Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Oh be careful little mouth what you say...

Don't you love it when you think about something and you want to say it but you can't put it into words??
I am so thankful for Alison and her friendship. She and I have had numerous conversations about this topic and I am so glad she wrote this speaks my heart too!! Thank you, Alison! You are a blessing for SO many reasons and your ability to write like this is one of the reasons I love you! =)

Oh be careful little mouth what you say…

by Alison Whitely

A few weeks ago I went to a worship gathering and they were singing all sorts of new music. I admit, I get into ruts just like anyone else, and sometimes it is fun and exciting to hear the new song that God has put into people’s hearts.

Sing to the LORD a new song; Sing to the LORD, all the earth.

Sing to the LORD, bless His name; Proclaim good tidings of His salvation from day to day.

Tell of His glory among the nations, His wonderful deeds among all the peoples.

For great is the LORD and greatly to be praised; He is to be feared above all gods.

For all the gods of the peoples are idols, But the LORD made the heavens.

Splendor and majesty are before Him, Strength and beauty are in His sanctuary.

Ascribe to the LORD, O families of the peoples, Ascribe to the LORD glory and strength.

Ascribe to the LORD the glory of His name; Bring an offering and come into His courts.

Worship the LORD in holy attire; Tremble before Him, all the earth.

Say among the nations, “The LORD reigns; Indeed, the world is firmly established, it will not be moved; He will judge the peoples with equity.”

Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice; Let the sea roar, and all it contains;

Let the field exult, and all that is in it. Then all the trees of the forest will sing for joy

Before the LORD, for He is coming, For He is coming to judge the earth. He will judge the world in righteousness and the peoples in His faithfulness.

- Psalm 96

I love the commendation to sing new songs. But I think sometimes we do not think well about that which we are singing. For instance, we were led to sing a song that the chorus said “I want to be broken” and analogized the desired heart to the aftermath of a hurricane. Yes, I have experienced the deepest communion with God in the darkest hours of my life, but I certainly do not long for those trials. And I am afraid it is a bit masochistic and not biblically founded for anyone to truly mean that. God promises peace, rest and joy and the one who is seeking God is seeking glory, honor, immortality and eternal life (Rom 2.7).

Contemporary musicians are not guilty alone on this front. I grew up singing a song about which I never truly thought until a few years ago:

Surely the presence of the Lord is in this place.
I can feel His mighty power and His grace.
I can hear the brush of angels wings.
I see glory on each face.
Surely the presence of the Lord is in this place.

Really? I can feel his power? I can hear angels flying around? God’s shekinah glory is evident on everyone’s face?


Actually, I have never seen someone physically radiate God’s glory. So why would I sing that?

There is a temptation to over-spiritualize and over-state things in music. We do it about love, we do it about everything. But we need to guard our mouths and hearts when we approach the throne of God.

“Guard your steps as you go to the house of God and draw near to listen rather than to offer the sacrifice of fools; for they do not know they are doing evil. Do not be hasty in word or impulsive in thought to bring up a matter in the presence of God. For God is in heaven and you are on the earth; therefore let your words be few. For the dream comes through much effort and the voice of a fool through many words. When you make a vow to God, do not be late in paying it; for He takes no delight in fools. Pay what you vow! It is better that you should not vow than that you should vow and not pay. Do not let your speech cause you to sin and do not say in the presence of the messenger of God that it was a mistake. Why should God be angry on account of your voice and destroy the work of your hands? For in many dreams and in many words there is emptiness. Rather, fear God.”

- Ecc 5.1-7

Do we really “surrender all” to Jesus? Will we really go where He goes and stay where he stays? Is he truly “the air I breathe”? Is one day in His courts better than thousands elsewhere? Could we really sing of His love forever?

I like to imagine that I am speaking/singing directly face to face with God to evaluate my heart and the words coming out of my mouth. Would you say over and over to your significant other “I love you”, without giving a reason? Or does the outpouring of your affection lead you to express all of the reasons you feel that way? When you are talking to your mate or a friend, do you say their name at the beginning of every sentence?

I mean seriously.

If I were dating someone and he said my name every few sentences while he was talking to me, it would weird me out. ”Hey Alison, how are you? Have you had a good day Alison? I was running errands and I was thinking about you Alison, and Alison, I just wanted to call and say hi and see how your day is going, Alison, and tell you that I care about you, Alison.”

Um, yeah.

