What a pain in my…foot

Wednesday afternoon I fell down the one step we have in our house. I tripped over air and hit the ground hard. And of course where I landed is the one spot that is cement covered by a thin layer of carpet.

I screamed as I hit the ground in an amazing amount of pain. With 2crazylittleboys, I try very hard to not make noise when I get hurt as I don’t want to scare them. Wednesday there was no controlling the screams. They both came running and my phone started ringing. (amazingly I didn’t drop it when I fell.)

My mom was on the phone. To the boys I said I was fine. To my mom I said I was hurt. I tried to move and every movement cause pain to shoot through my body. I reassured my mom that my foot wasn’t broken. The boys ran to get stuff to help. The oldest came back with a cut off leg from a pair of panty hose. The youngest had a soaking wet kitchen towel. My mom offered to come and hide my house slippers if I had been wearing them (I wasn’t).

As you can imagine, none of their ideas helped. I got off the phone, asked the boys to put the wet towel in the sink and tried to figure out how to get off the floor. I considered just lying there for the next hour until my husband got home. I eventually got myself standing and hobbled the six feet to the nearest chair. Once sitting I was able to look at my foot. I already had a lump and it was turning black and blue.

Now the boys were in full help mom mode. They got me pillows to prop my foot up. They made me an ice pack and wrapped it in a towel. They really wanted me to put the piece of panty hose on it. They finished picking up their toys while I sat in the chair planning out my next move.

I had to use the bathroom. It might as well have been a mile away than just through the living room and around the corner. I cried on my walk there and back. I spent the rest of the evening sitting around, using ice and trying not to holler every time my foot got bumped. Eventually I climbed into bed and tried to sleep. It wasn’t easy but I did manage to get some sleep.

Yesterday when I woke up, I didn’t move right away and felt okay. I thought maybe my foot was getting better. It looked terrible. The lump had spread to the whole foot being swollen and it was all a lovely blue color. My positive outlook lasted until I set my foot on the floor and tried to stand up. Wow. The pain was back and even worse.

I lasted through the morning do very little but icing my foot and resting. The boys were amazingly helpful. They got their own drinks and snacks. They played nicely together. They read books together.

By lunch I decided that my foot was probably broken. It was starting to hurt all the time whether I was putting pressure on it or not. I knew if I went over to the ER (which is just a block away) they would just refer me to another doctor so I decided to skip that part. I set up the appointment for that afternoon and then started making calls to find someone to keep the boys.

I found a friend who was willing to come to the house and watch the boys, but that led me to my next problem. How was I going to get to the doctor?  I hobbled out to the garage to see if I could back the truck down the driveway. Success! Driving was much easier than walking.

I made it to the doctor’s office where I filled out a ridiculous amount of paperwork, was weighed (stupid lying machine), and had my blood pressure taken. I wanted to laugh when the nurse told me my blood pressure was good because it was actually high for me (but normal for a regular person). Doctors make me nervous and I was in pain. She probably thought my pulse was good, too, even though my heart was racing.

Finally I had three X-rays taken and the doctor came in. She asked some questions and then started messing with my foot. I believe she wanted to play the game “how hard can I press the spot that hurts before I get kicked in the face.” Once she completed the game (no, I didn’t kick her.), she started looking at the X-rays on her computer. She’d make them bigger and then smaller and then bigger again.

Finally she told me my foot was definitely broken, but she needed to go look at the actual X-rays to double-check where the break was. Apparently I broke the worst bone to break in your foot. She told me that depending on where the break was it could disrupt blood flow to my toes and I could need surgery.

I’m not sure I can describe how hard I prayed while the doctor was off looking at the X-rays.

After what felt like forever, she came back and told me the break was okay and I wouldn’t need surgery. (Thank you, Lord!) I then got fitted for an air cast and a pair of crutches. The cast can come off only when I shower. If someone has any ideas on how I can stand long enough to wash my very long hair in the shower or how I can get out of the tub if I take a bath I’m looking for suggestions.

The drive home was ridiculous. With a couple extra inches added to my right foot, it was very hard to press on the gas. I did make it safely home but irritated the drivers behind me as I traveled much slower than they wanted to.

Once home, the boys thought the crutches were the coolest thing they’d ever seen. I made it through the evening mostly sitting and trying to figure out the most comfortable way to have an air cast on. For the record, there is no comfortable way. My foot ached. My toes had started to hurt. And then my very loving husband said, “wait until it starts itching.” which it immediately did. I may have threatened to hit him with my crutches.

