Skip to main content

a new song

"Parenting is the composing, the performing, of music, song upon song. Musicians play one right note after the next right note after the next right note. It’s not an erratic splattering of sound, a fickle, helter-skelter banging of random notes. Music has order. It is composed. Notes are intentional, considered, deliberate.

As music has rhythm, recurring refrains, order, so does peaceful parenting. One action thoughtfully follows the next action that wisely follows the next. Days of habits, fluid and lyrical, create pleasing harmony. Lives with known rhythms, thoughtful arrangements, sing.

I have flailed and I have failed.

But there is hope. Listen. Can you hear the serenade of His Kingdom? “Behold I make all things new (Rev 21:5). I am about to do something new (Isa 43:19).” We with shapeless, jarring songs may, thankfully, choose new songs."
Ann Voskamp

I am reading her book, One thousand Gifts right now, thanks to a recommendation from my friend, Jennifer. It is kicking my butt, and changing my heart. As I was sitting in bed reading with Shawn last night there were tears streaming down my cheeks, and he looked at me, surprised. When he asked why I was crying, I said, "This stupid book!" He asked me to explain more, but I felt like I couldn't - like I am at that place where there is something so new, so raw that I can't put it in my own words just yet. Though it touches my heart and soul and I long to understand and know better, it still feels like it is just out there beyond my grasp in some part.

So I told him to read the book. It's not his writing style, and he may struggle through some of it, but I have no doubt he will be curious enough to wonder what touched his wife so deeply that he will check it out.

The blurb above is from her blog, In my desire to seek out Eucharisteo (intentional life-filling gratitude) each day, I realize how much I have missed in the rat race of life. I have hurried and run, pushed and shoved, and overlooked the gifts that are given to me each day. And in the process I have cultivated the same ideas in my children. So as I am learning to savor, to be intentional, to be grateful for each moment and remember it is a gift, not a right, I am desiring to pass that on to my children.

That means changing some things in my own life. Digging up some old, deep-rooted habits of chaos and unorganization, and establishing some peaceful patterns in our family life, in our prayer times, and in our seeking of love.

My sweet friend, Jenna, uses the expression "Word Vomit" and I feel like that is what I am doing right now as I try to express what He is doing in my heart and life! But there is real life and desire and passion and hope coming back in after months (years?) of scurrying, hurrying, and hopelessness. That is going to be number one on my list of gifts for which I am thankful. And as I start to teach my children this way of living, I will sit and enjoy watching as they blossom into people who live this way at a young age. It will affect the way they choose to live and relationships they desire to have.

Lord, make us new...


  1. Heather, Thanks for this. This book has also been powerful in my life this year, also.

    I wouldn't classify this post as word vomit, which is usually the junk in your heart spilling out of your mouth. This may be stream of conscienceness, but it is the breath of life you are sharing. Thanks.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Bookends of Beauty

I love the bride of Christ.

I know that many of you reading this have seen the ugly, the broken, the spiteful.  It has been aimed at you or someone you love and the hurt has caused so much pain that you ran.  Maybe you are still physically present, but your heart is not fully in.  I understand.  We've been in full time ministry for 23 years now.  You can't be in this type of life without experiencing some of that ugliness - or handing it our yourself. 

However, I have been reminded again recently how beautiful it can be when it is done as a picture of Him. 

In the last few churches that we have been at where Shawn has pastored we have had a point in our time there where we had to admit that we couldn't do it anymore.  These churches in the States were ones that were under redevelopment - meaning on the brink of closing for one reason or another - and we were brought in to see if there was any health left and to push it in that direction if the answer was yes.  That means …

Kwaheri Kenya

It's my last night calling Africa home.

I feel like the last several weeks I have been on auto pilot - doing the things I needed to do to wrap up work well and get things in place.  This week we had a lot of goodbyes, however my eyes stayed dry and my emotions in check.

But today...

What a hard, beautiful, honoring, loving, joy and sorrow filled day.

I was standing and looking out the window tonight and feeling like this chapter has come to a close.  I don't just mean Kenya - though that is the immediate, in-your-face thing.  But this dream of living in Africa.  Ever since we spent the year in Malawi I have longed to come back and live.  We lived in the most rural you possibly could in South Sudan to the crazy chaos of Nairobi in Kenya, as well as the in-between in Blantyre.  I've seen poverty I could never have imagined, and money that I never knew existed.  I've lived on the brink of war and through insane elections.  And I've shown off this life I've loved …


Listening to music always speaks to my heart in ways that seem to break through even my most grumpy, tired, or distant flesh.  I have a current favorite right now that I could listen to non-stop, and whenever I hear it I feel like my emotions explode to the surface. 

"Peace, bring it all to peace
The storm surrounding me
Let it break at your name..."

If you've listened to Christian radio or worship in a place in with contemporary music at all you've probably heard the song "Tremble."  It's not new.  Nor is it filled with a truth I have not heard before.  But something in these lyrics touches me deeply in this time of my life.

Right before we left Kenya I spoke at our church ladies retreat.  One of the things we talked about the first night was how we are in a battle.  We so often and so easily believe the lies that are whispered to us from Satan and shouted to us from the world about who we are, our worth, and our identity.  The longer we allow these l…