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Last week I was watching the GAC Top 20 Countdown and heard a new song. They don’t play it on Country radio. It is a new song by some old friends, Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers.

WAIT! Don’t tune out!

I have always loved those two. They make beautiful music.

But this song stopped me in my tracks and made me weep.

And it did it because it is true.

We can make new friends every day, and that is a wonderful gift.

But those old friends that know us intimately we can’t make again.

It is true. It is beautiful. It is moving. It wrecked my heart.

And it made me realize that I need to make sure that my old friends know just how important they are to me.

I love you all – you know who you are. I am so grateful for you and the place that you have in my life.

Take the time to tell your friends what they mean to you.

Because “You Can’t Make Old Friends.”

This past weekend I had the honor of being part of the first event of The Shine Movement:

Every girl wants to shine. Little girls dream of singing, dancing, acting, or modeling. However, the world’s definition of shining can often lead to heartbreak, chaos, and broken lives. The stories of most Hollywood child stars demonstrate that.

The Shine Movement hopes to assist young girls with their dreams of shining by teaching them about inner beauty, purity, godliness, modesty, and confidence. The main avenue of teaching will be through a two-day conference.

It was a fabulous weekend of being able to speak TRUTH into the lives of these young girls. They got to SHINE as they danced, worshiped, learned, and created.

If you want to bring The Shine Movement to your community, visit their website to contact the leaders of the movement.

We want to spread the message that each of us is created uniquely to shine the light of God in all that we do!

Here is one of the songs we featured over the weekend. Enjoy and spread the word. You are worth more than Gold!

Britt Nicole – Gold (Official Music Video) from britt-nicole on GodTube.

It’s an older song, one that I learned well when a new to the scene artist, Francesca Battistelli, came to our church to do a concert a number of years back.

It’s not a new idea, but one we need to be reminded of – sometimes hourly.

The tighter we hold to something, the more important it is for us to learn to let go of it completely.

It’s the idea of holding loosely that we need to get through our heads.

Our plans, our ideas of how life should look, our thoughts of the future – those are things that are not for us to decide on our own.

The Lord has in mind what is best for us. We can let go of our plans and listen, or we can hold on to our plans and be unhappy and outside of God’s perfect plan for our lives.

Sometimes we hold on tightly because we are just sure that God wants things to play out in a way that we see them playing out. Sometimes we hold on tightly because we know we are supposed to go in a different direction but that direction is scary and unknown. Sometimes we hold on tightly because we don’t know what else to hold on to.

But we have to let go. We have to allow God to work in His time and in His way.

And letting go is hard. There may need to be a time of grieving as you let go. There may be sadness as you give up that “thing” of which you were so sure. There may be fear as you fall into the unknown.

But that is okay, because He is there to catch you, wipe your tears, and lead you.

He is the only thing you need to hold on to. Because He is the only thing that is constant.

 

 

I’m Letting GoFrancesca Battistelli

My heart beats, standing on the edge
But my feet have finally left the ledge

Like an acrobat
There’s no turning back

(Chorus)
I’m letting go
Of the life I planned for me
And my dreams
I’m losing control
Of my destiny
It feels like I’m falling and that’s what it’s like to believe
So I’m letting go

This is a giant leap of faith
Trusting and trying to embrace

The fear of the unknown
Beyond my comfort zone

(Chorus)

Giving in to your gravity
Knowing You are holding me
I’m not afraid

(Chorus)

Feels like I’m falling and that’s what it’s like to believe
Feels like I’m falling and this is the life for me

I don’t have much to say today as I am still quite foggy as I recover from sinus surgery last week, but one thing I am very familiar with is the early morning hours. I have seen more of 2:30 a.m. in the last five days than I have since college and having babies. But there is one thing that has kept me calm and helped me get back to sleep in those moments of high pain, my all-time favorite album for calming me down, A Warm Shade of Ivory by Henry Mancini.Henry_Mancini-A_Warm_Shade_Of_Ivory-FrontalHenry_Mancini-A_Warm_Shade_Of_Ivory-Trasera

I have it on vinyl (or rather, my mother had it on vinyl and it is now mine), but I also purchased it on CD so that it is on my iPad and I have played it over and over these last few days. My favorite song is Love Theme from Romeo and Juliet and that was the processional in my wedding, but the first song on the album has become my “cue” to relax. So for those of you in a stress-filled Monday, take a cue from this, listen and relax.

The other day, our Pastor to Seniors was sitting in my office relaying a story to me about his wife who has been struggling with some pain issues recently and waiting for healing. He found her one night in bed crying and she told him that she had been thinking of the song, Make Me Willing. It was a song they both knew well, but one that was unknown to me. He then shared with me the words to the song.

Make me willing to wait patiently
for the answers I’ve prayed for so long.
Make me willing to listen to Thee
and to say “not my will, but Thine be done”.
Make me willing to thank Thee for tears
And for the heartaches that cause me to pray.
Will you make me a vessel the Master can use
Keep me willing the rest of my days.

