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One morning I woke up and I knew that the Lord was asking me to do something. When this happens, I am on a mission… obsessed with completing whatever the “thing” is the Lord wants me to do.

This “thing” was getting the Covid vaccine. I will admit to you that I was on the fence for a while about it. I am healthy, not high risk at all, but I knew that if the Lord wanted me to do it that I would know. And one morning my hubby called me while I was working and asked me about getting it. As soon as we finished our conversation, I knew that the Lord wanted me to do it.

So I checked numerous websites, and finally ended up waiting in an online list. I knew it might be a while, because it kept saying “wait time over one hour”. Now, this was just the site to sign up for a time for the vaccine. And so I kept waiting… and waiting… and waiting…

And nearly 5 HOURS LATER, I was sent to the home screen to sign up for a time. I entered my zip code, and it said no appointments available.

I really really wanted to throw the laptop across the room.

I had waited 5 hours…5 HOURS… only to end up right back at square one.

I knew if the Lord really did want me to do it, that He would make a way for it to happen, so I resigned myself to not thinking about it anymore this week.

And then something really cool happened.

I was supposed to teach some make-up music lessons this week, and then ended up not needing to do it. Guess how many hours these lessons equalled? Yep- 5 hours! Those hours I spent waiting for a non-existent appointment were given back to me in the form of rest.

And then another really cool thing happened.

My husband received an email this morning from a coworker asking if he wanted to receive a vaccine today, and that one of the clinics had vaccine appointments available and spouses were also welcome to receive one, too. I told him that was totally a God thing- and that we should definitely do it. We went, received our vaccines, and it could not have been easier.

I used to be fearful of stepping out of the “boat” to do the things I felt God telling me to do.

Not anymore.

These days, I fear NOT doing the thing the Lord asks me to do- because He is ALWAYS faithful. His ways and thoughts are so much higher and wiser than mine, so when I hear that still, small voice- I answer “yes” every time!

I want to always be available for Him. When I do whatever the “thing” is that God asks me to do, I am immediately filled with peace.

So my 5 hours didn’t end up in an appointment- but God made another way.

After all, He is the WAYMAKER ūüôā

GO!

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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 

For such a time as this

 

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On this election day, I woke up with a feeling of complete peace.  Months ago I, too, worried about what would happen to our country after this election.  But today I give thanks and praise the Lord for our democratic process.

For such a time as this, the Lord led me to read the book of Esther.I have always been fond of the name Esther as it conjures up beautiful memories of my Grandmother. ¬†She was the epitome of a “southern belle”. ¬†She spoke with a delicate southern drawl, always looked fashionable, she was kind, and always wore her makeup.

Esther of the Old Testament was a beautiful jewish girl, one who loved God and lived out her faith through obedience to Him. King Xerxes was King of the Persian empire and he asked for his queen Vashti to flaunt her beauty before the people- but she refused.  Xerxes hosted a beauty pageant to find his new queen and Esther won his favor.

Esther’s cousin, Mordecai, became a minor official in the Persian government, and also uncovered an assassination plan against King Xerxes. ¬†Mordecai told Esther of this plan, and she warned the King of what was about to happen- winning his favor and trust.

The King’s highest official was an evil man named Haman. ¬†Haman hated the jews and especially hated Mordecai. Haman devised a plan to annihilate the jewish people and Mordecai told Esther about this –

For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father‚Äôs family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?‚ÄĚ ¬†Esther 4:14

Esther urged her people to fast and pray for their deliverance. ¬†She then invited King Xerxes and Haman to a banquet, revealing her Jewish heritage, and also revealing Haman’s plan to annihilate her people.

The Lord had his hand on Esther and she was able to influence King Xerxes to do the right thing.  Even though King Xerxes was not a godly man, God still used Him for His purpose.  In a rage, King Xerxes had Haman immediately killed and he appointed Mordecai to be his highest official.

So this morning I casted my vote- knowing that we have to be obedient to do what He is calling us to do… to be obedient to say what He is calling us to say. ¬†I trust that His ways are higher than mine, and that He is STILL on the throne!

And like King Xerxes, there is no perfect leader for our nation. But God can still use His people to influence them for His good.

 if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.  

2 Chronicles 7:14  

when my heart is overwhelmed

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From the ends of the earth, I cry to you for help when my heart is overwhelmed. Lead me to the towering rock of safety

Psalm 61:2

I heard other moms say it would happen, but I didn’t see it coming. ¬†My girls have been my whole world for the last 13 years, but it seems like overnight they have started wanting to do things without me.

We went to a Christian concert last weekend.  I was so excited to go with them!  When we got into the arena, we found some good seats and I sat between the girls.  As the bands came on stage, each one encouraged the audience to clap, dance, and raise their hands.