Finally I got in bed. With my foot held firmly in an awkward position, I wasn’t sure I’d ever fall asleep. I posted on my personal Facebook page that my friends should put on one winter boot, add a ten pound weight to it, toss a couple of tacks in the bottom and then they might understand how I was feeling.

I did manage to get some sleep. Not enough and not good but some sleep nonetheless. And that leads us to today.

I’ve made it through day one of my four to six weeks of healing. I’ve had to use the crutches a lot today just being in the house. The pain has been intense today. We are trapped in the house because it’s chilly outside, and even if I could drive, where would we go that would require little to no walking? All of that equals 2grouchylittleboys. (To their credit the grouchyness has come in short bursts and they are trying to be helpful.)

I’m sure it will get easier. I’m sure there will be good days and bad. Eventually, I will be able to move around better, and we will be able to leave the house. How amazing is God that when bones break with time they will fuse back together? How amazing is God that if my break was one centimeter either direction I would have needed surgery?

Cast

The Church of My Childhood

 

I spent the majority of my childhood attending a Church of Christ. We sang hymns out of a hymnal. We had traditional Sunday school that wasn’t called a fancy name. We had Sunday night services. My grandma played the piano. We had communion every Sunday. Baptism could happen any Sunday, no appointment necessary. Sunday nights, instead of having a specific list of hymns, they would take requests, and the kids seemed to pick as many songs as the adults.

There are days that I really miss all of that. Don’t get me wrong. I like the church we attend now. I enjoy the preacher. I love the music. However, we attend a contemporary church and sometimes I miss the traditional church.

I miss the hymns we used to sing. I’m trying to find ways to hear them and teach them to my boys. But even more than the hymns, I miss communion every week. I miss taking that time to reflect on what Jesus did for us.

I really don’t understand why all churches don’t have communion more often. My church has communion on Easter and Christmas and then a couple other times a year. And some of those times are on Wednesday nights instead of Sunday mornings. I know my church isn’t the only one like this.

“Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and said, ‘Take this and divide it amount yourselves; for I say to you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.’

“And He took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, ‘This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.’

“Likewise He also took the cup after supper, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in My blood, which is shed for you.'” Luke 22:17-20

Do this in remembrance of Me. Why aren’t we having communion more often? Why isn’t is a regular part of all church services? Why aren’t we having that quiet reflection time of remembrance? Why aren’t we begging our churches for it?

I’ve had people ask it having communion every Sunday makes it more like a habit than in reverence. Let me tell you, if taking communion has become a habit for you, DON’T TAKE IT. Get back to your bible and your faith and your God. If your heart isn’t right, DON’T TAKE IT. Communion should never be something you are doing just because it’s offered.

There was a time when I was a part of a youth group. We were a close group of kids from high school freshmen to early 20s. We grew up our faith together. We wanted to reach our peers and for a time actually put together our own church services.

At one point there was some anger and hurt feelings among us, as there is with teenagers. We got together one night and were talking about communion and getting our hearts right. That evening we took turns getting on our knees, asking each other for forgiveness and then we washed each others feet as Christ did before the last supper.

It was an amazing experience that I will carry with me always. We left there whole and filled with faith.

Now I’m not saying for the church to get out there and wash everyone’s feet. But maybe it’s time to get back to the basics. I’m not saying ditch the band, but let’s remember our roots. I’m not saying we need hymns and communion every Sunday, but I’m looking for that feeling, that closeness with God.

There have been times that I’ve had the feelings I get from communion through the music and I could feel it affecting the people around me as well. And then what should be a moment of quiet reflection or prayer, is interrupted with applause. Could we have more prayer and less applause? Maybe less of a show and more heart.

I do want to be clear. I’m not saying that my church or any other like it are bad. There are just times I’m looking for more. I’m looking for the church of my childhood, and I’m not sure it even exists anymore.

This Worship Wednesday post is looking more like a Throwback Thursday so I’ll leave you with the song that we sang at the end of every Sunday morning service.

 

 

 
You can find all of the Worship Wednesday posts here.

A day of hard questions

Today on our way home the boys and I drove by a graveyard. It had been a while since I’d driven by there and as we got close I slowed down. Just over a year ago we buried my husband’s grandma in that graveyard, and I always think of her when I go by.

She was the first person in my husband’s family that I claimed as my own. I didn’t say my husband’s grandma. She was just Grandma. I may have married into her family, but she always made me feel as one of hers. She was always happy to see us when we stopped by and never seemed to care when the boys acted their age.

