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 »

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 »

Only Jesus

It has been bitterly cold lately.

How cold is it?

So cold, that my semi-damp hair freezes in chunks when I walk the dogs!

So cold, that I think I have gotten a little bitter myself.

I really despise that about me. I see how easy it is for me come up with excuses for why I am in a bad mood. After it snowed a couple of weeks ago, I slipped and fell down the front porch stairs while holding a dog leash in each hand. My tailbone hit every step on the way down and then smacked against the icy asphalt. I laid there on the ice and cried because the pain was so bad. And there was no one home to help. Thankfully I didn’t break anything, but it left me in a lot of physical discomfort.

Sitting, standing, walking…getting in and out of the car… all the normal daily things I did brought me constant discomfort. It took a solid two weeks for me to be able to walk around without being in constant pain. I was GRATEFUL to wake up yesterday and hop right out of bed like my usual self!

But this morning, I see how easy it has been for me to allow myself to wallow in my own misery, and to make excuses for it. How quick I have been to complain and become frustrated with little things. How I have been snappy with my family and have thought of every excuse to justify my attitude.

Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. Romans 5

What would Jesus say about my bad mood? I think He would tell me no one owes me anything for falling down those steps that day. I think He would tell me to be grateful that I wasn’t more severely injured. I think He would tell me to lean into Him more and not expect anything from other people. I think He would tell me how incredibly blessed I am.

Do not call to mind the former things, Or ponder things of the past- Isaiah 43:18

He would tell me to stop focusing on my circumstances, and start focusing on Him.

The moment I begin worship and focus on Jesus- I am free from my selfish ways.

Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. –Philippians 3:13-14

Keep your eyes on the prize!

Leave a comment »

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 »

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 »

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 »

Windows

fullsizeoutput_2015

Separate 

inside from out 

behind curtains 

we peek out 

 illumination 

cannot hide

the life that carries on 

inside 

I have been thinking a lot about windows.

I have always loved glancing into windows of the homes we pass by when we drive through neighborhoods.

Shakespeare said it best- “Eyes are the windows to your soul”.

We had a family picture taken recently at church. ¬†It’s nothing short of a minor miracle that both girls and hubby agreed to sit for a photo. As a mom of two teenage daughters, we have reached the stage where no pictures are taken without lots of preparation. ¬†Of course, I tell my girls how beautiful they are all the time… how they don’t need makeup. ¬†I tell them they could wear brown sacks and still be beautiful!

But I can sometimes be such a hypocrite.

Because the first thing I said when I saw the picture was how un-photogenic I am. ¬†I always have some strange expression on my face, I’m not looking in the right direction, I have a weird, “fake” smile, or my eyes are half-way closed. ¬†Any combination of those things is what I usually see when I look at a picture of myself.

And this photo brought out the same reaction in me.  I actually laughed out loud at what my husband said to me when I showed the picture to him.

I said, “Look babe- it’s such a great pic of you and the girls! ¬†Not so great of me- I am always un-photogenic.”

Without skipping a beat, he says “what kind of super-model expectation do you have of yourself? It is a perfectly fine picture of you!”¬†

Good question.

Why can’t my eyes see the things that other people see in me?

I think social media is a huge culprit.  Instagram and snapchat have these lovely filters that make you look like a million bucks. And then when you see pictures of other people online, many times we are looking at these same filtered photos- masking what people really look like.

That, along with all of the anti-aging ads for women doesn’t help our self-worth. ¬†There are literally hundreds of wrinkle creams- for your eyes, face, neck, lips… you name a body part, ¬†and I’m sure you can find the perfect cream to improve it. ¬†And hair- I have finally settled for the hair color with the least maintenance- highlights a few times a year. ¬†Low maintenance appearance is my goal!

What makes a house a home? ¬†It’s the love of the family that lives inside.

What makes a person beautiful? It’s not how few gray hairs you have, not how smooth your skin is, not being the perfect size. ¬†It’s not even about having the perfect smile, or outfit.

For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart. 1 Samuel 16:7

It’s what’s in your heart.

I want to see the world through His eyes.  I want to see YOU through His eyes.

And in order to do that, we have to begin with seeing ourself the way He sees us.

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    your works are wonderful,
    I know that full well.  Psalm 139:14

Let the light of Christ shine through your windows!

fullsizeoutput_1ccf

May our “windows” reflect the Son!

The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light-  Matthew 6:22

fullsizeoutput_2010

Happy Thanksgiving!!! 

8 Comments »

enjoy every second

IMG_4025.JPG

shuffling feet- 

a serenade so sweet 

as they rustle 

the fallen leaves 

while golden glittered 

sunlight flitters 

and dances between

the trees 

fullsizeoutput_1d56.jpeg

I love,

love,

love

the sound of crunching leaves when I take a walk during autumn. Taking in fall’s fantastic foliage is one of my greatest joys- but unfortunately it seems that the leaves have changed and fallen overnight. ¬†Literally.

Maybe it’s because of all the rain we have had lately. ¬†

Maybe it’s because we didn’t have enough cooler temps before fall came.¬†

Maybe I’m just making up excuses because, well-

 I honestly have no idea, lol. 

6BuVQ%tUSYaKqIgkTWOU7Q

But what I DO know is that all the lovely attributes of fall are fading pretty quickly.

So you-

yes!

YOU

better get outside

and enjoy every second!

Cw52lRpHR5CTGE2zAXD6Kg

For there is hope for a tree, if it be cut down, that it will sprout again, and that its shoots will not cease.  

Job 14:7

 

fullsizeoutput_1d83

Then shall the trees of the forest sing for joy before the Lord, for he comes to judge the earth.  

1 Chronicles 16:33

2 Comments »