My Father points the way to go
Then makes the way for me.
He tells me I must trust in Him
My faith will help me see.
The road may not be easy
The testing will be great
But then my Lord reminds me
That He will help me wait.

I know that he was sharing them as part of the story of his wife’s struggles, but the words hit a chord with me as well.

I have been waiting for years to see how God will bring to pass the calling He has placed on my life.

I have been waiting for years to be healed of the depression that I struggle with regularly.

I have been waiting for years to see the fullness of blessing promised to those who give to the Lord.

I have been waiting for months for relief from the sinus issues that are plaguing me.

And sometimes, in each of these situations, it is hard to wait, because I want to see results and relief now.

But the words to this song melted something within me.

Lord, make me willing to wait on You, however long it takes, whatever route it takes.

Make me willing.


(Song begins at 2:24.)

Friday night I got the opportunity to spend the evening running errands with just my daughter. It was great. We got to spend time with one another talking about life and just hanging out.

In the car on the way there and back, we were listening to music – as always. On the way home, Fifteen by Taylor Swift came on and I was suddenly overcome with the need to talk to Anne (again) about boys, sex, kissing, choices, and more.

We’ve talked before. She knows that I think it is a good idea to not date until after high school. But as we were listening to the song, I was thinking about all the girls (and boys) who at a very young age are already making decisions that are going to affect their lives forever.

So we talked. Or rather I talked. I told her more about my story with boys and why I think dating in high school isn’t worth the heartache. We talked about staying pure – even to the point of not holding hands or kissing a boy. We talked about consequences of not only sex, but of giving your heart to someone before you are mature enough to handle it. And I tried really hard to make sure that no matter what, she would always see that the lines of communication are open. She assured me that if and when she has questions, she’ll talk to me, and I hope that is true, especially in these upcoming teen years.

For some, conversations like this may come easy, but not for me. It makes me nervous. I don’t want to scare her. I don’t want to scar her. I don’t want to give her more information than she is ready for, but I don’t want to hold back and not help her understand these things BEFORE they come up in her social circles. To me, this is one of the trickiest parts of parenting.

I don’t want to make my kids feel like if they mess up they are breaking a law and I won’t love them anymore (in any area – not just sex), but I don’t want to approach it in such a nonchalant way that they don’t see that there are multiple reasons to choose abstinence.

And I definitely want them to hear me before they get to the place where the voices of their parents get drowned out by the voices of their peers and society.

So, as uncomfortable as it is to start the conversation, I dove in yet again.

And it was good. So good.

How do you keep the lines of communication open with your children when it comes to these hard topics?

Fifteen by Taylor Swift

You take a deep breath and you walk through the doors
It’s the morning of your very first day
And you say hi to your friends you ain’t seen in a while
Try and stay out of everybody’s way

It’s your freshman year and you’re gonna be here
For the next four years in this town
Hoping one of those senior boys will wink at you and say
“You know, I haven’t seen you around before”

‘Cause when you’re fifteen and somebody tells you they love you
You’re gonna believe them
And when you’re fifteen feeling like there’s nothing to figure out
Well, count to ten, take it in
This is life before you know who you’re gonna be
Fifteen

You sit in class next to a redhead named Abigail
And soon enough you’re best friends
Laughing at the other girls who think they’re so cool
We’ll be outta here as soon as we can

And then you’re on your very first date and he’s got a car
And you’re feeling like flying
And you’re momma’s waiting up and you’re thinking he’s the one
And you’re dancing ’round your room when the night ends
When the night ends

‘Cause when you’re fifteen and somebody tells you they love you
You’re gonna believe them
When you’re fifteen and your first kiss
Makes your head spin ’round
But in your life you’ll do things greater than
Dating the boy on the football team
But I didn’t know it at fifteen

When all you wanted was to be wanted
Wish you could go back and tell yourself what you know now

Back then I swore I was gonna marry him someday
But I realized some bigger dreams of mine
And Abigail gave everything she had to a boy
Who changed his mind and we both cried

‘Cause when you’re fifteen and somebody tells you they love you
You’re gonna believe them
And when you’re fifteen, don’t forget to look before you fall
I’ve found time can heal most anything
And you just might find who you’re supposed to be
I didn’t know who I was supposed to be at fifteen

Your very first day
Take a deep breath girl
Take a deep breath as you walk through the doors

Sometimes I feel like as a society we have lost something critical.

A work ethic that says to work hard and finish well.

Too often I see people who have a “good enough” attitude about whatever they are doing. Or worse. One that says “who cares.”

I see it in adults and I see it being perpetuated into the younger generation.

And I hate it. Because there is much to be learned through hard work. And much to be gained.

I think that is why I resonate with this song so much. And I just saw Jason Aldean perform it on Friday night.

Enjoy!

