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Musical Monday: All I Did Was Stay Still

The song Defender written by Rita Springer, Steffany Gretzinger and John-Paul Gentile is the song I needed to hear this morning. I needed the reminder that praise and worship are my weapons. They are how I fight.

Click here to hear it sung by Katie Torwalt: DEFENDER Lyrics below.

You go before I know
That You’ve even gone to win my war
You come back with the head of my enemy
You come back and You call it my victory

You go before I know
That You’ve even gone to win my war
Your love becomes my greatest defense
It leads me from the dry wilderness

And all I did was praise
All I did was worship
All I did was bow down
All I did was stay still

Hallelujah, You have saved me
So much better Your way
Hallelujah, Great Defender
So much better this way

You know before I do
Where my heart can seek to find Your truth
Your mercy is the shade I’m living in
You restore my faith and hope again

And all I did was praise
All I did was worship
All I did was bow down
All I did was stay still

Hallelujah, You have saved me
So much better Your way
Hallelujah, Great Defender
So much better this way
Hallelujah, You have saved me
So much better Your way
Hallelujah, Great Defender
So much better this way

And When I thought I lost me
You knew where I left me
You reintroduced me to Your love
You picked up all my pieces
Put me back together
You are the defender of my heart

And when I thought I lost me
You knew where I left me
You reintroduced me to Your love
You picked up all my pieces
Put me back together
You are the defender of my heart
And when I thought I lost me
You knew where I left me
You reintroduced me to Your love
You picked up all my pieces
Put me back together
You are the defender of my heart

Hallelujah, You have saved me
So much better Your way
Hallelujah, Great Defender
So much better this way
Hallelujah, You have saved me
So much better Your way
Hallelujah, Great Defender
So much better this way

All I did was praise
All I did was worship
All I did was bow down
All I could do is stay still

Praise becomes my breakthrough
My song becomes my triumph
Worship is my warfare
My victory is in youHallelujah, You have saved me
So much better Your way
Hallelujah, Great Defender
So much better this way
Hallelujah, You have saved me
So much better Your way
Hallelujah, Great Defender
So much better this way

All I did was praise
All I did was worship
All I did was bow down
All I did was stay still

All I did was stay still

Point to ponder while you wander…when I need to make decisions and I can’t. When I’m feeling over emotional and want to just hide. When my world becomes overwhelming. The only thing that helps me level off is worship. It restores my balance and clears my head. It reminds me who I am, and whose I am. It amplifies the reminder I am not in this alone.

After worship I’m able to go for a walk, talk to a friend, and process rationally. And pray.

Happy Birthday, Vinny!

In honor of Vincent VanGogh’s 165th Birthday…I offer Starry Night. Painted in June 1889. Currently housed by the Museum of Modern Art, New York.

“I know nothing with any certainty. But the sight of the stars makes me dream.” -Vincent VanGogh

Musical Monday…Undone

Undone. For me it is in the same vein as Natalie Grant’s “I Will Not Be Moved” & Stephany Gretzinger’s “Out of Hiding“.

Songs that reveal things I feel deeply but cannot describe.

“Undone” musically illustrates my opinion on a topic that I find to be the most impossible to describe due to overwhelming magnitude of its meaning to me. And then Paul Maybury and Lindsay Sweat do it in one word…. UNDONE.

So entertained by that.

Their song is sung by Kim Walker-Smith on her latest CD…which of course is exactly what I needed this season.

Here’s the song and lyrics…

When I’m crying from the darkness
When I’m looking for a sign
When I’m feeling like I can’t go on
You close in on all sides
You are stronger than my doubting
Your love finds me when I hide
And even when I try to live without You
You are always kind

I am undone, o-oh
I am undone

When You cried out from the garden
Let Your will be done, not mine
When You took the weight of my mistakes
So I don’t have to fight ’em
Now I let the sun rise on every scar and every sign
Of when You took this bruise and dying soul
And breathed it back to life

I am undone, o-oh
I am undone, o-o-oh! oh
I am undone, o-oh
I am undone, o-o-oh! oh

On and on, on and on
You carry me
You are there, You are there
Even in my wandering
When I fall, when I fall
Oh, let it be at the cross

And I am undone, o-oh
I am undone
I am undone, o-oh
I am undone, o-o-oh! oh

On and on, on and on
You carry me
You are there, You are there
Even in my wandering
When I fall, when I fall
Let it be at the cross
I am undone

Undone lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Essential Music Publishing

Point to ponder while you wander… Let yourself be loved by Jesus. Right now. In this very moment. Don’t wait another second to receive Him and His love.

Sin and Wisdom of Thomas Jefferson

I never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosophy as cause for withdrawing from a friend.” -Thomas Jefferson

Random fact…I refer to the Thomas Jefferson Memorial as “Jeff”.

I enjoy visiting Jeff for the view sometimes, and other times I go there to ponder. Something about being there in the early quiet of the morning just inspires me.

Recently I heard that people want to either tear down his memorial or tack up a list of his sins.

