Laugh Along With Me…at Me.

I am a very reasonable person. This is what I tell myself on a daily basis. Especially when I do something that looks, well, questionable. 🙂

For example, just yesterday, my new favorite song came on the radio and I found myself (to the shock and horror of my seven year old daughter) twerking in the kitchen. I mean, how can you not get down to this song?

Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know that the video is a little racy so just shield your eyes if it offends you. BUT I can’t hear this song and not jam out a bit. At first, it was the beat- catchy and fun. Easy to dance to, right? (And did I mention that I LOVE Meghan Trainor?)

Then I started paying attention to the lyrics and I thought to myself, I love this song even more now. Where was it when I was in college and living the single life? 

Oh girls, it would have probably changed some things for me. Like I may have focused a little bit more on me and my self worth instead of on every Tom, Dick, and Harry that gave me a wink.

So, yeah, I’m over here all twerking in the kitchen to this woman power song and I don’t feel guilty about the fact that my little girl is watching this hilarious and slightly off-putting scene take place. In fact, I invite her to join in the dance party with me.

Because I want her to know that she can say NO. That it’s ok to be ok with being single. That no boy is ever as important as her inherent self-worth and infinite value. 

She just laughed at my awkward display of dance moves (that, frankly, I learned from zumba class) and then she jumped right on in.

And, together, we danced for women everywhere.

Happy Mother's Day

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Expose Yourself

Value yourself enough to only expose yourself to the good stuff.

Expose means to uncover, to reveal.

What are you exposing yourself to on a regular basis? Are they things that feed your soul and nourish your mind? Or do they deplete you and cast a negative spin on life?

Here are three things that I try to expose myself to as often as I can:

Positive People (godly friends, mentors, workout buddies, accountability partners)

Empowering Reading Material (the Bible, articles from women who are living their best life, leadership books)

Uplifting and Fun Music (K-Love, Bethel Worship, 90’s boy bands-yeah, I said it.)

What do these things uncover or reveal to me?

That I value myself enough to make my spiritual, mental, emotional and physical health a priority. 

If I choose to expose myself to negative people, discouraging resources, and hopeless, draining music, I’m setting myself up for a bad day (or life.)

What about you? Are you paying attention to what you’re being exposed to? What are some things you should probably dismiss from your life because of the unhealthy effects they have on you?

I challenge you to take a good, hard look at the people you allow to speak into your life. Are they lifting you up or stepping on you to get ahead? Go through your bookshelf and toss out the stuff that is only making you wish for a different (fill in the blank). Now there is room to add some encouraging reads to your list. Evaluate your musical tastes. Sad love songs and angry anthems are fine every once in a while but if they are taking up most of the space on your iPod, maybe it’s time to re-evaluate.

Remember, what goes in always comes out. Value yourself enough to only expose yourself to the good stuff.

Cause, baby, YOU’RE WORTH IT.  

Sunday Rest #11

 

“God is love. When we take up permanent residence in a life of love, we live in God and God lives in us. This way, love has the run of the house, becomes at home and mature in us, so that we’re free of worry on Judgment Day—our standing in the world is identical with Christ’s. There is no room in love for fear. Well-formed love banishes fear. Since fear is crippling, a fearful life—fear of death, fear of judgment—is one not yet fully formed in love.”

– 1 John 4:17-18 (MSG)

 

 

Unforgettable Song

 

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I’m entangled in your sweet refrains

Timeless rhythms keep me entertained

Moments of whimsy catch me by surprise

As sonnets sing softly over my dark nights

 

I’m consumed by your harmonic tunes

Wrapped up in your enchanting moods

Brilliant compositions soothe my weary soul

Classic notes play my senses like a lovesick fool

 

I’ve loved you madly since I was a child

Yet I’ve hated your guts all the while

The times I’ve melted in your melodic embrace

Equal the dissonance I’ve felt in light of memory’s face

 

For your friendship is a hauntingly beautiful song

With lyrics ever-changing as the days roll on

And while I long to forget yesterday’s resonating chant

I can’t…

 

photo credit: via photopin (license)

Sunday Rest #5

 

“Jesus answered, Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not be amazed that I said to you, “You must be born again.” The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”
John 3:5-8 (NIV)
photo credit: I’m all right . . . I just got the wind knocked out of me, that’s all. via photopin (license)

Home Sweet Home

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Home. There’s nothing like it. It can be a feeling that certain memories conjure up. A picture from when you were 5 that takes you right back. Smells from the kitchen during Christmas-time. Whatever home is for you, you know it when you feel it.

My childhood house was sold a few years ago. I was a married adult with 4 kids when this happened. I had been away from the house for 12 years. Yet, it hurt to say goodbye. And everytime I go back to my hometown, I get sad when I pass by this place I called home for so long.

Is it because of the structure,  paint color, or swimming pool out back? Yes and No. I miss that house because of what it represents. 

You see, the structure provided stability to my ever-wandering teenage self. It gave me a foundation to hold on to when boys broke my heart. I may have been a restless soul but I never left without the possibility of return. It never even occurred to me to leave it for good. Yet I did drift away for many years, forgetting how amazing that strong house had been to me. That’s what a good framework does, though. It gives you a solid covering but never forces you to stay under it.

The paint color throughout the house, well, it changed almost as much as my whimsical personality. And I loved that. The more paint that went up, the more freedom I felt to be me. I was, after all, the carefree one with a variety of hairstyles/colors to show for it. Each layer of paint stood for a season in our lives, good or bad. My bedroom was a sunny yellow though, because that had always been my favorite color. The yellow stayed on my walls because, despite the different seasons, I never forgot what made me “me.”

