Category Archives: Song

Christmas in July

It’s been a while. It’s been a time. It’s been a season. I have found myself many times simply at a loss for words. More moments of the day than not, my heart beats faster than I ever knew it could. Sometimes it scares me just how quickly it beats. But I’ve come to the conclusion it means: I’m still kicking.

This morning started early. Most of the time, I feel like I’m constantly racing from one second to the next. I don’t want to let anyone down and am not really in a place to ‘slow’ any part of my life down right now. I feel like I’m constantly in a state of inhale (not even sure the last time I actually exhaled). When I do exhale, it’s intentional. I’ve had to remind myself, breathe out.

With the season of life I’m in, I talk to God a lot. Recently, I’ve caught myself talking to Him even more. There’s a lot going on. And this morning on my drive to work, wasn’t any different. As I finish my little chat, I continue playing the Eagles Greatest Hits CD.

Somehow, I find myself thinking about fall and how it’s my favorite season and that I can’t wait for the last 3 months of the year. The feel of that time of year: crisp, colors, comfort, warmth, snuggles, joy, love, bright; always creates an excitement within and I am like a ‘kid at Christmas’.

Just as I’m finishing my ‘I can’t wait for’ thoughts, I hear the keys of the beginning of a very distinct Eagles Christmas tune and then, “Bells will be ringing…” a smile immediately forms. The irony isn’t lost on me. He wanted to spread a little cheer this morning. I graciously accepted.

And I couldn’t resist sharing. So here’s a little holiday cheer for anyone else that may need a little Christmas in July today.

Eagles – Please Come Home For Christmas (youtube link to song)

 

Advertisements

Okay, so now what?

Earlier this week, I voiced out loud a prayer that’s been brewing in my heart. Something that had started troubling my peace. In a group devotion the question posed for discussion was “Do you feel a tug at your heart to live completely with God, but are still uncertain about pursuing it? Explain.”

I felt this tug a few years ago. I dragged my feet for a bit and felt much like the child trying to yank the hand I was holding in another direction until one day, I took the plunge. I believed in God, but have struggled centering ‘my’ life around His plans instead of my own. This plunge was scary. It had no safety net. At times I was sure I felt the air being sucked right out of my lungs.

To fully live with God means letting go of a lot. I had to let go of my life expectations, my life plans, my feelings, and at the same time be willing to examine who I am as a person and let him expose some ugly things. I’m still not perfect, but I am more me than I have been in a really long time (if ever). I have more of a simple peace in life than I thought possible. As a human, I don’t fully ‘like’ the circumstances I went through to get where I am, but I cannot deny I am much happier here.

All of that is great. Okay, so now what? I’ve taken the plunge. I’ve followed God’s direction and some pretty amazing things have happened, but what now? Where do I go from here? I took the leap (off the cliff), landed on my feet, planted my feet, but am unsure where or how to grow from here. It’s kind of dark and quiet in this place. Sometimes I feel like I’m in an abyss and I can hear my echo, “Heeellloooooooo???”

I think of my favorite four-letter word <insert eye roll>, wait. So, I voiced my prayer out loud to my friends. It pretty much went, “Now what?” I think I needed some reassurance that I’m supposed to be waiting. I got the physical votes of assurance from my girlfriends, but the real reassurance came over the next couple of days.

I was wrapping up my daily task for the devotion homework the next day and there was that question <insert snarky-ness> again about ‘a tug of the heart’ for us to answer by ourselves in our quiet time. Heaving a sigh, I wrote that I currently felt in limbo, unsure what comes next. I shut my study and moved on.

I had decided to embark on a personal bible verse-a-day for December. It is definitely geared for the season, but the first line of the verse hit me like a ton of bricks considering what I had written two seconds earlier for my ‘tug’ answer, “All right then, the Lord himself will give you the sign.” Isaiah 7:14. I could almost feel the Lord’s snarky-ness as I re-read the verse “All right then”. I continued reading and the last verse felt reassuring too, “Then the Lord will bring things on you, your nation, and your family unlike anything…” Isaiah 7:17.

