The Promise Brings Peace

I haven’t slept too well tonight…woken up a couple of times…up now at 3:00 am.  Part of me wants to feel discouraged, but His Spirit encourages me.  He reminds me that :

  • He loves me
  • He’s given me a promise
  • He’s always with me
  • and He has a plan

My Lord keeps bringing the lyrics of this song to my heart and mind this morning, as I breathe a sigh of relief:

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The Martins The Promise lyrics

I never said that I would give you silver or gold
Or that you would never feel the fire or shiver in the cold
But I did say you’d never walk thru this world alone
And I did say don’t make this world your home

I never said that fear wouldn’t find you in the night
Or that loneliness was something you’d never have to fight
But I did say I’d be right there by your side
And I did say I’ll always help you fight

‘Cause you know I made a promise that I intend to keep
My grace will be sufficient in your time of need
My love will be the anchor that you can hold on to
This is the promise, this is the promise I’ve made to you

I never said that friends would never turn their backs on you
Or that the world around you wouldn’t see you as a fool
But I did say like me you’ll surely be despised
And I did say My ways confound the wise

I didn’t say you’d never taste the bitter kiss of death
Or have to walk thru chilly Jordan to enter into rest
But I did say I’d be waiting right on the other side
And I did say I’ll dry every tear you’ve cried

‘Cause you know I made a promise that I’ve prepared a place
And someday sooner than you think you’ll see me face to face
And you’ll sing with the angels and a countless multitude
This is the promise, this is the promise I’ve made to you

So just keep on walking don’t turn to the left or right
And in the midst of darkness let this be your light
That hell can’t separate us and you’re gonna make it thru
This is the promise, this is the promise I’ve made to you
Oh, this is the promise, this is the promise I’ve made to you

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*You may listen to this song here.

I’m Resting In Hope…

…My Hope is in Jesus…nothing less; nothing more.

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“Uphold me according unto thy word, that I may live: and let me not be ashamed of my hope. Hold thou me up, and I shall be safe: and I will have respect unto thy statutes continually.” –Psalm 119:116-117

“Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.” –Romans 5:1-5

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My Hope Is Built (The Solid Rock)

Words By: Edward Mote; Music by: William B. Bradbury

My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly trust in Jesus’ Name.

Refrain

On Christ the solid Rock I stand,
All other ground is sinking sand;
All other ground is sinking sand.

When darkness seems to hide His face,
I rest on His unchanging grace.
In every high and stormy gale,
My anchor holds within the veil.

Refrain

His oath, His covenant, His blood,
Support me in the whelming flood.
When all around my soul gives way,
He then is all my Hope and Stay.

Refrain

When He shall come with trumpet sound,
Oh may I then in Him be found.
Dressed in His righteousness alone,
Faultless to stand before the throne.

Refrain

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**Hymn lyrics found here. You may listen to this song here.

The Blessings of Hymns…

…and so much more…There are just so many daily blessings God bestows on each of us!

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Last Sunday morning, I felt a joy I hadn’t felt in a while. It was wonderful!! I wanted to get up. I was excited about the new day. I wanted to go to church and sing hymns. In fact, a couple of hymns had been playing in my mind all morning, and they were such a blessing to me…

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I just keep thinking about the words and what they mean to me, and I’m so thankful to God. If any of you have ever dealt with severe depression, hopefully, you also know the incredible relief and joy of seeing the clouds of despair float away (or at least part for a while). To me, it is a miracle…something I cannot do on my own…

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At Calvary

Words: William R. Newell, 1895. Music: Daniel B. Towner

Years I spent in vanity and pride,
Caring not my Lord was crucified,
Knowing not it was for me He died on Calvary.

Refrain

Mercy there was great, and grace was free;
Pardon there was multiplied to me;
There my burdened soul found liberty at Calvary.

By God’s Word at last my sin I learned;
Then I trembled at the law I’d spurned,
Till my guilty soul imploring turned to Calvary.

Refrain

Now I’ve given to Jesus everything,
Now I gladly own Him as my King,
Now my raptured soul can only sing of Calvary!

Refrain

Oh, the love that drew salvation’s plan!
Oh, the grace that brought it down to man!
Oh, the mighty gulf that God did span at Calvary!

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**Note: I found the above hymn here.