I was all in… meaning ALL IN to groovin’ down at the concert, until my oldest daughter said “umm… could you please not to that? ¬†And can you switch seats?” ¬†Not only did they NOT want me to make a fool of myself, but they didn’t want me sitting beside them either. ¬†I switched seats with my other daughter so that they were together with their friend.

I admit- I was a tad bit sad, but I was grateful to have the experience of being there with them.  I sat for most of the concert as I watched the girls and their friend sing and dance and jump around.

And then towards the end, the Newsboys sang the song “We Believe”.

I had tears in my eyes as I watched the three of them sing with all their hearts, arms raised and eyes closed- like no one was watching them.

We believe in God the Father , we believe in Jesus Christ, we believe in the Holy Spirit ,¬†and He’s given us new life.¬†We believe in the crucifixion,¬†we believe that He conquered death,¬†we believe in the resurrection, ¬†and He’s coming back again. ¬†We believe .

Watching my girls actually worship was one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen. ¬†Almost every Sunday, I am not sitting with my family during the worship service- I am at the piano leading worship. I think because it’s “Mommy” leading the singing at church, my girls are more hesitant to join in. ¬†But not in that stadium! ¬†It overwhelmed me to see that they knew every word to these songs and to see that they really¬†do love to sing!

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And then yesterday, as we listened to the sermon- my daughter motioned for me to hand her my phone.  I shook my head no,  and then she batted her long lashed puppy-dog eyes at me.

I reluctantly handed it over, and¬†I watched as she moved her thumbs at lightning speed. ¬†I didn’t have a clue what she was doing until she handed me my phone back 30 seconds later.

This was the screen saver that she put on it-

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My heart was overwhelmed.

God continues to nudge me to plant seeds- even when my girls don’t seem to be listening.

 Even when they act like I embarrass them.

Even when what I say isn’t what they want to hear.

That little screen saver was His way of reassuring me-

they’re ¬†listening. ¬†

It is the same with my word. I send it out, and it always produces fruit. It will accomplish all I want it to, and it will prosper everywhere I send it.  

Isaiah 55:11

when you feel like hiding

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sometimes I want to stay inside 

and hide behind closed doors 

pull the covers up over my head 

and not deal with the world anymore 

IMG_1018on certain days,  I cannot think 

and words have no rhyme or reason

I can’t seem to remember anything¬†

and no- I’m not even teasing!!¬†

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but it’s when we’re ¬†feeling most useless¬†

that His light comes shining through

when we share the moments of  brokenness 

is ¬†when we hear “me, too!”

When I am a little grumpy, I joke that I am “not fit for human consumption”. ¬†There are some days when I just don’t feel like myself. ¬†I can’t put a finger on why, and no matter what I do- ¬†sometimes I can’t shake that “off” feeling.

I was around a bunch of people this past week, and you know how others will ask you how you are doing? ¬†Sometimes ¬†we’ll say something generic- ¬†like “I’m doing good!”… when we’re really not? ¬†I had a few days like that this past week. Usually when I am feeling this way, I do everything I can to stay away from people. ¬†I don’t even like to be around myself when I feel this way. ¬†So why would anyone else want to be around me?!

But every time we are with others is another opportunity for Him to work through us and to use others to speak to us.

I opened up and told someone that I was having an “off” day, and I found instant connection. ¬†They, too, were experiencing something similar. It helps when we can be transparent about our struggles, no matter how big or small they may be- and to know that there is nothing we have gone through that someone else has not experienced!

Sometimes we have to just keep running the race. ¬†Even when we don’t feel up to the task. ¬†When we feel less than qualified, it’s an even greater opportunity to lean on the Lord and draw upon His grace and His strength to do what we have to do.

His pleasure is not in the strength of the horse,
    nor his delight in the legs of the warrior;
 the Lord delights in those who fear him,
    who put their hope in his unfailing love.  Psalm 147

He doesn’t delight in our strength, but in our desire to fully rely on Him!

Here’s a video that was shared around Facebook recently… watch it and be encouraged that we have a Savior who knows our struggles and we are not alone in our journey!