Seriously?

We all know the founding fathers were not saints by any means. But his memorial is meant to inspire and to make people think not as a temple of worship!

My response to those people is let he who is without sin cast the first stone!

I doubt those folks suggesting the sin list would not want a list of their sins tacked up on their tombstone for everyone to see? I know I wouldn’t!

Point to ponder while you wander… We should be inspired by the wisdom of historical figures, but also learn from their struggles and failures. But if we only focus on someone’s sin…we miss out on the gift God intended those people to be.

Same is true of the people in our day-to-day lives.

Unity of the Nation

I was just on the roof of my building enjoying the view of DC, and praying for wisdom for our president and our congress.

And this is what came to me…Our military is the best in the world, so chances America being taken down from the outside are not very high. But the chances of us destroying ourselves from the inside out are currently astronomical.

We are not United.

Why would a terrorist waste their time attacking us? When we the people are using our diversity as a wrecking ball against ourselves & destroying our own country.

History should be studied and learned from so it is not repeated.

But yet we haven’t learned a thing! Here we are fighting amongst ourselves over historical statues and skin tones!

Come on people. Take a deep breath.

Hate, fear, anger, wrath, rioting, and finger pointing do not resolve anything. And we all know fear is a liar!

People are hurting, legitimately, and I’m sorry to see and hear that. But knocking down a very old Christopher Columbus statue is not going to heal anyone’s wounds. It just won’t.

Is this what you want to teach the next generation of Americans? Do you want your kids and grandkids to destroy art and history because they are hurt and upset?

I sincerely hope not.

Listening. Open communication. Love. Kindness. Patience. Mutual respect. These are tools that lead to unity.

Unity does not mean we are all the same and have the same opinion. It doesn’t mean blindly following either.

Unity is diverse people coming together for the common good. It’s choosing to listen to those who have a differing opinion. Unity is choosing to be kind & respectful even when you disagree.

The goal of unity should be to build on the successes of the previous generation accomplished, and improve in the areas where they struggled.

Point to ponder while you wander…This is our country. We are the people. We, you and me, are the solution to the problem.

So please join me in praying for peace and unity for our people, and wisdom for our leaders. Please choose to be kind. Be the positive change.

A Psalm, a Masterpiece & the Eclipse

When I look at the night sky and see the work of your fingers— the moon and the stars you set in place—what are mere mortals that you should think about them, human beings that you should care for them?” Psalm 8:3-4 NLT

As a nature lover, it’s easy to think that the beauty and majesty God created and think the Earth or the skies is the pinnacle of His creation. But actually, you are.

He created the Earth for you to tend, keep, and enjoy. You are His Masterpiece!

For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” Ephesians 2:10 NLT

Point to ponder while you wander…God considers you to be His masterpiece over this…

Photo Credit: NASA

Waxing Poetic

Waxing poetic? What does that even mean?

I think of it as glossing over the negative and speaking of a topic as if it were 100% beautiful. Kinda like how high school glory days get better and better as you age. Kinda like someone telling tall tales or  b.s.ing a great story that’s short on facts and high in entertainment value.

The definition I found was this…to speak in an increasingly enthusiastic and poetic manner. It can imply enthusiasm or refer to flowery writing or speech.

Why am I talking about waxing poetic today? No idea…just randomly drifted through my brain and I like the way it sounds.  🌞 ha ha

On another random note..I dreamt about my junior high school friends last night. It was a very enjoyable dream until it was invaded by a high school boyfriend. It was strange because I knew he didn’t belong there. He really didn’t. He went to a rival school.

Anyway he kept smiling at me. It was weird.

So when I woke up I prayed for the people in the dream. Including the ex-boyfriend.

I Am A Princess

I found a picture on the web with a twirling girl that said, “I am a princess not because I have a prince, but because my Father is the King.”

I love me some princess movies. Sleeping Beauty. Tangled. Frozen. Princess Diaries. But my favorite is Roman Holiday with Audrey Hepburn. 

There’s a scene where she is in the taxi, deciding between a regular life with Joe Bradley or being who truly is…the daughter of the king.

Spoiler alert: She chose duty. 

She chose to serve her people, her father’s people.

The first time I saw it I sobbed. Why? Why can’t she be with Joe Bradley? He is just dreamy dreamy dreamy. I mean come on…Gregory Peck…in the 50’s suits. I’d cry too if I had to leave him, like she did in the taxi. Just being honest.

Then I had a revelation about the responsibility being a daughter of THE KING. The responsibility of sharing who He is, and how He loves and sees people. Chosing to love, when people are unlovable. Chosing to pray, truly standing in the gap for others. Declaring The Word over the situations we see.

So I loved the reminder of the fact that I am already a princess, even without the prince. 

Point to ponder while you wander…You are a beloved child of the Most High God!

John 1:12, Romans 8:29 & 9:8, Ephesians 1:5, I John  3:2

I Wanna Go Back

I’ve been walking around singing the chorus to an Eddie Money Song, “I Wanna Go Back.

