connected to Him through the movement of my hands across the keys.

Afterwards, I quizzed her in the car.

“So, what was the message about?”

She remembered everything- even the three main points of the sermon.  Seeds had been planted- and for me, that’s the most important thing of all.

So, can art be a part of worship?  Absolutely. I think anything we do can be an act of worship- even coloring – if our mind and heart are focused on the Lord.

I’m proud of her for not worrying about what other people would think. And I’m a bit disappointed in myself for caring too much.

So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.

1  Corinthians 10:31

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Create in me…

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Create in me a pure heart, O God,
    and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Do not cast me from your presence
    or take your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of your salvation
    and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.

Psalm 51

Today I am excited to collaborate with some lovely people who write for the blog church set free!  We are all writing about what worship means to us.  I hope you will visit the site and that it will encourage you in your journey to knowing and growing closer to Him…  

Psalm 51, for me, defines what worship is all about.  It is through the process of “creating” that He inspires me to worship, drawing me closer to Him.  My love for God compels me to create (sing, write music, poetry, take photographs) and as I worship, He is at work within me- renewing me, purifying my heart, and filling me with joy!

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Worship is how I connect to Him. I pour out my heart to Him and seek to know Him more. Worship is loving God, and allowing His love to flow through me in my everyday life. I am learning how to love Him more every single day…and that all begins with worship.

Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.

Romans 12:1

Worship in itself is an act of obedience. He is worthy of our praise- no matter how we feel or what our circumstances are because He is God!  I worship Him by allowing Him to use all of my life for His glory.  As someone who is a creative person, it is a challenge to “create” when I do not feel inspired…but it is through that process that He fills me.  Even though worship is not based on emotion- there is no greater joy for me than feeling His presence when I am sitting at the piano creating music.

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For we live by faith, not by sight.

2 Corinthians 5:7

This is a song I wrote based on Psalm 51 last week. Singing and creating music is a huge part of how I worship and connect with Him. Last week, I was not feeling very “joyful”- but through the process of creating music, He was at work- restoring the joy of His salvation within me.  And praise the Lord, today I can honestly say- He has restored my joy!

Memories…like the corners of my mind

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my oldest playing her flute as I play piano…

I think of all

the things I thought

and how I used to feel

Remembering all my

childhood angst

the moments

 become real

connecting through our stories

sharing thoughts

and spending time

I’m reliving my own childhood

as I watch these

girls of mine!

I did something out of the ordinary the other day- I gave my daughters my undivided attention.  It would be fair to say that most days my attention is split in a thousand different directions- but the rare afternoons I give them ALL of me are ones I never regret.

My older daughter was under the weather and stayed home from school, and much to my delight- she is so loving and pleasant when she is sick.  She spent most of the day laying in my bed as I cleaned and did laundry.  We talked about life and school and all sorts of pre-teen things.

When my youngest one came home from school, I devoted all of my time to her.  We began with a piano lesson where she confessed that one day she wanted to play just like me.

“Can I play piano for church someday?” she asked me during our lesson.

Be still my beating heart!  There is nothing that would make me prouder than seeing my children give their gifts to the Lord- whatever those gifts may be! And she continued to ask me all sorts of questions about my childhood…

“Momma?  Do you remember who your kindergarten teacher was?”

“I sure do! She even had a dress that looked like one Caroline Ingalls would have worn from Little House on the Prairie!” My older daughter, in the next room, couldn’t resist joining our conversation.

“What about your first grade teacher?”

“Yep- I remember being so sad that I cried for the entire first week of school.  I wanted to stay home with my mom and was sad to leave my sister.  I cried so much that my teacher put an entire box of tissues on my desk!”

We had a good laugh about that one.  As I recalled each of my elementary teachers, I also remembered little stories that connected me with my girls, allowing me to remember just how big those “little” things seemed to me at the time.

I remembered being asked to create a still-life drawing by my art teacher in the 5th grade.  She wanted to submit my artwork for a chance for me to attend a special art program in our city. With utmost care, I sketched the encyclopedia bookcase in my dining room- carefully drawing the many potted plants my mom had surrounding it. I thought it was the best thing I had ever created.  I was so proud of that drawing!  I remember handing it into my teacher, sure that I would be picked to be in this elite group of artists… but my dream was crushed.  I wasn’t chosen.  I didn’t think I would ever draw again after that day.

My youngest daughter loves to draw, and she was especially touched by that story.

“Why don’t you draw anymore?” my daughter asked me inquisitively.

“Well, I really loved music, so I spent most of my free time playing piano instead of drawing.”

I remember the day I found out I didn’t make it into the art program.  I was devastated, and felt like I would never be good enough at anything.  That feeling was as real to me as I shared the story with my girls as it was 25 years ago.  Something I was so proud of was just not good enough.

I thought about how different my life could have been if I been accepted into that art program…it was later that year that I began taking piano lessons…

But perhaps He knew I’d have no time to sing

and no time to play piano

Perhaps I would have never written any poems

or any songs 

And in that moment of sharing my memories, He opened my eyes to this- it has taken me 25 years to see the blessing in being a “rejected” art student… because just maybe He knew He had something far better in store for that 10 year old girl!

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.  Jeremiah 29:11

 

when I dream

20150302_182412when I dream

of what will be-

all I see

is you and me

sitting high

above the trees

as we watch

the setting sun

’till all that’s left

are twinkling lights

of a starry, starry

moonlit night

we dream of what

tomorrow brings-

when we’ll watch

the rising sun

I peeked through my curtains the other evening and all I saw was a cloudless, monochromatic sky.  No color to be seen. Imagine my surprise when I got an email a few minutes later from my hubby (who was at work) with this magnificent sunset picture!  Isn’t it so peculiar that I would see nothing… and yet my husband got this spectacular show of color? On the same night, only a few miles away?

But the beauty was that he knew how much I would appreciate it, and so he took the picture for me.

A picture worth thousand “I love you’s”!

We love because He first loved us.  1 John 4:19