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God Is Close to the Brokenhearted


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This morning as I was driving in my car I had Jesus Culture playing. I usually have some worship album playing in the morning to set the tone for the day. And Jesus Culture is one of my favorite worship bands. The song playing as I drove was “Heaven is Here,” and the words seemed to just be a bit louder this morning. They seemed to stick a bit more than any of the other times I have listened to this song.

Here are the lyrics:

We won’t stop crying out to Him
Cause He hears us everytime
Yeah He hears us everytime

We won’t stop pouring out our love to Him
Cause He loves us everytime
Yeah He loves us everytime

Wake up, the normal life
You can do what ever You want to
Shake up eternal signs
Because we want you

We won’t stop going out to Him
Cause He meets us everytime
Yeah He meets us everytime

We won’t stop living only for Him
Cause He’s faithful everytime
Yeah He’s faithful everytime

Wake up, the normal life
You can do what ever You want to
Shake up eternal signs
Because we want you

Wake up, the normal life
You can do what ever You want to God
Shake up eternal signs

Cause heaven is hear now
He’s all around us
Heaven is Jesus
It’s the moment we meet

Wake up, the normal life
You can do what ever You want to
Shake up eternal signs
Because we want you 

These words really were echoing in my head, “We won’t stop crying out to Him cause He hears us every time…We won’t stop pouring out our love for Him, cause He loves us every time…We won’t stop going out to Him, cause He meets us every time…We won’t stop living only for Him, cause He’s faithful every time.”

This morning my heart was breaking, as it is another month of not being pregnant (if you haven’t followed my journey up till now, check out my past posts in regards to infertility and my faith). Another month of feeling defeated and crushed. Another month of feeling as if the enemy was doing a victory dance on top of my head and laughing the whole time, as I sobbed on the inside and then began sobbing on the outside.

BUT GOD. God knew all of this even before I woke this morning. He knew how my heart would break. He knew the defeat I would feel. He knew the lies the enemy would feed me. And He knew He would be there for me no matter how crushed I was. And He chose to speak to me through a song. He chose to remind me of His faithfulness, His love, His strength, and His hope. He wrapped His arms around me as my mind began whirling in a hundred different directions. As the questions began coming like a freight train. As insecurity and doubt began creeping in. As the enemy began throwing his fiery darts at me, my God became my shield and my fortress and my comfort. As He ALWAYS is.

Once the song ended and another song began to play, I felt the Holy Spirit whisper to me, “Choose joy.” I sat in my car and began saying that to myself…”Choose joy, Jaclyn. Choose joy.” I firmly believe that one of the enemy’s biggest weapons against us is our own feelings. He was trying his best to get me to sink into a dark place this morning, and just like the faithful Father that He is, God showed up and began speaking life into me.

Am I still brokenhearted that I have no celebratory news of a little Turner this month? Yes, but I know that my God “heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds” (Psalm 147:3) and “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit” (Psalm 34:18). So I can keep crying out to Him, because I know He DOES hear me every time. I can continue pouring out my love for Him, because He DOES love me every time. I can go out to Him, because He WILL meet me every time. And I can continue living only for Him, because He is FOREVER faithful. The enemy is a liar. My God is my everything, and I will praise Him despite my feelings. I will praise Him even if I have questions. I will praise Him simply because He is The Great I Am, and I know He loves me more than I can ever fully understand.

My friend, I have no idea what you may be experiencing or what lies the enemy might be telling you, but what I do know that God will never fail you. He will always be there for you, and He will always be your shield. Drive into Him even if you don’t understand. Drive into Him even if you can’t feel Him. Drive into Him even if you can’t see Him. He is there. I promise you that.

