Selah~Day Three

“It is simply a fact that if you want to experience Jesus Christ and His power, you must get up from where you are and start moving in His direction.” This quote was in my morning Sparkling Gem devotion by Rick Renner. The words leaped from the page and excited my spirit. So often, we can be moved in the direction towards our feelings, emotions, current challenges, and other people’s opinions. But, in order to experience Him, you must follow Him.

During my morning devotion, I asked the Lord to forgive me for being hard-hearted and forgetting ever so quickly that the Lord has rescued and delivered and saved me so many times. So, despite my current circumstances and challenges, why would I ever doubt that He will see me through again! Nevertheless, to experience Him, I must go where He goes, think like He thinks, and do what He would do.

My List of 27 Thanks:

1. Forgiveness. My Lord Forgives me.

2. My heart is sensitive to the voice of the Holy Spirit.

3. I am easily convicted. Conviction keeps me from harm.

4. My husband forgives me.

5. Judah forgives me.

6. Great Weather.

7. Spent most of the day with my hands in dirt.

8. Grilled food.

9. Judah and Morgan had a blast playing in the dirt and water.

10. Hot showers.

11. Gary made us an above ground pallet garden. If it works, we will have so much fun harvesting our own vegetables.

12. So many praise songs where on my heart today. Set a fire down in my soul that I can’t contain, that I can’t control. Cause I want more of you God. More of you God.

13. My house is almost ready for paint. We are so blessed.

14. Sunscreen. Why did I not use this more as a kid?

15. Chocolate Truffles

16. Cherryl Hodges who bought me the Chocolate Truffles. She is a precious teenager who loves the Lord with all her heart. I am gald that I know her.

17. I got to sit out on the porch swing again today.

18. Judah had a blast at Marcum’s nursery. He was in heaven. They had rocks, sticks, mud puddles, water fountains, and dirt. Lots of dirt.

19. Judah didn’t take a nap today, but he went to bed at 8:15 p.m. Now, Gary and I get to watch one of our movies.

20. My next door neighbor gave me flower pots at no cost.

21. The new batch of strawberries from Crest taste amazing! So sweet and juicy.

22. My sister-in-law, Laci, celebrated her birthday today. We don’t get to spend too much time together. But, she has a great taste for style and we shop at the same stores. I always like to see what she is wearing, so I can get ideas from her. If we lived close to one another, we would closet shop!

23. Gary prayed the sweetest prayer over Judah tonight. It is never too early to pray for your child’s spouse. I loved listening to that sweet prayer.

24. I didn’t think about work at all today.

25. I got a really sweet email from my friend Deborah. She made my heart smile. Knowing that you have made even a slight difference in someone else’s life is PRICELESS.

26. Gave my Laura, my other sis-in-law, samples of Mary Kay makeup today. It was kinda like playing dress up as a kid. Fun times.

27. Judah ate outside tonight. Very little mess to clean up at the table.

28. Today was a very peaceful day.

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Selah~Day Two

In KidMotion this morning, I taught about the importance of being honest. The story we discussed was the man of God from Judah and the old prophet in 1 Kings 13. The man of God was told by God not to eat or drink while he was in Bethel. You see, he went to Bethel because God told him to tell King Jeroboam to stop burning incense on the altar and to get rid of the pagan shrines. King Jeroboam wanted the man of God to be seized for his words, but as he raised his hand to give the command, it became paralyzed in its place. The man of God from Judah restored the King’s hand and refused the King’ offer for food, drink, and a gift.

The man of God from Judah starts back on his way home. However, his path is intercepted by an old prophet who LIES and tells the man of God from Judah that he too has heard from God and God told him to bring the man home for food and drink.

The man of God from Judah disobeys God and the Old Prophet LIED. If you continue to read, a lion attacked the man of God from Judah when he was on his way home and killed him. Disobedience is dangerous and lying not only destroys you, but it can cost the lives of others.

This was a heavy message for our kids, but we added a game or two that lightened the load. But, I want our kids to learn young how important it is to tell the truth even if it means you will get into trouble.

My List of 27 Thanks:

1. Xavier, a boy in KidMotion, asked me to forgive him today because he told me a lie last Wednesday night at church. He had such a repentant heart and told me how sorry he was and that he was going to try harder to always tell the truth.

2. The innocence of a child and the heart to do what is right.

3. Judah yelled, “Mommy,” in the hallway. Then, he took off-full speed ahead-running into my arms. He smiled the whole way!

4.  Gary did so well on stage today. I am so glad that my husband partners with me in minstry.

5. My KidMotion team surprised me with a cake with trick candles, the Happy Birthday song, and a gift card. They sure know how to make a girl feel special.

