If you love something, set it free…

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Sometimes as a mom, we have to let go of our own dreams for our kids so they can pursue their own passions.   I’m not ashamed to admit that I sometimes live vicariously through my girls. We want for them to experience the same joys we had as children, while at the same time- we want to make things better than we had it, too.

One of those things for me was being involved in chorus.  Although my girls love to sing, they have NO DESIRE to sing in chorus.  It broke my heart a little bit, but both of them have been playing in the band at school.

My youngest came home the other day and begged to take a different elective next year.

But you are so good at the clarinet!  You will regret it if you don’t continue! I told her.  I secretly wanted to cry when she told me she didn’t want to do band anymore.  She loves art and wanted to explore other things in school.

Honestly, I wanted to put my foot down and not give her the option of quitting.  I think as parents we have to encourage our kids to do the things that they excel at- because if we don’t, who else will? But my husband and I talked and he asked me if I wanted her to do band because it was something I wanted for her.  He felt like we should give her the option to choose what she wanted to do.  I thought my heart was going to break, but I told her that evening that it was her decision. I had to trust the Lord and let go of my own desire for her.  She chose to not take band and I begrudgingly signed the form for her.

This past week was my daughters’ band concert. I was so sad that my daughter opted not to do band next year, I didn’t even want to go that night.  I watched my youngest walk onto the stage and she found us instantly in the audience.  She smiled the whole time she was up there. I was so proud.  I watched all of them tapping their feet to the beat, bobbing their heads up and down to the tempo. They finished, and my youngest was brimming with pride.  I held back tears, knowing it was the last time she would be sitting up there.

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It was a bittersweet evening.  I can’t explain why, but every time I go to a band or a chorus concert, I get really emotional. If it weren’t for my involvement in music in school, I don’t know where I’d be today.

And then later that evening, my youngest daughter sat near me and began to cry.

Momma, I DO want to do band!  And I want to play all through high school.  Please, can I change my schedule?   I don’t ever want to stop…

I hadn’t imagined it. She really does love to play.

If I had put my foot down and made her take band next year, she may have not had that epiphany. I was so thankful that she realized how much playing in band meant to her that night.

It was truly the greatest Mother’s Day gift I could have received this year.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart
    and lean not on your own understanding;  Proverbs 3:5

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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

art and worship

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I had my boundaries stretched this past week.  I love how God turns my thoughts upside down and takes me out of my comfort zone.  We all have ideas in our head about what it looks like when people are worshipping– whether we are engaged in the singing or intently focused on the pastor preaching the message during a Sunday morning service.

“Mom, do you think I could bring coloring pencils and color while the pastor is preaching?” my older daughter asked me this past week.  She explained that it is hard for her to focus, but that during her classes at school, she “doodles” and that it helps her listen better.

I admit- I didn’t know what to say at first, because she’s not so little anymore. I am ashamed to say that part of me worried about what other people might think if I allow my (almost) 13 year old to color during the service.  But, I love to doodle- and I can definitely say that it helps me to focus, too. So I told her she could- as long as she was discreet and as long as she sat beside me and LISTENED to the message.

After I finished the last song during the music part of the service, I sat down beside her.  She quietly took out her pencils and began to fill in the little patterns. I was mesmerized watching her, and part of my own creative brain longed to color with her! As the pastor led us to a time of prayer, I went back to the piano and played.  When we were finished, my daughter had already put away her things and was all smiles.

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My daughter’s colorful creation

I began to think- coloring with your hands isn’t all that different from me playing the piano.  During almost every prayer I am “doodling” on the piano keys (which I like to call “noodling” around).  And for me- that is absolutely worship!  I am praying silently as I am playing- and I always feel more connected to Him through the movement of my hands across the keys.

Afterwards, I quizzed her in the car.

“So, what was the message about?”

She remembered everything- even the three main points of the sermon.  Seeds had been planted- and for me, that’s the most important thing of all.

So, can art be a part of worship?  Absolutely. I think anything we do can be an act of worship- even coloring – if our mind and heart are focused on the Lord.

I’m proud of her for not worrying about what other people would think. And I’m a bit disappointed in myself for caring too much.

So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.

1  Corinthians 10:31

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