I Sing Because I'm Free!

This WordPress.com site is the bee's knees

do stuff with your kids


one day I’ll look back-

grateful for the time I spent

being with my girls

I love haikus. They say a lot with few words. Sometimes lots of words make me tired, lol!

Like yesterday- for some reason I was really, really tired. I could chalk it up to the time change and still getting adjusted to that, but I was really wanting to take a nap when I got home yesterday afternoon.

And then my daughters got home. One of my girls has been begging me every day to take one of our dogs to the dog park (the other one of them is not so friendly, that’s for another post, lol…). I said earlier in the week that it would be too muddy from all the rain we have had lately- which was true. It is also true that I am tired and don’t feel like going anywhere extra once the girls get home.

She asked me again yesterday. My whole “muddy” excuse didn’t really fly after the few gorgeous, sunny days we have had here. I began to think about what a blessing it is that my 16 year old daughter really WANTS me to do something with her. I began to think about all the other things that will eventually get in the way of her time… a job, college (one day), future relationships, children… the list goes on and on. One day she will be too busy for me.

So I made an extra cup of coffee and said “Sure! Let’s go!”

Can I tell you what a joy it was for me to say yes to her?

All smiles, she was, as we got into the car with our friendly fur baby! She beamed from ear to ear the entire drive. She kept saying how she hoped there would be other dogs there that ours could be friends with. And sure enough, we pulled up to the dog park, and there were several dogs playing.

Our dog pranced around the fenced in park- reveling in his newfound freedom. I sat on a bench and watched as my daughter went up to strangers to talk to them about their dogs. I was so proud of her. She is shy and it takes a lot for her to initiate conversation with strangers, but dogs are her love language. Bring a dog around her and she can’t help but be joyful.

It was a perfect afternoon.

My other daughter asked me to do something with her today.

This time I didn’t hesitate.

I can’t wait for our afternoon together ūüôā

Children are a heritage from the Lord,
    offspring a reward from him.
Like arrows in the hands of a warrior
    are children born in one’s youth.
 Blessed is the man
    whose quiver is full of them.
They will not be put to shame
    when they contend with their opponents in court- Psalm 127:3-5

Advertisements
2 Comments »

these are the days

these are the days

of loud music blaring in cars

girls belting tunes

as if they were the stars

these are the days

of selfies and laughs

dabbling in makeup

and perfecting the craft

these are the days

when emotions run low… and high

these are the days

that too quickly will pass by


I can hardly believe that my oldest daughter just turned 16. How did that even happen?! I remember finding out I was pregnant with her and the overwhelming joy I experienced when I held her in my arms as a newborn. It seems like yesterday, and yet it was a lifetime ago.

Katie

I remember celebrating all their “firsts”… the first smile, laugh, their first bite of baby food, sitting up, crawling, walking… the list goes on and on. It seemed like those days of them being children would last forever!

My youngest just got braces last week and lost her last baby tooth (finally!!) the week before. And after only a week, I look at her and see the remnants of her sweet baby face fading away…

Sigh.

Sixteen is way way to close to eighteen…and way too close to technically being an adult. And I am so not ready for that.

Not at all.

But life keeps on marching whether I’m ready or not!

Sophie

So for today, I will savor every car ride with the girls and I’ll let them turn up the music. I’ll laugh along at their crazy stories and selfies. I’ll let them put makeup on me and style my hair, and I’ll let them invite their friends over often. And those moments when motherhood overwhelms and stresses me out- I will remind myself to soak up all the joy I can.

Because one day they will be out of the house and all will be quiet.

And that day is coming way, way too soon!

Train up a child in the way he should go,
[aAnd when he is old he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6

Me and my Soph
Me and my birthday girl- Katie
Leave a comment »

all things are becoming NEW

Seasons come

and seasons go 

but they always cycle back 

you know?

An old skill resurrected- 

I’ll teach 

new lives

for my heart to reach! 

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is fullsizeoutput_26e8.jpeg

I am super excited to do something old today… well, I mean NEW!

When I got out of college, I began teaching music in public school. I loved my job, but I knew it would only be for a “season”. Once I knew I was expecting our first daughter, I wanted to be at home with her. I started teaching voice and piano lessons in my home and it worked out perfectly for a season while my girls were little… and then as the girls got older and began going to school, the afternoon/evening schedule became harder for our family. What a blessing it was that once I decided to not take on any new students, gradually they moved on to other things. I was on staff part time at church, and as my responsibilities increased there- my students decreased until I had none.

