It's harder than it sounds: What I learned in January

At the beginning of this year I posted about the theme  God gave me for 2013, of singing praises to the Lord all the days of my life.  “In the good times, in the bad times, in the unspeakably terrible times I would sing praises to the Lord with my whole heart.” I meant that when I wrote it and believed I would do it. What I didn't know is that this Praise Walk was going to be harder than it sounds. 

The Sunday morning after I wrote that first post, I woke up to heart chilling news. A dear friend of mine, my lifelong best friend since junior high was very, very ill. I She was in bad, bad shape. I could very well be losing my oldest dearest friend. The words I had written not two days before came back to me, almost mocking me. 

“I will praise the Lord all my life. I will sing praises as long as I live.”

Seriously? Sing praises to the Lord NOW?  I can’t think, I can’t breathe, I can’t pray – how am I going to praise Him? And for what? My friend could be dying…how do I praise God though this? 

It was very hard at that moment but I started trying to understand what it meant to praise the Lord. It was a command, not a suggestion so it was something I was supposed to do. In the good times and in the bad times and in times like these, I was commanded to Praise the Lord.  Ok, so where do I start? I should start at the beginning and praise God for Who He Is. I needed to remind myself  Who I was talking about and Who I was talking to. So I began to praise Him according to what I knew about God. I praised Him because He is a great and mighty God and beside Him there is no other. I praised Him because He is the God who sits high and looks low. I praised Him because in His hands are the depths of the earth and the tops of the mountains. And then it hit me. Somewhere in between the depths of the earth and the tops of the mountains was my dear friend which meant she was in His hands as well.  Peace began to settle in my soul. My friend was in His hands and He would take care of her. I began praise God for that.

The thing I have learned this January on the beginning of this 2013 Praise Walk is that praising the Lord all the days of my life is a lot harder than it sounds. I also learned how to do it. You have to start at the beginning, with remembering Who God Is and praise Him for it. Beginning there will lead you step by step to the place of comfort which for me was remembering that God had my friend in His hands and that He would take care of her.  In the good times, in the bad times and in the frightening and heartbreaking times, we can sing praises to the Lord because praising Him reminds us of why we praise Him in the first place. He is our God and He cares for us. And besides Him there is none other.

Yes I will praise the Lord all the days of my life and even though it's harder than it sounds, I will be able to do so  if I remember to begin and end with Him.

What have you learned this January? 
Tell us about it so we can all learn something new this month


Yep, She's at it again!

Welcome! Thanks for stopping by!

Yep, I'm at it again, rearranging the layout of the blog. After all, a girl needs something new every so often. Things will be moving around the page from time to time. It's not you or your computer so don't worry or adjust your monitor. It's just me playing around behind the scenes. 

Coffee and tea are in the kitchen. Feel free to help yourself! Hopefully this won't take long then we'll have a good chat!.


Looking Back In Wonder - 2012 Praise Review

Last January 17th, I stumbled into my doctor's office feeling worse than I could remember feeling in years. I knew I was ill but I didn't know how ill. All I wanted was something for the bad cold and sinus infection I had but after taking a look at my vitals and quite honestly my face, my doctor insisted that I be taken immediately to the hospital. I refused but she insisted and also refused to let me drive myself because not only  were my sinuses badly infected, but I had a respiratory infection, I was dehydrated, had a bad fever and my blood pressure was so high it was only by the grace of God that I didn't  stroke out. I tried to argue with her but she wouldn't let me go.  She asked me to just lie down for a minute, gave me additional BP meds to see if she could bring my BP down. I felt too bad to keep arguing so I agreed to lie down in the dimmed examining room planning to leave soon afterwards. I was determined NOT to go to the hospital
While I was lying there I started praying and very quickly the Lord spoke to my heart just as clear as a bell and said, "I give the doctors wisdom for a reason. You need to listen to her."  That shook me because it was quick and it felt like a warning. I had to admit to myself that I was feeling very terrible and that I was very sick. My doctor came back in a bit later, flanked by a nurse, and insisted again that she be allowed to call an ambulance to send me to the hospital. I think it surprised her when I agreed to go.

They kept me in emergency for over 8 hours because I refused to let them admit me. (I had agreed to go, I didn't agree to stay.) After a course of antibiotics, fluids, multiple tests and constant monitoring they agreed that I could go home and finish recuperating there. I went home, climbed into bed and stayed there for four months. I had had it. I was done. I was worn out, I was exhausted, and I was depressed. I had quit. I told the Lord that the only way I was getting up was if HE got me up. I was through.

Needless to say, God is faithful. Over a long, long, long year He did get me up out of bed and on the road to physical and emotional healing. With the care of His Holy Spirit, the care, support and prayer of family, church and friends the Lord has brought me back from a mighty long way. My first day back at church last April after months being away, I had to cling to the arm of one of my dearest friends to make it into the church. It took me a long time to have the strength to walk from one room to another in my house without resting, but slowly, bit by bit, step by step, the Lord renewed my strength and renewed my life.

One year later, with the Lord's help, I am healthier than I have been in years. I'm over 50 pounds lighter, the meds I was taking have been decreased by more than 50%. I am able to walk briskly for over 30 minutes at a time without over taxing my heart and running out of breath. Today, even with a cold, I got out this afternoon and took a victory lap around my neighborhood and didn't break a sweat.

God is faithful, God is gracious, God is REAL good and I will sing His praises as long as I live!

How did God bless you  in 2012? We'd love to hear your praise report!


With My Whole Heart

'I will praise the Lord all my life. I will sing praises to the Lord as long as I live.' - Psalms 146 vs 2, NIV 
Happy New Year Everyone! I hope everyone enjoyed their holiday season with family and friends and are looking forward to a bright and shiny 2013 that is sure to be  a year full of joy and promise!
Every year I spend time to go before the Lord and try to pick up a theme from the Word and use it as a direction to build upon throughout the new year. This year the Lord brought Psalm 146 vs 2 as my theme for 2013. The whole psalm is awesome an example of singing the Lord's praises but the second verse hit a special chord for me.

We are commanded (not requested) and granted the privilege as children of God to praise Him with our whole hearts.
For the most part we sincerely do that but in this year, 2013, I feel the Lord is saying we really do need to step up and step deeper into what it really means to Praise The Lord. To 'sing praises the Lord as long as I live' means in the good times, in the bad times, in the unspeakably terrible times we need to sing praises to the Lord. Not just speak the praises, not just give lip service but sing His praises from the very depths of our being. When you sing, you use your 'whole breath', your 'whole heart' and all of your power and strength to belt out those words. Your whole physical and spiritual being is involved when you give your all to singing. This year 2013, we need to give our whole breath and all of our power and strength to sing the praises to the Lord. For our whole lives and with our whole hearts for as long as we live, we need to sing  - sing, not just speak - praises to the Lord with our whole hearts.
There's an old saying in the church "When the praises go up, the blessings come down!" Send up your praises to the Lord this year - whole hearted, full throated praises using every bit of your breath and strength and witness what the Lord will do in your life!
Would love to hear what you are praising God for this year. Year 2013 is still young but it's never too soon to start. Sometimes it's just "Praise God that last year is over!"Let us know what you are singing praises for so we join in the song with you!