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Have Faith In God

By: B.B. McKinney, 1934

Have faith in God when your pathway is lonely.
He sees and knows all the way you have trod;
Never alone are the least of His children;
Have faith in God, have faith in God.

Have faith in God when your prayers are unanswered,
Your earnest plea He will never forget;
Wait on the lord, trust His word and be patient,
Have faith in God. He’ll answer yet.

Have faith in God in your pain and your sorrow,
His heart is touched with your grief and despair;
Cast all your cares and your burdens upon Him,
And leave them there, oh, leave them there.

Have faith in God though all else fall about you;
Have faith in God, He provides for His own:
He cannot fail though all kingdoms shall perish.
He rules. He reigns upon His throne.

Refrain:

Have faith in God, He’s on His throne,
Have faith in God, He watches over His own;
He cannot fail, He must prevail,
Have faith in God, Have faith in God.

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**Note: I found the second hymn here and over here.

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**Note and Update: I admit that this Sunday morning was more difficult, but I rejoice that with the Lord’s help, I was still able to press on. (Of course, once I went on to church, I felt better and better.) Yes, I realize that I cannot expect to wake up every morning full of joy and anticipation of the new day. However, for each day, I can say a prayer of thanks and ask for God’s help to move forward.

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“Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.” –Isaiah 26:3

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This Is Where I Am…

I just heard a song that describes my position so well. I’m sure I’ve probably heard it many times before, but just now, I REALLY listened. All too well, I recognize the feeling behind these lyrics. Yes, I’m at another impasse, but I don’t have to stay here. My Lord will help me use this stumbling block as a stepping stone…

As the song says, I’ve got nothing without Him. Easily distracted or not, I MUST hear His voice. Only He can show me the way…

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Revelation

(By: Third Day)

My life,
Has led me down the road that’s so uncertain
And now I am left alone and I am broken,
Trying to find my way,
Trying to find the faith that’s gone
This time,
I know that you are holding all the answers
I’m tired of losing hope and taking chances,
On roads that never seem,
To be the ones that bring me home

Give me a revelation,
Show me what to do
Cause I’ve been trying to find my way,
I haven’t got a clue
Tell me should I stay here,
Or do I need to move
Give me a revelation
I’ve got nothing without You
I’ve got nothing without You

My life,
Has led me down this path that’s ever winding
Through every twist and turn I’m always finding,
That I am lost again (I am lost again)
Tell me when this road will ever end

Give me a revelation,
Show me what to do
Cause I’ve been trying to find my way,
I haven’t got a clue
Tell me should I stay here,
Or do I need to move
Give me a revelation
I’ve got nothing without You
I’ve got nothing without…

I don’t know where I can turn
Tell me when will I learn
Won’t You show me where I need to go
Oh oh
Let me follow Your lead,
I know that it’s the only way that I can get back home

Give me a revelation,
Show me what to do
Cause I’ve been trying to find my way,
I haven’t got a clue
Tell me should I stay here,
Or do I need to move
Give me a revelation
I’ve got nothing without You
I’ve got nothing without You

Oh, give me a revelation…

I’ve got nothing without You
I’ve got nothing without You

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**You may listen to this song here.

Five years…

…Yes, almost five years ago, my son was born, and once again my life was changed forever. Tomorrow is my little Kerry’s birthday. He was born at 10:31 p.m. on September 25th, 2003 (only 25 hours after my water broke!). He had a very rough beginning…

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When Kerry was born, he was unresponsive, limp, and gray. While witnessing the frightened look on the doctor’s face, my husband held back the tears. Baby Kerry was promptly whisked out of the room, as the doctor went out to call the pediatrician. The next time I saw little Kerry, he was attached to all kinds of tubes. His face was covered with some sort of breathing apparatus, and he was hooked up to a couple different IVs and monitors.

The next thing I knew, my son was being transported to another hospital. I was told not to worry, yet how was that entirely possible? However, I thank the Lord for the special peace He gave me, as my husband and I prayed with my father-in-law. Even though things looked pretty bleak, I knew that Kerry would be alright (God assured me in my heart).