It has been nearly 7 years since I have taught voice and piano lessons, and for some strange reason I have wanted to start to teach again. I love pouring my musical passion into others and helping to cultivate their skills. I love watching those “aha” moments when your students really grasp a new concept, reach a new level in their musical understanding… and I LOVE recitals! Watching students grow and bloom and become more confident is the most amazing thing! My goal in teaching is not to make the next musical prodigy- but to make them fall in love with the craft of making music!

I recently reached out to a local music studio and they happened to be in need of a voice teacher. It’s only 10 minutes from my house and I am going to teach one afternoon a week. The set up is perfect for me. The girls are in high school and are self sufficient now and another blessing- I don’t have to keep my whole house clean (like I did when I taught in my home!) Woohoo!! And while I am still on staff and work part time at church, I can easily add an afternoon of teaching to my schedule.

So today is my day 1-and all of my time slots are filled! I have 7 voice students and one piano student, and I can’t wait to meet them today ūüôā

Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are becoming new.

2 Corinthians 5:17

2 Comments »

in sickness and in health

I woke up this past Sunday and I didn’t have much of a voice. But after leading worship for over 9 years now, I have learned to let go of any anxious thoughts about my own “performance”, and watch Him work! As I prayed that morning, I heard Him impress these thoughts on my heart-

It’s not about you. Worship is never about you… it’s about giving all you’ve got to Me. I don’t need your perfection- I just need your heart.

It might sound a little strange, but mornings like those make me love Him even more. Because I know that He is always always faithful. The weaker I feel, the more I press into Him… and the more I press into Him- the greater I sense His presence through worship.

But he said to me,¬†‚ÄúMy grace¬†is sufficient for you, for my power¬†is made perfect in weakness.‚Ä̬†Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ‚Äôs power may rest on me. 2 Corinthians 12:9

2 Comments »

GO!

IMG_0025

I think I think a lot about 

nostalgic memories 

how thing were, the way they are, 

and what might come to be 

too much time I spend in thought 

so I thought that you should know   

I think my motto for the year is simply just to-

“GO”¬†

My mind can be my own worst enemy. ¬†So many thoughts and ideas all at once, and it’s hard to slow my brain down at times. ¬†And I can overthink the simplest things- like fretting over stopping by the grocery store. ¬†Because more than likely I am already running late, and what if I see someone I know? ¬†Then it might make me even LATER because I have to stop and speak to them! ¬†And by the time I have thought this through, I have already added 5 extra minutes to my lateness! ¬†I’ve got to stop overthinking stupid stuff and just GO to the store when I need to GO!

I’ve gotten better over this past year… making lists and checking them twice- umm I mean checking them off… obeying whatever the Lord tells me to do with less hesitation…letting go of all sorts of stuff that holds me back. ¬†But I’ve got more work to do!

So, here’s to less thinking/analyzing, and more GO!

Onward, Christian soldiers, 
marching as to war,
With the cross of Jesus
GOing on before!
Christ, the royal Master,
leads against the foe;
Forward into battle,
see his banner GO!

Therefore, GO and make disciples of all nations…

Matthew 28:19 

Leave a comment »

Two Years of Freedom

I’m finally free-¬†

free from the bondage of food

now I eat to LIVE 

Processed with MOLDIV

Today marks 2 years since I found food freedom! ¬†Two years ago today, I embarked on a new way of eating- a plan called “Trim Healthy Mama”, developed by two fabulous sisters named Pearl and Serene.

Before I tried THM, I was a slave to numbers- counting and imputing the calories of everything I ate in my phone apps.  Counting how many calories I would burn on the treadmill or the elliptical.  Food was a reward and a punishment for me.  And the guilt I experienced when I skipped a day of working out, or when I would eat something indulgent was ridiculous.

And even though I did all the things I thought would help me reach a healthy weight- the weight loss never came. ¬†Just a feeling of discouragement. ¬†I couldn’t lose a pound- no matter how little I restricted my calories and how much I would work out. I was exhausted all the time and miserable.

But two years ago, I traded in all those habits for something NEW!  I got rid of those calorie counting apps, and ditched the scale.  I stopped counting calories and I stopped working out completely for a while.  I cut out sugar and bread.  I ate well balanced meals with lots of protein, veggies, and occasional healthy grains.

I traded in my sugary creamers for stevia and half and half in my coffee- and I actually love it that way now!

I lost about 35 pounds in 8 months, but I gained so much more!  For the last two years, I have learned how to eat to live instead of living to eat.  I feel better than I have in years, and I have stayed at a healthy weight for the last year and a half without much effort.

I am praising the LORD tonight for the freedom I have found from food!