As I drove by the graveyard, I couldn’t help but slow down and think of her fondly. I’m not sure if it was my slowing down or if they could just tell I was thinking or maybe it was just the first time they paid attention. Whatever it was the questions started. “Mom, what is that?”

They’ve reached the age where the answer “a graveyard” isn’t enough. I really wasn’t wanting to have a death and burial conversation with them and “Oh, Glorious Day” came on the radio so I was able to buy some time. When the song ended, the youngest says to me, “Will you tell us now?”

There was no putting it off. They had questions and it’s my job to answer them. It was the first BIG QUESTION moment in parenting. They know about death from the dog dying, but they don’t really understand. And trying to explain a body being dead and a soul going to Heaven is not something I think you are ever prepared for.

Apparently I did a good enough job because they seemed satisfied with the answers I gave. I thought I had answered all of the hard questions for a while.

Boy was I wrong.

As the boys got ready for bed, I went to YouTube looking for a good video to go with today’s Worship Wednesday post. I had planned on using NewsBoys “We Believe.” I found a video and started playing it. The youngest told me he loved that song and cuddled close as we listened.

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 comin’ back again

When the song was over, a whole new set of questions started. Why is God called the Father? What’s the Holy Spirit? I tried to explain that since God made everything He’s like everything’s Daddy, and that Jesus is God’s Son. At the mention of Jesus, they popped up with, “Jesus is a baby.”

I had to laugh. Yes, Jesus was a baby. No, Jesus doesn’t have small hands. His hands can hold the whole world. Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to us when He went to Heaven.

I continued to answer their questions the best I could trying to use words that would make sense to a 4 and 6-year-old. And I must have done okay because they seemed satisfied, said their prayers and fell asleep.

And while they may have been satisfied, I wasn’t sure. It was one of those BIG moments in parenting, one of those moments that you don’t want to screw up. Did I use the right words? Did they understand?

I want them to understand. I want them to have a big faith. I want them to believe.

“But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were thrown into the sea.” Mark 9:42 NKJV

“Then the little children were brought to Him that He might put His hands on them and pray, but the disciples rebuked them. But Jesus said, ‘Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven.'” Matthew 19:13-14 NKJV

Have you had a faith talk with small children? What words do you use?

 

You can find all of the Worship Wednesday posts here.

Just Be Held

 

 

This song seems so fitting for this week. By now, unless you’ve been living in a cave, you have heard that Robin Williams died this week most likely by his own hand. Death is always hard. Suicide is always hard.

This death has left us all talking about depression and suicide. It’s left us wondering how someone who seems to have it all could be left feeling so hopeless, how someone who brought us so much joy and laughter could have been so alone inside.

And maybe it’s not fair or even right that this death is getting so much attention over others. I know to me it’s almost like I knew him. He was a part of our worlds through his movies and television shows. One of the first movies I really remember seeing in the theater was Hook.

There’s been a lot of talk on social media saying if you haven’t experienced depression, if you haven’t contemplated suicide, you shouldn’t be talking about this. I read Matt Walsh’s blog in which he said that Robin Williams didn’t die from depression but made the choice to end his life. I was shocked and horrified by the number of people who commented on it saying Matt should be killed or kill himself.

I’m not sure if the masses will think it’s ok for me to write about this or not. I have suffered through intense bouts with depression to the point where I have little to no memory of those time periods. However, I have never considered suicide.

I have suffered through periods of intense despair. I have laid on the couch in tears until there are none left feeling unable to move. I have felt alone and that no one else could ever understand what I was going through.

I have had times where I was so lost in the storm that I forgot to look to the cross.

But I have also had hope and faith and love surround me during those times. I’ve had people to talk to and help pull me back up.

Whether it be depression or just a hard time you are going through, there are times we all feel the weight of the world on our shoulders. We have this need to be strong. Don’t show them your weakness. Put on a happy face. And you can only carry that kind of weight for a time before your knees give out.

I love the pictures this song paints. How amazing would it feel if instead of holding on to all the stresses and hurts we would just put it down and let God hold us? There have been times these past weeks where I’ve been stressed and things aren’t going as I would like. And then I listen to this song and I can feel myself letting go. It’s almost as if His arms are physically around me.

If you are suffering, I would like to remind you that even if you are literally alone in this world, you are not alone. If you go to Him, God will hold you and never let you go. Instead of looking at the storm, look to the cross.  Let the cross be a symbol of love and hope.

