The Song

The sound of birds singing in the morning is one of my most favorite sounds. There’s something about hearing these feathered creatures moving thru the morning singing and stirring about that never fails to speak to me, to reach a place in my soul. How wonderful to start the new day off with a song of welcome, with a song in one’s heart. But as spring approaches and these tiny creatures come out of hibernation with the rest of us, I’m learning that more than just enjoying their sound, I enjoy their song and the lessons I find folded within them.

Here’s what I’m learning:

Lyrical Lesson #1: Gratitude puts a song in your heart.

Its one thing to be thankful, but another to be grateful. Thankful says, I’m glad you did what you did. But gratitude says, I’m glad you did it – for me. Each new day is an opportunity to express our gratitude to God, to sing a song of gratitude thru our living that tells Him how grateful we are that He gave us another chance, another opportunity at life. Not just any life. Our life. Mine. Yours. The one He gave to you. To me.

Lyrical Lesson #2: Its not the sound but the song that matters.

Some birds have more lyrical, almost musical qualities to their sound. Like a well crafted instrument, their sound fills the air around them with melodious music that pleases the ears and stirs the senses. While other birds have similar sounds and qualities that, though sweet and sincere, do nothing to set them apart from the other birds around them. But whether sweet or set apart, its not the sound that matters. Its the song.

No one can offer my praise except me. No one can confess my gratitude but me. My worship, like my song, has to be real. For who I was created to be.

Lesson #3: Songs aren’t just for morning time

As much I love to hear birds chirpping and singing in the morning, often I will hear one at odds time of the day or night lifting up a song. And its at those times that I am reminded that the song isn’t just reserved for a certain time or location, but wherever I am, there also is my worship, my praise, my song. As God is with me everywhere I am, so too must be the song I sing, live out in honor of Him and who He is.

So as we walk into this new springtime of life, lets take note of the world around us and be sure to deposit our song in all the places, people, and paths we find  in and around us. Which brings me to Lyrical Lesson #4:

Songs aren’t just for birds

You have a song. I have a song. Let’s live it out, let’s sing it!

Sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord, all the earth. Psalm 96:1 NIV

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Small Sprouts & Lesson Learned

Like everyone else, I’ve found myself lately wishing for winter to be over. Done. This winter season has stretched the patience of the most die-hard winter enthusiast. Colder than usual temperatures, more snow than we’ve seen in years, and harsher than usual travel and road conditions has rendered most of us more than a little winter weary.
Who can blame us, right?
But the other day, I saw something that not only gave me hope and a glimpse of what was to come, but it also taught me a much needed lesson.
Pushing it’s way up thru the hard earth, I saw a small flower sprout. This small sprout, no bigger than one of my fingers, dared to claim a place among those things that had let go, that had fallen under winter’s harsh hand. In a place where dead limbs and dead branches surrounded it on both sides, it stood its ground and dared to live, dared to grow.
And you know what? Watching that small sprout bravely and courageously stand its ground (no pun intended) a lesson was played out for me. 
A lesson that spoke contentment instead of complaining. A little sprout  content to grow. Content in the season it found itself living in. Content to stand inspite of what had fallen around it. Content right where it was, right at the moment it was there. Some day it would be a flower, with petals and blooms and a fragrance that would fill the air around it. But for the moment, it was content. Right where it was.
Amen. To little sprouts. To lesson learned. To a God who still teaches.
As for winter? It will pass, it always does. And so will the season of life we find ourselves currently living in. But let’s take a lesson from a little sprout and dare to become content. Inspite of winter. Inspite of who or what surrounds us. Inspite of what things look like now. Let’s purpose to push on, to grow, to bloom.
Right where we are.
I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.
Phillipians 4:12, 13

God is There

Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. Psalm 139:7-8 NIV

This morning…

The wind ate my umbrella and spit it back out at me. Ruined. The bus was late and I had to wait almost an hour for the next one. The people on the bus were surly. Including the bus driver. I was 45 minutes late for work. The honeybun I bought from the snack machine to suffice as breakfast was stale. And I burned my tongue on my hot chocolate.

All in that order.

But as I sit typing this encouragement for you my sisters, I’m reminded of something worthy to share, worthy to offer as encouragement to someone else.

God never promised that everyday would have sunshine. He never promised every moment would be golden. He never promised that rain would not fall or winds would not blow. He never promised umbrellas would not be ruined nor that buses would not be late. He never promised that people would not disappoint us nor that honeybuns would not be stale.

But He did promise that He would be there.

And this morning He showed up in a friend who reminded me that the day was not over. She reminded me that though things may not have started well, there was still an opportunity for the day to redeem itself, for things to get better.

So be encouraged dear sisters that whether snow or sunshine. God is there. Whether happiness or heart break. God is there. No matter where the morning or life finds you, God is there.

With you. In you. For you. Because of you. Loving you.

God is there. Cooling burned tongues and making His presence known in the midst of bad mornings.

See? The day just got better .

Heavenly Father, thanks for being there. In all things and at all times. Because of You I am always loved and never alone. In Jesus’ Name I pray, Amen.

God is There

Where can I go from your Spirit?
    Where can I flee from your presence?
8If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
    if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. Psalm 139:7-8 NIV

This morning…

The wind ate my umbrella and spit it back out at me. Ruined. The bus was late and I had to wait almost an hour for the next one. The people on the bus were surly. Including the bus driver. I was 45 minutes late for work. The honeybun I bought from the snack machine to suffice as breakfast was stale. And I burned my tongue on my hot chocolate.