I know not everything works for everyone- but if you have struggled with weight loss or self control when it comes to food, I would highly recommend you look up THM. ¬†The rules are simple- eat protein at every meal, only eat every 3 hours, and have healthy fats OR healthy carbs with your protein at every meal. ¬†Never mix fats and carbs together if you are trying to reach a healthy weight. ¬†That’s the basic idea of the eating plan. ¬†No special ingredients are needed. ¬†It’s that simple!

If I can do it- anyone can do it! ¬†In fact, my whole family has decided to do it with me beginning tomorrow. I can’t wait to see the changes in my family as they begin their journey with me in 2019!

And fyi- the newest book- Trim Healthy Table is available as an ebook at Barnes and Noble for ¬†$1.99! ¬†That’s a steal of a deal!! ¬†Here’s a link-

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/trim-healthy-mamas-trim-healthy-table-pearl-barrett/1126396593?ean=9780804189996&st=PLA&sid=BNB_NOOK+EBooks&sourceId=PLAGoNA&dpid=tdtve346c&2sid=Google_c&gclid=Cj0KCQiAmafhBRDUARIsACOKERPxw2Q8i_9YNOFQX8xGGSaUB-fC5pGMLXwl8JFm15onx-nzFrGE2oEaAvZDEALw_wcB#/

I hope all of you have a very blessed New Year!!!

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!  

2 Corinthians 5:17

6 Comments »

glory gazin’

fullsizeoutput_21d3

we’re glory gazin’

chowing down on Chick-fil-a

the sky- our dessert! 

fullsizeoutput_21ce

Having two teenage daughters is… interesting. ¬†I never quite know what to expect. ¬†One minute they are screaming at each other, the next minute they are hysterically laughing together. ¬†It is an adventure, for sure!

The other day, I picked the girls up early from school due to an orthodontist appointment.  Hubby was out of town for work, so I decided to stay in town and take the girls to Chick-fil-a for dinner after our appointment.  As we pulled through the drive thru, I noticed the sky was beginning to change colors.

¬†When you feed your teenagers Chick-Fil-a, they will smile and agree to anything! ¬†They were in the best mood. Let’s watch the sunset, I suggest. ¬†Since they were happily eating CFA , they naturally obliged. ¬† As we drove around, my youngest daughter stuck her hand out of the window-

Look, Mom- even the sun is shining down on my Chick-Fil-A milkshake! 

lol. I had to chuckle at that one!

fJWfMG+5TeueVh2c3s7Lqg

His radiance is like the sunlight;
He has rays flashing from His hand- Habakkuk 3:4

We parked in the shopping center across the street and took in the beautiful evening. ¬†The girls were hysterically laughing at each other, taking “selfies” because it was “glow time” (sunset lighting) and I thought my heart would burst. ¬†Any strife that may have occurred earlier in the day paled in comparison to the joy we experienced in the car. ¬†It was the perfect evening.

On the ride home, I literally cried from laughing so hard at the girls. They can be so funny sometimes.

It has been way too long since I have laughed like that.

I never realized how quickly their childhood would fly by.

I am savoring every moment-

and realizing how short life is!

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

Psalm 27:13

1 Comment »

I Wonder as I Wander

1. I wonder as I wander out under the sky,
How Jesus the Savior did come for to die.
For poor on’ry people like you and like I…
I wonder as I wander out under the sky.

2. When Mary birthed Jesus ’twas in a cow’s stall,
With wise men and farmers and shepherds and all.
But high from God’s heaven a star’s light did fall,
And the promise of ages it then did recall.

3. If Jesus had wanted for any wee thing,
A star in the sky, or a bird on the wing,
Or all of God’s angels in heav’n for to sing,
He surely could have it, ’cause he was the King.

This is one of my favorite Christmas hymns.  The lyrics paint beautiful pictures in my mind, and the melody is in a marvelous minor key.  I recorded my own version of it today.

The story behind this song is fascinating. ¬†It was written by John Jacob Niles, an American folk singer, in 1933. ¬†However, the original idea came from a young girl that he met while attending a fundraising event. ¬†Here is Nile’s account of that meeting-

“A girl had stepped out to the edge of the little platform attached to the automobile. She began to sing. Her clothes were unbelievable dirty and ragged, and she, too, was unwashed. Her ash-blond hair hung down in long skeins. … But, best of all, she was beautiful, and in her untutored way, she could sing. She smiled as she sang, smiled rather sadly, and sang only a single line of a song.”

“The girl, named Annie Morgan, repeated the fragment seven times in exchange for a quarter per performance, and Niles left with “three lines of verse, a garbled fragment of melodic material‚ÄĒand a magnificent idea” ¬†(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I_Wonder_as_I_Wander)¬†

Niles went on to write two more verses and it was performed for the first time in North Carolina on December 19, 1933.

