How To Make Your Home Sing!

Last week we had a two-fold challenge, “light a candle and every time you see the glimmer of it pray for peace in your home“. I want to encourage you to keep your candles and prayers going.
 
This week’s challenge is two-fold also: Play soft music everyday in your home. Choose worship, classical or another form of peaceful music that the family enjoys. Focus on using peaceful words and maintaining peaceful relationships. Remind your family to avoid seething anger, tattling, criticism or back talk. Role model gentleness this week.

 

Let’s start with your music choice. If you need suggestions for music here are a few:

 

1. If you know how to play an instrument, play it this week! In our home, when I sit down to the piano to play, the atmosphere completely changes. All whining and complaining disappears and dancing and singing begins. This is what the book of Psalms is all about – making a joyful noise unto the Lord! So pull out your dusty instruments and start playing!

2. Sing or hum in the kitchen while you cook, in the bathrooms while you clean, or while you drive in the car. Force yourself to open your mouth and let your joy of the Lord be heard by your family. It will be contagious!

 

3. I like to listen to George Winston – my favorite CD is titled December. I have listened to it for 15 years. In college, it really helped me shut out the dorm noises and focus to study. Since then, this CD remains in the CD player ready to go at all times. Sometimes I put it on repeat mode and it will go for 10 hours straight! I love it! Here’s a sample:

 

4. I like David Nevue – I discovered his music on the blog A Holy Experience. His music is similar to George Winston’s in that it is classical piano music. To hear his music visit her site and while you are there – hang around a while and I think you will find inspiration. (I regularly open her website and let the music play while I hop around on facebook or write blog posts.)

5. I like Worship and Contemporary Christian Music – the sky is the limit on this – from hymns to Casting Crowns to the oldies like Michael Card. All of this music fills our family’s hearts and mind with God’s truth.

It doesn’t all have to be slow. Music with a beat can lift spirits and add zest to a boring day. Pick a style that fits your mood and family and get that music going. Once you’ve determined your music and have it going – it’s time to work on ourselves.

1. When you feel tempted to raise your voice, use a child’s name in a snarl, furrow your brow into a scowl or speak rapidly in anger…purposely lower your voice to just above a whisper. Proverbs 15:1 says “A gentle answer turns away wrath but a harsh word stirs up anger.” Focus on gentle words, facial expressions, and touches.

2. Purpose to not let someone else’s anger make you angry. Many times as a wife and mom I find myself responding to other’s emotions. Someone in the family is grumpy and two minutes later I’m grumpy too. Someone in the family is speaking harshly and two minutes later I’m speaking harshly too. Purpose to stay in control of your emotions and not let the other members of your family dictate your mood.

3. Yelling at a bud won’t make it bloom. Your home will not blossom into a haven if you are not controlling your temper.

4. Continue to pray for peace in your home. Persevere in prayer for your family. James 5:16b says, “The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.”

If you are participating in this challenge leave a comment below with how it’s going – if you are a blogger copy this button into your blog post, write about how it’s going and link up below! Thank you all so much for your accountability. I so appreciate you joining me on this journey!!! We are in it together!

Walk with the King!
I am linking up here :

I Wish I Had a Counseling Degree

There are times I receive emails from my dear readers that contain questions far too difficult for me to answer. When the questions are beyond my experience or studies I often say “I’m sorry I am not a counselor. You need to seek out a pastor, trusted Godly friend or call Focus on the Family’s 1-800 number (1-800-232-6459). I deeply regret this is beyond my expertise.”

There are moments I feel inept to write on this blog because I am not a counselor – I just don’t know all the answers and I so wish I did!~

Thankfully there is a counsellor all believers have access to who supersedes all counseling degrees – the Holy Spirit! Jesus says in John 14: 16-17 “I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever – the Spirit of truth.”

Anne Graham Lotz says:

“Jesus described the Holy Spirit as “Another.” The Greek word actually means “another who is exactly the same.” So although the Holy Spirit is a distinct person, He is exactly the same as Jesus, but without the physical body. He has been described as Jesus without skin. Or, like an FBI agent, He is Jesus undercover.”

Dear hurting Christian sister, you may feel all alone in your trials and difficulties. But you are not. Jesus has sent “another” counselor with the same mind, emotions, intellect and wisdom into our hearts to guide, comfort, direct, and help us manage our way through life.

Have you yielded to this Counselor the Holy Spirit? You must first be in his word, in prayer and in stillness – to sense his clear leading, comfort and guidance.

