Available

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

What’s on your billboard?

fullsizeoutput_31d0

If you had the opportunity to put up a billboard to advertise anything–¬†what would it be?

As I sat in the drive thru line at a McDonalds recently, a parked minivan grabbed my attention. ¬†It was white, had a ladder on top of it, and I knew it had to be a work vehicle. ¬†But there was something different about it- on both sides of the van there was a picture of the cross with the words ‘One Way” and then beside the picture it said- “Christ” The WAY to heaven- John 14:6. ¬†The license plate was also a reference to the same scripture.

It struck me how profound this was.

In a day where people want to advertise EVERYTHING-

their businesses,

their political affiliations,

etc…

here was someone using their “billboard” to point people to Jesus!

Over the front tires on either side in very small print was the name of their business and a phone number. ¬†I just happened to see that the business was called “Schock Electric”.

fullsizeoutput_31d6

What an encouragement to see this today- and a great reminder to think about this Рwhat are you advertising?

 

Jesus IS the WAY, the TRUTH, and the LIFE.

 

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

Jesus Our Lord is Crucified

Jesus Our Lord is Crucified

O come and mourn with me awhile, 
O come ye to the Savior’s side 
O come, together let us mourn, 
Jesus our Lord is crucified.

Seven times He spoke seven words of love; 
And all three hours His silence cried 
For mercy on the souls of men; 
Jesus our Lord is crucified.

O love of God! O sin of man! 
In this dread act Your strength is tried; 
And victory remains with love; 
Jesus our Lord is crucified!

A broken heart, a fount of tears, 
Ask, and they will not be denied; 
A broken heart love’s cradle is: 
Jesus our Lord is crucified.

lyrics written by Frederick Faber – 1849

____________________________________________________________________________________________

Moved by these beautiful words, I took the lyrics of this old hymn and set it to a new melody and piano accompaniment.  I would be happy to share the chord chart with anyone who would like to have it.  Be blessed!

Jesus Our Lord is Crucified

IMG_1507

His Eye is on the Sparrow

Image

Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered.  So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.  Matthew 10:29-31

What is your passion?

Mine has always been music…to create music through singing and playing piano.

Do you know what fuels your passion?

It took me years to realize that my passion was NOT for music- but for JesusРand that He uses music to express Himself to me.  When I sing or play piano is when I feel closest to Him.

All my life I sang because it made me happy.

But now I sing because I’m free…I have freedom in Christ!

My mom always gets me the most thoughtful gifts! ¬†Last Christmas, she asked me what my favorite Bible verse was. ¬†I told her there were just too many to chose one. ¬†So, she surprised me with the beautiful necklace in the above picture- with the line from one of my favorite hymns- “His Eye Is On the Sparrow”… which just happens to be the title of this blog.

This necklace has proven to be the gift that keeps on giving.

I wear it a lot because it reminds me why I sing- and who I am singing for.  And it just so happens to open the door for some of interesting conversations, too. Like a while back I was getting coffee at Starbucks. The barista asked me about the necklace. She wanted to know if I sang.  And right there in Starbucks, I shared with her why the necklace was special to me and then sang the song for her.

He really does work through ALL thingseven a little necklace– to draw others to Him.

I will sing to the Lord as long as I live;

I will sing praise to my God while I have being. Psalm 104:33

I sing because
I’m happy
I sing because
I’m free
His eye is on
on the sparrow
And I know
he watches me

The evolution of “Mom”

Image

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

I have had the pleasure of spending lots of time with my girls over the last couple of weeks.  Ok- honestly, some of these times were not pleasurable at all, and were in fact quite the opposite! They seem to be growing and maturing at a faster rate than I can keep up with!   My oldest is quickly moving past the days of wanting to play dolls with her younger sister-which leads to a lot of conflict in the house!

Not only do I see the relationship between my girls changing, I am recognizing the way we parent them must change as well. Change is hard.  And painful.

I took my oldest daughter with me recently to run an errand. ¬†When I saw her walking in front of me, I hardly recognized my baby. ¬†She is becoming a beautiful young lady before my eyes. ¬†I find myself staring at her and searching for that “baby face” I once kissed and snuggled with. ¬†As we were shopping, I told her that “mommy” needed to pick up this and that.¬†And then it happened…

She looked at me, rolled her eyes, and said –

“Mom, you don’t have to refer to yourself in the third person. ¬†I know who you are!”