All in that order.

But as I sit typing this encouragement for you my sisters, I’m reminded of something worthy to share, worthy to offer as encouragement to someone else.

God never promised that everyday would have sunshine. He never promised every moment would be golden. He never promised that rain would not fall or winds would not blow. He never promised umbrellas would not be ruined nor that buses would not be late. He never promised that people would not disappoint us nor that honeybuns would not be stale.

But He did promise that He would be there.

And this morning He showed up in a friend who reminded me that the day was not over. She reminded me that though things may not have started well, there was still an opportunity for the day to redeem itself, for things to get better.

So be encouraged dear sisters that whether snow or sunshine. God is there. Whether happiness or heart break. God is there. No matter where the morning or life finds you, God is there.

With you. In you. For you. Because of you. Loving you.

God is there. Cooling burned tongues and making His presence known in the midst of bad mornings.

See? The day just got better .

Heavenly Father, thanks for being there. In all things and at all times. Because of You I am always loved and never alone. In Jesus’ Name I pray, Amen.

Today’s Thought

The weather man is calling for rain and thunderstorms today in my neck of the woods. There will be little to no sunshine and it is expected to be a pretty cloudy day.

But that’s according to the weather report.

Before my eyes were open, before my feet hit the floor, before the day even called to me, God had already sent a report of a different kind. A report that came thru the hearts of two who loved me, and the heart of One who loved me more. A report that not only welcomed me to my day, but promised that the day would be a good one.

Not because the sun was shining, but because the Son was shining, In my day. In my heart. In my soul.

So though the forecast may call for rain and clouds, I have it on good authority that it’s going to be a light-filled kind of a day.

Welcome to your day!

And may it be filled with the Light and Love that welcomed me to mine.

 When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12 NIV

 

 

Purposeful

So every year I choose a word.

A word that’s  my focus, my target for the year in my attitudes, actions and all areas of my life. A tall order I know, but for the past 3 years or so its been pretty effective. But this year I wanted something different. Not just a word, but a way of living. This year God gave me a new word.

Purposeful.

Now the word itself is not new to me. As a writer and lover of words, its one of my favorite. But this time, I felt God inviting me to live this word. More than just admiring it and the meaning behind it, I was being asked to respond to it.

To live on purpose.

It was while watching my newly one year old nephew enjoying his birthday cupcake, that the idea of purposeful living first took root in my heart.

Isn’t he adorable?

photo

Watching his soft, baby brown eyes fill with wonder and amazement at his first taste of cake, was a camera worthy moment indeed. It was his first big boy taste of cake. Ever. Up until that moment he’d eaten only  baby snacks and treats as his sweet fill.

But this was different.

He had a whole cupcake. All to himself. And the sheer joy that filled his eyes was worth every moment it took to watch him eat it. And eat it he did. Every single bite and crumb.

He left nothing, save the plate it came on. On purpose, with much intent and enthusiasm, he did what he set out to do. Make that cupcake disappear. Inside his one year old belly.

Isn’t that how all life should be lived?

One bite at a time. Savoring each moment. Joyfully enjoying the sweetness of life. Purposefully doing that which we set out to do. Regardless of who watches or witnesses. Even in our messy moments or less than perfect ones.

And most of all, eating the whole cupcake.

Like my nephew, the year is young yet, but join me on this journey to live on purpose. Lets see where it takes us and what we learn in the process. I’m ready.

Are you?

Safe In His Arms

“The eternal God is a dwelling place,
                                                                       And underneath are the everlasting arms;                                                                        Deuteronomy 33:27

It’s cold outside.

The temperatures here are reading below zero, and if weather predictions are to be believed, we will have to deal with these arctic conditions for the next 24-36 hours. As a precaution and safety measure against accidents and the threat of frost-bite, City Officials are advising residents to stay inside and to avoid being outside at all cost. No one however, had to advise my little Doey of this precaution. Once she discovered how cold it was outside, she ran for the safest place she knew.

My arms.

Long before winter brought it’s cold temperatures and threatening conditions, Doey discovered a safe place of her own. In my arms, she is the bravest, baddest, 5 pound chihuahua around.  From the safety of my arms, she’s learned that nothing can disturb her, destroy her, or devour her. She is able to stare down the fiercest of her enemies ( the cat who’s much bigger than she is), stand her ground against things that go bump in the night (the sound of the neighbor closing her car door), and sleep like a baby (well she is awfully cute all curled up) knowing that I’m watching over her.

We have a place like that too.

Life may bring us storms and cold temperatures, but God is a place of refuge for us in all seasons and all situations. He is the place where we can fear no evil. Of any kind. The place where safety and security are ours to claim.The place where we can always count on Him to be there, to watch over us, and to always keep us. And just as Doey discovered, before the first sign of danger ever appears or makes its presence known in our lives, He is the place we can run to for shelter. The place we can know we are loved.

Its cold outside.

But we are safe. In His care. In His arms. In His Love.

Today’s Prayer: Dear Lord, thank You for always being there with a heart that loves me and arms that hold me. In Jesus’s Name I pray, Amen.

He will cover you with his feathers,
    and under his wings you will find refuge; Psalm 91:4