A Slice of Heaven

 

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A slice of Heaven-  I take in the beauty of His creation and I am compelled to worship Him.  What a Wonderful Maker!

Yours, O LORD,

is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty,

indeed everything that is in the heavens and the earth;

Yours is the dominion, O LORD,

and You exalt Yourself as head over all.  

1 Chronicles 29:11

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You are Enough

“You Are Enough”

I’m ridding my life of sin

I’m gonna let You in

Jesus, take my heart

and give me a brand new start

Jesus, You are enough

You’re more than enough to fill me

Jesus, You are enough

You supply my every need

I’m ridding my life of things

of emptiness and broken dreams

I’m living in Your light

Jesus, help me shine so bright

Jesus, You are enough

You’re more than enough to fill me

Jesus. You are enough

You supply my every need

I woke up early this morning, overwhelmed with my to-do list- feeling like there would never be enough hours in the day to accomplish all I needed to do.  As I began to pray, He reminded me that He is enough.  I wrote this song a year or so ago, and as I prayed this morning, the words came back to me.  Jesus, You are enough.  You supply my every need.   Everything on my to-do lists can wait.  He’s at the top of my list.

My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness

     2 Corinthians 12:9

 

Thank you, Lord, for reminding me that my relationship with You comes first. Without You I can do nothing.  Thank you for putting new songs on my heart.  I praise You for your goodness and for providing for my every need.  Jesus, You are enough!

He Washed Me White as (Ivory) Snow

One of these things is not like the other!

One of these things is not like the other!

I am going to share something slightly embarrassing today… yes, folks, I have been a victim of “laundry bottle identity crisis”.  I cannot be the only one that has suffered from this condition, so I felt the need to come out of the closet…

One evening when my youngest was still a baby, I was carefully switching the laundry from the washer to the dryer.  As I  mindlessly took each article of clothing out, my dear, darling husband sweetly pointed out  that the bottle of laundry detergent I had been using for weeks was, in fact, not detergent at all- it was….. wait for it…. FABRIC SOFTENER!!!!  The horror!!!

I did not know what to do!  I mean, I thought wow, my clothes sure have been smelling good!!   And then I worried- what if it was just like spraying Febreeze on them?  What if I was just covering up the stink??

And I laughed, and laughed for weeks on end about that little mishap.  And you know what? It has happened again… many, many times!

So, the real question is why do they make these bottles so similar?  Come on, guys!!! Those of us who are keeping you all in business are sleep deprived mommies and caregivers who just need a little extra sign on the front of the bottle.  It is really hard to tell the difference between these bottles… same color, shape, size, and sometimes they even have similar pictures on the front!  And the word “laundry detergent” is in the smallest print possible!!

Then I got to thinking about this “laundry bottle identity crisis”…  it’s not that it isn’t labeled… it’s just that I fail to pay attention to details.  But-  I don’t want my laundry to just smell clean, I want it to be clean!

Which leads me to one of my favorite Bible verses-

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

 I don’t want to just look clean, I want my heart to be clean before God.  It is even more important that we take care of our “deeper cleaning” and make sure our hearts are clear before Him each day.   Just as I need to take an extra minute to read the laundry bottles, I need to also take those few extra minutes throughout my day to pray and  read God’s Word.

Lord, help me to mind the “small print” on the laundry bottles and in Your Word, to take the time to pay attention to details, and to continue to see You in all things.  May You help me to laugh more, get frustrated less, and to find peace and joy in You!

 

The Boiling Point

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I had been dreading this particular afternoon for days.  I picked my daughters up from school early one afternoon last week to take them to the dentist.  Visiting the dentist always proves to be an afternoon filled with anxiety and fear.   As I sat in the school’s  office, I noticed a poster on the wall-

It was titled “212 Degrees” and said this underneath-

212° the extra degree captures the essence of excellence in an unforgettable way… At 211° water is hot. At 212°, it boils. And with boiling water, comes steam. And steam can power a locomotive. The one extra degree makes the difference.

And in that moment, I forgot about everything else except that phrase…  Excellence…. one  extra degree makes all the difference.

I immediately thought about the one extra degree as one extra step of obedience to God.  You, know, that little extra “nudge” telling us to make just one extra phone call to tell someone they are missed.  One extra prayer for someone who God puts on your heart.  One extra meal for someone who is in need.  One extra smile on those days that you don’t really “feel like it”- because God is our strength!  How many people do you know that are hurting?  Lonely?  That need to feel loved? At times, I have reached out to others and have felt like it didn’t make any difference.  The fact is that God calls us to love each other- even if they do not love us back.  Even if they don’t smile back at you.   Even if they do not love you back… One extra degree– He wants us to put our hope and trust in Him alone and know that this verse is true-

So will the words that come out of my mouth  not come back empty-handed. They’ll do the work I sent them to do, they’ll complete the assignment I gave them.  Isaiah 55:11

I want to be at the “Boiling Point” with God- showing obedience in every little thing- bubbling over with His joy and doing all He asks of me!

