Lyrical Sparrow


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His Peace

I woke up reluctantly this morning. The temperatures here are so frigid, that I had a hunch last night that schools would close once again today. I stayed up late, probably too late, trying to get ahead with work, so that I could spend the day enjoying the kids at home, and not filled with too much stress about work deadlines. Unfortunately, staying up late meant that I did not get enough sleep. Getting out of bed this morning was very difficult. The kids were filled with excitement with the news of another day off from school, while I moved around the family room and kitchen like a zombie, planting myself on the couch, zoning into space…most likely still asleep.

The kids made their breakfast, finished it up quietly and began playing with one another. They were enjoying each other’s company, getting along swimmingly and making each other laugh. It warmed my heart a bit. I made some coffee in an attempt to finally wake up.

When you are home all day long with 4 kiddos, it is important that they do not realize just how tired and out of energy you are. They will use that information to their advantage. I contemplated making myself an entire pot of coffee. I knew that I needed ammunition.

With a warm cup of coffee in hand, I headed into the office and took in the beauty of the freshly fallen snow. The ground covered in a glittery powder. The majestic mountain crowned in white. Everything so still, so peaceful, so quiet. I let it sink in, filling me up. In that moment, I was filled with peace, with contentment, with a quiet joy.

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I prayed that God would keep me filled with that peace, keep me consumed with that contentment. I knew that it was only a matter of time before a whining 5-year-old would begin to argue with me,  young ears would forget how to listen to me and tiny hearts would forget how to be kind to one another. I prayed that I would be so filled with the Spirit and filled with energy, patience, love and grace.

You see, I needed more than just a cup (or pot) of coffee this morning. That isn’t enough to get me through my day. And while this day is quite an easy one compared to what other’s days are like…even on easy days…I can’t do it without HIM! Remembering that on the easy days, makes it easier to go to Him on the hard days.

And every single day calls for His love, joy and PEACE!

May you enjoy His peace today, my friends.

“…Letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace.”  Romans 8:6

“The Lord gives his people strength.  The Lord blesses them with peace.” Psalm 29:11

“My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” Exodus 33:14

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And Then His Blessings Flowed….

The Lord your God is with you,
the Mighty Warrior who saves.
He will take great delight in you;
in his love he will no longer rebuke you,
but will rejoice over you with singing.”
– Zephaniah 3:17

It is a strange thing when you take a break from blogging, come back to your blog months later and realize just how much your life has changed in such a short amount of time.

Last summer, I was a single mom. I was struggling with anxiety attacks. I was struggling with depression. I was trying so hard to be the best mom I could be to my 3 little ones, but knew that I could not do it anymore on my own strength.

I ran to God. I spent hours each day in the Word. I prayed continuously. I cried, I yelled, I stomped my feet at the situation….and then one day I fully surrendered.

And do you know what happened?

He did a new thing. He made a way in the wilderness. (Isaiah 43:19)

He led me to the man He had for me – in His divine way. It is a story that I may share here with you someday…it is an awesome, incredible story – the kind that gives you goosebumps. The kind that makes you shout for joy in awe of how He works in us through the Holy Spirit.

And now, here I am…blessed beyond measure. I am married to such an amazing man of God. He has two kids of his own…making us a family of 7.

Our days are filled with such peace and joy….with laughter….with reverence….with blessings.

God is so incredible.

Joy does come with the morning. (Psalm 30:5)

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We Can’t Always Sprint All of the Time

I can’t really define what has been going on in my life over the last few weeks. I know that God is working in me. I know that I have been healing in many areas. I know that I released stuff over to Him that is no longer a chain in my life…no longer holding me back. I have been freed in some areas of my life and it has been wonderful. I have repented, forgiven myself and others, found areas I was trying to control in my life…and have given much over to God. And I felt joy and peace and contentment and soooo much love. I thought that once I did all of that…I would be changed in a more profound way, that the new found joy, peace, contentment and love would overflow in me and out of me.

But some days, some days I am still a broken mess, on my knees, crying out to God. Other days I am joyfully dancing and singing around my apartment to worship music. Some days I feel like I am struggling…struggling to feel contentment. Other days I feel just so blessed to have what I have and so full of gratitude and thanks. It’s a constant back and forth…back and forth.

