Sunday, January 24, 2010

Be Still My Soul

This is the hymn I'm teaching the kids this week. (My personal favorite.)

"Be Still, My Soul"
by Catharina von Schlegel, 1697-?
Translated by Jane Borthwick, 1813-1897

1. Be still, my soul; the Lord is on thy side;
Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain;
Leave to thy God to order and provide;
In every change He faithful will remain.
Be still, my soul; thy best, thy heavenly, Friend
Through thorny ways leads to a joyful end.

2. Be still, my soul; thy God doth undertake
To guide the future as He has the past.
Thy hope, thy confidence, let nothing shake;
All now mysterious shall be bright at last.
Be still, my soul; the waves and winds still know
His voice who ruled them while He dwelt below.

3. Be still, my soul, though dearest friends depart
And all is darkened in the vale of tears;
Then shalt thou better know His love, His heart,
Who comes to soothe thy sorrows and thy fears.
Be still, my soul; thy Jesus can repay
From His own fulness all He takes away.

4. Be still, my soul; the hour is hastening on
When we shall be forever with the Lord,
When disappointment, grief, and fear are gone,
Sorrow forgot, love's purest joys restored.
Be still, my soul; when change and tears are past,
All safe and blessed we shall meet at last.

(Photo Taken on Grand Cayman)

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Being Quiet.

So, after that blog last night about being still, I read this in my devotions this morning:

Psalm 4:4
Tremble, and do not sin;
Meditate in your heart upon your bed, and be still. Selah.

So, can I do this after I hit the snooze button? :)

Tuesday, January 5, 2010


And the topic for the day is: silence. How did I get that topic? I typed "And the topic for the day is" and then sat in silence at my keyboard for at least 10 seconds, which seemed a lot longer, thinking of a topic. Ok, I'm going to sit at my keyboard in silence for a whole minute. Ready, (wait, need to get my computer clock visible.) Go...


Wow, that was nice, really. I don't think I had a minute of silence all day. With the kids, telephone, keyboard clacking, new Wii exercise program (EA Sports - I love it!), dishwasher, sink, sizzle of pork chops browning, car engine & radio... one minute of silence didn't happen.

Even during my "quiet" time, I was reading the Bible, turning the pages, writing in my journal... nothing was still or quiet.

Just one minute. I need to do that more. Maybe I should do "quiet training exercises" where 1 minute turns to 2, then 3...

But I think I'll want something to think about during these quiet times, because I like this quote, "Your mind is a little thing. Don't let it wander off by itself."

Ok, enough for now. Go enjoy a minute of silence.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Hello, 2010!

I think the new year is a great time to make some resolutions. Sure, it's overdone and typical, but a fresh start is just that - a fresh start. I read an article recently about giving God the first of everything. Our day, our week, our money, and even our year. So why not make some resolutions that reflect that? Here are mine:

1. I was inspired this morning by our pastor to pray more. "Lack of prayer is your declaration of independence from God."

James 4:6 "God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble." A proud person doesn't pray because he doesn't need God. Well, I know I need God, so my prayer life had better get going! I asked a dear friend recently who has an amazing prayer life about the ins and outs of how to do it. She simply said, "Sit and talk with God until you feel loved." I like that.

So practically what will this look like? I'd started praying before bed with the kids and writing our requests in a notebook. We take turns each night who reads the requests. This fell by the wayside about a month ago, and I'd like it to pick back up.

Also, since Kevin is older and I'm now getting a wonderfully full night's sleep again, I am going to get up earlier and spend time in prayer before the kids get up. Give God the FIRST of my day, get it? Even Jesus did it. "Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed." Mark 1:35 Lately it has been getting squeezed in between bottles, breakfast, and babyfood.

2. I want to spend the FIRST part of our school day in God's word with the kids. This is more important than any history or science lesson. For some reason, this usually gets shoved to the end or not at all. I want to show my children that it should be our number one priority.

What will this look like, practically? I think we'll start where we left off after our Jesse tree and the Christmas story in Luke 2 and continue to go through the life of Jesus. (This might help clear up some confusion in Nate's mind when he asked at the Christmas Eve Service, "Mommy, is Jesus still a baby?" Ha!) We'll just take a chapter or less at a time, read it, talk about it, and I'll have the kids write or draw something about it.

3. I want to spend more time focused on teaching Bible Verses to my kids. Psalm 119:11 "I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you."

So, practically, what will we do to accomplish this? I finally went ahead and set up this system: Scripture Memory System. I've been procrastinating for over a year to do this, and I finally went ahead and made my own system on New Year's Day. I didn't have the right box or tabs, but I made my own out of labels and note cards, and I found a box around the house that will work.

These are the main thoughts God placed on my heart. And in closing, here's the verse that inspired the name of my blog, "Reaching Ahead."

"But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus." Phil 3:14

Happy New Year!