If you are hurting today – practice the presence of God in your life. Psalm 139:7-10 says:

Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.”
Know that he is always with you. Surrender your will to him. Be still – listen – move forward in peace.

Walk with the King!

If anyone knows of any other organizations with toll free numbers for readers who need a counselor can you please leave it in the comment section. I will use it as a resource for ladies who are hurting. Thank you for your help.

holy experience

The Christmas Version of I Corinthians 13

I came across this Christmas poem about I Corinthians 13 – the Love Passage. For me, the week of Christmas can be the busiest week of my entire year. And though I am trying to make it special and meaningful for the family, I often feel like a failure when my patience is short or things don’t go as I envisioned. This poem reminds me of what really matters and what really lasts…Love.

If I decorate my house perfectly with plaid bows, strands of twinkling lights and shiny balls, but do not show love to my family, I’m just another decorator.

If I slave away in the kitchen,baking dozens of Christmas cookies, preparing gourmet meals and arranging a beautifully adorned table at mealtime: but do not show love to my family, I’m just another cook.
If I work at a soup kitchen, carol in the nursing home, and give all that I have to charity; but do not show love to my family, it profits me nothing.
If I trim the spruce with shimmering angelsand crocheted snowflakes, attend a myriad of holiday parties and sing in the choir’s cantata but do not focus on Christ, I have missed the point.
Love stops the cooking to hug the child.
Love sets aside the decorating to kiss the spouse.
Love is kind, though harried and tired.
Love does not envy another’s home that has coordinated Christmas china and table linens.
Love does not yell at the kids to get out of the way, but is thankful they are there to be in the way.
Love does not give only to those who are able to give in return; but rejoices in giving to those who cannot.
Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, and endures all things.
Love never fails.

Video games will break, pearl necklaces will be lost, golf clubs will rust; but giving the gift of love will endure.
Sharon Jaynes, Celebrating a Christ Centered Christmas

Take some time to meditate on I Corinthians 13 today. If we all would simply apply this passage of scripture – our homes would be a happier place and we would shine like bright stars in a dark world. “They will know we are Christians by our Love.” John 13:35

Walk with the King!

3 Ways to Put "Merry" in "Merry Christmas"

The word “merry” means cheerful, joyous, and lighthearted. We all want to create a “Merry” Christmas for our families – but is our family experiencing a wife and mommy who is “merry”? Are you smiling at home? Who you are at home, is who you really are. You can smile at church, smile at your neighbors, smile at strangers in the grocery store – but if you aren’t smiling at home – then that’s who you really are.

For the past 12 years of marriage, Christmas has been the season where being “merry” in the midst of the stress from my huge to do list has been a struggle. There’s cookies to bake, parties to attend, presents to wrap and messes from the kids to stay on top of! How can we honor God and not let our stress steal the word “merry” from our Christmas?
1. Tend to your Spiritual needs – Do NOT neglect your time in the word and prayer. If all you can do is read one verse – write it out on a post-it note and carry it with you all day long. Squeeze all the nourishment you can from that one verse through out the day!
I recommend meditating on Galatians 5:22 & 23 which says, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” We must be walking in the spirit to have a merry heart!
2. Tend to your Emotional needs – Light a candle and put on classical music (or Christmas music) – it will have a calming effect on the entire family! If you are not able to smile in the midst of your busyness…your inner soul is not at peace.
The Proverbs 31 woman – smiled. Peace comes through prayer. The way to worry about nothing is to pray about everything.
3. Tend to your Physical needs – Get your rest. Studies show that we need at least 7 hours of sleep at night. It is difficult to be pleasant to our husbands and children when we are exhausted. Take a 15 minute bubble bath as soon as all the kids are in bed. The relaxation benefits will far exceed watching television! Extend the bath to 30 minutes and read a good book! Get a little exercise. Studies show even 10 minutes a day up your energy and mood.
Only you can take care of your deep spiritual, emotional and physical needs. No one else can do the list above for you. Use these as tools to help you accomplish all that is piled on your plate this Christmas. May this Christmas be your merriest Christmas ever.
Walk with the King!

Dealing With Loss During the Holidays

For some, you will experience your first Christmas without a loved one. Whether through death, divorce or distance you are dealing with loss. I want you to know that you are not alone.

I am reminded of the poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow who on Christmas day, 1864, received word that his son, a soldier in the Civil War, had been wounded. Just two years before, Henry had lost his wife in a fire. As this devout Christian man sat alone with his grief, on the most joyful of Holy Days, he penned words of hope to challenge his own despair. He called his composition Christmas Bells. Little did he know that those words would someday be set to music and become a blessing to millions of people around the world.
If you are struggling to find peace in the midst of the holidays this song below and my dear friend Kelly’s story may comfort you.