Lastly, the swimming pool in the back yard stands for too much to put into words. Afternoons laying out on a float listening to country music on the radio. Night swims with my high school friends. Deep conversations barely heard above the chirping crickets. Laughing with my sister as we joked about past crushes and how our lives turned out so differently than we thought they would. Mom and dad holding hands on the porch. This pool was an escape, a welcomed time of rest and play, and a distraction from the haunting reality that life would inevitably throw our way a few years down the road.

Home. It’s more than just a word that evokes an emotional response. It’s a way of living that you get to keep in your heart long past the day you move out. A knowing deep down inside that those doors and fences were meant for you to continue to grab hold of even after you leave. They have erected themselves anew in my grown up soul. And no matter where I live, those walls are a part of me. Because those people are a part of me. And no amount of new paint can ever change that.

Some may call this nostalgia or say that I’m just homesick. But I say, forgetting where you come from means you don’t really know where you are going.

photo credit: Wooden door and wooden sleigh via photopin (license)

Song Review (“Fierce” by Jesus Culture)

I have been a fan of Jesus Culture for years. They are such an anointed worship band with a huge heart to help young people enter into God’s presence. JC’s newest release, “Fierce”, is off their 2016 album entitled Let It Echo which will be released this Friday, January 15!!! (Can you sense my excitement?)

Chris Quilala is the lead singer of this song and, as always, leads the worshiper into a beautiful experience with his smooth voice and guitar skills. Kim Walker-Smith joins him on the chorus with her powerhouse pipes and rounds out the sound with her amazing vocal talent. Both worship leaders are so gifted, not only in their musical ability, but in the way they choose to fearlessly praise the Lord with abandon.

My favorite part of the song is the bridge which says,

‘You chase me down

You seek me out

How could I be lost when You have called me found?’

And that, my friends, is what worship is all about. Jesus being the focus, the center, the reason why we sing. Jesus Culture has always given credit where credit is due and their ministry has touched millions of lives. I’m forever grateful to them for being true examples of sold out Christ-followers!

Let me know what you think in the comments below. And link up with Kat on her blog to find more great music reviews! http://katblogs.com/2016/01/11/music-mondays-15/#comments

10 Creative Quirks About Me

 

photo credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/91345457@N07/9496376163">Plants Stand</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/">(license)</a>

  1. I sing all songs. Pop, rock, disco, country, christian, alternative, funk, folk, and the list goes on and on… It doesn’t matter what’s playing. If it’s playing, I’m singing along with it.
  2. I love to color. I even have a system where I outline the image or drawing first with a darker shade of crayon before filling it in with a lighter color.
  3. I can’t draw from just an image or idea in my head but I can look at a picture and duplicate it by hand almost exactly. I think it’s the details of shapes and angles that I have a hard time remembering.
  4. I bop my head to music and don’t even know I’m doing it. If I’m not bopping then I’m tapping my foot or patting my hand on my knee. It’s seriously a subconscious reaction to any funky beat. I don’t think I could stop even if I wanted to.
  5. Every movie has the potential to be quoted and inserted into my life at the appropriate time. I have entire conversations in movie quotes with my sisters, mom, and husband.
  6. Every cliche, bible verse, commercial slogan, math fact, to-do list, etc…can be sung. And my kids crack up at me for putting music to literally anything in order to remember it.
  7. I have so many thoughts and ideas in my head that if I don’t get them out on paper in the form of a blog post, a poem, a letter, or a song, I think I just might explode.
  8. I am a speed reader. I have been since I was in the 2nd grade. Spelling and grammar are two of my best friends. I have always loved the way words fit together on a page and can transport the reader to a brand new place or time.
  9. I love movies, songs, and books that highlight women as the heroine or leader. Jane Austen, Harriet Tubman, Ella Fitzgerald, Katherine Hepburn, Anne Frank. These are women who stood for something and gave the rest of us an example to follow as we live out lives of strong and graceful womanhood.
  10. Music is timeless.  I can listen to songs from the 70’s and feel such a love for the wordsmiths that crafted the lyrics as well as listen to Mozart and get carried away on the wings of the melody. A true musician appreciates the past, honors the integrity of the present sound, and embraces a hope for what the music of the future might be.

True Worshipers

“Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks.” – John 4:23

photo credit: img_6184 via photopin (license)
photo credit: img_6184 via photopin (license)

What is the mark of a true worshiper?

Well, according to the scripture above, it means that worship is led by the spirit and focused on the truth.

I believe what Jesus was saying in our verse is that true worshipers don’t follow their flesh down paths that compromise the “tried and true” word of God.

This sounds like a heart issue to me. So, regardless of the style of worship music we sing or listen to, we are defined by the position of our heart during the music set.

Because, ultimately, all of us (whether on stage/radio or not) will have to make a choice. Does my heart line up with the words I’m singing or not?

Worship can look pretty daunting to those who don’t even understand how to engage the God of whom we worship. So, we must show them. The newbies to the Christian faith. The prodigals just longing for a taste of something real. The long lost soul who never trusted God because of weathering one too many storms in his life.

They all need to see that worship isn’t about the flash and the fame. It’s not about the big name or the high tech equipment. It can’t be about the large crowds or the sold out show.

It’s about looking heavenward with our hearts. Posturing ourselves in a way that invites others to worship the God of the universe, too. Being more excited about Jesus than we are about the band on stage.

Because, really, who are we trying to please? God is looking for you, dear worshiper. Give him your heartfelt praise.

I promise you, He will notice.

NaBloPoMo November 2015