The Long Road Ahead

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Sometimes, God reveals a plan to you so big that you don’t know how to comprehend it. You know it’s real. You know it’s true. And yet, you fumble. You fumble with the magnitude. You fumble with understanding.

The end result is everything you have ever wanted. The end result has been your silent prayer to God for a long time, but it won’t be without a cost.  You don’t know when, but you know that something bad has to happen for the plan to be carried out. You know that that something bad means someone has to die, and so there are more tears than moments of joy. How do you proceed? How do you do anything but cry out to Jesus for strength, for prayers for everyone involved?

Lord, hear my prayer.

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The Time Is Now

I submitted my album to iTunes earlier this week, and it’s now on Amazon for pre-order. It is so surreal. Really. I don’t know how I got here because this isn’t what I had planned for my life. I am thankful, but more than anything I am in awe of God’s grace, of His strength, and the will He has for my life.

Friends, never question the power of God and the plan He has for your life. We can spend our lives running from the truth about ourselves, but He always finds a way to remind us of His love. The time is now to take hold of Him and all of the promises that He has laid out for your life. I pray that you will finally surrender everything to him – your life, your finances, your work, your goals, your dreams, your fears… He is so much more than just a “Sunday God”, or one that’s only there when you read the Bible. He wants to know you intimately, and He also wants the opportunity to make a difference in your life. Let go of your burdens and turn to Him today.

If you are interested in preordering the album or listening to samples from the album, please click here. If you choose to listen to it, I pray that you listen with a heart for Jesus. Every song was co-written with Him. I know because I surely could not have done any of this on my own. Lord, I truly give you all the glory.

Life After Death

You left the light on for me. I remember thinking maybe you had died when I didn’t see you in the morning, and there you appeared, alive and well in my dream. You were even wearing my bedtime shirt. I kissed you on your forehead and you made a comment about my bracelet. It was such a simple and comforting moment before I woke up. 
I’m not sad this morning. If anything, I am reminded and encouraged that there is life after death. Mom, I love you dearly and I miss you everyday, but I also know that you are happy in the arms of your Savior. Thank you for leaving the light on. I can’t wait to see you again! 

Preaching to a Five-Year-Old

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It started innocently enough. She was pretty upset, crying even. Tears flowed from her heart for her momma. It’s one of the saddest times in my life and it happens all too many times. I do my best to help soothe her, and for me, that usually involves singing.

I sing familiar songs to help calm her down. First, her favorite “Jesus Loves Me.” I sing it only one time but very softly, not like I normally do. Next up is “Silent Night.” Not sure why this been a stand-by for me at bedtime but I love the long notes and gentle pace. At this point, I think she is singing with me. She’s not smiling yet but she’s holding my hand, thankful not to be alone.

Finally, I tell her that I’m going to sing a new song for her. I tell her it’s my favorite Christmas song, and I can tell she has a little joy in her heart. She’s starting to feel better. I sing the first two lines of “O Holy Night,” and then ask her to sing it with me. She is all too happy to do this because she loves to sing as much as I do. It is soothing for her just as it is for me. You could say I’ve been teaching her how to use singing to self-soothe.

She starts singing with me, and she is smiling. In the darkness, her light is bright and it warms my heart to see such love in her, to see such joy. I sing a few more lines and teach them to her. And then something incredible happens, something completely unexpected. I went back to the beginning of the song and started to break down the meaning for her. I tell her this song is about Jesus, the night He was born. Oh wow does she light up!

I keep going… I sing a few words, and then I go back and explain to her their true meaning. Again and again I do this… “a thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices.” The Spirit is rising in me, and I can feel the power in these words. I’m excited and I’m getting her excited. It’s bedtime but we are on fire for Jesus! We can’t stop, we just keep going and going… And I raise my hands… and I tell her about that holy night and how people cried Jesus! Jesus!

And I told her that all of the people in the land saw that star, that beautiful star that told them that God had done a miraculous thing. Our Savior was born!! And we’re singing, and her love is abundant, my heart is bursting. Here we are, when two or more come together… we are rejoicing. We felt it. O Holy Night! O Holy Night! Jesus has come! Jesus is here! Jesus has come to save us!

She understands. Her heart is open, and she is hungry for more. She loves Jesus and doesn’t want it to end. “Oh sweetheart,” I tell her, “Jesus is always there for us when we are sad, when we are angry, when we are hurt. He will never leave us. He died, remember when He died on the cross? He died because He loves us so much. He died so that God would forgive us when we are bad, He died so that we can go to Heaven.”

She’s holding on to me, she doesn’t want to let go. I can never replace her mom and I cannot take away her pain but I can tell her about Jesus, I can remind her that she’s not alone in this world. That He will never leave her alone.

We can make a difference, every one of us. It starts early in life, it starts with the precious souls God gives us to care for. It doesn’t matter if we bore them or not; we all have a responsibility to teach the next generation. I pray that you will help me.

Could You Say It?

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I CAN’T WAIT FOR HEAVEN. 
 
Who feels like that? It’s an amazing and scary thought at the same time. Believe it or not, this has come from the mouth of a 20-year-old and I know that she is telling the truth. She says it with such joy and such peace. Lots of us say that we can’t wait to meet Jesus but can we really? Are we really ready to leave the world behind?
TO MY SHAME, I DON’T THINK I AM. 
It certainly makes me think about where I am with my faith. As much as I would like to say that’s how I feel, I still have a long way to go, a long way of letting go of this world. I go through life thinking that my faith is pretty good, that there are lots of things in this world that don’t matter to me. Yet, a simple phrase like this (ok, maybe not so simple) makes me look at everything differently. 
I’M NOT THE ONE CHEERING AT A FUNERAL. 
I used to find it kind of morbid when Christians would be happy when a friend would pass by, believing that they were in a better place. I’m closer to feeling that way now but I definitely don’t believe in parties. Maybe I hold on to my tears just a little too much because funerals still make me cry.
There is much to be learned living in this world, and I am far from a seasoned Christian. I still have a lot of living I want to do, things I want to experience but I do hope one day I can confidently be ready for Jesus to take me home, to leave my loving husband and kids behind. How about you?