Held

Natalie Grant made this song popular a few years ago.

The lyrics of this song would probably shock anyone who doesn’t understand the peace that God provides in the darkest times of our lives. Regardless of what has happened, we can trust that He is in control and He is our comfort.

I’ve always wondered who wrote the song and today I stumbled across her website. She has a post that describes the three stories of the ladies who inspired her to write that song. The URL is below.

Two months is too little.
They let him go.
They had no sudden healing.
To think that providence would
Take a child from his mother while she prays
Is appalling.

Who told us we’d be rescued?
What has changed and why should we be saved from nightmares?
We’re asking why this happens
To us who have died to live?
It’s unfair.

Chorus:
This is what it means to be held.
How it feels when the sacred is torn from your life
And you survive.
This is what it is to be loved.
And to know that the promise was
When everything fell we’d be held.

This hand is bitterness.
We want to taste it, let the hatred numb our sorrow.
The wise hand opens slowly to lilies of the valley and tomorrow.

(Chorus)
This is what it means to be held.
How it feels when the sacred is torn from your life
And you survive.
This is what it is to be loved.
And to know that the promise was
When everything fell we’d be held.

Bridge:
If hope is born of suffering.
If this is only the beginning.
Can we not wait for one hour watching for our Savior?

(Chorus)
This is what it means to be held.
How it feels when the sacred is torn from your life
And you survive.
This is what it is to be loved.
And to know that the promise was
When everything fell we’d be held.

Christa Wells describes her inspiration for the song “Held”:

http://www.christawells.net/what-it-means-to-be-held.html

Natalie Grant’s rendition of “Held”:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iOufqWodFNo

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Alive Again

A recent artist I’ve been listening to is Matt Maher. He’s a Catholic CCM artist who mostly focuses on worship songs. My favorite is Alive Again. I love the way he belts out the lyrics! He has described the scene that inspired him to write that song in this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OyBkwpsAb4Q

If you’ve ever been up and outside before the sun rises, you know how beautiful it is. Slowly, you begin to hear a bird here and there chirping. The sky gets more and more beautiful in the east as well as in the west. The gentle breeze begins to blow, the product of heat from the sun. And then it is day.

Here are the lyrics to his song, Alive Again:

I woke up in darkness. Surrounded by silence. Oh, where. Where have I gone? I woke to reality losing its grip on me oh where, where have I gone? I can see the light before I see the sun rise.

You called and you shouted. Broke through my deafness. Now I’m breathing in and breathing out. I’m alive again. You shattered my darkness, washed away my blindness now I’m breathing in and breathing out, I’m alive again.

Late have I loved You. You waited for me; I searched for You. What took me so long? I was looking outside as if love would ever want to hide. I’m finding I was wrong. Cuz I can feel the wind before it hits my skin.

Chorus

Because I want You, yes I want You, I need You and I’ll do whatever I have to just to get through cuz I love You and I love You.

Chorus

Random Thoughts

I’ve read a few articles recently that encourage single women to go ahead and buy themselves nice dishes and furniture (instead of waiting for marriage to get those things). I confess I have been waiting for marriage for those things. However, I will never again buy the cheapest silverware at Wal-Mart. It’s terrible! I am saving money for a nice couch, but it will be awhile since I’m also saving for a car and paying off my college debt first. The couch I have is terrible, really. Another reason I haven’t paid much attention to homemaking is because I’m working on my Master’s. That’s a significant amount of money and time right there. See, I’m full of excuses! But, I welcome any great ideas for couches and chairs for my table. I only have two chairs that go with my table. Ah, who cares? It doesn’t matter to me AT ALL that I don’t have matching dishes and matching chairs around my table. Does it really matter?

I’m listening to my iPod Shuffle the Willards bought me for Christmas. It’s stinking amazing!! I can’t wait until the weather gets a bit warmer so I can go running with it! I wonder if I’ll find myself jamming out to it on my runs. That would look silly. Maybe I should practice somewhere privately before I go out where people can see me!

Today at church I found out that a young missionary who visited our church just two weeks ago died of a brain aneurism. Hugo and Sarah Liborio worked for Score International in the Dominican Republic. They came to our church with their two little kids (one just born in October!), and we were all instantly blessed by their enthusiasm for their work and their fire for the Lord. Hugo couldn’t stop smiling as he told us his testimony, and the story of how he and Sarah met, worked together, married, and started their family. The Liborios were set to return to the DR later this month, I think. It’s so sad to have lost a young father and husband. However, knowing the way he lived and the good work he has done, I can’t help but think that he is rejoicing in Heaven! Please remember Sarah and her two children. I’m sure her grief is tremendous. There is a  group open to all on facebook called “Remembering Hugo Liborio” where people tell wonderful stories of Hugo, and Sarah explains what happened with his death.