Although God had given me peace, things were still incredibly difficult. I cried when I couldn’t be with little Kerry. I cried when I couldn’t hold him. Scott and I both felt so helpless and confused at the fact that our baby couldn’t eat on his own at first. I remember thinking that it didn’t make sense to me, because all babies are born knowing how to eat. However, little Kerry was so weak and exhausted that all he wanted to do was sleep. In fact, every night at the hospital, Scott and I took turns force-feeding our little baby. Around the clock, Scott and I would feed Baby Kerry tiny amounts of formula. It was painful to have to make him stay awake to eat, but obviously, we had no choice.

However, it wasn’t long before Kerry showed his fighting spirit! Within the first week, Kerry improved so much that we were able to take him home. Then, after another week or two, Kerry was off of the special light for jaundice. Today, one would never know what a rocky beginning little Kerry had. I am so thankful to God!

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I just never imagined such difficulties with little Kerry’s birth. Of course, as it turns out, Kerry has been unpredictable to me ever since! When he was really little, I never knew what wild, adventurous thing he might try next. Little Kerry showed me right away that he had a mind of his own, and he still keeps me on my toes! He’s independent, head-strong, clever, determined, creative, and just a wee-bit mischievous. (O.k., not just a wee-bit…more like EXTREMELY mischievous!)

Kerry’s also a sweet boy, who loves to give me flowers. He loves his family very much, and he doesn’t like to be separated from any of us. Kerry often expresses how much he enjoys having us all together. When he was really little, he would cry for his daddy when Scott was at work. Even now, Kerry still tells me how much he misses Daddy during the day.

He also loves to snuggle with me before bed-time. In fact, he looks forward to our special time every night. Around 8:00 p.m., he usually announces, “Mommy, it’s our snuggling time!” I’ll sit down in the old, worn recliner, and he jumps up and wiggles his little backside right into place. He pulls a blanket up over us, lays his head on my shoulder, and holds my hand.

Kerry also not only looks up to and admires his sister Sarah, but he just adores her. He misses her so much whenever she goes anywhere without him. There’s no one he’d rather play with, and no one’s opinion means more!

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As I mentioned earlier, Kerry is mischievous and unpredictable. He’s also very sneaky and curious; all of which can be a scary combination! -D Quite often, even when he’s not doing something dangerous, he’s still challenging the rules. I learned early on to quickly check on Kerry when he suddenly disappeared. (He’s always been very good at sneaking off.) So many times, I’ve felt my heart leap up into my throat out of fear for my little boy! He’s also very good at hiding, and he has a special knack for finding small, inconspicuous places.

Kerry also just seems to enjoy finding unique places to sit and relax, which can sometimes actually be amusing. The places he chooses are interesting to me and have often surprised me. Below are a few pics to show you what I mean:

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Kerry in the sink…

…In the laundry basket…

…In the dog kennel:

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*(Other places not pictured include: inside the dryer, kitchen cabinets, and the clothes hamper.) -D

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Kerry is also VERY observant. He definitely watches EVERYTHING we do or say. Nothing seems to escape his notice; he is even very discerning of true attitudes, motivations, etc. Therefore, Scott and I better be particularly careful about our actions!

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So, whenever I hear the song “Watching You” by Rodney Atkins, I just can’t help but think of my little Kerry. I also think of Kerry and his daddy, because he is such a “Daddy’s boy.” (Scott’s not perfect, though he loves to claim otherwise! -D However, thankfully, he doesn’t have a habit of saying four-letter words! Oh, and also, by the way, Kerry LOVES chicken nugget Happy Meals! Just check out these lyrics:)

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Watching You

Artist: Rodney Atkins

Drivin’ through town just my boy and me
With a Happy Meal in his booster seat
Knowin’ that he couldn’t have the toy ‘til his nuggets were gone.
A green traffic light turned straight to red
I hit my brakes and mumbled under my breath.
His fries went a flyin’, and his orange drink covered his lap
Well, then my four year old said a four letter word
It started with “S” and I was concerned
So I said, “Son, now where’d you learn to talk like that?”

Chorus:
He said, “I’ve been watching you, dad ain’t that cool?
I’m your buckaroo, I wanna be like you.
And eat all my food and grow as tall as you are.
We got cowboy boots and camo pants
Yeah, we’re just alike, hey, ain’t we dad?
I want to do everything you do.
So I’ve been watching you.”

