Mary Again

Our church had their Christmas cantata this past weekend and I was Mary again. This means that Kyle was Joseph of course, and for the first time we had our baby be Jesus (I’ve had the honor of holding other babies for the past few years). 


Weeks ago I was asked to sing a song while holding my baby. I listened to the song and cried. I knew if I was going to sing this song with my daughter that I would have to get over the lyrics. Give Me This Night is a beautiful song about Mary asking to just be Jesus’ mother and he be just her son for the night. Let him be just my son, not the savior, for just a night. The bridge of the song is what got me:

God you gave him to me, And I gave him life. Now with him in my arms, And me in his eyes, This is much more than I ever could wish, You can have his tomorrows, But please grant me this. Give me this night, to just be his mother. Give him this moment to just be my child. He has the rest of his life to be Savior, but so little time, to simply be mine. So give me, please give me this night.


Being a new mom I have a whole new look on Christmas (as well as other things). For the first time I identify with Mary as a mother. She carried him for 9 months, endured the pain of child birth, and has the overwhelming feeling of being the mother of the Savior. This song may seem selfish on Mary’s part, and scripture doesn’t say that she asked God for this, but singing this song with Hannah got me. Even after practicing with her several hundred times, I cried. I cried with joy! Just like Mary must of recognized she wouldn’t have much time with her son (because time flies!), I realized I don’t have much time with Hannah. I cannot slow down time and keep her longer. She will grow up, and she will move out one day (a LONG time from now), and I will look back and cherish these moments I have now. It won’t be long before she won’t want to be rocked to sleep, or want to be carried everywhere. I know if I blink she’ll be headed to school or driving. This weekend was special, and I will cherish it forever. 

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My Victory

For those of you who haven’t picked up on it yet, music is a love of mine. As a former dancer, I was moved by music, physically and emotionally. As a so-so singer, I am drawn to music, especially the lyrics. It’s no surprise that Hannah loves music with how much I listen to music. She was stuck with it the entire time she was in the womb. Music leads me into worship and a time of prayer. Music prepares my heart to hear from God. Music is my introduction to God’s sermon.

My Victory by David Crowder has a line that moves me, but it also grabbed Kyle’s attention (as a non-music person, it’s a big deal when he notices a song). “A cross meant to kill is my victory.” Think about that line.

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Today the cross is everywhere. We wear it as beautiful jewelry. We polish it in the church sanctuary. We wrap purple fabric around it at Easter. But when Jesus was crucified the cross was a sign of certain death. It was the form of capital punishment for its day. It was a rough cut timber meant to kill whomever was nailed to it. The cross was meant to kill.
I know as a young girl my parents bought me a beautiful necklace with a cross on it. My Grandma Betty gave me a golden cross to hang in my bedroom. My view of the cross was skewed. I knew Jesus died on the cross for my sins. I had accepted him as Lord and Savior of my life at the age of nine, but my view of the cross was beautiful. The first time I think I realized how gruesome it actually was is when The Passion came out. I was 13 and saw it in theaters. I cried and cried. They treated my Savior like a criminal, and he had done nothing to deserve it. Before that moment I had Book knowledge about it, but it didn’t really register until I saw the Hollywood version. And how much worse the actual moment must have been.

The cross was meant to kill. It isn’t polished jewelry. It isn’t beautiful home decor. It is a sign of certain death. But that certain death that Jesus bore is my victory. Jesus died on the cross so that I didn’t have to. The cost of my sins, my wrongs, my disobedience to God is death, eternal separation from Him. Jesus was the ultimate sacrifice for all of the sins ever committed, or that will ever be committed. Because I have accepted Jesus Christ as the Lord of my life I have overcome sin and death.

“Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves the father loves his child as well. This is how we know that we love the children of God: by loving God and carrying out his commands. In fact, this is love for God: to keep his commands. And his commands are not burdensome, for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.” (‭‭1 John‬ ‭5:1-5‬)

So this song is just beautiful. As it celebrates the cross, but also recognizes that the cross meant to kill is my victory.

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Forgiven

Have you ever heard a song that moves you? Not your hips or feet, but your soul? This song makes my salvation from sin seem so much more unbelievable. Why would Jesus, who lived a perfect life, die for me, a sinner? 

David Crowder sings this beautiful song and it brings me to tears almost every time I hear it. The part that grips my heart is when it says, “God, I fall down to my knees, with a hammer in my hand, You look at me, arms open, Forgiven!”