6. The right kind of Surprises make one smile. I smiled today!

7. Time off work to relax with family.

8. Lorry Gail was super excited about our summer KidMotion series, Off the Rails. She is a blessing to our team.

9. The kids worshipped with their whole hearts today. Hearing them sing “Amazed” would move you to the altar.

10.  Judah fell today and scrapped his knee. He immediately cried out for me to come to his rescue. How I love that little boy!

11. The brand new head towel wrap that my sweet friend Jen made for me. I have always wanted one of those.

12. Wide open spaces.

13. A mom told me today that she came back to church a second time because her kids begged her to bring them back to KidMotion.

14. Women of mystery. I saw so many women at the Arts Festival today who were dressed for the street corner. There is so much beauty in a woman who brings mystery to her body.

15. Music that lifts up the name of Jesus.

16. Even though we had several key leaders out today, Kidz Ministry ran flawlessly.

17. My friend, Ava, is okay. She fell during the Memorial Marathon today and fractured her wrist in 4 places. But, she is okay! She has such a strength and friendly spirit.

18. 35 people responded to our Kidz Ministry video and asked to join our kidmin team.

19. Updated sound system brought great energy to our kidmin service.

20. Walks with Gary and Judah. Especially when we all hold hands.

21. I caught Gary starring at me.

22. He told me I was a beautiful woman.

23. Judah is happy with a stick and an acorn. He played for over an hour with those two items.

24. Judah laughs at simple things, like waterfalls and getting splashed.

25. Rochelle covered check-in tonight so I could have the evening off with my family.

26. I am so glad that I may be in this world, but I am NOT of this world. Time at the Arts Festival and interaction with thousands of people from all walks of life, make me truly grateful to be a child of God. What a blessed life I lead because I am obedient to Him.

27. Home. There is no place like it, even if it is a temporary location.

Selah~Day One

On Monday, February 18th of this year, grief knocked on the door of my heart. For the second time in a sixth month time frame, my husband and I would say goodbye to a baby we were so excited to meet. Having miscarried a baby at 6 weeks, I never thought that it would happen again.

I was 13 weeks, 6 days along. My belly was growing and life was abundant on the inside of me. It was a rocky start, but the doctor’s interventions seemed to be working. We were making plans to announce our exciting news and had something special planned for Kids church that coming Sunday. Our precious 3-year-old son, Judah, was going to wear a shirt to church which read “Only child expiring August 2013.” So, on Monday evening, February 18th, I was in utter shock and denial when I felt my body contracting. I knew this pain all too well, but despite the symptoms and the signs, I refused to believe a miscarriage was in this baby’s future. We finally decided to go to the ER at Mercy hospital. I knew the prognosis was grim when they had a Chaplain come to my ER room. At approximately 10:50 p.m., I delivered our precious, lifeless baby. My sweet husband held our baby for a time and through tears exclaimed, “Our God is amazing!” At only 13 weeks, 6 days, our baby was fully formed.  Its tiny foot laid softly on the tip of my husband’s fingernail.

On the way home from the hospital, I cried out to the Lord, “I don’t understand, but I trust you.” I repeated this phrase over and over and over and over again. The next morning, I picked up the Bible and read Psalm 34 multiple times. How precious is the Word of God. It brings light in the darkness, hope to the hopeless, comfort to those who mourn, and LIFE to death. Psalm 34:1 states, ” I will praise the Lord at all times. I will constantly speak His praises.” When I read those words, I determined at that moment that no matter what the days may bring, I will praise the Lord at all times.

Two songs have really ministered to me during this season of loss, Come to Me and 10,000 Reasons. The lyrics to 10,000 Reasons goes like this:

Bless the Lord, O my soul
O my soul
Worship His holy name
Sing like never before
O my soul
I’ll worship Your holy name

The sun comes up, it’s a new day dawning
It’s time to sing Your song again
Whatever may pass, and whatever lies before me
Let me be singing when the evening comes

Bless the Lord, O my soul
O my soul
Worship His holy name
Sing like never before
O my soul
I’ll worship Your holy name

You’re rich in love, and You’re slow to anger
Your name is great, and Your heart is kind
For all Your goodness I will keep on singing
Ten thousand reasons for my heart to find

Bless the Lord, O my soul
O my soul
Worship His holy name
Sing like never before
O my soul
I’ll worship Your holy name

And on that day when my strength is failing
The end draws near and my time has come
Still my soul will sing Your praise unending
Ten thousand years and then forevermore

Bless the Lord, O my soul
O my soul
Worship His holy name
Sing like never before
O my soul
I’ll worship Your holy name

Jesus, I’ll worship Your holy name
Lord, I’ll worship Your holy name

Sing like never before
O my soul
I’ll worship Your holy name
Jesus, I’ll worship Your holy name
I’ll worship Your holy name

I knew that this song was special. Then, a few weeks ago I accidentally stumbled upon a blog entitled 10,000 Reasons. I quickly clicked on it and cried while reading the author’s similar journey. Her blog idea, as well as my experiences the past few months, have inspiried this blog campaign.