Well I grew up in one of them old farm towns
Where they hit it hard till the sun goes down
Nobody really seemed to care that we were living in the middle of nowhere
We just figured that’s how it was
And everyone else was just like us
Soaking in the rain baking in the sun
Don’t quit till the job gets done

That’s the only way I know
Don’t stop till everything’s gone
Straight ahead never turn round
Don’t back up, don’t back down
Full throttle wide open
You get tired, you don’t show it
Dig a little deeper when you think you can’t dig no more
That’s the only way I know

That old red dirt the first thing you learn
You don’t get nothing that you don’t earn
Humble pride that I grew up on
You find out just how bad you want it
Sun in our eyes backs to the fences
Didn’t know the odds were against us
Hit the wall smoking and spinning
Still wasn’t thinking ‘bout nothing but winning

That’s the only way I know
Don’t stop till everything’s gone
Straight ahead never turn round
Don’t back up, don’t back down
Full throttle wide open
You get tired, you don’t show it
Dig a little deeper when you think you can’t dig no more
That’s the only way I know

Maybe there’s another path that will get you there a little bit faster,
But I’m sticking with the one inside of me.

That’s the only way I know
Don’t stop till everything’s gone
Straight ahead never turn round
Don’t back up, don’t back down
Full throttle wide open
You get tired, you don’t show it
Dig a little deeper when you think you can’t dig no more
That’s the only way I know

Amazed. Always. At the many ways the Lord speaks.

My prayers lately have centered around asking for and listening for the Lord’s voice concerning the next steps in answering His call to ministry on our lives. This was my devotion on Saturday night:

photo(5)

“…help me stay focused…remain determined…keep pushing ahead…never let go…”

Ok, Lord. I will.

And then yesterday my dad, daughter and I made a whirlwind trip to Indy to visit my friend Jenny and we visited a newer church in the area. They played a song I hadn’t yet heard. And in the lyrics I heard the Lord again.

“Oceans (Where Feet May Fail)”

You call me out upon the waters
The great unknown where feet may fail
And there I find You in the mystery
In oceans deep
My faith will stand

And I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise
My soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine

Your grace abounds in deepest waters
Your sovereign hand
Will be my guide
Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me
You’ve never failed and You won’t start now

So I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise
My soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine

Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever you would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior
[x6]

I will call upon Your Name
Keep my eyes above the waves
My soul will rest in Your embrace
I am Yours and You are mine

(Italics Mine)

As we sang the bridge (italicized), I leaned over to Jenny and said, “appropriate.”

I just can’t get those words out of my head, particularly the idea “lead me where my trust is without borders.” I hadn’t really thought in those terms before, but it is true, we trust God when it fits into what we have decided this neat little box is that we want to live in, but outside of that, it is hard to trust because it is the unknown.

So this is the song on repeat in my office today, as well as the prayer on repeat in my mind today.

Where do you need to “open up” the borders of your trust in the Lord today?

I am out at Durley Family Camp this week and last night we had a good ol’ fashioned singspiration. I was blessed to be able to sing in a trio with a couple of amazing women and friends. This is the song that we did and since I don’t really have time to be blogging (I am supposed to be electronics-free), I thought I would share it with you. Enjoy!

I heard Tim sing this song last week at his concert I attended in St. Louis and it really impacted me.

So often, negative things that happen to us, whether currently or in the past, are the things that we hold onto, and these are the very things that we need to let go. Whether it be forgiving ourselves, or someone else, freedom comes when we let it go. Take a listen and let it go – whatever  that is today.

I’ve been caught sideways out here on the crossroads
Tryin’ to buy back the pieces I lost of my soul
It’s hard when the Devil won’t get off your back
It’s like carryin’ around the past in a hundred pound sack

Today, I’m gonna keep on walkin’ I’m gonna hold my head up high, gonna leave it all behind
Today, I’m gonna stand out in the rain Let it wash it all away, yeah, wash it all away
I’m gonna let it go, oh yeah I’m gonna let it go, oh yeah

Skeletons and ghosts are hidin’ in the shadows
Threatening me with all the things that they know
Choices and mistakes, they all know my name
I’m through holdin’ in and holdin’ on to all that pain

Today, I’m gonna keep on walkin’ I’m gonna hold my head up high, got no more tears to cry
Today, I’m gonna stand out in the rain Let it wash it all away, yeah, wash it all away
I’m gonna let it go, oh yeah I’m gonna let it go, oh yeah

And I know, I know, I know, I know I been forgiven I know, I know, I know, I’m gonna start livin’

Today, I’m gonna keep on walkin’ I’m gonna hold my head up high, I’m gonna leave it all behind
Today, I’m gonna stand out in the rain Let it wash it all away, yeah, wash it all away
I’m gonna let it go, oh yeah I’m gonna let it go, oh yeah I’m gonna let it go, oh yeah, oh yeah

Oh, the things you learn as a Daughter of the King, if only you listen.

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