May 16, 2007

Sing Over Me

Although I no longer sing in the church choir, music is an important part of my life. It has the power to change my mood, make me smile, or calm me at the end of a particularly stressful day. I identify songs with certain times in my life. Sometimes the bond is so strong, that just to hear a song will bring memories flooding back in an instant.

I'm so glad God created music, and He's given us some wonderfully talented artists. Like her. And him. And let's not forget her. Or him. And, even though I don't agree with his politics, I just love this guy's music.

God often speaks to me through music. I think that's why this week's 40 by 40 is one of my favorite verses in the Bible:

The Lord your God is with you, He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.
-Zephaniah 3:17

I started writing this post last week, before my mom was taken to the hospital and admitted to ICU. When I was thinking about this verse then, I imagined God's voice to be a little like Yo-Yo Ma on the cello...soothing, beautiful and peaceful. It's hard for me to conceive that the music of Heaven could be much more...Heavenly. Yet God's music, though we may not recognize it, is so much more.

One of my dearest friends is an emergency room doctor. A couple of weeks ago, we were lamenting how she had to work Mother's Day and miss time with her precious son. When my dad called Sunday morning to let me know my mom was in the ER, I was so thankful my friend was there to take care of her. God was singing when I got to the ER and my friend was there to hug me, cry with me, tell me she loves me, and tell my mom she was praying for her.

God was singing when I realized the nurse assigned to my mom (who's not a believer) is also a Christian.

God was singing as He worked out CJ's care...arrangements I had made without knowing what would be coming. Last week, He carefully orchestrated the details so that I wouldn't have to worry about her Sunday morning or after school this week.

He was most definitely singing over me as I cried myself to sleep Sunday night.

So many times, I'm looking for God to show up in big, monumental ways. I want that burning bush experience and feel disappointed when I don't get it.

This week, I've learned that if I just listen, I can hear Him even when I don't see Him. He's singing through the laughter, the weeping, and even the monitors and hushed voices of the ICU. It may not always be what we want to hear...but it's always beautiful.

It's the music of our lives.


May 15, 2007

I'm a Loser!

Though not much of one as I'd like to be.

I joined the May Day Challenge for some accountability, because Weight Watchers on-line is great...but I need to know there are people out there cheering me on. Since I've been doing this for a while on my own, I didn't expect the large drops that some of my fellow "challengers" saw in their first week. And, since I indulged a little more than I should have, I really wasn't expecting a loss at all. But I lost 1.2 pounds! Overall, I'm down 21 pounds from where I started last year...11 of those have come off in the past 2 months.

I went shopping yesterday. I refuse to spend much money on clothes until I'm done losing weight, but I needed a few things. And, guess what. For the first time in a long time, I could wear a size that didn't include the letter "X" in it!

I'll be posting the 40 by 40 Scripture tomorrow. I know I'm behind. School work and my mom's sudden health crisis (now getting better) have consumed my time. Hopefully I'll get back on track soon!


May 8, 2007

Filled & Spilled

In March, I was blessed with the opportunity to speak at our church's annual Ladies Day Tea. Our wonderful, amazingly talented & gifted sound diva, Cathy, helped me figure out how to post it on the blog.

So, if you're interested in being "Filled & Spilled" unto the Lord and would like to here HIS message (given through my decidedly Southern accent!), click on the link to the left. WARNING: It's about 40 minutes long.

I pray He will speak to your heart as He spoke to mine in preparation for the lesson.

Because of Jesus,

*Updated to correct the should work now!

Because a Little Encouragement Goes a LONG Way

In March, the Lord pushed led me to approach the 40th year of my life from a new viewpoint. To quote Patti LaBelle, I've got a new att-i-tude. You may have noticed this cute "40 by 40" button on my side bar, courtesy of Boomama. Click here to read the first post, which introduces the 40 by 40 Plan.

I said it then, and I'll say it now, this is definitely a GOD thing!

The Scriptures are listed in a sidebar link. God's been so good!

Several friends (bloggers and at home) have jumped in on the Scripture memory part of the challenge. Unfortunately for me, most of my friends are stick thin and didn't need to join me in the weight loss challenge ;p So, while I've been doing Weight Watchers on-line, it's been pretty lonely & I've only had moderate success (10 pounds since mid-March). Honestly, I was close to throwing in the towel, and then I found out about this great new blog, Tales from the Scales. You can click on this button to read about the challenge, from May 8th - September 18th.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

So, now I've got a blogging support group! I'm so excited to have a place to go and read others' struggles, ideas and success stories.

I won't even go into how I got where I am. Suffice it to say that too much chocolate, too many runs through the W*endy's drive-thru, and not enough exercise have been the major contributors. But I'm learning to change those habits (well, not so much the chocolate thing!) I've become addicted to 100 calorie snack packs. I've drastically cut my fast food visits. I've started walking more. Small changes I can live with for the rest of my life, instead of huge sacrifices that I'll come to resent.

My goal is to lose 20 pounds by September 18th. (I'd like to do more, but I also want to be realistic and not set myself up for failure.) I'll be posting my results each Wednesday, along with a verse to remember. Hope you'll be joining me!


May 7, 2007

I Feel So Validated

I've been reading JenMom's observations on the book "Sacred Parenting" by Gary Thomas. I've got to get this book! Especially after reading this quote.

So, I don't feel guilty for ignoring housework this weekend to go to an amusement park & spend an hour & 1/2 waiting in line with CJ to ride this. That wait was the best part of the day! We played "21 Questions" and some other word games, chatted, teased each other, and hugged. On the ride, we screamed together and laughed our heads off. When we got off, I looked at her & said, "This was totally worth it!" and she agreed.

Season Passes - $$
Gas & Food - $$
Time spent laughing with my daughter - PRICELESS.


May 5, 2007

Mother's Day Came Early!

CJ: Mama, you look thinner.

Me: I do?!

CJ: Yep.


CJ: Mama, you look younger, too.

You can see why I love this girl so much ;p

May 3, 2007

God's Seminary

As I was thinking about the 4o by 40 Scripture for this week (which is horribly late, I know!), the Lord led me to David Jeremiah's website. This is the devotion for today. Boy, was it something I needed to hear!

God's Seminary

For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. -- Ephesians 2:10

God is preparing you for the ministry that He is preparing for you. He's working at both ends of the process--in your life to prepare you for a unique role of service, and He's preparing beforehand the work He'll give you in His timing. So wherever you are right now is God's classroom for future service.

Joseph's prison term prepared him to be God's man on Egypt's throne. Moses' years in Pharaoh's court equipped him for his tasks as leader of Israel. For years Joshua served as Moses' aide, and Elisha did the same for Elijah; God was preparing them both as successors. Paul's years in Arabia were readying him for years of missionary service. Even Jesus experienced an extended period of preparation in the carpenter's shop of Nazareth.

Whatever you are right now, God is giving you experiences that are training you for future service. It may be over a long period of time or only a few minutes, but He equips us with what we need to serve Him.

Think of your circumstances today as God's Seminary.

Just to let you know, I put all of the 40 by 40 Scriptures in one spot on my sidebar.

Have a blessed day!