Sunday, December 31, 2006

Faithful One

"The Lord your God is with you,
He is mighty to save.
He will take delight in you,
He will quiet you with His love,
He will rejoice over you with singing."

A few weeks ago the sermon at church was based off of this passage from Zephaniah. What was particularly interesting about this fact was that I had just spent some time reading and meditating on this scripture. As I have grown up, I have learned to pay particular attention to times that my personal study coincides with what is taught from the pulpit. I've learned that usually when God has something to teach me, He surrounds me with the message. So...I sat quiet and still, doing my best to absorb whatever it was I needed to learn from this.

I had been reflecting on this verse while thinking about God's healing power. The last few months have been a refiner's fire for me, and these verses had become a balm to my soul. To think about God calming and quieting me and all my worries by loving me...and pouring His joy into my life by singing over me was quite an inspiration to turn my focus from self to God. The lesson at church on that Sunday was about how the gift of Jesus in this world was just one way that God sings over us. Let that percolate for just a minute......That brings the whole idea of God sending His Son into the world to show His love to us to a whole new level, don't you think?

So, in the midst of processing these wonderful concepts, God once again surrounded me with yet another way to view this passage through the testimony of one of our ministers. He also talked about singing, but He addressed songs that represented his different lifesongs for different stages of his life. Listening to him speak, I was amazed at the parallels I could have drawn between his different lifesongs and what mine could have been. We left that evening with the challenge to think about what our lifesong would sound like, what it would be called, and what it would be about.

That challenge was presented to me a week and a half ago, and today I decided to share my lifesong with you. I came across this song on the Internet while trying to find another song by the same group. A few days ago I purchased the song off of iTunes, and I have had it playing over and over again in my car since then. It has become very special to me. Being a music-lover, the music itself is one of the things that makes this song so touching. But, it's the message in the lyrics that makes this song my current lifesong.

"Faithful One"
by: Selah and Christy Nockels

I find no hope within to call my own,
For I am frail of heart, my strength is gone.
But deep within my soul is rising up a song,
Here in the comfort of The Faithful One.

I walk a narrow road through valleys deep,
In search of higher ground, on mountains steep.
And though with feet unsure, I still keep pressing on,
For I am guided by The Faithful One.

Faithful, faithful to the end
My true and precious Friend
You have been faithful
Faithful, so faithful to me.

I see your wounded hands, I touch your side,
With thorns upon your brow,
You bled and died.
But there's an empty tomb,
A love for all who come and give their hearts to You,
The Faithful One.

Faithful, faithful to the end
My true and precious Friend
You have been faithful
Faithful, so faithful to me.

And when the day is done,
And when the race is run,
I will bow down before
God's Only Son.

And I will lift my hands
Give praise for all you've done
And I will worship you...
My Faithful One!

Sitting here on the brink of a new year full of unknowns and possibilities makes this song particularly comforting. I hope and pray that you have found it that way as well! God bless!!

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Raindrops on Roses

While perusing around in this "new" blogger universe I am discovering, I came across a blog from a young woman at my church. Her post struck me deep, and I have since spent quite a bit of time reflecting on her thoughts. She commented on having a journal where she wrote about all of the things she loved(s). She challenged her readers to take some time to reflect and write about all the things in life they love. This challenge has remained in my mind for the last few days, and during my reflection a certain song popped into my head:

"Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens,
Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens,
Brown paper packages tied up with string,
These are a few of my favorite things.
Cream colored ponies and crisp apple strudel,
Door bells and sleigh bells,
And schnitzel with noodles,
Wild geese that fly with a moon on their wings,
These are a few of my favorite things."

Combining the idea of writing down all that I love with the honesty of this song from Sound of Music caused me to reflect even more on what it means to love something. Initially I could have written simply, "I love my family. I love my Savior Jesus Christ. I love my church family. I love teaching children." All of that is so important; it is true that I deeply love each of those things. But, doesn't God give me so much more? Doesn't He surround me with things everyday that proclaim His majesty, sovereignty, and love for me?

My best friend once told me to look for the butterflies in life. She was challenging me to see the little gifts God gives me each day that speak of His love for me. The song "My Favorite Things" really does just that--it finds the butterflies in life that help you get through the good times and the hard times in life.

So, having said all that, here are my "butterflies:"

I love the way rain sounds when it hits a window during a storm. I love the power of God demonstrated in the thunder and lightening. I love having a roof over my head that provides me shelter while I admire the power of God in the thunder and lightening. I love the smiles of babies, and the face they make when they are learning to make their first sounds. I love to cuddle with a child. I love waterfalls. I love butterflies. I love dogs. I love cozy pajamas. I love big, warm blankets that cover my whole body when I curl up to relax. I love to read. I love reading a book that transports to me a different place. I love to curl up and get lost in a book for hours. I love to crochet. I love Christmas. I love Christmas lights, Christmas decorations, Christmas shopping. I love seeing the reaction of those I give gifts too. I love hot chocolate-especially with peppermint. I love shoes. I love clothes. I love flowers. I love gift cards. I love old movies. I love watching a mother or a father talk to their child. I love watching someone discover something new. I love how my first grade students need hugs all day long. I loved it when a little boy told me he had prayed for me because I was sick. I love listening to children explain things so matter-of-factly when adults can spend hours trying to explain the same concept. I love the innocence of children. I love the look of concentration on a little face that is learning. I love to listen to children read. I love to teach children to read. I love to watch a child's eyes light up with understanding. I love to hear my students say, "I missed you, Miss Lowery." I love to sing. I love music that reaches down and touches your soul. I love pianos. I love being sung to. I love being read to. I love chocolate. I love candles. I love rocking chairs. I love sunsets. I love rainbows. I love long, hot baths with a good novel. I love manicures and pedicures. I love sitting with a friend and catching up for hours. I love sitting with a friend and just sitting cause nothing needs to be said. I love my mom and dad. I love my sister. I love my grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. I love that Jesus Christ died for me even though I am so undeserving. I love that God made me the way I am for a reason even when I don't always know what that reason is. I love my Lord God.

"Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable-if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-think about such things...And the God of peace will be with you." Phil 4:8, 9b

Friday, December 29, 2006

Rainy Day Fun

Christmas is over, and New Year's is approaching. I have only a few more precious days before I head back into my first grade classroom to try and make a difference in the lives of 20 six-year-olds. During this vacation I have spent quite a bit of time reading the blogs of people I admire. I decided it seemed like a lot of fun. So, I have sat here in my recliner for the last hour and a half trying to figure out this whole "blog" thing. And, here it is!! My personal blog. I don't know how often I will write or what I will be prone to say. I only know that God is working on my heart, and I am learning the power of writing as I process and grow. I can only hope that sharing these thoughts with you and getting feedback will only stretch me even more on journey to become more like Christ.

"My soul magnifies the Lord. My spirit rejoices in God my Savior!"