Under the Desk

Under the Desk

From the Authors Music Video

and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them. ~Luke 2:7

We have three young children. It is a really wonderful and fun time of life. It can also really be tiring (I need a nap). However, the one thing life never is- is dull. Life is not dull with three young children. No.

Which brings me to the dilemma of Christmas present shopping. We need a babysitter to go pick out Christmas presents. And yes, we both need to go. I have proven that I have terrible taste in gifts (picking out only educational* (aka non-fun) gifts, or cheap gifts that break quickly). And maybe I could leave it all to my husband, but where is the fun in that? So we got a babysitter. I was overly optimistic that my youngest was going to do well with a babysitter. He had survived the first test run with her. We had put a movie on as soon as she arrived and returned home while the movie was still going. I don’t think he even noticed we’d left the house. So yes, I was over confident that this date was going to go well. … … Until the babysitter texted us before we’d even finished our dinner (we were making it a real date):

[The youngest] ran upstairs about 15 minutes ago. He won’t come back down. He is hiding under the computer desk with his blanket and says he won’t come out until you come home. He is okay as long as I don’t go by him. What should I do?

I saw that text, stood up, and headed for the door. My husband, slightly more sane and less impulsive than I am, slowed me down. We called the babysitter and made sure she was okay with the situation. We gave her a few ideas to ‘lure’ him out, and then I sat through the rest of dinner with the phone clutched tightly in my hand waiting for her to text or call me with more news. The genius babysitter turned on his favorite TV show, and this led to him coming to the top of the stairs, and then he sat on the stairs to watch his show, and by the time we came home he was sitting at the kitchen table playing Gone Fishing with big sister and the babysitter.

Now here’s the thing. I get my youngest. I understand two-year-olds. Because I’m still a lot like him. I don’t want to try new things. I like things the way they are. Change is scary and hard. I want to hide under the computer desk with my blankie at times too. Thankfully I have a level headed man who takes me by the hand and drags me out into society. And thankfully I have a grace filled God who relentlessly pursues me.

Relentlessly.

All throughout time you can see God pursuing His People. And foolishly we keep messing up. We turn to other gods, we think we can do it ourselves, we chose evil… we mess up! But Advent, this time of year, it’s not about presents (educational or not). It’s not even about the cookies (I do love the cookies). This time of year is the reminder that even though we are the sinners, the mess makers, the unworthy, God who is infinitely worthy and holy has chosen us. He has come into this world to redeem and reclaim us. And what has He given us? The very things we are pleading for: forgiveness, peace, rest, redemption, grace. We are filled to overflowing, when we let ourselves be filled and satisfied with Jesus Christ.

As this Christmas season is quickly advancing, I keep thinking how I need a little rest. And how perfectly this song fits into our busy Christmas schedules. If I were a part in the Christmas story, I think I would (unfortunately) be the Inn Keeper. So busy with my own little mundane tasks, that I would miss the birth of my savior, right down the street. So inwardly focused on wanting my own rest and peace, that I would not realize the Prince of Peace had arrived. I have been reflection on this a lot, as I listen to one of my favorite Christmas CDs. I hope you enjoy this song by Jason Gray:

Lord, you came! You did it! You found a way into our world, and into our hearts. Help us to be more aware of You, and all that you have done. Help our hearts to turn towards You, help our ways to be more like your ways. Help us to be more like the shepherds, willing to drop everything and run to worship you! Help us to stop looking in the wrong places for peace and rest, but to trust in You. To find our peace and rest in You. Thank you that you came! Thank you that you relentlessly pursue us- that no matter how many mistakes we make, you do not shame us or hurt us. Instead you fill us with your love and peace. Again and again, you extend peace and love to us. Thank you! In Jesus name, Amen!

~Lindsay

*this year I picked out a fraction game for my eldest. Yes, a fraction game. Sounds thrilling doesn’t it? This is the kind of present my child will bring up later in life as a sort of comedic horror story for everyone. I see ‘educational’ and I think ‘great!’

Worship

Worship

Music

 

At my sister's wedding.
At my sister’s wedding.