I helped Jon with the cattle a couple times over break. Christmas Eve was windy and cold, but we got it all done! I don’t know how he gets all that stuff done every day by himself! Amazing. And, I don’t know how Dad was able to do all that when Jon and I were just babies. Farmers rock. Period.

But, the reason I brought that up was that I can’t seem to get the manure smell out of my two pairs of jeans and coat! I’ve washed them twice and now they’re on the third washing! Whew! Any tips?

Christmas Season

Tonight, my church had its annual Christmas program. Families provide musical acts, children put on a program with the Christmas story, and everybody leaves with a goody bag! I organized a small choir to sing “In the First Light,” a song I loved singing at Sterling College. I also played flute duets with Sally, our pastor’s wife. It was fun! I forgot how much I enjoy playing! The kiddos were adorable, and their little program had the typical mistakes in it, like not talking loud enough, costumes falling off (the sheep were literally shedding as the crawled up to the stage!), and people missing their entrances. But, you gotta love it! I’m so blessed to have found a vibrant church in this little place!
Our last day of school is tomorrow, FINALLY. I miss my family very much!!!  Then, I’m planning on grading everything that’s been piling up for the past week, cleaning my house from top to bottom, doing all my laundry, and making a shopping list for the trip home. Yes, I’ve not done one iota of shopping for Christmas. (Except Katie’s gift, which I need to mail.) So, I suppose I have to brave the Christmas Eve’s Eve crowd, one of the things I HATE to do. It’s all my fault though. I didn’t plan ahead.
Oooo, I need to write my Christmas letter, too! Oh, it’s stressful, isn’t it?

I wish we could de-commercialize Christmas just a bit. I know Jesus wouldn’t have enjoyed watching greedy people shop around this time of year.

I guess one reason I don’t already have all this stuff done is that I’ve actually had a social life lately. :)  I have friends! Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights were spent here or there with my friends, eating way too much sugar and pizza, watching “White Christmas,” and playing games. It has made the stress of kids, finals, and everything else much easier to deal with. I love my friends!

Feels like I’m falling and that’s what it’s like to believe

“Letting Go” by Francesca Battistelli
My heart beats, standing on the edge
But my feet have finally left the ledge
Like an acrobat
There’s no turning back

(Chorus)
I’m letting go
Of the life I planned for me
And my dreams
I’m losing control
Of my destiny
It feels like I’m falling and that’s what it’s like to believe
So I’m letting go

This is a giant leap of faith
Trusting and trying to embrace
The fear of the unknown
Beyond my comfort zone

(Chorus)

Giving in to your gravity
Knowing You are holding me
I’m not afraid

(Chorus)

Feels like I’m falling and that’s what it’s like to believe
Feels like I’m falling and this is the life for me
(Francesca Battistelli / Ian Eskelin / Tony Wood) © 2008 Word Music, LLC (ASCAP) / Bridge Designer Music, Inc., Honest and Popular Songs (SESAC) (Adm. by Multisongs, Inc) / New Spring Publishing Inc., Row 9 Seat J Songs (ASCAP)

I love this song! Battistelli has a rich, almost 1940s sound to her voice. And the song, though it talks about something that’s kind of serious, is very upbeat and carefree. Some songs are like that, and I think it’s strange. For example, Mercy Me’s “So Long Self” is full of lighthearted rhythms and melodies, yet it’s talking about a radical and extreme attitude to life–not thinking about yourself. That’s not a common attitude in America today. But, back to “Letting Go.” I think I like it so much because I’ve been holding on so tightly to the dreams that I have for my life–namely getting married, having kiddos, having a nice house stocked with normal kitchen utensils that work and match :) and having the perfect job (or being the perfect teacher). This song prompts me to just let go of it! God has a plan, and I don’t need to worry about it or stress over it or get depressed about it. His plans for my life are far better than the meager ones I can dream up. And, He knows exactly what I need (and, truly, He is the only one who can find it for me!).

One quote that reminds me of this mindset of sacrifice I found in Corrie Ten Boom’s “The Hiding Place” (a book you MUST read!). She says, “I hold all things loosely; that way, it doesn’t hurt so bad when God pries my fingers off of them.”  So, I’m letting go!

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