The Blood will Never Lose its Power

I never do anything like this so welcome to a first on the Inspired by the Comforter site. After speaking with a friend earlier, I couldn’t help but start singing a couple of choruses from some old songs I grew up on. I was lied to for years. The world around me, and yes, even the church and Christian content and media, told me over and over again that if I were better or more holy or enough, then God would be moving in my life, my family. My ex-husband wouldn’t have been an addict if I were a better wife. My life would be perfect and sunny and roses would sprout from my finger tips if only I could get my act together. I call bull! Excuse my language, but honey, no one can tell me that my efforts mattered more than the cross.

Jesus paid the price for my sin, my shame, everything, once and for all on the cross. “It is finished” means something. Yes, I will spend everyday of my life trying to be more like Jesus and I will be continually being sanctified and growing in my faith, but I don’t freakin’ have to be ENOUGH before I come to the cross! I come to the cross because in and of myself, I can’t be enough and wasn’t meant to ever be enough. I can’t be good enough apart from Christ. No one can. But that’s the beauty! He never expected us to be! He IS enough! And therefore, in Him, I am enough. I have everything I need and NO one can condemn me or take away the power of what He accomplished. No one can pluck me from His hand.

I write this now after speaking to a friend who is being lied to in the same way I used to be. I learned to call bull on the bull and punch it in the gut with the truth of the gospel and I see her beginning to do the same. So for my friend and anyone else who may need to hear it, I’m adding this short video I took a minute ago in my office at work (don’t tell my boss haha) to hopefully encourage you. It’s not my best, but that doesn’t matter, because like anything else, we hold up what we have and who we are to the light of the cross and He does what He will with it.

Sing me a Song

I’ve been singing and playing music in church most of my life. I wrote my first song when I was three and my mother insisted that I sing it for everyone. I clearly remember refusing to do so unless she held my hand…she did. It was my solo debut. To answer the most commonly asked questions, yes, I still remember the song. No, I won’t sing it for you, but here are the lyrics (bracing for the embarrassment…remember I was only three)

Jesus, I love you

Jesus, I want you to be my friend

Jesus I’ve heard about you

How you hold the future in your hands

Jesus, I love you

Will you live inside my heart forever more?

I’m guessing it was adorable! That was all it took for me to decide I was meant to sing and sing I did…constantly.

We lived in Houston, TX for a while when I was four in a pretty rough apartment complex. I remember three things about Houston: my boyfriend whose name was Jesus (he thought all of our songs were about him), the SWAT team coming through frequently to collect whatever maniac was wielding a firearm that day, and getting up at 6 AM every morning, standing on the balcony and loudly singing to the world “See the bright light shine, it’s just about home time. I can see my Father standing at the door”. For the record, the neighbors didn’t think I was quite as adorable as everyone else did.

I was the “song leader” for my Daddy’s church when I was six primarily because we didn’t have microphones and I was the only one who could sing loud enough to be heard above everything else. I have always loved to write music. I am working on two new songs right now. We just played a new original of mine in church last Sunday. I’m not trying to toot my own horn here, just laying a little groundwork to let you know that I am very passionate about worship and music. It’s a part of me.

What I’ve realized, however, is that the thrill of operating in my calling is absolutely nothing compared with watching my daughters operate in theirs. I mean NOTHING! They are now teenagers (13 & 16) and play in the youth band at church and are on the worship team with us in ‘big’ church. Sunday, as we played the newest song I’d finished writing and my daughter’s bass guitar was ‘rockin’ it’, I was caught up in the moment. It’s a great thing to operate in your calling. It feels amazing to let God take over and use the gifts He’s given you to minister to others. It feels even more amazing to see your children or others that you’ve poured into, use their giftings to further the kingdom of God.

Proud Mama

My pastor has told me many times that I should always work myself out of a job. The best thing we can do as believers is to find someone to come alongside us that we can pour into, mentor, minister to, teach and encourage. After all, the things that will matter in the end are the legacies we leave behind. What footprint did we leave on this earth? Did we use our time to further our own agendas or did we use our time to leave a lasting impact on another person?

Parenting gives us a unique opportunity to impact another human being. Sometimes the impact our parents make on us is positive, sometimes…not so much. As I think back on my life, some of the most profound influences and inspirations in my life were people other than my parents. There were the sisters in Christ who arranged “gigs” for me throughout my teenage years. There was the pastor/worship leader who would push me to reach higher, sing louder, let go and go for it. There was the dear sister who told me the phrase I still think of every time I step out to lead worship or write something a little extra personal; “Don’t hold back”! My grandfather inspired me to play guitar. My best friend has spent countless hours with me writing and playing music, polishing lyrics and trying to discover new chord progressions. My parents definitely inspired me, but these people spurred me on into my calling.