Kelly lost her father at the tender age of 10. Following his loss she went through a long journey of pain, sadness and depression. None of us are immune from life’s tragedies and Kelly’s story of hope and strength in God – is a source of inspiration to me. Read it here!

Walk with the King!

Will You Choose Joy or Defeat?

Little eyes stare up at me, her head is hot and feverish and she’s thirsty. With her lamby lovie in one arm and her purple blanket in the other she heads to the couch to get some rest and drink from her sippie. I lay a cold wash cloth on her head and the dimple gleams for a moment “thank you mommy.” She chooses joy.

Little eyes stare up at me as he begs to play monopoly. Exhausted I answer, “Not tonight dear”. Son’s countenance falls…my heart feels heavy too – “go get the game.” We play, we laugh, we love. We choose joy.

Leader husband is weary…problems, troubles, burdens and cares bring hardship in his work. We cannot lift his burdens for him – he must carry them on his own. But he is not alone. Little hugs and kisses, cuddles and cards are made – he chooses joy.

How do we stand the hardships of life? How do we as weary moms and wives help those in our home as they face their own hardships? We have weary pilgrims in our house who need comfort, rest, love and a replenishing of spirits. We must role model defiant joy! We must choose joy and smile despite our feelings of defeat at times..

We have the power to bring joy to our entire family.

As I walked along outside in the cold last week – something beautiful caught my eye. My hydrangea was blooming – yes, it was nearly December in Ohio and one little bloom was fighting to survive. As a matter of fact it seemed defiant. In the midst of hardship, even snow – that bloom smiled and glistened in the November chill! Oh to be strong like this bloom. To be able to smile in the face of hardship.

We do have a choice – will you choose joy or defeat? On our own – we will be defeated. But when we walk with the King – Romans 8:37 tells us: “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.”


As I grabbed my camera to capture this bloom with definat joy – it winked at me and whispered, “see me, I can rise up and sparkle in the sunshine despite the fact that I am surrounded by trouble and death. You can too!”

Walk with the King,

I Was a Recipient…

I was a recipient…of a random act of kindness!

Yesterday I was grocery shopping in Aldi with both kids. We were in the meat department and the children were buzzing around this poor woman like bees swarming a hive! I asked the children to please stand by the cart – so they did.

The woman smiled and said “it’s okay, I have 3 of my own, I know how hard it is.” I apologized and said “well, you are here without them so you deserve a moment of silence and not my kids bothering you. Enjoy your moment.” We both laughed and smiled and then I finished my grocery shopping.

When we got in line there was long row of poinsettas by the cash register being sold. This same woman happened to be in line in front of us and she continued to watch my interactions with the children and smile at me. And I watched her as she picked up one poinsetta after another. I admired them and said how beautiful they are.
She checked out. I checked out. And as I began to bag my groceries…she walked up to me with a poinsetta in hand and said “this poinsetta is for you. I can see that you sacrifice a lot for your children, you need to do more for yourself. You deserve this.”

I was floored, surprised and overwhelmed. A stranger is giving me this beautiful flower for no reason! I didn’t deserve it. I hadn’t done anything special to receive it. And there I stood holding a poinsetta – humbled by her words of praise.
I wanted to give her something in return – but I had nothing to give her (offering her some bagels or green beans didn’t seem appropriate! lol!) So I received her gift and out the door she went and the children began asking 100 questions: “Why did she give it? Do you know her? What did she say?…” I just smiled from ear to ear and said, “She’s a kind woman, we need to be like her.”
When Jesus sent his disciples out in Matthew 10:8 he commanded them “Freely you have received, now freely give.” This poinsetta whispers this verse to me. I did nothing to receive it. I received it freely.
This holiday season, you have received the love of Jesus freely. Now we must give it away. It starts with a smile, a kind word, a hug, maybe even a gift. Not just to those you truly do love in your family and friends – but even to strangers. Freely give the love of Jesus to everyone around you!
Hebrews 13:1,2 says “Keep on loving each other as brothers. Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it.”
Give a random act of kindness today! Who knows as Hebrews 13: 2 says, you may even bless an angel!

Walk with the King!

Video Blog: How To Deal With Difficult People

Don’t forget to pause the music on the sidebar!

“You learn to speak by speaking, to study by studying, to run by running, to work by working; and just so, you learn to love by loving. All those who think to learn in any other way deceive themselves.” – Saint Francis de Sales

Walk with the King!