Refreshing the Soul with Music

19
Mar
2015

Refreshing-Soul-Music

I need music – every single day!  There is something that just fills my soul with the words, the beat and instruments all put together.  We can often get so rushed that we forget to slow down and enjoy – the simple, the gifted and emotional connection with song.

Here are a few of my favorite finds lately that I wanted to share with you.  Most are worship songs, but there is one here by a favorite artist of mine that I will see in concert on Saturday night (date night!!) and it is certainly meant for that special someone in your life.

If you are viewing in your RSS feed, you will need to click through to view the videos and hear the music.  Make sure you give yourself a few minutes to truly sit down and enjoy the songs.  That is some good self-care!

Tyrone Wells – You’re The One  (from the Album:  Roll with It)

You will need to click here to hear a portion of the song…. it is so new there is no you tube video with the entire song yet – you can listen on amazon or iTunes – scroll down to the song!!  It is so upbeat and fresh – perfect for your honey!

Tyrone Wells – And The Birds Sing   (from the Album:  Metal and Wood)

This will pick up any blue day for sure – just try it!

Matt Maher is one of my ALL TIME favorite worship singers – so powerful in his words and his style just resonates with me.   This is a brand new album and I just got it last night – listened to it while driving my son to school and had to sit parked in the garage to finish it all – so good!

Matt Maher – Because He Lives (Amen)  (from the Album:  Saints and Sinners) 

This song is amazing…. truly…. the words, the voice, the feeling of renewal….. it is more than I could ever say.  Close your eyes and let it sink in.

It Is Well – Kristene DiMarco & Bethel Music  (from the Album:  You Make Me Brave) 

  

Come As You Are – David Crowder  (from the Album:  Neon Steeple)

Enjoy!

If you are looking to find new music, I love my Pandora – it plays constantly in our house, I pick an artist I like and it creates a station and then other similar artists play – this is how I find new music.  Love it!

The Journey of Finding a New Church

16
Mar
2015

Old wooden cross against wooden background. Sepia tone.

Fourteen years ago I stepped into a church, as a non-beleiver, searching for more.  My heart needed to know what my purpose was, about this God other’s talked about who loved them so much and what my future could be.  

I walked in one Sunday and stayed for nearly fourteen years.  

I gave my life to the Lord in that church, baptized myself and my daughter in that church, worked the welcome desk with my small children greeting other first-time visitors, participated in women’s ministry, watched my husband get baptized, found an incredible small group of woman that invited me in to share life with them and grew in my faith.

But our family entered a new season and we’ve known our time there has passed.  It has been time to move onto a different church and we’ve been struggling and fighting the transition.

It is hard.  It is painful.  You feel vulnerable and most of all, you have to begin again getting to know others – and as an introvert, it is very scary and so uncomfortable.  

This has been our season for the past nine months.  Visiting church after church each week to find one that is a fit for our family.  (And to be honest, there were many weeks we just skipped church because it was too exhausting….. and we would watch an online church service, which was better than nothing, but I know not what God has for us).

I know I am not the only one who passes through this season, so I thought I would share what I feel is important to look for when searching for a new church home.  Not that I am right or there are only certain things, but I think there are certain aspects of a church that are key in finding a home that feels just that – like home.

Worship

This is one of my highest ranking criteria for a church – to find one where I can feel completely at ease worshipping, singing, lifting my hands and feeling His presence.  I need this in my hurried pace I live in each day, a place to calmly lay it all down and be still.  Music fills a spot in my heart that nothing else can.

Children’s Ministry

As a mom of a five year old, finding a church were I feel my child can experience God in new ways that are not just my ways is important.  Being with children his age is important and finding a church that offers a somewhat structured approach to sharing and experiencing God’s word is critical. 

Serving

My husband knows we are being called to a church where we can be used to help others.  We have strengths and gifts that we can offer to help impact others – it is extremely important to my husband and I.  We learn so much through our life and when we share our giftings by serving we truly bless others.

Pastor Message

I need to hear from the Word of God each week.  I can do my own devotional time, which is my own discipline, but hearing from a Pastor who is gifted in sharing the Gospel in a way that I can identify and respond to is what feeds me.  Everyone has different needs, but for me I need to feel connected to a Pastor that I feel is genuine, authentic and realistic in the struggles we all face daily.