As I think of the impact I make in the lives of others, I’m forced to evaluate how important it is to me to take the time to make a difference in someone else’s life. It is taxing sometimes to spend hours on the phone with a friend whose heart is breaking. It is hard to put work and household duties on the back burner to go have coffee with someone who wants to get to know you better. It takes an effort to teach a guitar or vocal lesson or read over lyrics or poetry written by someone you barely know and give honest feedback that will encourage them to keep going. But these are the things that matter. The encouraging words spoken today may grow into faith in the soil of another heart. The time spent just being there for someone may make all the difference. The prayers shared together may bring just enough strength in a moment of weakness. The honest critique may birth wisdom. The lesson may inspire greatness.

We may never fully know the impact we make, but even if we aren’t afforded the opportunity to eat the fruit that springs forth from small seeds we’ve sown, we are rewarded for our faithfulness to the author of life who inspired life within us. That alone, is worth more than anything.

Memoirs of a Superhero

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I’ve been distracted…

I’ll admit that I’ve often been impressed with my supermom ability to be able to juggle multiple tasks at once. You moms will know exactly what I’m talking about. It’s those moments when we’re on the phone, cooking dinner, cleaning up, folding laundry, watching our kid who wants to show us his/her latest amazing trick, refereeing the argument brewing between the older siblings while managing to sneak a kiss or two from our spouse. All the while, it doesn’t even seem to faze us. It’s what we do. We were designed to be perfectly capable of accomplishing multiple things at once before our “going batty” sensor starts to blip. It’s life.

Somehow in the midst of it all, we find time to spend with the Lord. We meditate on his goodness while doing the dishes. We worship in the car. We pray in car-rider line. We read the Bible daily. It’s essential to our survival; so we make sure we keep our life line stable and we’re off and running. Even more surprisingly, we manage to teach our children the value of this.

My pastor’s wife once told me that a mistake many moms innocently make is that the only time they read the Bible is when the kids are asleep. This makes perfect sense because it’s the only time there’s peace and quiet to really focus, but the problem lies in the fact that then, our children never see us reading the Bible. I’d never thought of that until then and I quickly shifted my schedule so that though the majority of my study happens before they are awake, I spend time in the word in front of them as well so they know it’s a priority in my life.

I’m still doing all of these things. My household is running smoothly. I’m grounded in the word. I’m praying. But I’ve been feeling disconnected.

I attribute this distraction to the fact that I found out about a month ago that I’m expecting baby number four. My husband and I and the kids are all excited. We know that a baby is a blessing from the Lord. “Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, The fruit of the womb is a reward.Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one’s youth. Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them” Psalm 127:3-5. I am so thankful. For the record, my husband is amazing! His reaction to the news was a little shock at first and then he pulled me close and prayed a blessing over me and our new baby. It doesn’t get better than that. But I digress.

I feel as though, my brain and body have been abducted by my hormones. I can’t focus. I’m so tired that I accomplish everything five times slower. My once superhuman multi-tasking skills have been reduced to blank stares and “huh?” It’s bizarre. What I fear the most is that I will let go of my life line. I remember when my other kids came along; I had to focus so much on them that I lost some of my focus on the Lord. I don’t want to make that mistake again. I’m trying to be patient with myself and realize that I’m still indeed human and God doesn’t demand that I be supermom or super-Christian or super-worship leader. He just wants my heart. My heart is His.

The scripture that I keep returning to is:

“The Lord your God is in your midst, The Mighty one, will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.” Zephaniah 3:17

Then this morning I read this:

“You are my hiding place; You shall preserve me from trouble. You shall surround me with songs of deliverance” Psalm 32:7

While I am running around down here striving with all my might to keep it all together, God is in my midst delighting in me, rejoicing over me with gladness and trying to quiet me with His love. He doesn’t want me working myself to the point of exhaustion (which isn’t too hard these days) in an effort to keep everything “perfect”. He wants me to chill. He wants me to hide in His presence and find my strength there.

I’m a singer and I’m passionate about it. I long with all my heart to hear the songs the Lord is singing over me! He is singing songs of deliverance and songs of rejoicing over ME! I think instead of striving, I’m going to practice listening. Who knows, maybe someday, I’ll get to hear those songs if I quiet my heart and head enough. Either way, I choose to rest in His love. I choose to enjoy my children, my husband and this new gift growing inside of me. I’ll even rejoice in the morning sickness!

Every good and perfect gift comes from above. It’s our job to acknowledge them and rest in His presence.