Do you hear what I hear?


quote origin unknown; I found it on Google.

The girls’ watched the newest Elena of Avalor episode last week.  I caught a few minutes of it, and ya know what? It made me cry!  You might be thinking I’m crazy or a highly emotional woman (and I’m not going to say you’re wrong…), but hear me out.

The tears started to burn in my eyes when the town rallied together behind Elena and walked in unity toward the castle (which was being run by an evil sorceress). But they weren’t just walking, they were singing.  Singing with pride for their country and hope for the future.  “This is our time!” And that’s when the tears fell from my eyes and I was overcome with emotion.

WHY??  What about this rally had me emotional?  And why doesn’t every choral number do this to me?  Do I get all choked up when the townspeople storm the castle in song with vengeance on their hearts in Beauty and the Beast? Um…no. I do not.

So I thought about the times I’ve gotten emotional over music in the past.

  • The end of Les Miserables, when the cast is raising their voices in hope and/or victory. “Do you hear the people sing?” and “One Day More!” (Les Miserables flash mob)
  • Elena leading her people into battle (or what could’ve been battle).
  • The Frankie’s Holiday Apple commercial.  Every. Single. Time.
  • Quiet, acoustic songs packed with meaning. (Thinking of Andrew Peterson Music here.)
  • Worshipping my God with other Christians, lifting our voices together in hope, thankfulness, and praise. I can hardly get through songs without choking up because of the magnitude of Who I’m singing to, and what He’s done for me. (Listen to In Christ Alone.) [Along those lines: there is so much power in Christians singing to God with their voices alone, the instrument He made for us. It’s beautiful, untainted by human hands, worship.

After thinking about why and how music stirs up my emotions, I came to the conclusion that it’s the hope offered in the song. The hope, which often is accompanied by pain, brings me to tears. And there is vulnerability when people are singing together through their pain for praise, thanksgiving, or a hope of victory. (I wonder if that’s what God hears in our songs of worship?  A willingness to be vulnerable….)

The morning I cried over my kids’ tv show, I also heard a brief encouragement from She Works His Way on making sure our life-song is harmonizing God’s melody.  Then, my dad and I had a wonderful discussion on music and it’s power to draw up emotion and feeling.  He showed me something he wrote a while back that popped up on his Facebook Time-hop:screenshot_2016-08-25-15-03-42-1

Isn’t that beautiful?  As a music girl, the thought of my God, my Creator, singing over me?! That delights my soul more than words can express.

Do you hear what I hear? Does music take your emotions and heart to a place all its own? I’d love to know your thoughts!  Feel free to comment or send me an email.

What is Love?

“All you need is love.”  “We are called to love.”  “Love conquers all.”  “Love is my religion.”  “I love you.”  “Love > fear.”  “Love is love.”

But what is love?

“I’m giving you a new commandment: Love each other in the same way that I have loved you. Everyone will know that you are my disciples because of your love for each other.” ~Jesus, John 13:34-35

Tolerance.  Acceptance.  No change required.  Just the way you are.  Hugs and kisses. Warm fuzzies.  Holding hands as we all walk through life going different directions…. that’s love.

Or is it?

No, sweet friend.  That’s not love.  At least, not true love.  That isn’t deep in the heart, all consuming, life altering, I’d take a bullet for you, love.  It isn’t love at all really.  Because if you don’t have all consuming love, what do you have?  If love doesn’t change you, what is it good for?  If love doesn’t challenge you and make you grow to be better than you ever thought possible, why bother?

If Jesus was all about tolerance, acceptance, and making sure everyone felt good about their choices, why on earth would He have died?  Why would they have killed Him?  No.  They killed Him because He challenged them to do better, to live better.  To change their thinking, their perspective, and their hearts!  He demanded a different life than they had been living, and nothing else was acceptable by God.  But He loved?  Yes.  He loved so greatly that He kept going.  He let them do terrible things to Him because He loved and He knew His greater purpose.  He loved His Father God more than anything this world had to offer.  He submitted to that love and purpose because He loved us.  Because without change there is no eternal hope.  So He endured.  He loved.  And He died for it.