 

 

Just Be Held

Hold it all together
Everybody needs you strong
But life hits you out of nowhere
And barely leaves you hanging on

And when you’re tired of fighting
Chained by your control
There’s freedom in surrender
Lay it down and let it go

So when you’re on your knees and answers seem so far away
You’re not alone, stop holding on and just be held
You’re world’s not falling apart, it’s falling into place
I’m on the throne, stop holding on and just be held
Just be held, just be held

If your eyes are on the storm
You’ll wonder if I love you still
But if your eyes are on the cross
You’ll know I always have and I always will

And not a tear is wasted
In time, you’ll understand
I’m painting beauty with the ashes
Your life is in My hands

Lift your hands, lift your eyes
In the storm is where you’ll find Me
And where you are, I’ll hold your heart
I’ll hold your heart
Come to Me, find your rest
In the arms of the God who won’t let go

So when you’re on your knees and answers seem so far away
You’re not alone, stop holding on and just be held
You’re world’s not falling apart, it’s falling into place
I’m on the throne, stop holding on and just be held
Just be held, just be held

 

 

 

You can find all of the Worship Wednesday posts here.

**Depression is a serious disease. Suicide is not the answer. If you are considering suicide, please know that there is always hope and someone does care about you. I care about you. Find a preacher, a priest, a doctor, a friend, a family member or even a stranger to talk to. There is always a choice. There is always hope.

It’s back to school time

School started last week in our area. Summer break is getting shorter and shorter. The stores have been packed with shopping carts full of folders, pens, pencils, tablets, and more. Parents have started posting on Facebook about their excitement that the kids are going back.

My kids didn’t go.

That may come as a surprise to some of you. I have only recently started saying it out loud. The last person I said it to told me she wished she had homeschooled. So far I’ve only been met with support. I know that’s not always the case, and I’m sure I will hear from those against.

It’s not a decision that was made lightly. It’s something that has been on my heart since before I had kids. It’s something that has been covered in years of prayer. It’s a God led decision.

With homeschooling, we can work at our own pace. There’s no rushing to cover as much as we can as fast as we can to start preparing for a test. We can study whatever makes my crazy little boys light up and gives them a love of learning. We can start our “school” day with prayer. We can read the bible and talk about God’s influence in everything.

My kids are special (as are all kids). They learn differently (as do all kids). My 6-year-old loves to take things apart and figure out how they work. He can look at something and figure out a better way to do it. My 4-year-old loves animals. He uses words like carnivore, herbivore and omnivore correctly. As I’m writing this he has his animals all lined up and his brother just used a screwdriver to “fix” a toy so he could play with it the way he wanted.

We would miss out on these joys and countless others if they were sitting behind a desk. Sometimes my 6-year-old finds it easier to remember things when he’s standing on his head. He calls it his best thinking. That’s certainly not allowed at the brick building down the road.

Yesterday as we were working on writing our letters, my oldest insisted he needed quiet to do it properly. He made the first line down for the A and then the second line down. He then announced that to make the line across he needed it to be LOUD! His brother was more than willing to accommodate that request. Suddenly the house went from quiet to loud, the line was made followed by several more loud A’s and we ended the lesson in a fit of giggles at the silliness of it all.

We don’t have a classroom in our house. We have a living room floor, a dining room table, a couch, a bed, a front yard, and a backyard. Maybe it doesn’t look like what people think schooling should look like, but it works for us. These boys are learning, sometimes more and faster than I realize at the time.

We love the freedom homeschooling gives us. Both of their birthdays fall during the school year. We have the freedom to take those days off and do whatever we want together. If we want to take a family vacation in the middle of September, we can. If we had to get up at 6 in the morning to get to school in time, the boys would have to go to bed earlier. If they had to go to bed earlier we would miss that family time we get in the evenings. How many kitchen dance parties would we miss out on?

This is what works for us right now. If your kids are in public school, maybe that’s what works for you. Maybe that’s where God has led your family. And that’s okay with me. This decision, as are all decisions about our kids, is a personal one and what works for us may not work for you.

 

This is not the post I thought I was writing today. This isn’t what I thought I would be sharing. But it is what was on my heart.

I was hiding, but I’m not going to hide anymore. I’m going to be proud of the decision we’ve made because I know that it’s the best one for our boys. If people ask what grade they’re in or where they go to school, I’m not going to be afraid to answer honestly.

We are homeschooling, and we are loving it.