You know the song right?

I wanna go back
And do it all over again
But I can’t go back I know
I wanna go back
Cause I’m feeling so much older
But I can’t go back I know

How many times in life do we wax poetic about the past?  How often to we think that a previous season was just so much better than the one we are in?  Especially when we’re in a stretching time, waiting on the Lord, or being required to step out in faith.

That’s when we begin to practice the art of selective memory.  “Welllll…I may not have been appreciated at my old job, and I had to work unpaid overtime, but at least it paid well.”  “I know my dream is to live in the BIG CITY but I’ve lived here my whole life.  I am comfortable here.”  “I know God is calling me to step out and do __(fill in dream here)___ but I just __(fill in excuse here)__.”

It’s so easy to just remember the good and filter out all the rough stuff.  Or vice versa to remember only the bad and filter out the good.

The truth is usually somewhere in between.

Every season has positives and benefits and also opportunities to learn patience and grow.

My current season is all about letting go of the past and completely embracing all the new things.  I’ve given away, sold, and donated most of what I owed.  Couch. Bed.  TV and DVD Player.  All gone.  I reduced my library to the bare minimum.  I pared down my DVDs to the essential favorites.  I’ve pretty much got a car, clothes, shoes, an inherited storage bench, jewelry, and a whole lot of artwork.  And it’s all chilling in an 8 X 10 area of my Mama’s basement.

I’ve been working out of state on a work engagement.  And I felt like the last time I went home, that I had to let go of home.  I know that I need to be open to what is coming next.  So I moved out of my comfortable home that I shared with my roommates with the affordable rent.  And got rid of the above mentioned stuff and moved the remaining into la basement a la mama. (Thanks Mom!  You’re the best!!)

Where am I going to live after my work engagement is over?

I literally have no idea.  But God does.  And I need to just trust that He wouldn’t tell me to let go of something, if He didn’t have something better for me.

Is that scary?

Yes.  Yes it is!

Is this easy?

No.  No it is not!

And I’m singing…I wanna go back go back and do it all over but I can’t go back I know. 

But I really don’t want to go back.  I want to move forward.

I know in my gut that God’s doing something amazing.  And I have peace that I am right where He wants me to be.

I’ll be honest though…there’s a part of me seeking to hold onto the comfy security of the season I was just in.  It was a relatively calm, peaceful season after the 2 tumultuous years of suck I lived through.  I could wax poetic about how good that season was.  And it did have some really great benefits!  But I’d be lying if I said it was an easy season.  Because it wasn’t.  It was a season of the greatest losses I’ve ever experienced in my life.  In 5 months lost my Papa, my Nana, and my Dad.

Like I said…every season has its perks and its drawbacks.  Perk-great roommates and cheap rent.  Drawback-loss of my people.

A part of me would even love to go back to the two years of suck…because I had my people.  I spent so much time with my grandparents during that time.  They needed help, and because of continual unemployment I was available to help them and just be there.  But I can’t go back.  I can’t go play scrabble or dance with Nana on her deck.  I can’t go watch tv with Papa or take him out to a movie or a museum.  I can’t call my Dad, and tell him about the stupid thing I did that day, so we could laugh together about it.

I’m really learning to appreciate that each season is a mixed bag.  Some wonderful moments.  Some challenging events.  Always an opportunity to grow and change.  And reasons to be grateful abound.

So even though we cannot go back and do it all over again, we can take the lessons and the memories with us as we go forward as a reminder to enjoy the current season.

Point to ponder while you wander…

The rabble with them began to crave other food, and again the Israelites started wailing and said, ‘If only we had meat to eat! We remember the fish we ate in Egypt at no cost—also the cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions and garlic. But now we have lost our appetite; we never see anything but this manna!’” Numbers 11:4-6 NIV

This is the epitome of selective memory.  The Israelites were poorly treated slaves, that their male babies were slaughtered by the Egyptians.  They were on their way to the Promised Land, and yet they wanted to go back to being slaves again so that they can eat some cukes and garlic.  Really?

Don’t despise the journey.  Learn from it.  Grow from it.  And trust God.

Here’s what I’ve learned through it all:  Don’t give up; don’t be impatient; be entwined as one with the Lord.  Be brave, courageous, and never lose hope.  Yes, keep on waiting- for He will never disappoint you!”  Psalm 27:14 TPT

Musical Monday: Alive in You

I went to She is Free, a conference in NYC, in October.  There we sang a song that resonated in my spirit.  Didn’t thing to get the name of said song.

Got home.  Couldn’t remember song.  Was super sad about it.

Today I went online to buy some new tunes.

Found said song.  Only took 2 months.

It’s called Alive in You.  It is sung by the incredible Kim Walker Smith and Jesus Culture.

Point to Ponder While You Wander…Why is it that stupid songs get stuck in your head, but when you find one that  feeds you on the inside you cannot remember it?  Feel free to discuss with your people.