In that dentist office, I was at my boiling point with God- quietly praying while calming down my youngest child.  Instead of worrying alongside her and getting angry over her meltdown, I knew that one extra degree of being a loving, understanding mommy  was what He was asking me to do in that moment.  Sitting patiently with her, much to my surprise, the dentist cheerfully said, “no cavities!”  And at that point, several of the other hygienists looked over at us with smiles on their faces, knowing the not-so-cheerful reports we have had in the past.  And the girls and I loudly cheered and I said “Praise the Lord!!!”

One extra degree… one extra step of obedience… I wrote a song about a year ago about giving God my all… having no regrets and not looking back.  This song came to mind when I saw that poster in the school office that day.    It is called “All or Nothing”.  I don’t want to just be steam… I want to boil over with the joy of the Lord! 

“All or Nothing”

Everybody’s looking for something,

for something to fight for.

but the battle has already begun

and He’s won.

He came to show us His love and to

reconcile our sins.

His grace abounds and when we receive it,

our journey begins…

Don’t want to do it “half-way”

It’s all or nothing.

Don’t want to do it “half-way”

I’m gonna pick up my cross

and follow You.

Don’t want to do it “half-way”

It’s all or nothing.

Don’t want to do it “half-way”

Whatever You ask for, I’m gonna do for You.

I wanna see the world through Your eyes

and not be hypnotized by the world’s lies

Help me to see You in everything,

in every circumstance

may I not be devoted to anything other than You

Helpless

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Most mornings I sit at the piano and sing whatever He puts on my heart…sometimes I sing my prayers.  One morning I wrote this song as I prayed to God.   So often I feel helpless- not knowing what to do, or what direction to go in.   It’s those moments like these  that I find comfort in knowing He is in control and He is with me.

 Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.  

Romans 8:26-27

Many times  I don’t even know how to pray or what to say… but this verse brings comfort to me-knowing that Jesus Himself is interceding and knows the deepest worries and desires of my heart.   As overwhelmed as life can get at times, I want to passionately pursue Christ and be obedient to all He asks of me.  He is everything my heart desires.

 And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.  Colossians 3:17

And I give thanks for these moments of complete helplessness, for He gently reminds me that I can do nothing without Him and that He is all that I need.

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.  That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:9-10

Helpless

Here I am in this moment waiting for You

To hear my cry, to hear my heart beating for You

and I have fallen so far

I don’t have the strength so I bow to all You are

I’m helpless without You

and I need You, come and fill my heart

I’m helpless away from You

You are everything that I desire

So I give to You my sacrifice of praise

I sing to You with everything I am

Lord, hear my voice, in this moment calling to You

I need You more than ever before.

What color are His eyes?

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I am a little nostalgic today as I realize that in just a few short days the girls will be back in school.  Bittersweet, I tell you.  It has gone by fast!  I am amazed at what my girls have taught me each day.  As we were driving to meet their teachers for the new school year, my youngest asks me a random question- “What color are his eyes?”

I asked her who she was talking about.  Pretty random thing to ask, I thought.  She said “umm… Jesus?”  Like “duh, did you really have to ask that question?!”  You know how totally lame us parents can be at times! This is the same daughter who wears mix-matched things each day and said to me one day “Mom,  you don’t KNOW fashion like I do!”  Oh, to have that kind of confidence and charisma!

Back to her question… I said “Well, I don’t really know what color His eyes are.”  I have never really thought about what color his eyes would be.  I think they would be warm and twinkling-  teary from the love and empathy He would feel for everyone.  I think they would be piercing- looking into the depths of our souls… perhaps they would shimmer like a prism.  And those thoughts reminded me of something she asked me a long time ago.

I was putting the girls to bed one night, and out of the blue, she asked me what God looked like.  I thought about it for a moment, and then I told her that He is in everything.  I see God when I look into her eyes and know that He made her.  Both of my girls have amazingly blue eyes.  I see Him in the beautiful sunsets.    He made everything and everything comes from Him.  And I told her that God is everywhere and that He is love.

But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love.  1 John 4:8

That night, I tucked her in and immediately sat down at the piano and wrote a song.   I thank God for His many blessings and the gift of capturing these  precious memories and putting them to music!

You can hear it here-

He Is Everywhere

One day she asked me, “Momma, what does God look like?”

I said, “Honey, He is everywhere, His love is all around us.”

And He is everywhere, He is everywhere, 

He is everywhere, His love is all around us. 

I see Him when I look into your 

beautiful blue eyes.

And I see Him when He paints the sunset

across the skies.

And He is everywhere, He is everywhere,

He is everywhere, His love is all around us. 

I told her God is there to comfort 

and catch us when we fall.

And God sent His Son to save us

and show us He loves us all.

And He is everywhere, He is everywhere,

He is everywhere- because God is love!