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Where Feet May Fail

 

I’m surprised by how often I’ve been brought back to Peter recently.

Simon who was called Peter. The fisherman whom Christ called to leave his nets behind and become a fisher of men. Who’s mother-in-law was sick and healed. Who walked on the water until he let his fear overtake him. Peter who knew Jesus was the Christ and who was the rock Christ built His church on. Peter who swore he would die before he denied Jesus, though Jesus told him he would. Peter who fell asleep when Christ asked him to pray that dark night in the garden. Peter who would fight when Christ was arrested but Jesus called for peace. Who would weep after denying knowing Jesus three times.

And after Jesus conquered death and appeared to the disciples, He told Peter to feed His lambs, tend His sheep, and feed His sheep. Jesus told Peter to “Follow Me.” (John 21:19 NKJV)

I’ve been brought back to Peter’s story time and again, through the songs I’ve been listening to and the words I’ve been reading. Today it finally occurred to me to look deeper into the story that continues to find its way into my path.

Can you imagine what it would have been like for Christ to call you to leave your life behind and follow Him? To love Him so much you would walk away from your family, your job, your life? To trust Him so much you would step out of a boat and onto the water. How violently would you weep if you had denied knowing Jesus just moments before they would crucify Him? And then after all of that, imagine seeing Jesus, alive after you saw Him die, calling to you, telling you to tend to His people.

Peter’s story could be the story of any of us. To love Christ with all your heart, to fall short of what you know He wants you to be, and He still calls for you, still wants you.

Oh, to have the faith Peter had that night on the water. To step out onto the unknown and instead of sinking, to walk.

One of those questions that people ask and I’ve never had the answer to until now is, if you could meet anyone living or dead, who would it be. If you take Jesus out of the options, it would be Peter. To be able to ask him what it was like to be there, to step out onto the water, to fall short and have Jesus call you to Him anyway. What must it have been like to touch His hands before and after the nails?

Maybe this is my Peter moment. Maybe Jesus isn’t calling me to literally walk on the water with Him, but maybe these words are my waters. I pour my heart out onto these pages and then press the button that sends them out to the world. Every time it is scary. Every time I expect to fail, to sink. And every time you read them. And every time it’s as if I’ve stepped out of the boat and onto the water.

Maybe we are all being called to be like Peter. To have a faith so big you step out of the boat. And maybe you only take a couple of steps on the water before you start to sink and call out for Jesus to pull you back up. But maybe, just maybe, you keep your eyes on Jesus and walk all the way to the shore line.

Find your Peter moment. Jesus is calling you to put down your net and follow Him. The journey is amazing and hard and wonderful and you will fall short. It will bring you to tears at times. You will fail and you will sink. But the rewards are eternal, and there is nothing like those moments when you are standing on the water.

My feet may fail, but my God never does.

 

Oceans (Where Feet May Fail)

You call me out upon the waters
The great unknown where feet may fail
And there I find You in the mystery
In oceans deep
My faith will stand

And I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise
My soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine

Your grace abounds in deepest waters
Your sovereign hand
Will be my guide
Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me
You’ve never failed and You won’t start now

So I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise
My soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine

Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me

Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior

I will call upon Your name
Keep my eyes above the waves
My soul will rest in Your embrace
I am Yours and You are mine.

 

You can find all of the Worship Wednesday posts here.

These are heart issues not political issues

There is so much going on in the world right now. It makes my heart heavy, and I imagine it affects many of you the same way.

Right now thousands of children are coming across the southern border in the United States. Many are coming across alone and I can only imagine how scared they must be. This past weekend Mercury One took truck loads of food, clothing, teddy bears and soccer balls to help the churches that are housing this children.

Israel is under attack from people who wish to wipe them off of the face of this earth. The Israelis are God’s chosen people. As Christians, I believe it is our duty to support them in any way we can.

I don’t normally talk politics on here, but I don’t believe either of these issues are about politics. I believe these are issues of the heart. It doesn’t matter what you or I think about the border issue, as long as those children are here it is our duty to provide for them. And as a Christian, I believe God Himself gave that land to the Israelis.

If either of these issues are on your heart, I would ask you to give. I would ask you to pray over both of these issues. I would ask you to pray that God would be with everyone involved.

And if God leads you to give financially, I would ask you to give through Mercury One. Mercury One has fund-raisers to pay for their overhead so every penny given to them to help either of these causes or any other cause they support, like disaster relief, goes straight to helping people. 100% of the donations goes right where you want it to go. You can also pick exactly who you want to help. If the children at the border are on your heart, give straight to them. If Israel is on your heart, give straight to the Israelis.