I closed my eyes and listened. My heart said, ‘Patience, child.’ My eyes bolted open. He hasn’t left me alone in this dark, albeit peaceful, place. It’s just time to be quiet right now. Put one foot in front of the other, if you will. He simply wants me to honor the space between no longer and not yet. I shed some tears of thanks for the reassurance my heart needed. And in response, the very next verse I spied as I dove back into the world, was on social media, Isaiah 55:11 “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.” Amen. I hear you, Lord. Thank you for clarifying any last little shred of doubt, it was you telling me to be patient.

The next day’s verse-a-day proved further conviction. I typically read around (before and after) to get a bigger picture of the verses I’m given to read. Isaiah 9:2 affirmed my answer from the day before, “The people who walk in darkness will see a great light. For those who live in a land of deep darkness a light will shine.” And the first portion of verse 4, “For you will break the yoke of their slavery and lift the heavy burden from their shoulders.” He’s not going to leave me here in the still darkness forever. I will know what’s next when it’s time to know.

As I’m letting all of this resonate and thinking about the clarity I’m feeling about patience, the song in the background on the ‘Sounds of the Season’ channel catches my attention. It’s by Dan Wilson and the song is titled, “What a Year for a New Year”. A beautiful summation of the answer to my prayer. The next thing will come. The next new year. Patience.

Don’t get me wrong, life is pretty happy- peaceful. Not much ruffles the feathers. It’s pleasant. But internally I have felt this question stirring, “What should I do now?” I do not believe we’re meant to live a stagnant life. It would stink. I believe we’re meant to grow and evolve. However, I’m also realizing that sometimes God calls us, but then puts us in these quiet, still places. It can be a time for reflection. I find I work on my flaws more when I’m still. You can heal some broken places. It’s like the cocoon- the transition between the caterpillar and the butterfly. Or the season of winter- the transition between a completed purpose (fall) and new life (spring). It’s in the quiet, dark places that some of the greatest work is done.

Today there is no further ‘answer’. No further conviction to have patience. He’s made His point. I believe, He knows it’s been received. And I don’t find “What now?” as the center of my unsettled prayer anymore. I feel at peace with that…So, what now? Well, I wait.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b1PxqT6IUEo (link to song)

Lyrics to What a Year for a New Year by Dan Wilson

What a year for a new year
We need it like we needed life I guess
Last one left us lying in a mess
What a year for a new year

What a night for a sunrise
And we thought the dark would never end
Reaching out to try to find a friend
What a night for a sunrise
Sunrise

What a day for new day
And our star shines like a miracle
And our world is almost beautiful again
What a day for a new day
New day

What a year for a new year

What a night for a sunrise
And we thought the dark would never end
Reaching out to try to find a friend
What a night for a sunrise
Sunrise

Soon we’ll be lying in our beds
And new dreams will fill our heads
And the old ones will be ended
Hope we’ll forget about this place
Let it go without a trace
Wipe the teardrops from our faces
Oh! What a year for a new year!

Consider the Ravens

A black mass, they twist and swirl and swoop down, then back up. Their formation is astounding. I find myself mesmerized and slightly terrified at the same time. It’s become a tell-tale marker of cooler times coming. They start forming in October when reds, yellows, oranges, browns, pumpkins, emptying fields and floating leaves create one last splendor for the eyes and soul. It’s as if the year is giving one final burst of life before relinquishing itself of earthly duties and going into hibernation.

Just a bit ago, I found myself carefully watching this mass of blackbirds as they swooped across the field. There’s something intriguing about their movement. It brings a new meaning to ‘birds of a feather flock together’. I first noticed the birds do this back in college. I was working outside as an after school counselor and I remember feeling slightly as though I were in an Alfred Hitchcock film.