I felt a pang inside of me.

I am no longer mommy.  I am mom.

So why have I referred to myself in the third person for the past (almost) 11 years? I have done it since they were babies out of habit, and not once until this particular outing has either of them mentioned it. It does seem like a silly thing to still do after all these years.  So, as I see my children maturing, I am learning to make some changes myself.

I pray that in their quest for independence, they will see how much we need to depend on our Savior. ¬†And that no matter what age they are- they will still need “Mommy” too.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;  in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. 

Proverbs 3:5-7

Twilight Haiku

Evening sky from my porch in Charlottesville

Air-brushed and vibrant

His glory shines at twilight

hushing all who sees

The whole earth is filled with awe at your wonders; where morning dawns, where evening fades, you call forth songs of joy.  Psalm 65:8

Amazing sunsets always make me thankful.  Thankful for another day.  Thankful for a new beginning tomorrow.  Thankful for all the little things.  Like a home with a porch to stand on.  And  a phone to take pictures of sunsets.  Thankful for eyes to see His magnificent creation. In a world filled with uncertainty, I am grateful that I can lean on Him and His promises. Sunsets remind me that no matter what trials I face during the day, He is with me-making all things beautiful.

He has made everything beautiful in its time.  Also, he has put eternity into man’s heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end.  

Ecclesiastes 3:11

 

Letting SELF get in the way of JOY

Image 3

Too many times I have let my SELF get in the way of experiencing His abundant JOY.

How many times have you declined an invitation to spend time with someone because you didn’t like the restaurant they chose, or didn’t have the right clothes to wear? ¬†Petty things, aren’t they?

Just the other day, my husband called me while I was working and asked me if the girls and I wanted to meet him for lunch. ¬†The girls were out of school due to a snow day and were spending the day with me. ¬†Immediately I said no. ¬†Not because I didn’t want to see him, not because I really had something else special planned for lunch- ¬†I said no because of my own hang ups with food. ¬†I said no because I know the restaurant my girls and hubby choose always results in a battle of self control on my part, and many times I leave the restaurant feeling defeated. ¬†So I end the conversation by telling him I’ll think about it.

As I continue to work, I began to think about how blessed I am that I CAN meet my husband for lunch and also that he WANTS to spend his lunch hour with us.  I was convicted, and knew what I had to do.

So I called him and said yes to our lunch date… and yes to the battle of the buffet…

Image 4

My youngest slid into the booth beside me, and across from me sat my oldest daughter and my husband. ¬†The blue of his sweater made his eyes sparkle in the sunlight coming through the window. I watched as he teased, sang, and played with the girls. ¬†I fought back tears thinking of my selfishness and how I almost missed this moment in time. I pulled out my phone to take pictures of the three of them. ¬†I made light of it, but I really wanted to remember the overwhelming gratitude I had in my heart as I watched the joy on my husband’s face. ¬†We are never guaranteed another day. ¬†And to think I could have missed that precious moment!

So don‚Äôt worry about these things, saying, ‚ÄėWhat will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?‚ÄôThese things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs.¬†Seek the Kingdom of God¬†above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. ¬†

Matthew 6:31-33

Lord, help me to focus less on the material things in life and focus more on You.  Help me surrender every little hang-up, every single moment to You.  Thank You for all You have blessed me with.  Rid me of my SELF  and fill me with You.  May  I not miss another moment of JOY!

Who moved my tree?

Image

 

How do you react to change? ¬†Let me just say that the word in itself makes me cringe! ¬†I do not like change, Sam I am. ¬†I do not like it in my house, I do not like it in my spouse. ¬†I do not like it here or there. I do not like it anywhere. ¬†Not one little bit. ¬†Unless it is initiated by moi. ¬†Then it is refreshing, exciting… perhaps the best idea in the world!¬†I love knowing what to expect. ¬†But if I am honest with myself, I think I just like being in control.

All to Jesus, I surrender…

My husband came to me yesterday and suggested a new spot for our Christmas tree this year.  As soon as he said it, I could feel my inner lioness come out. NO!  I want it where it always is!  It looks fabulous right beside our fireplace- where we have put it for the past few years.  How dare he suggest something different!