You can find more information about Mercury One here.

Mostly I’m asking you to pray.

Heart of Worship

I was thinking about skipping this week’s Worship Wednesday’s post. It feels like every week we have been fighting a new battle around our crazy little house, and it would be much easier to just take a break.

First our cat died. It was not unexpected as she was 14 years old, but it was still hard.

Then my husband had to be out-of-town for work for a couple of days. While he was gone, I spotted a couple of fleas on our 60 pound dog. That meant I had to give the dog a bath. During the bath, somehow the diamond fell out of my engagement ring. (Thankfully, I did find the diamond, but only after I sat and cried for 20 minutes.)

Then we went camping and all the hoopla that came along with that. The burn on my thumb still hasn’t healed completely. We ended that trip by getting super sick and our dog getting Parvo. As I shared last week, we then had to have our dog put to sleep.

And then last week, we found fleas again. We have been fighting the seemingly never-ending battle against these bugs. We’ve been bombing, cleaning, washing, sweeping, scratching.

Oh, and somewhere in there I found a dead mouse (which I guess is better than a live one). And mice actually bother me more than fleas.

So you can see why I might want to just crawl back into bed rather than putting my thoughts out here. It would be easier to pull the blanket over my head. Or to toss my words aside and head to the park to play.

I’m feeling under attack. I’m feeling worn out. But instead of going back to bed, I’m fighting back. When we do God’s work, Satan attacks.

God knows I’m under attack. He knows I’m tired. He knows I was thinking about skipping today. And He knows what I need. I didn’t have a song picked out in advance for today like I have the past weeks. And last night He put a song on my heart.

 

Heart of Worship

When the music fades
And all is stripped away
And I simply come.
Longing just to bring
Something that’s of worth
That will bless Your heart.

I’ll bring You more than a song,
For a song in itself
Is not what You have required.
You search much deeper within,
Through the way things appear,
You’re looking into my heart.

I’m coming back to the heart of worship
And it’s all about You, it’s all about You, Jesus.
I’m sorry, Lord, for the thing I’ve made it
When it’s all about You, it’s all about You, Jesus.

King of endless worth,
No one could express
How much you deserve.
Though I’m weak and poor
All I have is Yours,
Every single breath!

I’ll bring You more than a song,
For a song in itself
Is not what You have required.
You search much deeper within,
Through the way things appear,
You’re looking into my heart.

I’m coming back to the heart of worship
And it’s all about You, it’s all about You, Jesus.
I’m sorry, Lord, for the thing I’ve made it
When it’s all about You, it’s all about You, Jesus.

I remember the first time I heard this song. It was sometime around 2000 at a Wednesday night church service. Before the song started, the story behind Matt Redman writing it was shared. If you don’t know it, you can find it here.

The first time I sang Heart of Worship it moved me to tears as it has almost every time since. It reminds me of where I need to be, of where my heart needs to be.

God isn’t asking us for a show. He doesn’t need a production in our lives or our churches. All He requires is for us to simply come to Him. To bring Him our hearts.

As my crazy little family is traveling this hard road, it’s important for us to remember this. To take a step back and simply come before our God. To set down our trials and worries at His feet and breathe Him in.

I know I needed this reminder this week to get back to the Heart of Worship. Maybe you need this reminder, too. If it was up to me, this song would be played in every church on a regular basis. I know our churches need this reminder.

“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30 NKJV

May we all get back to the Heart of Worship.

You can find all of the Worship Wednesday posts here

Growing Your Garden of Faith

It’s the middle of the summer and vegetables are starting to become ripe in the garden. I love this time of year. I love the hot days and warm nights. Even though, with my red hair and freckles, I’m destined to burn to a crisp, I love the sunlight. And I love picking and eating vegetables fresh from my garden.

When we were first married, I tried my hand at a garden. The area best for it was a spot where the previous owners had a desert garden complete with sand and cacti. Needless to say, it did not go well. Very little grew there even after we removed all the sand. (10 years later it still gets the least amount of weeds.)

Last year we picked a new area for our garden and decided to try again. For years we let our neighbors grow flowers there even though it was on our property because it’s out of our normal line of sight. Those neighbors moved and we wanted a garden so we decided to try again. We tilled it all up and planted a garden.