The song is just as beautiful now as it was then.

5 Comments »

make the time

FullSizeRender

on a weathered

bench I play 

minutes…hours…

half a day!

How I wish 

to pause the time 

play the day away 

on this piano of mine!

Every year when the Christmas season is over, I always wish I had spent more time playing through my favorite Christmas piano books.

Not this year!

I am determined to set aside time daily to play my favorite carols.

There is something special about sitting down with a good piano book, lit by Christmas lights, and just letting my hands dance across the keys. ¬†It’s like meeting an old friend for coffee and a little conversation. ¬†The piano books come to life as I read and play and reminisce about all the years I practiced and learned to play these old songs.

The first Christmas carol I ever learned to play was God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen. ¬†It was from a Muppet Christmas book with Kermit the Frog on the front of it. ¬†I played and played that song so many times that I thought I’d never want to hear it again. ¬†And yet, even now, when I play it- it’s like a home movie running through my mind. ¬†I remember what the keys felt like on my old piano and I can see the dimly lit dining room where I sat as a young girl.

fullsizeoutput_21a2

I’ve still got my first Christmas piano book!

When I sit at the piano and play, I feel like a kid at Christmas again.

So, what’s that one thing that is sure to get you in the Christmas spirit?¬†

Whatever it is- make time for it this year-

and DO IT!

FullSizeRender

‚ÄúMusic is enough for a lifetime, but a lifetime is not enough for music.‚Ä̬†– Sergei Rachmaninov¬†

‚ÄúMusic is the shorthand of emotion.‚Ä̬†‚Äē Leo Tolstoy

‚ÄúMusic was my refuge. I could crawl into the space between the notes and curl my back to loneliness.‚ÄĚ ‚Äē Maya Angelou

‚ÄúAfter silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music.‚ÄĚ ‚Äē Aldous Huxley

‚ÄúWhere words fail, music speaks.‚Ä̬†‚Äē Hans Christian Andersen

‚ÄúA man should hear a little music, read a little poetry, and see a fine picture every day of his life, in order that worldly cares may not obliterate the sense of the beautiful which God has implanted in the human soul.‚ÄĚ ‚Äē Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

‚ÄúThe music is not in the notes, but in the silence between.‚ÄĚ ¬†‚Äē Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

“Music is like a dream. One that I cannot hear.” – Ludwig¬†Van Beethoven

4 Comments »

Anticipation

fullsizeoutput_20dc

For a moment, I thought the zombie apocalypse might have come.

I had just returned home from running  a few errands, and the girls were no where to be found.  When I was out shopping, I had called both girls on their cell phones, and also tried texting them.  It was very strange for neither of them to respond to my messages.

So when I entered the house, I called their names.  There was no response.  I was a little concerned.  The dogs followed me from room to room as I looked for them.

As I entered my bedroom, I saw that all of the blinds had been raised.  The sunlight was streaming in through the windows, revealing the last of the golden leaves on the trees.

And then I heard it-

Was that really the sound of my two teenage girls outside?  laughing together? 

fullsizeoutput_20c9

I peaked outside from my bedroom window and saw both of them twirling broom sticks, throwing them in the air and laughing as they practiced together. ¬†My oldest has been in marching band for the last 2 years, and recently both girls have taken an interest in learning how to twirl flags (color guard).¬†I breathed a sigh of relief and then thanked the Lord they were enjoying one another’s company- and that they were NOT on their cell phones, arguing, ¬†or watching tv!

About a half hour later, they came inside- giggling and being silly together.

Then my oldest asked if she could use my fancy camera to take pictures. ¬†“Mom, you never even use it!”

“But you’re not going to know how to work it,” I tried to reason with her.

And sure enough, she picked it right up and clicked a few buttons and was well on her way to understanding the settings and all the other bells and whistles.

As I cooked in the kitchen, I watched Katie sneak  around on the floor- taking candid pictures of our dogs, of Sophie, and of our Christmas decorations.   And then it happened- she popped my favorite movie into our DVD player- Elf!

DSC_0802

It was such an awesome afternoon.

It brings me great joy in this season of motherhood any time my two teenage daughters get along and laugh together.

No arguing.  

No cell phones.  

No hiding out in bedrooms.

Just me doing mom stuff, and the girls, enjoying life together-

 anticipating all the joys of the coming holiday season.

I think Thanksgiving Eve may be my favorite day of the entire year ūüôā

I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living! Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!  Psalm 27 

0qmHR44URCGXqu4hiTWv5Q

4 Comments »