Walk in Love… a song I wrote based on Ephesians 5:1

“Walk in Love”

walked into the grocery store

took a glance and thought no more

of the man with the vacant eyes staring at me

Until I left the store I saw 

a duffle bag of change and he called,

‚ÄúMa‚Äôam, do you think you could help me?‚Ä̬†

Holy Spirit be my guide

help me put aside my pride 

and live a life of Love –

take these feet of mine, one step at a time 

help me stay in line

help me walk in love 

everywhere I go, help me always show

Your light, let it glow 

help me walk in love  

I didn’t have much time that day 

I met a lady, felt led to pray 

as she shared the weight

of her story 

Hadn’t been to church in a while 

overwhelmed with life, still she smiled

 about Jesus and His glory 

Lord, open up my eyes to see

More of You and less of me

God is continuing to stretch me and take me out of my comfort zone. ¬†I saw a man standing outside of a local store and he stood there with a blank stare. ¬†I noticed him right away, but I kept on walking and went inside the store. ¬†I got my things and as soon as I exited the store, I saw him crouched down against the brick building. ¬†He was huddled up and had a duffle bag beside him. ¬†He looked up and asked me if I could help him. ¬†His duffle bag was full of change- so full, I don’t know how he could even lift it by himself!

Now, I don’t always give money to everyone who asks- only when I know the Lord is prompting me to do it. This was one of those times. ¬†I happened to have some change and gave it to him. ¬†I stepped into another store for just a few minutes and when I came out, I looked for the man and he was nowhere to be found.

Now, I know I wasn’t in there for more than 2-3 minutes, and there was no way he lifted that big ole bag and left that quickly. ¬†I even drove around the parking lot to look for him. There was no explanation for how he had left so quickly. ¬†But I was so glad I had stopped to help him because I knew that if I had not been obedient to do so, I would have regretted it.

Everything about my walk with Him revolves around obedience- to do all the little things He asks of me.

like stopping to help a stranger

or to pray with someone

or to write this song and share it with you ūüôā¬†

 Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.       Ephesians 5:1

Lift your eyes

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Our church silhouetted against the cerulean sky that day…

I saw a sky so blue 

I thought it was the sea

Your love swept through 

and it carried me

 away 

from everything

that held

me

down

I saw a sky so blue 

I thought it was the sea

Your love swept through 

and it carried me

away

from sinking sand

back to

Solid

Ground

I lift up my eyes to the mountains‚ÄĒ
    where does my help come from?
 My help comes from the Lord,
    the Maker of heaven and earth.

Psalm 121

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As I plopped my things into my mini-van, I noticed the sun pushing through the clouds. ¬†We hadn’t seen much sun around these parts of town for a while. ¬†Sure enough, I drove out of my neighborhood and streams of sunlight came bursting through the clouds.

Thank You, Lord, for the sunshine today!

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The sky was so blue, I couldn’t help but notice and smile. ¬†I love how He can use something as simple as a brilliant sky to remind me of His greatness! ¬†And the air- it was strangely warm for this time of year! The day was shaping up to be a good one from the start.

I have been a bit discouraged lately. ¬†A dry cough has plagued me for weeks- since before Thanksgiving, along with various other annoying symptoms…not a big deal in the grand scheme of life, but HUGE for someone who wants to SING AT THE TOP OF HER LUNGS 24/7!

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But God is always so faithful.  He is faithful to see us through the tasks He calls us to do.  And after leading worship during the morning service, I sat down between my husband and my oldest daughter.

I thought of that cerulean sky and how beautiful He had made this morning already. ¬†And then I got the best gift…

My daughter, who is becoming quite a lady these days, picked my arm up and put it around her and snuggled up to me.  With legs crossed identical to mine, we bobbed our right legs up and down in perfect time together.  She elbowed me at every funny story the pastor recited, and glanced to see if I was paying attention to the scriptures and words that grabbed her attention.  As I looked up scriptures on my phone, she leaned in close to read along with me.

It was such a blessing to feel so connected to my soon-to-be teenager, and as I felt her lean in close to me it was as if God Himself was giving me a giant hug. ¬†Sitting between my husband and my daughter, I was overwhelmed with God’s amazing love.

¬†And just maybe these “seeds” we’ve been planting all these years in her life are taking root in her heart and mind ūüôā

God is good.

“For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven
    and do not return there but water the earth,
making it bring forth and sprout,
    giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater,
 so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth;
    it shall not return to me empty,
but it shall accomplish that which I purpose,
¬†¬†¬†¬†and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.”

Isaiah 55:10-11

obedience in the little things

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One evening I was standing at the checkout counter at a local pharmacy, and like countless times before- I was asked if I wanted to donate a dollar to a charity.  I usually said no, and honestly it was just a natural response.  But something was different this time.

I had an entire conversation in my head.

Would I really miss that dollar?  Do I need it? And why do I always say no?

And for whatever reason, something in my cold-black heart changed… I said no- and then I changed my mind-

Sure, I’ll donate the dollar. ¬†

This was one of the first times I clearly felt God nudging me to do something different.