We got back home and I went to the barn
I bowed my head and I prayed real hard
Said, “Lord, please help me help my stupid self.”
Just this side of bedtime later that night
Turnin’ on my son’s Scooby-Doo night-light.
He crawled out of bed and he got down on his knees.
He closed his little eyes, folded his little hands
Spoke to God like he was talkin’ to a friend.
And I said, “Son, now where’d you learn to pray like that?”

Chorus:
He said, “I’ve been watching you, dad ain’t that cool?
I’m your buckaroo, I want to be like you.
And eat all my food and grow as tall as you are.
We like fixin’ things and holding Momma’s hand
Yeah, we’re just alike, hey, ain’t we dad?
I want to do everything you do; so I’ve been watching you”

With tears in my eyes I wrapped him in a hug.
Said, “My little bear is growin’ up.”
And he said, “But when I’m big I’ll still know what to do.”

“‘Cause I’ve been watching you, dad ain’t that cool?
I’m your buckaroo, I want to be like you.
And eat all my food and grow as tall as you are.
By then I’ll be strong as superman
We’ll be just alike, hey, won’t we dad
When I can do everything you do.
‘cause I’ve been watchin’ you.”
hey yeah
uh huh

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**Note: You may listen to the above song here.

**P.S.: Like I stated earlier, Scott and I both have to be careful of our actions! I don’t know if Scott’s prayed that exact prayer, “Lord please help me help my stupid self,” but I sure have!

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To my little Kerry, I just want to say:

I love you very, very much!! Happy Birthday, Kerry!!

I Say “Thank You!”

Thank You

By: 33 Miles

What if in the morning when I wake up
Even before I fill my coffee cup
I said thank you
Thank you

What if I looked at the day and the hours ahead
and before I moved forward I bowed my head
I said thank you
oh, I said thank you

What if I looked at my life in a different way
took a little more time to stop and pray
I know it would change all the moments in between
so here I go

Thank you for everything
Thank you for loving me
it don’t even matter what tomorrow brings
well I will sing my

Thank you for sun and rain
for what you give and take away
for all your goodness I will always say
thank you
oh, I said thank you….

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It’s really been on my mind and heart, so I just had to include at least a portion of the above song in today’s post. (You may view the song in it’s entirety and obtain a “listening link” when you visit this previous post here.)

Well, I guess I’d better get on with this week’s list. The only other statement I’d like to make first is that this is the easiest weekly post for me to participate in, because I never run out of “material!” There are always things to be thankful for, and I thank and praise God for that. I truly enjoy and benefit from doing this weekly post, because it really helps me to purposely look back at the week and make note of all the wonderful blessings!

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I Thank The Lord:

–that my husband has a job, and for the monthly paycheck he receives. We may not have the funds to do much extra, but I sure am thankful for being able to pay the bills (and pay them on time!).

–for the family get-together and outing we had with Scott’s family this past weekend.

–for the long quiet time I had with the Lord this past Sunday (I really needed it, and I was able to pour out my heart to Him about several different issues). I’m also grateful for the help of the Holy Spirit when Dad and I sang at church Sunday morning. All the way around, this past Sunday was a very nice day. I also enjoyed the choir practice we had that night…I thought it went great, and I enjoyed the fellowship and laughter as well.

–for the blessed time at the Senior Citizens luncheon on Monday. I’m glad I went (I had to push myself a little because of other things to do, feeling a little tired, etc.). It felt good to serve, and the kids had fun playing with Matthew.

–for the two boys mowing my yard Tues. They came well-prepared (with a riding mower, a push mower, and 2 excellent trimmers), and they did a great job. (I have just not felt up to doing it lately, and our weed-eater has been broken for months!) Our yard looks great, and the best part is that I didn’t have to do it! ;-) Instead, while they were mowing the yard, I was cooking pancakes with Sarah, and enjoying some quality conversation with both the kiddos! -D

–for all the things I have been able to get done today! I am SOOOO thankful for the help I received from Sarah and my niece Rachel! (Yes, I did pay them a small allowance, but it was well worth it! -D I have to admit, the kids do a much better job when they know they’re getting paid a little! Also, I figure it’s good for them to learn about earning something, the value of a dollar, saving, etc.).