 Worship the Lord with gladness;
    come before him with joyful songs.
~Psalm 100:2

We went to a beautiful wedding this weekend. It was in a small country church on the edge of the prairie. One of those places where farmland seems to stretch on forever before meeting the sky. One of those little white churches with a cemetery right next to it. The kind of country church you can find almost anywhere. The church was so full, there was hardly any room left to sit, and that pleased me. I’ve been to country church services, and there is always plenty of room. To see a church so full, filled my heart with happiness. The bride and groom were beautiful and happy. The families were all smiling and dressed up. The ceremony was wonderful, the message perfect… but what put me over the moon was the music. It was a beautifully simple wedding, and so was the music. A piano, a guitar, and one low voice leading the entire group of family and friends in familiar hymns.

Worship.

I just keep remembering those songs, and thinking how simple it was- but how it filled my heart so completely. Worship is for God, and for us. I love that God never purposes things for just one use. When He is at work, the good is multifaceted. He can use a wedding ceremony to bless a couple, a family, and a random cousin who was so excited about a full church and beautiful music. He uses everything for good. He uses the things we love, and even the hurts we suffer, for His Good. And so, He is worthy of our worship. And worship is good for our souls. So we should worship Him!

Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe ~Hebrews 12:28

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Why, oh why, didn’t I take a picture of the beautiful church!?* Instead all I have is these three stooges, dancing along the edge of the pews while waiting to greet the bride and groom. Never knew such goofy guys!

And now for a brief history lesson (because these things always interest me): One of the hymns we sang was All Creatures of Our God and King. The words were originally written by St Francis in the 1200s- that old! In the early 1900s, William Draper arranged the music and translated the words into English, making the song we know today.

All Creatures of Our God and King

All creatures of our God and King,
Lift up your voice and with us sing. Alleluia! Alleluia!
Thou burning sun with golden beam,
Thou silver moon with softer gleam!
O praise Him, O praise Him!
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

May your heart lead you to truly worship the God who saves, the God who loves you, your Creator God. May your worship bring honor and glory to God, and may your heart be filled and healed as you worship the King of Kings! In Jesus name, Amen

~Lindsay

 *Why didn’t I take a picture of the church? Because I’m really not a professional blogger. I don’t think that far in advance. But what fun is a blog without pictures? (Answer: none.)

I Sing Because I’m Happy!

I Sing Because I’m Happy!

Encouragement Music

Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows. ~Matthew 10:29-31

this is obviously a microphone
this is obviously a microphone

Our neighbor recently had surgery, so he has been home in the middle of the day. I forgot about this when I walked outside loudly (very loudly) singing, “I sing because I’m happy! I sing because I’m free!”* Spotting him on his back deck, I froze in surprise. And embarrassment. So of course I did the adult thing… I pretended like I hadn’t seen him, and quickly high tailed it back into the house where I could snicker to myself.

My mom tells me that she can always tell if her children are doing well because we sing when we are happy. We really do. I want to get my brother the t-shirt that reads “I burst out into show tunes” for Christmas. (Don’t tell him, just our little secret) I can tell my daughter is happy because she sings and dances when she is in a good mood. My younger son is also a dancer, and starting to sing a bit. But my older son, while he sings sometimes, he’s not so much a singer. He can be very serious. But the other day one of my favorite songs came on the radio and he hollered, “Mom! Mom! It’s your song!” And then he turned up the radio and we had an impromptu dance party in the kitchen that surely would have won America’s Funniest Home Videos if we had taped ourselves. But I was so surprised that he was the one to start dancing. And I realized that he was happy. And with being in a new community and worrying about if the kids are okay, I felt really reassured.

His eye is on the sparrow, and I know he watches me.*

The song is a good reminder of our response to Jesus’ teachings.  When things aren’t going well, to remember that God sees us. Even when no one else sees us, He does. When we are sad, lonely, hurt, and even happy- God sees us. And He watches over us and cares  for us. Zephaniah 3:17 says, “The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.” (NIV) So He sings too! He sings over us- some versions say he sings loudly over us. He must be happy too.

I encourage you today to sing a song of praise to the God who loves you- even if the neighbors hear you! And if you don’t want to sing, then maybe try a dance party? But make sure to get that on video for us (hee hee hee).

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Thank you, God, that you watch over us, and that you sing over us. Thank you that you do not leave us or forsake us. Thank you that you find value in who we are. Thank you that Jesus has made a way straight to your throne room for us, and that we can come before you day or night, happy or sad. You are good, worthy, holy, and happy! We praise you for who you are, and thank you for all that you have done for us. In Jesus name, Amen!

~Lindsay

*This is the song “His Eye is on the Sparrow” by Cillvia D. Martin. You should listen to it. I don’t think you could find a bad version.