He’s The Remedy


I am going to start this post off by getting the ugliness out of the way. I didn’t sleep very well last night, at all. I was having some pains that were making it difficult to get comfortable. At 1:30 am my eyes popped open, and I wrestled with myself to go back to sleep. There was no way I was going to get up and do anything at that time of the night (I mean, those days are long gone). I finally got myself back to sleep only to have my eyes pop open again at 3:40 am. Ugh. This time it was a combination of needing to go to the bathroom and Alaska (our husky mix pup…..she is almost 7 months old, so get a picture of Godzilla in your mind) whining at my feet. I got out of bed and headed straight to the bathroom. I thought I would figure out Alaska’s problem after I dealt with mine. Alaska surprised me as I came out of the bathroom. She was sick. Again, picture Godzilla being sick. At 3:40 am, this dog had to get to sick. Really? I mean, doesn’t she know people sleep at that time of the day? So, half awake I proceeded to clean up her mess, only to discover this wasn’t the first time she had been sick while I was getting my beauty rest. Seriously?!? After I got everything cleaned up, Alaska and I headed back to bed. My alarm woke both of us up at 6:30 am, and we started this cycle all over again. Alaska, this time, was escorted outside so that she could be sick to her heart’s content without having to worry about having to clean it up. (Yes, I do have a heart and I love my dog dearly. Don’t start thinking I am all Cruella Deville over here.) Let’s just say the spring in my step this morning hasn’t been very “springy.” More like a zombie walk where one foot just gets dragged along for the journey. 

It was finally time to take the kiddos to school. Austin, Kirstin, Princess (the Chihuahua), and myself loaded up in the car and headed to school. I felt like it was a David Crowder Band kind of morning, so I hooked up my iPhone and played a bit of the Remedy album and a bit of the Church Music album for our morning commute. God has such a way of speaking (or singing) into our lives at exactly the right moment and with exactly the right words. We tend to miss it at times, but this morning I heard Him loud and clear. As the music played my attention was perked when the song “Remedy” played (from the Remedy album). 

He is the one Who has saved us
He is the one Who forgave us

He is the one who has come 
And is coming again
He’s the remedy

Oh, I can’t comprehend
I can’t take it all in
Never understand
Such perfect love come
For the broken and beat
For the wounded and weak
Oh, come fall at His feet
He’s the remedy
He’s the remedy

 

I began thinking on how the worst of days cannot compare to the saving grace and saving power of Jesus. He is the remedy for it all. He comes in like the knight in shining armor and makes everything right. Not even a lack of sleep stands a chance against Him. 

Then, my attention was drawn again to the song “Shadows” (Church Music album), as I heard these words:

Life is full of light and shadow 
O the joy and O the sorrow 
O the sorrow 

And yet will He bring 
Dark to light 
And yet will He bring 
Day from night 

When shadows fall on us 
We will not fear 
We will remember 

When darkness falls on us 
We will not fear 
We will remember 

When all seems lost 
When we’re thrown and we’re tossed 
We remember the cost 
We rest in Him 
Shadow of the cross

 

Again, God was reminding me that He has me. Zombie walk and all. He has me in His hands, and He’s not letting me go. No matter if I am plagued with a lack of sleep, unexplained secondary infertility, not feeling good, and whatever other situation and circumstance I can find myself in, He has me. 

I can rest in the shadow of the cross, knowing that Jesus Christ is the remedy for it all. He makes all things new. ” See, I am making all things new.” (Revelation 21:5) He makes wrongs right. He turns darkness into light. He holds me safe in His arms despite the chaos that may surround me. He brings joy where there is pain and sorrow. He brings hope when it seems all hope is lost. He brings love where there seems to be none. He brings grace where there is shame. He is the remedy. There is nothing too great for Him. 

Come fall at His feet, He’s the remedy. He’s the remedy. 

Listen to Remedy here:http://youtu.be/4DPdWn7m3I0

Listen to Shadows here:http://youtu.be/7TF35CmGB4k

Is Your Marriage A Def Lepard Jam Session or Elevator Music Snooze Fest?


 I have had marriage on my heart lately. My heart is heavy for struggling marriages. It saddens me to hear of marriages falling apart, couples who have become strangers, and marriages that just seem to be at a stand still. This is not at all what God desires for marriages. Marriages should be flourishing, thriving, and growing. (I am not saying that it will be easy, so don’t go all whacked out on me here.) But God wants the best for us, and that includes our marriages!  But it does require effort on our part (*gasp*, you mean we actually have to do something?!) Yep, you heard me right. We have to WORK at keeping our marriages flourishing, thriving, and growing.