And as soon my inner roar came out, I remembered that where he suggested to put it was actually where I had wanted it all along- nine years ago!  But nevertheless, I had to put my foot down and say NO!

I am as stubborn as a mule. ¬†I have yet to meet one, but I imagine they must be pretty stubborn, because I sure am! ¬†I prayed and asked God to help me with my stubbornness last night. ¬†Surely He can help me navigate the minor change of putting our tree in a new spot. ¬†More of Him and less of me…

I am letting go of old habits. ¬†Change is hard, but change is good. ¬†When I am faced with change, I don’t like what I see in myself. ¬†It makes me thankful for a Savior who understands me and my weaknesses… and who forgives me for my not so good reactions. ¬† ¬†It makes me thankful that I have a loving husband who knows me all too well after more than 19 years together, and that he can show me grace… and I can do the same for him. ¬†Change allows me to take a good look at myself. ¬†When I look in the mirror, I want to look more like Jesus every day- not my old stubborn self!

Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.  Psalm 51:10

Before my husband left for work this morning, I told him I thought his ideas were great ones and that I was excited to do something different. Baby steps. ¬†As I pray daily- He continually shows me that He ain’t done with me yet! ¬†He is making me new every day- changing and growing me… shaping and molding me into His clay pot.

And then we discussed not only moving the tree, but switching the entire contents of one room with another. Gasp! ¬†And my inner lioness didn’t even make a peep! ¬†A mere day before, this would have sent me into a melt-down.

And since we’re going to change the house around, I might as well keep on changing… who knows? ¬†Maybe I’ll color my hair blonde! ¬†Maybe I’ll even change the side of the bed I sleep on! ¬†Ok, maybe that’s a little too much change for one day…

“God loves you just the way you are, but He refuses to leave you that way. ¬†

He wants you to be just like Jesus.” – Max Lucado

Thank you for loving me just as I am and for loving me enough to change me into Your likeness. ¬†I’ll stand with arms high and heart abandoned, in awe of the One who gave it all. ¬†I’ll stand, my soul, Lord, to You surrendered. ¬†All I am is Yours!

You Take My Breath Away

“You Take My Breath Away”

Help me to see Your goodness in the land of the living

I see the beauty around me¬†and I can’t stop praising

Praising You for who You are,¬†for what You do, for what You’ve done

who am I that I would be saved by Your Son

You take my breath away

Amazed by how You show me that You love me

without Your grace in my life where would I be?

You are my strength, You are my rock

You are my calm in the storm

You steady me and ready me

and You keep me safe from harm.

You take my breath away

And even the rocks cry out

when I have no voice to praise You

when You take my breath away

I wrote this song about a month ago. ¬†I had been dealing with minor health issues- allergies, a cough that wouldn’t quit, inability to sing, and just feeling down-right tired and miserable. ¬†I was so tired of feeling sick. ¬†Singing- the very thing that brings me the most joy was something I was not able to do. ¬† I still spent time with God… but I had to be a little more creative with it. ¬†I prayed, read the Bible more, and I wrote poetry. ¬†Then one day I told God how frustrated I was for not being able to sing- or talk- ¬†for so long.

And that morning, a verse popped out at me-

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

I began praying to God- that He would help me focus on Him and not my circumstance. ¬†That He would show me His goodness and get my eyes of myself and help me to stop having a pity party. ¬†And day by day, I began to feel better. ¬†I was more aware of His presence and less of my own ailments. ¬†It was as if He painted each sunset and colored each mountain top just for me- I would tear up at every little beautiful thing… He literally took my breath away with His creation! He was so clearly working on me to worship Him in other ways. ¬†There is so much more to worship than singing! ¬† He used that time to open my eyes to His beauty around me and to hear His voice. ¬†Time to remember all that He has done for me. ¬†Time to be thankful for all He has blessed me with, and a little more time to be quiet and let Him do the talking!

Be still, and know that I am God-   Psalm 46:10

Thank You, Lord, for never ceasing to amaze me with your unfailing love.  Thanks for opening my eyes a little more, and for helping me to be quiet and listen to You.  Thank You for showing me Your goodness in the most awesome ways!