Small Group Community

No matter the size of the church I feel I grew more whenI was in a small group community.  You can be growing together as a group and it is exhilarating to be held accountable, be supported and know you have someone to call at 4 AM when things are going rough.  This is a top priority for us, finding a church where small group community is valued.

What other items would you add to the list, I am curious?  

This is a personal journey for us, and one that has affected me a great deal – more than I would have otherwise not realized.  Being without that “place” where I belong in my faith has dampened my spirit just a bit.  But I know we need to persist and He will lead us to the place He has next for us.

Compassion Update!

9
Mar
2015

God's Provision

It’s that time for me to share with you some updates from “our girls”!  For those who are new here, this blog – through your wonderful effort of using my amazon affiliate link sponsor FOUR girls in India through Compassion.  I have an easy amazon button on my home page that you can easily use to click through when making any purchase; it doesn’t cost you anymore but every little bit helps.

We started a year ago with sponsoring Shine, then after I shared with you how I would add to our sponsorship if amazon affiliate payments increased, we were able to add two more girls, Gold and Hannah in May.  Then you all continued to amaze me and we added another, Judith back in November and we are again ready to add TWO MORE to our sponsorship!!!  Isn’t that exciting!

We will have a total of SIX girls we are sponsoring together.

Changing the lives of girls on the other side of the world because of a very small effort – using an amazon affiliate link!! 

Letters

Here are some updated letters from the girls – they shared about a recent trip they took, how well they are doing in school, asked for prayers for their family and also drew some fantastic pictures!!

Pictures

I will be writing back in the next week, one thing which I really love is the fact that I can write back using the forms on the Compassion website, so I can actually copy the letter to each girl and then change it up a bit to personalize it.  Obviously, by adding several new girls, this letter writing could get more time consuming, but I really appreciate that Compassion has made it a bit easier.  

I can also attach photos easily to the letters I send – which I know is fun for them to see.

I will be getting a new graphic created with all the girls photos on it, we will be a total of SIX – so hopefully we can make it fit.  We are waiting to hear back to try to get girls from the same village as the four we already have, but we may have to pick another location near by.

Do you want to know my dream?  It is to plan a trip to India and then be able to meet these girls!  Yep, I know God has an amazing plan here with this entire journey and you just never know what He has planned in the future!

Watch for the updated graphic in the near future and I will share on the Facebook page when I get the names of the two new girls.  I know they would love you praying for them as well.

One Last Question for you!

I am looking for our next online book club book study book.  I would love for you to vote on your choice – you can click the books to view the description on amazon and then use this link to vote.  I hope to again find 5 moms to help me with the Private Facebook page and the study community, so look for my announcement in my newsletter on Wednesday.

VOTE HERE

The Fringe Hours

Own Your Life

Fight Back with Joy 

Peaceful Nights for Little Ones – Giveaway too!

2
Mar
2015

HIdden-Heart-Scripture

A little over four years ago our family had a very special guest staying with us, a sweet little 12 month old boy named Jacob who we were fostering.  This was our second placement and I was doing all I could to make his time in our home special, meaningful and peaceful.  It was a blessing that I first discovered Hidden in My Heart  scripture lullabies during that time.  

No nightmares, no fits of restlessness – just calm, peaceful music surrounding him.

Hidden in My Heart, Vol. I, played an important part in my little guys bedtime routine.  We had our bedtime ritual, including teeth brushing, snuggling and book reading, but when Jacob got tucked in, we would start the CD in his player by his bed and these scripture songs would lull him to sleep.

I felt good as a mom knowing he would fall asleep hearing scripture whispered so beautifully in his ears – so impactful and precious.  

Well fast forward four years and you will know that Jacob was adopted into our family and he still listens to the same CD at bedtime, until recently.  I know it was a piece of the puzzle which helped him make his transition into our home the best possible.  I also loved being able to send this music along with him when he spent the night elsewhere…… familiar and known to him.  It was such a relief.  With his music and essential oils routine at bedtime, he is all set!

The folks at Breakaway Music shared with me the Volume II and Volume III in this series so we have had some fun picking new music at bedtime!  These Cd’s are just as magical as the others and so refreshing, I have even begun listening to them while writing at my computer and driving in the car.