Evenings are my favorite time of day, that is when I spend at least a good 90 minutes, if not more, in the Word…being led to various verses or doing a study. I pray, I listen, I learn, I read. Mornings are the absolute worst. I would have to say that over the last few weeks, I have woken up at least more than half of the time instantly anxious…almost like an attack. I wake up that way, the second I open my eyes. My heart pounds, my stomach churns within me. I pray, I breathe, I pray, I breathe, I sing a worship song, or read a Bible verse..and I still stay anxious. Some mornings I wake up so nauseated from anxiety that it makes me ill. It only happens in the mornings and then I am fine. I am not sure why and I am not sure how to make it stop, but I can tell you that I don’t like it. I pray about it continually. If you are a friend of mine reading this and can add that to your prayers, I would be very grateful.

I am so blessed that God has led me to a church out here and I am attending a portion of the ladies retreat this weekend. The theme is surrender. Fitting for me, isn’t it?!?! I am thrilled to go. I am excited to form new friendships and to also feel God work within me during the retreat.

More than anything, I just want His peace and joy to consume me 24 hours a day, seven days a week. I don’t want to cry at the drop of a hat when a lyric on the radio comes on about loneliness. I don’t want to feel cheated at all in life, because if anything, I am more than blessed to have the life that I have..and I KNOW THAT!!! I just want to be so full of HIM that nothing else matters…that I radiate light and joy. That I radiate HIM. That is what I want and I know I am not there yet…but I am closer than I was this time last year, or even last month….that is for sure.

Hebrews 12:1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.

As Christians, we are all running a race. Some days we can sprint easily..other days we have to walk, and focus on catching our breath. I think, right now, I am a mixture of walking and jogging…and you know what, that’s okay…as long as I am headed in the right direction.

This was read over the radio last night. I cried listening to it. I was having an evening where I felt more like I was walking..maybe crawling….I liked its message and it spoke to me. I have been wanting to share it. I especially liked this part:

“Without the downpour of rain, plants tend to wither and die. But who likes getting rained on? The same is true for our souls. If we are not subjecting ourselves to the hardship of life, we are missing out on some of its fullness. As a result, we stagnate. In order for us to find a meaningful life, we have to be willing to be uncomfortable, to be stretched into who we’re meant to be. We find our life’s purpose not in resolution, but through struggle. This is the stuff of epic stories and true heroes’ tales. There has be a narrow path, a hard way, in order for the journey to be worth the destination. Sometimes, the best we can do is play out the role we’ve been given. But something beautiful happens when we surrender to the larger story being told: we find joy in the most ordinary situations.”

So I will continue to run the race……whether sprinting, jogging, walking or crawling. I will not give up..or leave the race early..or get out of my lane and into another one that seems easier. I am on my course and I intend to finish!!!!

I will make it to the finish line…..strong…….excited……joyful…..in worship…..in awe…and I will run straight into HIS arms.


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It is Time to Focus on Blessings!

“It’s not a change in circumstances, but a change in attitude that brings contentment.” – Pastor Don, CCV.

This girl needs an attitude adjustment, stat! Let’s start with focusing on my blessings:

– I moved into a beautiful apartment this weekend.

– The lake with my prayer rock is a hop, skip and a jump away. In fact when I walk toward my front door, I have a view of the lake. It makes me smile each time. 🙂

– I found a boombox (yes, a 90’s boombox) at Goodwill for $5.00. So I can listen to Christian stations all day long in my apartment. It helps me to sleep too.

– I have amazing friends always ready to lend a helping hand, prayer or encouraging word.

– My friends and family are all safe and sound tonight and were not in the movie theater where a deadly shooting took place early Friday morning.

– I live in a country where I can read my Bible freely, worship God openly,  and even have others pray for me at work.

– I have hope for a future. I have a God who blesses me every moment, who has an amazing plan for my life and loves me unconditionally.

– As my mantel reminds me, I am blessed!

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I’m Letting Go

Today truly is a blessed day! I am moving into a new, beautiful place that God blessed me with, right next to still water that I need in my life.

It is incredible to see God’s hand at work and His little touches in my life.