As I was driving yesterday, I popped the Def Lepard CD in the CD player and cranked it up (hang with me, I have a point to this madness). As the CD began to play “Pour Some Sugar on Me” (my Mom is probably shaking her head at this), I began thinking on marriage again. Yes, Def Lepard brought marriage to my mind. I began thinking, “What if all marriages were more like a Def Lepard jam session, rather than a grocery store/elevator music snooze?” What if marriages were rockin’ instead of dropping? When we feel that our marriage is more like an elevator music snooze fest, rather than a Def Lepard rock out session we need to put effort into cranking it up. We have to fight for our marriages, and not just give up. You may be saying, “But you don’t understand. He leaves the toilet seat up all the time.”  “He/She doesn’t understand me.” “He doesn’t take time with me.” “She nags me all the time.” “We just drifted, and I am not sure of how to get back to each other.” Well, all of these things may be true, but that doesn’t mean you have to throw in the towel and give up. Here are some things that you can do starting today to put the “rockin” back in your marriage:

1. LOVE your spouse. Even if you are not feeling “in love” with your spouse, love them anyway. Love is not just a feeling, it is a verb. Put love into action. Show love by doing something for your spouse that you know they will appreciate (let him go play golf or go fishing, buy her favorite box of chocolates for her just because, fix his cup of coffee in the morning, help her with dinner, etc.). Show love. Take action!

2. Pray. God is there. He knows how you feel. Talk to Him about it. Ask for His guidance, His strength, and His grace. Don’t work out of your own strength. Turn to God and lean on Him. Pray with your spouse too. Prayer is such an intimate tool that God has blessed us with, and it is beyond powerful!

3. Forgive. Yep, forgive your spouse. Let go of the things that nag you about your spouse. Don’t hang on to things that aren’t worth the time and energy. The toilet seat being left up is NOT a major issue. Her choice of movies is NOT a major issue. If your spouse offends you or hurts your feelings, let them know this (in a kind and gentle manner) and then forgive them. Don’t hold grudges. Offer grace to one another.

4. Celebrate. Celebrate the good in each other. Look for the good things in your spouse, and celebrate them. Give encouragement instead of always pointing out the things that you don’t you like about your spouse. Build each other up by celebrating each other. Everyone loves a celebration! Celebration and encouragement go a long way (much longer than those nagging words).

I pray that whatever stage your marriage is in right now, that your marriage will flourish, thrive, and grow. I pray that your marriage will be a Def Lepard jam session and not an elevator music snooze fest. It’s gonna be tough some days, but it is worth the hard work. So, crank it up & have a rockin marriage!

*If you are in an abusive relationship please seek professional & pastoral counseling.

Grace & Peace

Metallica Moments


Have you ever had a moment where you feel like you could be the lead for a heavy metal band, or some other form of loud rock band? I have those from time to time, and today well it was a “Metallica” kind of moment. There was no other band that I could imagine myself in other than the infamous (and one of the greatest of all times, in my opinion) band that had us (and still has us) rocking out to tunes such as “The Unforgiven”, “Nothing Else Matters”, “Enter Sandman”, “One”, “Fade to Black”, and “For Whom the Bell Tolls.” Good times. Good times.  This morning as I cleaned bathrooms and such, Metallica played loud & proud on my blackberry, and I could imagine myself on stage belting out the tunes with James Hetfield (oh yea full-blown hard rock concert mode going on in my head). As my cleaning came to an end (or at least a break), I turned off the music and decided to chill on FB a bit.

 As I was looking over my news feed, I came across a blog post on “You Are My Girls Community” that resonated with me. It was prayer post. A cry for God to have total control. A plea for the Most High to have His own way within us. A prayer to be totally broken before God so that He can put the pieces back together as He so desires. My heart smiled. My Metallica moment was over, and it was replaced with a “Have Thine on Way Lord” moment. Such a peace and joy, knowing that God is in control. Knowing that God has His hand upon us. Thank you Jennifer, for sharing your heart this morning through your post. And thank you God for speaking into my heart.

Grace and Peace

P.S. Here’s the link to the post on You Are My Girls Community’s page. http://www.youaremygirls.com/2011/05/19/1572/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+YouAreMyGirls+%28You+Are+My+Girls%29&utm_content=Twitter

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