So many times we think of Jesus’ sacrifice as one done by the Roman soldiers. After all they are the ones who actually nailed him to the cross. Or maybe we blame the Jewish leaders. Because they are the ones who yelled “Crucify him!” But really, my sin put him there. He died for me. He wouldn’t have to if we hadn’t been sinners. We nailed him to the cross and he laid there willingly. He could have saved himself and not have gone through the suffering. But he chose to die for me, for you, for all mankind. I am so thankful he has forgiven me.

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My God is…

Have you ever had a moment when you suddenly understand something? I don’t know that I will ever fully understand who God is, but last night as I was driving to a youth event (car full of pizzas, drinks, and Little Debbie’s) an older song came on the radio. I can remember singing You Are Holy when I was on the praise team as a teenager but I don’t think I grasped everything I was singing then. I’m not sure I grasped everything I was singing last night but it gave me a glimpse into who God is…

You are Lord of lords, you are King of kings, you are mighty God, Lord of everything, You’re Emmanuel, You’re the great I am, You’re the Prince of peace, who is the Lamb, You’re the living God, You’re my saving grace, You will reign forever, you are ancient of days, you are Alpha, Omega, beginning and end, you’re my Savior, Messiah, Redeemer and friend, you are my Prince of peace and I will live my life for you!


Today, be reminded of who God is, what He has done for you, and just how small you are in comparison to Him.

Strangely Dim

As a young christian girl it was impressed upon me that as soon as you did it you would get pregnant. Then as a young married woman I thought that as soon as you did it without protection you would get pregnant. I had heard the stories from my parents about how I came sooner than they thought I would. Kyle had heard from his parents about how protection doesn’t always work. We just assumed that as soon as we decided we wanted children, we would be able to have them.

The first few months we didn’t think too much about it. I read a few articles and decided not to worry until after a year. We didn’t tell any one we were trying because we just knew that any month now we were going to be pregnant and get to make a big announcement!

As that first year approached an end we decided we should probably let our immediate family know about our situation. Some of the things they were saying and asking were more hurtful than they knew. Why won’t you give us grandchildren? We want to have someone to spoil…have a baby. They didn’t realize that we were hurting internal with each comment. We didn’t realize how badly it would hurt to hear the same things we had been hearing for the first two and half years of our marriage. It didn’t bother us then, why does it make us cry now?

In these early months of trying to have a baby I heard a song, Strangely Dim by Francesca Battistelli. The lyrics spoke to me so deeply and moved me to tears each time I would hear it.

I’ve got all these plans piled up sky high I had planned out everything about my life. Why was this plan not working?

A thousand dreams on hold— I avoided buying clothes because any day I was going to be buying maternity clothes. I avoided planning to travel because what if I was SUPER pregnant when the time for the trip came?

And I don’t know why,
I got a front row seat
To the longest wait — I had been waiting for nine months for my husband to be on board. Now I was waiting even longer for a baby.
And I just can’t see
Past the things I pray
Today — I couldn’t see why my prayers weren’t being answered. I couldn’t figure out what I was supposed to learn so that God would send me a baby. I was so focused on me, my prayers, my wants…

But when I fix my eyes on all that You are
Then every doubt I feel
Deep in my heart
Grows strangely dim — When I would stop focusing on the lack of pregnancy and focus on my relationship with God everything else seemed to fade away. It was God and me, and I was good.
All my worries fade
And fall to the ground
Cause when I seek Your face
And don’t look around
Any place I’m in
Grows strangely dim — When I would let everything go and only search for God, I didn’t worry about all of my worldly struggles. 

Sometimes where I stand
On this narrow road
Is in a raging storm
Or a valley low — This journey felt like a storm. A valley. A desert. 
But oh oh oh oh oh oh

When I fix my eyes on all that You are
Then every doubt I feel
Deep in my heart
Grows strangely dim
All my worries fade
And fall to the ground
Cause when I seek Your face
And don’t look around
Any place I’m in
Grows strangely dim —God was what I needed to keep my eyes on. The bible was what I needed to be reading. My heart needed to be searching after the creator, not the created.

I don’t know, I don’t know
What tomorrow may hold — I didn’t know when God was going to send me a baby, or if he was going to. 
But I know, but I know
That You’re holding it all —  The best part was that I knew God was holding everything together. He knew when and if a baby would be in my plans.
So no matter what may come

I’m gonna fix my eyes on all that You are
‘Til every doubt I feel
Deep in my heart
Grows strangely dim
Let all my worries fade
And fall to the ground
I’m gonna seek Your face
And not look around
Til the place I’m in
Grows strangely, strangely, strangely dim.

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God reminded me through this song what to stay focused on. HIM! He reminded me who was in charge. HIM! God comforted me through this song many times.

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