If only I could learn that it truly is all I need and to let go of trying to control things in my life. God has it all under control, I should just leave it ALL up to Him. 🙂

 

 


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In Faith, I Must Walk

Today I had a heaviness on my heart. There were some things that felt unsettled. I was anxious. My thoughts were everywhere, and the more I stayed consumed in thought, the more anxious that I became. The more anxious that I became, the more I opened the door for Satan to go in, play around with my thoughts and create even more uneasiness. It was awful, and I knew that it needed to stop. So, I took a moment to pray. I also shared a bit with my friend, Tiff, in hopes that she would pray for me. Sure enough, a little bit later there was a sense of peace and calmness about me.

And the calm was good, because shortly thereafter I found out about a payroll glitch that would delay my paycheck that I was supposed to receive today. And then I was contacted about an unexpected bill for my University, that is still puzzling me. As thoughts of finances circled around in my head, I began to focus on the fact that I need to find a place to move into by August 4th. I have to be sure to have the funds for that. I then reminded myself about how chaotic so many things in my life seem right now. Before I knew it, that uneasiness begin to creep in once again.

So, I meditated on the Word and as I sat there, reading verses like Philippians 4:6-7 and Matthew 6:26, a picture came to my mind.

I thought about times as a kid, when playing with friends, we would blindfold one another and lead the blindfolded person around the house. When I was the one blindfolded, I wanted to trust that my friend wouldn’t lead me right into a wall, or cause me to walk into objects. Even though I did trust my friend, I would still put out both arms and move my hands around, feeling for all of the things that I couldn’t see with my eyes covered. I wanted to be aware of where I was, what was around, and where I should step. I was too afraid to walk in complete blindness. I had to have a part of myself guiding the way.

But it shouldn’t be that way with God. He wants us to have complete trust. He wants us to walk the path that He has for us in total surrender. We shouldn’t have to put our hands out, determined to find the trouble spots, so that we can change our steps accordingly. He wants us blindfolded, hands to our sides, taking each step in faith, walking His path, not our own.

As situations come up, I find that the more anxious I get, the more I want to take the control away from God. But God wants me to do nothing else but His will. I can trust Him to guide me accordingly. So in faith I must walk…hands to my side, or better yet, folded in prayer. I will not be afraid of the objects in my way. I will not be afraid to stumble. He will take care of me. His way is the best way!

Below is a song by Kari Jobe. Several months ago, when I was experiencing a lot of anxiety, I would play this song repeatedly, while breathing deeply and praying to God. It was a major help to me. I hope that you enjoy it.

Matthew 6:26 Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?

Philippians 4:6-7 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:19 And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.

Matthew 6:34 Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

2 Corinthians 4:17 For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison


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TRUST

TRUST – it is what I am having the hardest time with in my life right now.

Trust.

In my quiet time with God, when I am reading his word, when I am closing my eyes in worship, I hear it whispered ever so gently to my heart: “Trust”.

I am at a crossroads in my life. There is so much unknown facing my life right now. I have absolutely no idea what is in store. I do know that there are relationships that will be developed and strengthened, hurts that will be healed,  friendships that will be born, old chapters that will close, and new stories that will be written.

Deep down I want to completely let go, fully trust, listen to that whisper in my heart and say, okay God, I trust you

But…..I don’t.

I am terrified. I am scared of having trust broken once again in my life. I am scared of the hurt that comes along with it. I want to protect myself, and somehow I feel putting everything into my own hands will keep me from being knocked down into a pit once again.

But…I know that thinking that way is wrong and will only lead to destruction.

I have a God who loves me, who hurts along with me, who wants the best for me, who has so much happiness in store for me. He promises in his word that joy comes after sorrow.

So even though it is very frightening to trust, I choose to work daily on listening to that whisper in my heart, the one that promises restoration, renewal, and joy,

And on the days when I feel myself tightly gripping the reigns of my life and taking matters into my own hands, I will cling to his word.

“Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call upon me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. With long life will I satisfy him and show him my salvation.” Psalm 91:14-16 NIV

The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song. Psalm 28:7 NIV

If you wake me each morning with the sound of your loving voice, I’ll go to sleep each night trusting in you. Point out the road I must travel; I’m all ears, all eyes before you. Save me from my enemies, God—you’re my only hope! Teach me how to live to please you, because you’re my God. Lead me by your blessed Spirit into cleared and level pastureland.   Psalm 143:8-10 The Message