–for His protection, provision, and guidance today. (Scott was working some from home today, so I took his car to get the oil changed, while he was here with the kids).  I was having trouble deciding where to take it, since my regular trusted place was over-scheduled.  Anyway, I got some recommendations to go to a local tire place.  I was quite skeptical when they mentioned the need for new front tires (since I had figured on not being able to get out of a tire place without them telling me I needed new tires! ;-) )

Anyway, so I went and looked for myself (many years ago, I had some prior experiences with driving on VERY unsafe tires and wheels…giving my Guardian angel a workout! -D ). Yep, the guy didn’t even have to show me…as soon as I glanced at the left front tire on the rack, I recognized the familiar sight.  The only difference this time was that unlike me, my husband had actually inspected the outside rim of the tires before.  The problem was that one couldn’t easily see the uneven, dangerous wear on the interior side of the tire (like you could once it was on the rack).

Yeah, o.k., so a small part of me wasn’t real thrilled with the extra, unexpected expense today, but I am still VERY thankful!  You see, every day, my husband drives a long commute to work on a major interstate with heavy traffic.  Of course, the last thing he needs is a blow-out or a flat-tire!  So I am quite grateful that we discovered the dire situation of the tires, and that we were able to get it taken care of today!  -D

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**For more Thankful Thursday posts and participants, please visit Iris @ Sting My Heart.

Fount of Blessings

Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing

By: Robert Robinson, 1758

Come, Thou Fount of every blessing,
Tune my heart to sing Thy grace;
Streams of mercy, never ceasing,
Call for songs of loudest praise.
Teach me some melodious sonnet,
Sung by flaming tongues above.
Praise the mount! I’m fixed upon it,
Mount of Thy redeeming love.

Sorrowing I shall be in spirit,
Till released from flesh and sin,
Yet from what I do inherit,
Here Thy praises I’ll begin;
Here I raise my Ebenezer;
Here by Thy great help I’ve come;
And I hope, by Thy good pleasure,
Safely to arrive at home.

Jesus sought me when a stranger,
Wandering from the fold of God;
He, to rescue me from danger,
Interposed His precious blood;
How His kindness yet pursues me
Mortal tongue can never tell,
Clothed in flesh, till death shall loose me
I cannot proclaim it well.

O to grace how great a debtor
Daily I’m constrained to be!
Let Thy goodness, like a fetter,
Bind my wandering heart to Thee.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
Prone to leave the God I love;
Here’s my heart, O take and seal it,
Seal it for Thy courts above.

O that day when freed from sinning,
I shall see Thy lovely face;
Clothed then in blood washed linen
How I’ll sing Thy sovereign grace;
Come, my Lord, no longer tarry,
Take my ransomed soul away;
Send thine angels now to carry
Me to realms of endless day.

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I’m Thankful For:

–The sacrificial love of Christ, His forgiveness, and His grace as described in the song above. I thank Him for His daily “fount of blessings.” I’ve thought of the above hymn many times in the past couple of weeks. {I especially identify with the verse I’ve placed in bold. I love how He gently and lovingly nudges me along when I start to wander (as the human heart is prone to do, like the verse states).}

–The wisdom, discernment, insights, and revelations that the Holy Spirit has shared with me this past week.

–The family gatherings we had this past Sat. and Sun.

–The open discussion we had at church this past Sun. night.

–The gift of God’s Holy Word. (I like the quote by Dwight Moody about the Bible that Pastor Jim recently shared with our church…”This book will keep you from sin, and sin will keep you from this book.”)

–The gift of prayer and knowing that God hears and answers prayer.

–The strength that the Holy Spirit gives me and the “peace that passeth all understanding.” (I love the scripture –2 Cor. 4:8-9 and the song Trading My Sorrows that goes along with it. )

–Photographs and memories…Oh, how precious they are.

–My new teenage S.S. class and what they’re teaching me.

–My family and what my kids teach me each and every day about life.

–Cousins, friends, and neighbors for the kiddos to play with and enjoy.

–My husband Scott going to work for our family every day during the week. I’m thankful for his providing for us and for his guidance, leadership, and love.

–Some relief from the bad headaches, neck pain, and ear pain.

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**For more Thankful Thursday posts and participants, please visit Iris @ Sting My Heart.

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**Above lyrics were found here.