In the “Waiting Room”

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One Christmas, a wise cousin of mine shared something with my oldest daughter.  Katie was going to be turning the magical age of 8 in a few short months- the long awaited age we told her she could possibly get her first American Girl doll.  On that Christmas Day, she confessed that she couldn’t bear to wait 3 more months for this beloved doll!   My cousin told her that she was in the “waiting room” and that this was a very special time- a time of anticipation!  This was a time to dream and imagine what it will actually feel like to hold that long awaited American Girl doll!

Waiting for something is just no fun!  We want something we can’t afford- no problem!  We can just “charge it”!  We look for something in a store we need and they don’t have it-no problem!   We’ll just hit a few buttons on the computer and have it shipped directly to our front door!    I’m preaching to myself because I am the worst about waiting for something!  I can’t even make an appointment for a haircut because when I finally decide to have it cut, I want it done that day… how sad is that?!  I even found myself thinking my Keurig wasn’t making coffee fast enough this morning!

It’s even harder to wait on the Lord…

I remain confident of this:  I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.  Wait for the Lord;  be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord. – Psalm 27

Waiting is so difficult.  It feels like.. I.. am… slowlyyyy…. melting… away…

He must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less.  John 3:30

More of Him and less of me.  In times of waiting, I find myself drawing closer to Him.  I a learning to wait- not in frustration, but in complete surrender and anticipation!  As I bring my requests before the Lord, I know His will is to be done in His timing, and I thank Him for whatever that will be…

I took this to heart today as I waited in an actual doctor’s office waiting room-with my girls in tow.  A perfect storm for frustration.  But something different happened today.  I gave them clear expectations before we got there and explained that I was not feeling well.   I would normally play out all the scenarios of disaster in my head before we would even set foot in the doctor’s office… whining, fighting, complaining.which would lead to me feeling frustrated and weary…But not today!   Ain’t no time for that today!  The Lord took those thoughts from me and filled me with sweet anticipation!  We sat in the waiting room for quite some time, and the girls quietly played together.  Not a single fight.  A small miracle, I’d say!

I count my blessings as I worship Him in the many “waiting rooms”.  I thank Him for who He is, for what He does, and for the amazing things He will do!  I thank Him for the small things- like having a peaceful time in the “waiting room” at the doctor’s office with my girls, and for doctors who can help us feel better.  And I do my favorite thing while I’m in the waiting room- sing!

Lord, thank you for being my Father and for knowing me better than I know myself.  Thank you for all the wonderful ways You show that You love me.  Thank you for Your Word and for allowing me to see all of Your goodness in the land of the living!  

Here’s one of many songs I’ve written about being in a “waiting room”…

Father To Us All

Lord, take my hand and lift me up again.

Lord, help me stand on Your solid word again.

I’m listening to You, for I know Your way is true

I’m giving all myself away, in Your holy name I pray…

And I reach for You-

And You take my hand and lead me through.

You calm all my fears

And You dry up all my worried tears.

Just to be still and know that You are always in control

You are Father to us all, and You hear us when we call.

Help me believe and take a step of faith

I need Your grace with each move I make

My hope’s in You alone

For You are my life and song

I’m giving all myself away

In Your holy name I pray…

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

Children of Light

 

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Live as children of light – Ephesians 5:8

Yesterday evening, I had everything set up perfectly- the lighting was just right, my laptop was carefully placed atop two boxes stacked on our barstool from the kitchen.  The dog was quiet, the girls were engrossed in homework- or so I thought!   I had planned everything to the “T” and sat down to record  a song…

About halfway through the song, Sophie surprised me and decided to join me.  She smiled and waved as I played.  And my first thought was to reprimand her for not listening, for not staying in her room and for “ruining” the video.  But as I saw the light in her eyes, I immediately realized that moments like these are not things we “plan”, and sometimes we can plan so much that we miss those God moments and what He is teaching us…. and her light shines so bright, that I couldn’t stop myself from smiling and thanking the Lord for her contagious joy as she sang along with me.