And when you seek to tell someone how much they mean to you, do you say, “I love you. I just really love you. You are amazing, and I love you.” Or do you reflect on his character, “I love your heart, I can see your humility in the way you handled that situation…I respect the way that you honored so-and-so by serving him…You made me feel cared for when you did [this]…”

So why would we sing to God, He who deserves our fullest affection, “I love you” (over and over again) without explaining our reasons?

Let’s go deep. Let’s get real. Let’s guard our words and not speak flippantly. But let’s fall crazy in love with God and express well our feelings and our reasons for such feelings. Let us sing unto the Lord a new song (or old song) of depth, passion and conviction!

Zeph. 3:17

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Grandparents Weekend

We went to Jackson this past weekend so we could spend time with grandparents...the boys great grandparents.

On Friday night, we celebrated Graciee's 9th birthday (August 18th) and Daddy Bill's 88th birthday (August 14th). We had a yummy bbq dinner and, of course, cake and ice cream.

On Saturday morning we drove to Brighton to see Mama Sae and Paw Paw (my dad's parents). I hadn't seen them in a couple years so it was nice to hug their necks and catch up. The boys played outside the whole time we were there. It was sunny the majority of the time but there was a little rain shower. You think that stopped them? Of course not. =)

We drove back to Jackson late that afternoon...just in time for a dinner and baths. We packed up the car and headed back to Nashville. It was a quick visit but so worth it. I am glad we were able to set aside a weekend for our grandparents. Such a sweet time!

We love you, Mimi and Daddy Bill!!
We love you, Mama Sae and Paw Paw!!!

Zeph. 3:17

Wednesday, August 7, 2013


I decided to lay down when the boys took a nap this afternoon. I just needed a few minutes of rest. Well, don't you just LOVE when the Lord decides you need something more??

I decided to get up and do my Bible study that I usually save for after the boys have gone to bed. My time involves reading and writing while listening to worship music. The station I have set on my phone plays songs randomly and I never know what's coming on next.

I am so thankful the Lord led me up from the comfy chair and into His presence. This song came on while I was finishing up my reading for the day...and as I heard Dalton stirring upstairs =)

This song has been a huge part of my life.
As I listened to the words as I have hundreds of times before I realized that it has more meaning now than it ever has before.
I opened up my journal and jotted down the words and more thoughts as I listened to it a few times more.

Thank you, Lord, for causing the restlessness...

Zeph. 3:17


Over the summer I interviewed with a couple preschools with the hopes that Brandon could go with me and start Pre-K. Ideally I would take the younger two with me and they would get the social interaction and routine as well. The interviews went well but financially it wouldn't have been a wise decision. It would have taken most of my paycheck for the boys to be able to go. So, I decided I would stay at the YMCA and homeschool Pre-K.

We started school yesterday and Brandon loved it!! I have curriculum for 3 & 4 year olds so Carson has the option to participate but he just turned three so he might be too young. He took part in the Bible story and prayer then he was off to play. =)

Genesis 1-2 was our Bible story for the morning. We talked about God as Creator. They did an activity sheet that illustrated the passage then we prayed. I explained how we pray for other people and we talked about things we can pray for when praying for others. This was interesting!! Brandon was super confused...he knows that we pray only TO God and he didn't understand how to pray FOR someone else. When I asked who he wanted to pray FOR he would say, "But we only pray TO God." So precious. So, we prayed TO God and we thanked him FOR our friends and family. I will add intercession as we go! =)

I gave Brandon a sheet and wanted to see how well he could follow verbal directions with colors/paints. He had the sheet in front of him and I asked him to color certain things a certain color. He did great!! He definitely knows his colors and he tried VERY hard to stay in the lines getting frustrated if he "messed up." I don't know where he gets the OCD tendencies! =) By the time he was done we had a rocket in the night sky...

I had conversation cards for a creative thinking activity. I put some conversation cards in a bag and we would pick one and discuss it. For example one said, "Tell me about a friend that you have and what you like to do with that friend." Of course he talked about his friend, Tyler, from the Y. My favorite was, "Tell me about a food that you dislike." His response, "Broccoli, pasta, tacos..." He listed quite a few things without a breath in between. "Tell me about a food that you like." I wasn't shocked to hear, "Cereal and apples with peanut butter."

We ended our time with an alphabet activity. Of course, we started with the letter A. He can recognize all of the upper case letters but he has a hard time with lower case. So, we are doing both. He likes to sound out words and figure out what they start with so it won't be long before we are learning his first sight words.

He is so eager to learn!! I am looking forward to teaching him and watching him learn new things.

I am thankful that I get to stay home with our boys!!! Even when I work they go with me...and I don't have to pay!! =)

So blessed.

Zeph. 3:17