These CD’s are a great alternative from the dull bedtime music you can choose and make the BEST ever baby shower gift and/or new arrival gift.  What mom doesn’t desire soothing music to lay her beautiful baby down to sleep?

I am so excited to share this music with you and also offer a 20% off code that you can use to make your purchase:   CM2015.

In addition, you can also enter to win a copy of your choice of CD’s – Volume I, Volume II or Volume III by entering the giveaway below.  The giveaway will close at midnight, Monday, March 9th.

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 Hidden In My Heart Vol I CD

Hidden In My Heart Vol II CD

Hidden In My Heart Vol III CD

(Prices include FREE shipping on the CD, or you can choose immediate download)  

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Prayer – Revisiting It’s Importance

23
Feb
2015

Love and the cross meet to change History

I wrote this post nearly 3 years ago…… it was a rough time.  We all have those seasons, which either break us or make us stronger.  I obviously survived – here I am nearly three years later….. but these times do change us.  We can either reach out towards God or fall away.  

I feel a bit like my prayer life is a bit dry.   I am praying daily, but am not feeling the connection, His divine presence…..so I thought this post was a good reminder for me, but might be helpful for another mom who might be struggling with the same.

I pray this speaks to those who need it today  :-)  It is a great reminder for me.

My spirit is crushed, I feel defeated and neglected.  Our family is journeying through some really rocky territory and honestly, I just don’t like it at all.  Who likes going through the storm – no one.  But I also know that it can either drive me away from God or draw me near – I choose to draw near and hold on – with prayer.

How is your prayer life? 

Are you meeting Him and sharing your heart?  Here are a few reasons why you should make sure it is on your to-do list everyday, all the time.

Importance of Prayer

Prayer is one of the most important things a Christian can do. It is a time they are communicating with God and it should be taken very seriously. While there is deep theological meaning in prayer, it doesn’t have to be something that is complicated and difficult. It’s something anyone can do anywhere at any time.

Drawing Near to God

It’s impossible to know someone if you don’t spend time with them. Prayer is an opportunity to spend time with God. To really understand the heart of God, you need to pray. In John 15:15, Jesus says He no longer calls us his servants, but calls us His friends. Talking with God develops a deeper relationship with Him. The deeper the relationship becomes, the more time you want to spend with Him. In 1 Corinthians 3:9, God calls us His fellow workers. How can we be His fellow workers if we refuse to talk to Him?

Prayer Brings Light to Darkness

Sometimes we forget just how powerful prayer is. We aren’t fighting against something imaginary, our prayers are fighting against spiritual battles that linger in dark places. Ephesians 6:12 says, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” The power of prayer is so great it has the power to defeat the devil and his power over us. He wants to destroy us, but God wants to bring us closer to Him. Prayer is our tool to win that battle. Prayer gives us the strength and the faith to finish the race victorious.

Prayer Changes Us

We often think prayer changes God. This simply isn’t the case. Prayer changes us. When we spend time with God, He is working to change our heart to be more like His. The more time we spend with Him, the more we are like Him. Our habits and lifestyles change. We no longer live a self-centered life, but one that is focused on others with a pure and sincere heart. Prayer changes us inside out.

Prayer Protects

Protection is ours just for the asking. We need to pray for protection for our loved ones every day. Pray for loved ones by name, one by one. You can never pray too much for one person. Sometimes it helps to make a list of all the people that you need to pray for each day. Doing this not only offers us protection, but also sets a great example for our children.

Do you pray daily for your husband and children for protection?

Prayer Brings Breakthroughs in Life

One of the most important aspects of prayer in your life is the breakthroughs that come. Sometimes we are faced with devastating circumstances and feel we have nowhere to turn. It’s at that point we should pray (although there should have plenty of prayer beforehand, too). Fasting and praying is powerful, too. Sometimes you need a message from God and you need to be solely focused on Him to get it. It may be painful during the prayer and waiting process but once you receive it you will be so happy you sought Him. While you wait, you can also sing praise songs, read the Bible, or anything else that brings you closer to Him. Even if the breakthrough doesn’t happen that day, you will receive the strength and the grace to carry on. Eventually you will receive an answer to your prayers, or a peace about waiting longer. When you look back over this time you will most likely see it as some of the most spiritually rich time of your life.

Do you need a breakthrough today?