You see, if you thank the Lord 27x a day for 365 days (technically 28 for 145 days and 27 for the rest) you will have discovered 10,000 Reasons for your heart to BLESS THE LORD in a one year’s time. Today, April 27th is my 33rd birthday. On the 27th, I begin my journey to bless the Lord 27x a day. This is my year to find 10,000 reasons to Bless the Lord. While on this journey, I have an expectation to daily show the devil that he messed with the wrong girl, the wrong family! Forever, and through whatever, I BLESS THE LORD! I am excited to begin a new year of life.

Why the title Selah? Selah was to be the name of our baby if it were a girl. There are several words used to describe the meaning of Selah. I choose to describe it as a  “pause or moment to meditate, a time of transition, or a moment of change in the course of History.” This is my Selah…my moment of change in the course of this story.

Here goes my first list: (they will start broad and narrow their focus as we go on this journey).

1. Jesus-You are my everything. The Lover of my soul.

2. Gary-You are my Best Friend. My precious soul mate.

3. Judah-You make my heart smile. You are my pride and my joy!

4. Mom-You text me last night and said, “Love you so much! You are my first precious gift from God! 33 yrs ago my dream finally came true! The first thing that I could call mine and love and no one could take you from me! Wow, where has the time gone? Know you are loved! Happy Birthday.” Mom, not a day has gone by that I have not known how much you love me. I am so much of who I am today because of your influence. You are such a jewel. I love you.

5. Dad-You chose to love me. You didn’t have to, but you did. I felt so special when you gave me your last name. Even though I was young, I remember the day well. I am thankful God blessed me with you.

6. Kyle-My smart, handsome brother. For such a big, strong man, you have such a gentle spirit. I will never forget the mornings you would walk me to the bus stop and wait on the big rock until I was picked up for school. Then, you would wave until I was no longer in sight. I loved getting your phone call today wishing me happy birthday.

7. Jake-My strong, cautious, caring brother. You love people and always care about the feelings of others. I have so many fun memories of you as a baby and child. You make people smile. You have a contagious laugh. I smiled when you called today. It was good to hear your voice.

8. Haley-My talented, beautiful baby sister. You can do anything. Sing, dance, act…you are a triple threat. I left home when you were only 6. I am excited to spend the future getting to know you better now that we are both older!

9. My Mother-in-Law-I love her and I like her. She has the sweetest spirit. My husband has a lot of her sweet, kind, laid back characteristics. She makes me very comfortable.

10. My Father-in-Law-So selfless. Forever giving. Hard working. Wonderful man.

11. All my brother and sister in laws-they add so much joy to my life. I am thankful for each one of them.

12. Judah and I had a conversation today about Jesus. Judah saw a tall building and became frightened saying, “Mommy, what if I fell off of that building?” I asked him, “Judah, who protects you?” Without pause, he said, “Jesus protects me, mommy!”

13. Judah snuggled with me for 30 minutes this morning upon waking up.

14. My job-I get to teach kids about Jesus. How cool is that?

15. The sun. It came out today. I love being warm.

16. Flowers. God is such a creative God. Flowers make me smile.

17. Amy Hoover texted me and made sure that I knew I shared a birthday with Si Robertson. That made me laugh out loud. I am thankful for laughter.

18. I have great friends. Over 100 people have wished me happy birthday today. Wow!

19. My husband paid someone to come and work his second shift at the fire station so he could be with me for my birthday.

20. Gary and I sat and talked for over an hour on the porch swing tonight.

21. Judah and I played trains together.

22. Gary gave Judah his bath tonight.

23. Holly took me to lunch today and to Hemispheres. She is a fun friend.

24. Peyton drew me a really sweet picture.

25. My Church. Go Team Crossroads.

26. My paid off car was not damaged in the hail storm last night.

27. My two babies who I will hold in heaven. Your purpose is powerful and will be defined in this journey.

Plus One-Sarah, Thank you for allowing me to do the 10,000 Reasons journey with you.