We were so excited about the idea of a garden, the thoughts of fresh peppers and tomatoes, making our own salsa, broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussel sprouts. Sadly very little grew. The plants grew big but yielded very small results. The best thing we got from it was at Thanksgiving when I walked over to the garden as 2crazylittleboys were playing in the snow and saw the Brussel spouts had finally grown. I picked them, and they were a fun last-minute addition to our meal.

This year we got a late start to our garden. By the time I got around to buying plants, our favorite stores stopped supplying them. They told me I was one week late. This year there are no sweet potatoes or Brussel sprouts in our garden. We have an assortment of peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers and onions. I already have more tomatoes growing on my plants than I was able to harvest all last year.

To get 2crazylittleboys involved in the gardening (other than playing in the dirt), I let them both pick one package of seeds to plant. The youngest picked spaghetti squash and the oldest jack-o-lantern pumpkins. They dug their holes and planted their seeds. I didn’t have high hopes for either growing but those seeds had other ideas. We have 4 spaghetti squash plants growing like crazy, and if you need a pumpkin for craving this fall, I know where you can get one. They are trying to overtake our little garden.

But the tomatoes and spaghetti squash and pumpkin plants aren’t the first thing your eye is drawn to if you walk over to our garden. It’s the weeds growing up in between the plants. Only I learned this year that those aren’t weeds and our garden isn’t neglected as it might appear.

If you walked over to it, you might notice that we don’t have a fence up. I’m not organic crazy, but no pesticides or sprays to keep rabbits and deer away have been used even though we live across from a woods. Our plants are growing and everything is leaving them alone.

Those weeds growing throughout our garden are actually a ground cover. The old neighbors planted it and tilling and weed killer didn’t get rid of it. It was so aggravating until I pulled it and caught the scent of it. I’m not sure what it’s called, but it gives off a scent that keeps animals away.

Because I know it keeps the animals away, I let it grow. It means I don’t have to spray. I don’t have to put up a fence. It may make my garden look neglected, but it’s actually keeping the plants safe.

 

Sometimes I think my faith is like my garden. Maybe it’s messy. Maybe it looks overgrown. Maybe to the passerby it looks neglected. But if they would get closer, if they really knew me, they would know that my faith isn’t neglected at all. Maybe what looks like weeds to you is the part of my faith that keeps the animals away.

I may not being in church every Sunday, but I know my God. I may not carry a bible in my purse, but I know my scripture. You may not see or hear me pray, but I talk to my God.

The youngest of my boys loves to pray. He never forgets that we need to say our bedtime prayers, and sometimes he reminds me if he’s afraid I’ve forgotten. He’s more likely to remember prayers than teeth brushing. And about half the time, he wants to lead the prayers (which means they included a lot more animals than when Mom leads).

My oldest is the opposite. He doesn’t remind about prayers and has even on occasion told me he wasn’t praying that night but is always respectfully quiet during prayers. And that’s ok. I can’t force him into prayer, and I won’t.

The oldest is also easily embarrassed. He’s more likely to hide his face. He refuses to show off what he knows to people when I want him to. Singing “Happy Birthday” to him will make him turn the brightest red, and he may tell you to stop singing. All though there are times he would like everyone’s attention, he wants that attention on his terms.

His faith is like my garden. A couple of nights ago, it wasn’t the youngest who reminded me we needed to say our bedtime prayers. It was the oldest, who then announced that HE want to say the prayers that night. And then he prayed from his heart, thanking God for our good day, for his family. Praying for our safety while we slept.

All those times when it may have appeared as if he wasn’t listening, he was. When his faith looked like my overgrown garden, it was really growing down low and all across and actually strengthening his garden.

Only God knows the condition of our hearts. Don’t be discouraged when people pass by the garden of your faith and thinks you’ve neglected it and have let it be overtaken by weeds. God knows your faith isn’t neglected. God knows those aren’t weeds but are strengthening the garden of your faith.

Pull your weeds. Let your ground cover grow. Your faith doesn’t have to look like everyone else’s. I know my faith doesn’t. Work in your garden and let God grow it.

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Let Him Dream For You

It’s been a rough summer around our crazy little house. Although we are normally happy and mostly healthy, we’ve had some rough times. I’m a little sorry I used Laura Story’s Blessings for last week’s Worship Wednesday. It would have fit perfectly with our week this week.

I talked a little about how our vacation was not all we wanted it to be, about how so many things had gone wrong. We thought getting sick was the last bad thing that was coming out of the camping trip. We were wrong.