 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor, and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you this: Love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you. In this way you show that you are children of your Father in heaven. He makes his sun rise on people whether they are good or evil. He lets rain fall on them whether they are just or unjust. If you love those who love you, do you deserve a reward? Even the tax collectors do that!  Are you doing anything remarkable if you welcome only your friends? Everyone does that! That is why you must be perfect as your Father in heaven is perfect.”  ~Matthew 5:43-48

Love is sacrifice.  Love is patient. Love is kind. Love is humble. Love is confident. Love is selfless.  Love seeks the good and wellbeing of others. Love is forgiving.  Love does not exult wrongdoing. Love delights in Truth. Love sustains. Love believes. Love hopes. Love abides. [See 1 Corinthians 13 ]

Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.  I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.”

~John 15:4-11

Do you want to change the world?  Do you want your community to be a better place?  Love like Jesus.  He turned the world upside with His love. The Father’s love.  It doesn’t make sense to our self-serving humanity.  It isn’t touchy feely and strictly emotional.  This kind of love, HIS kind of TRUE Love, is hard. It goes against our impulse to fight back and take everything personally when we are wronged, but this love has a powerful purpose far beyond ourselves and our own agenda.

Real love will change your life. It will call you to action and boldness. Love will turn you inside out and show you who you are at your very core. But it won’t leave you there.  Thank God that His Love doesn’t leave us there.  His love changes us and shapes us into being more like Him when we let it.  And from there, His love changes the world.


A new journey…

Most of you may know by now that the Husband and I decided to homeschool our beautiful girls for their early elementary years. It’s a decision we don’t take lightly and one that we came to prayerfully and intentionally.

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“I have stored up your word in my heart…” ~Psalm 119:11a

Homeschooling has provided us with the opportunity to teach reading and writing through the Bible and memorizing scripture.  It has given us the blessing of knowing our children on a level we wouldn’t have otherwise.  The first week we sat down to work, I remember looking at Bel and thinking, “wow… I had no idea you knew this.”  How wonderful it is to see my child and know her capabilities and limitations.  To be able to challenge her and be there when the lightbulb of clarity goes off in her head.  What a treasure.

That being said…

Some days it is hard.  SO hard.  Some days our sweet girl wants to throw her hands up in the air because she doesn’t want to read or write.  She was in tears one morning because there were too many numbers swirling around in her head. I hurt with her on those days.  I give her the breaks she needs, but also push her through the tears.  Because I want her to be strong and resilient, and this is a process that is strengthening me as well.

And some days are beautiful and fun.  Some days, we see lots of people and she gets to learn things from all of them. Some days we make clocks and do easy math to help ourselves feel accomplished. 🙂


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When your kid learns by doing, you let them DO as much as possible. 🙂

Homeschooling… a fun, new, challenging journey of which I am grateful and blessed to be a part.

Another new journey for me? Plexus.  Yes, you read that correctly.

I’ve been “kicking against the goads” so to speak, for a couple of years now.  I heard about Plexus right about the same time I jumped into coaching, so I pushed everything Plexus to the back of my mind.  I am so grateful for the time I spent as a coach because I learned so much about myself and got to go on that journey with some truly AMAZING people. (People I will always hold dear to my heart!) But, when the time came to stop being a fitness coach, Plexus was STILL at the back of my mind.

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that’s right, folks.

My college BFF has been taking these products for about 2.5 years now and she has been able to keep her celiac under control because of it.  Not to mention pregnancy with twins that didn’t wipe her off her feet, but quite the opposite! She was doing CROSSFIT up until 32 weeks. She delivered her beautiful twins at 37 weeks (6+lbs each).  She doesn’t claim that her pregnancy went so well BECAUSE of Plexus (and I love that about her), but she DID say that she noticed her energy lagged on the afternoons she didn’t have her Slim and her legs cramped during the nights she forgot her BioCleanse.  Just sayin…..

SO.. fast forward 6 months (from when I stopped coaching), and here I am.  Starting a new journey as a Plexus Ambassador.  I’ve tried ProBio5, Xfactor family chewable for the girls, and the XFactor vitamin in the past and really liked them. Tomorrow morning I will take my first “pink drink.” I am eager to see how it helps my energy levels, quick tempered “mom fits”, and occasional anxiety/depression. (To be honest, I don’t struggle nearly as much with those as I used to because of God’s grace coupled with intentional prayer and study. But I would like to not have the anxious feelings to being with, and Plexus has helped many friends of mine in that area.)

I cannot wait to see what God does in me through this tool for achieving and maintaining good health! If you have any questions please feel free to send me a comment or email.  If i don’t know the answer, I will do my best to find it. Thank you for supporting me, friends! Love you all dearly.