The song is called “Dancing With Jesus” and I wrote it this past spring.  It is about a time of worship- a vision of Jesus and I, dancing in a garden, rejoicing together over answered prayers.  As I was singing last night, Sophie reminds me that worship is spontaneous and not something that has to be “planned”.  It’s not about having everything perfect.  It is about being aware of His presence all the time.   Sometimes I get so fixated on the details that I miss the bigger picture.

Happy 8th Birthday, Soph, and thanks for shinning your bright light and worshiping with me last night!

And David danced before the Lord with all his might. 2 Samuel 6:14

Dancing with Jesus

It’s a new day
I’m singing your praises
thankful and grateful for all that you are
Driving around
sun shining down
and I see a vision of
you and me
Your presence is real
I’m moved in my soul
I grab your hands
as we sway to and fro
I’m dancing with Jesus
Singing, rejoicing,
and worshipping him
I’m dancing with Jesus
I rest in your arms and I know
You are with me wherever I go…
A moment it was
frozen in time
a glimmer of heaven
and what it might be
Amazing and sweet
feeling complete
I surrender all that I am
at your feet..
How sweet it will be
when Your face, I see
when I get to heaven
and dance with you there
Forever more
and always I’m Yours
In your presence I will
forever adore…. you

Finding joy

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 The grass is always greener on the other side isn’t it?  When I was a little girl I thought my life would just be amazing and perfect only if… I was thinner… or didn’t tower over everyone else with my ginormous daddy long legs!   As I got into junior high and high school I thought life would be just dandy if I could buy clothes like all the “cool girls” from The Limited or any number of other popular clothing stores for teens back in the day. Maybe if I had a better car, or a nicer home…

My husband and I have talked many times about the “things” that we wanted.  A bigger TV.  Maybe if I could finally lose weight!  Well, guess what… I did that, too.  And still, it wasn’t enough. We search and search for happiness.  I have even been guilty of counting on my husband or turning to friends to make me happy…or even food..  But you know what- there is no house big enough, no sack of money large enough, no dessert sweet enough  to  fill up that empty feeling we have.

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice.  Philippians 4:4

The first time I felt overwhelming joy and peace was the moment I surrendered my life to Jesus. I finally realized that I couldn’t keep searching for things or looking to other people to make me happy.  Happiness is a fleeting emotion that comes and goes.  Joy is having the love and peace of Christ living within you, filling you up, moment by moment.  Joy is knowing Him and receiving His abounding grace and living in fellowship with HIm each and every day.   Joy is knowing that each day we are here on earth and each breath we take is a precious gift- one that could be taken away at any moment.  Joy is knowing that there is more to life than the “things” of this earth.

Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.  Philippians 4:7

The more I seek Him, the sweeter this verse becomes.  I thank Him for every blessing He has given me- including my husband, who so eloquently expresses through poetry the endless search for peace and joy in the poem below.   He wrote the words, and I put it to song.  May He continually give you peace and joy as you seek Him!

Click here to hear the song-

“Deceived”

The things I think will bring me joy,  

The newest car, the latest toy

Are nothing but the Devil’s ploy

To keep my eyes from you

 

What I think is love is only lust 

Consuming fire that fades to dust

A poisonous distraction just 

To turn my eyes from you

 

I’ve been deceived

The world’s not what I thought it was

Deceived

I can’t get what I want because

The Devil’s covered up my eyes

And whispered in my ears his lies

But truth is such a sweet surprise

 

My faith is shifting like the sand

It’s always making me demand

Proof that you are in command

And that your word is true

 

Peace is missing from my life

Replaced by arguments and strife

And worry stabs me like a knife

But I know this is true:

You give me joy no matter what my circumstance

The love you showed has given me a second chance

You give me faith that’s firm in your unchanging grace

And peace is mine when I make the time

To seek Your face.