We had a 10 month old puppy who we took camping with us. He enjoyed it all but the fireworks for the 4th. Last Thursday as we were all finally recovering, our puppy started throwing up. Saturday morning we learned that he caught Parvo, and he had to be put to sleep.

With the time line for the puppy’s sickness, the vet was pretty sure he got it while we were camping. And the whole family has just been heartbroken. 2crazylittleboys have been champs, but there have been very hard times through this all. After I took the dog’s cage down, the three of us sat on the couch and cried.

It’s been a rough month for pets around here. At the beginning of May we had 3 fish, a puppy and a cat. Today we have two fish. Our cat died a couple of weeks ago from old age. I’d had her for 14 years. It’s strange there being no animals roaming our house at night.

So now you understand why last week’s song would make so much sense this week. It just fits. I know there are blessings in these rain drops and mercies in these tears.

Since I’m not going to use the same song two weeks in a row, I’ve chosen a song today that gives me great joy. This song fills me with hope. I may not be able to see God’s path for me, but I know He has one and it is great. And it’s Casting Crowns again. I could use their music every week. It’s all so great.

 

Dream For You

Hey, David, I hear you’ve been dreaming
About being a big time shepherd some day
You’re gonna prove your brothers wrong
You’re gonna sing your shepherd song
To the cattle on a thousand hills
But I’ve been thinking

I’m having trouble with a giant down the road
You’re the one who’s going to face him toe to toe
Wipe that grin right off his face
And whip this army into shape
I’m going to turn the nation back to Me
And, David, you’re right about one thing
Your little shepherd songs are going to make the whole world sing
And I’m gonna make you king

So come on, let Me dream, let Me dream for you
I am strong when you’re weak and I’ll carry you
So let go of your plan, be caught by My hand
I’ll show you what I can do
When I dream for you
I have a dream for you

Hey, Mary, I’ve heard you’ve been dreaming
Making plans for your big wedding day
You and Joseph are gonna be
The picture perfect family
Maybe a couple of kids down the road
But I’ve been thinking

Even before time began
I had a picture perfect plan
Of how to save this broken world
Through the life of just one man
I’m gonna send my only Son
And, Mary, you’re the one
You were right about one thing
You’re gonna have that family
And you’re gonna raise the King

So come on, let Me dream, let Me dream for you
I am strong when you’re weak and I’ll carry you
So let go of your plan, be caught by My hand
I’ll show you what I can do
When I dream for you
I have a dream for you

I’m stronger than you think I am
I’ll take you farther than you think you can
You sing and call Me Great I Am
So take your stand

My child, if you only knew
All the plans that I have for you
Just trust Me, I will follow through
You can follow me

So come on, let Me dream, let Me dream for you
I am strong when you’re weak and I’ll carry you
So let go of your plan, be caught by My hand
I’ll show you what I can do

So come on, let Me dream, let Me dream for you
I am strong when you’re weak and I’ll carry you
So let go of your plan, be caught by My hand
I’ll show you what I can do
When I dream for you
I have a dream for you

If you haven’t heard the song, you need to play the video below. The words are so powerful and the music just adds to it with its fast tempo.

I love this song. I can picture David with his sheep. He thought he was just going to be a shepherd. Taking care of his flock was his big dream, proving to his brothers that he wasn’t too small. From his spot on the hillside, he couldn’t see God’s big plan.

David wanted to tend to his flock and God gave him His flock to take care of. God had a dream for David, and it was so much bigger than anything David could have thought up on his own.

And having planned my own wedding, I can imagine Mary, so excited to be getting married. Sure, her planning would have been much different from mine, but a bride is a bride. She would have been excited and probably nervous. She would have had this idea of how it was all going to work out. How could she have even begun to imagine God’s big plan for her life?

She would have thought that she and Joseph would get married, have some kids and live happily ever after, but how much more amazing was God’s plan? Mary became not just a mother, but the mother of The Son of God. There’s no way anyone could imagine that being God’s plan for their life.

As I look at my life, it’s not what I imagined. Sure, I always thought I’d be a wife and mom. But being this mom, this wife? This is so much better than I ever imagined. And having this spot to write these words and then having all of you come and read them? I never could have imagined this.

If we let go of our plans and look to God, where will He take us? He took a little shepherd boy and turned him into a king. He took a young girl and made her the mother of the King. What amazing plans does He have for you and me?

I pray we can all let go of our own plans and get caught in His hand. How amazing is it when we let Him dream for us?

 

 

You can find all of the Worship Wednesday posts here.