Where it can be disturbing on many levels and rather perfect for the spooky time of year, I do find myself curious and the next thing I knew I was Googling…apparently, this is a common phenomenon, especially for winter. The birds create a super flock for protection, food gathering and communication purposes. I began humming “Consider the Ravens” by Dustin Kensrue (lyrics below). Next I was on YouTube…

This song, introduced to me a couple of years ago, immediately became a favorite. It was presented to me with the bible verse: Luke 12:24 “Look at the ravens. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for God feeds them. And you are far more valuable to him than any birds!” Currently, the devotion I’m reading speaks about letting God be our fulfillment, our satisfaction. Not people, nor possession, nor position. Verse 23 says, “For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing.” And verse 25 states, “And which of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life’s span?” Time should be coveted and spent wisely. Why do we live so wastefully? My favorite line in the song is “So Father give me faith, providence and grace.” #amen I would much rather live that way. God’s got us. #trust

I won’t deny – it’s so much easier said than done. Resting in God is tough. #anyoneelsestubborn ?? But it brings a great peace. My faith journey has been dark like a swirling mass of crazy blackbirds and it’s been bright like their captivating motions and formations amazing swoops conquering leaps and bounds. What I’m finding now is it’s more like their purpose – a super flock working together, trusting and protecting. And I am finding peace even in those dark, swirling moments ❤

I will leave you with my morning devotion verse that has popped out at me all day long: “Because of God’s tender mercy, the morning light from heaven is about to break upon us, to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, and to guide us to the path of peace.” Luke 1:78-79

Always remain in a soul search and along your journey, wherever you may be at the moment, don’t forget to consider the ravens.

I’ve got bills to pay

Taxman on my tail
Just keep prayin’ that
The check’s in the mail

There are times it seems
When everything’s lost
And I’m moaning, I’m tossed
And I see..

Between the river and the ravens I’m fed
Between oblivion and the blazes I’m led
So father give me faith, providence and grace
Between the river and ravens I’m fed
Sweet deliver, oh you lift up my head
And lead me in your way

I’ve grown sick and tired
Of trying to stand still
I’ve learned to let the wind
Pull me where it will

Throw myself into
The will of the wait
I can never be great
’til we’re free

Between the river and the ravens I’m fed
Between oblivion and the blazes I’m led
So father give me faith, providence and grace
Between the river and ravens I’m fed
Sweet deliver, oh you lift up my head
And lead me in your way

Although I’m walking through
The valley of the shadow of death
Evils all around
It’s coming from the right and the left

Trust that I will see
The glory above
Oh, your banner of love
Flies over me

Between the river and the ravens I’m fed
Between oblivion and the blazes I’m led
So father give me faith, providence and grace
Between the river and ravens I’m fed
Sweet deliver, oh you lift up my head
And lead me in your way

Anything and Everything

The slow rise and fall of your chest, your breath at rest. I could stare at you forever. The tiny blond hairs that run along your body. I could stare at you forever. You’re beautiful, my little love. Made perfectly. Dream. Hope. Believe. My song for you sweet one. Since you were a babe lying across my chest curled in my arms. Love is the only word I can think of when I want to describe how I feel about you. But even that doesn’t seem to fully sum it up. Make a wish ❤ Always ❤

What do you dream about
Look at the stars, honey
All you gotta do is pick one out
And it’s there for you
I’ll be the one who makes
Your every dream come true

Close your eyes and baby
Make a wish and baby
I’ll give you anything and everything
The sky’s the limit and my heart is in it
I’ll give you anything and everything
Anything and everything

Where do you want to go
Look at the world, baby
All you gotta do is just say so
And I’ll take you there
Oh yeah, you know that
Love can take you anywhere

Close your eyes and baby
Make a wish and baby
I’ll give you anything and everything
The sky’s the limit and my heart is in it
I’ll give you anything and everything
Anything and everything

I could spoil you
Make it easy
Make you happy if you let me
Won’t you let me

I’ll be the one who makes
Your every dream come true

Close your eyes and baby
Make a wish and baby
I’ll give you anything and everything
The sky’s the limit and my heart is in it
I’ll give you anything and everything
(I’ll give you) anything and everything
(I’ll give you) anything and everything
(I’ll give you anything and everything)