And so I began these little steps in obedience. Every single time I went into a store that asked me to donate a dollar, I felt that nudge- again and again. ¬†Every time. And each time I got quicker with my “yes” response. ¬†Not only did I want to say “yes”, but I truly wanted to WANT to give. ¬†It wasn’t about the dollar amount, I wanted to be obedient. ¬†So I made a little promise to God to say “yes” to every single cashier that asked me- until I felt “released” from this… until I could not only say “yes”- but do it with JOY!

Several years had passed, and I had gotten pretty comfortable with my “one dollar” yeses- and then He nudged me once again.

I was in line at a McDonalds drive thru.  I heard the person in the car ahead of me order their meal, and then I pulled forward.  I rattled off my order and then came the question-

“Would you like to donate a dollar to (some charity)?”

And I immediately fell into my old way of thinking…

She didn’t ask the person in front of me! ¬†Why me?! ¬†Why did she only ask ME to donate?! ¬†Why are people always asking me for money?

And once again, I heard Him nudge me-

be obedient in the little things.

I learned a very valuable lesson that day. ¬†You see, if I had heard that same question asked to the person ahead of me in the drive thru, I would have been prepared with my “yes”. ¬†But the drive thru attendant caught me off-guard that day, revealing to me that maybe He wasn’t done with me yet on this whole dollar thing…

be prepared in season and out of season – 2 Timothy 4:2

It has never been about the dollar.

It’s always about obedience.

No matter the question, my heart’s desire is always to say YES to His nudge-whether it’s to help a friend, make a phone call, pray for someone. ¬†Every day I say YES to Him- His nudge becomes stronger and His voice clearer!

Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts. Hebrews 4:7

I am Willing…

“Willing”

Lord, You’ve given me everything

I ought to raise my hands and shout

And I know I have nothing-

nothing to complain about 

Still I find myself unsatisfied

filled with jealousy and pride

I can’t escape the pain inside¬†

can’t count how many times I’ve cried

I wish that I was stronger 

that I could hold on longer

And if what it takes is pain

and I have to lose to gain- 

then make me willing 

willing to be made willing

I am willing

willing to be made willing

I don’t want to lose anything

I want to keep it for myself

but I’m looking for something

I can’t find upon a shelf

so when I feel alone and terrified

I don’t have to run away and hide

cause I know Your Son was crucified

and I can live because He died

Lord, You can make me stronger

and You help me hold on longer 

and if You bring me pain

I know it’s for Your gain

and I’ll be willing

willing to be made willing

I am willing 

willing to be made willing 

I recorded this song that my husband and I wrote last year and for some reason, the Lord has these words running through my mind and heart..make me willing… willing to do WHATEVER it is You want me to do. I dug out this recording to share with you today. ¬†Whatever He is asking you to do- are you willing? ¬†And if you’re not there yet– are you willing to be made willing?

Emptied to be Filled

  

Blessings abound

When I give what I’ve found

Emptied so I can be 

Filled

Each moment I find

Greater peace of mind

When I obey Him 

And follow His will 

Last spring I found an abundance of 4 leaf clovers. This year- not so much.  I found one a few weeks ago as I was talking with a friend in my driveway, and I gave it to her. 

Every day I take the same walk- always scanning clover patches as my dog sniffs and tarries. Usually I am talking to God and praying, but the other day I started thinking- where have all those clovers gone? Am I just not looking in the right place? Am I giving up too easily? It is easy to do things when you get immediate results. When you have to put time into it, well…sometimes it doesn’t seem worth the effort. 

But for some reason, I had to find one 4 leaf clover that morning. I searched, I talked to God, and when my dog was ready to move on, I tarried…and just the moment I felt like turning away- there it was! A beautiful, humongous 4 leaf clover- standing tall above the rest of them- like it had been planted there just for me.

As soon as I picked it, I saw an elderly man walking towards me.  Give him the clover! I heard a little voice within me say. What if he thinks I’m weird? I argued back. Just do it! You will regret it if you don’t! And like that, it was settled. 

As I continued walking, the elderly man approached me. “It’s a beautiful morning, isn’t it!” he greeted me.

“It sure is!” I smiled and extended my hand to give him the 4 leaf clover. “It’s going to be a great day,” I told him. “This is for you!” He grinned a child-like grin as he reached for the 4 leaf clover, and we parted ways. 

I glanced down at my feet, and much to my surprise- there was another 4 leaf clover waiting for me. Isn’t it funny that I would walk for weeks and not find a single one- but the minute I find one and give it away- He multiplies it?

When we empty ourselves- He fills us up again! 

And if you look for it as silver and search for it as hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God.-Proverbs 2:4-5