Recently I've been talking about how badly I sing but how this is not stopping me from Ethel Mermanizing my household, despite traumatizing my little dog. I think the Lord is using the singing theme to teach me, which is good because I've been searching for a column topic, due in a week or two. If I write about what God shows me, it solidifies it for me, plus I have a great topic.
So this morning, another Monday in life, I'm asking myself, "What song will I sing this day, this week?" That is, like a tune that gets stuck in my head, what principles will I rehearse throughout the next few days--will they be glass half-empty or half-full thoughts--will I put Jesus first--will I be the best [plug in family role] that I can be? One thing for sure, I want the Lord to be my first thought in waking up, my last in lying down, and my constant companion throughout the day.
As I lay in bed every morning praying before I get up, I often think of this Sara Groves song, "First Song that I Sing." Here are snippets of my favorite lyrics which have become my prayer, as well:
In the morning when I rise
Help me to prioritize
All the thoughts that fill my day.
Before my schedule
Tells me that my day is full
Before I'm off and on my way
I want to praise you
I need to praise you.
Let the first song that I sing
Be praises to my God and King.
Before my feet hit the floor, I'll praise
you Lord, I'll praise you Lord.
Before I fill my cup, I'll lift you up,
I'll lift you up.
Before I start my day, I'll sing Your praise,
I'll sing Your praise.
Before I start my car, before I get too far....
Let the first song that I sing
Be praises to my God and King
Yesterday at church, I listened to a young man with ALS talk about cherishing life, seeking reconciliation, and facing eminent death. His strained words were moving and completely brimming with the fullness of the Lord--not bitterness or fear. His "song" is sweet in what could be the bitterest circumstance.
Also through church, I am becoming acquainted with mother of 3 who has ALS. There is no father of her children in their lives. In addition, each child has Fragile X Syndrome, with all the ensuing challenges. She has now given up the job of her dreams, a helicopter RN, because of her illness. She recently blogged:
"This morning I turned in my resignation from PHI Dove Flight. I am leaving the career I love. This is my chance to demonstrate that I am more than "what I do"....we all should be more than what we do, but it is so easy to go through life defining yourself by your job, or other external influences. This is my chance to eek out the joy in life's simple things that I have missed by working so much. Maybe I'll find time to scrapbook some of my 1000's of photographs. At the very least, maybe I will LOOK at every one of them again. I have some wonderful memories, and the happiest of those memories are times I spent with my children...not times I was working. Oh, sure, I've had fun at work and I've cared deeply for some of the people I work with, but when I look back and wish for "time slowed down" it isn't for more time at work, but more time hugging my kids, playing with them, being a mom.
If I could slow down time it would be to enjoy -- no fully cherish -- the people in my life. From now on I resolve to do my best to do just that. I'm now out of excuses!
I will miss my career more than I can say, as I will miss many of the wonderful, talented and intelligent people I have worked with these past two-and-a-half years. I have learned so much, and still had so much to learn. Now I get to figure out new ways to keep my brain sharp, and my mind clear. Drip calculations for fun????
Today truly is the first day of the rest of my life.....how I spend it is up to me."
These two are singing such faith-filled songs--yes, the songs are bittersweet, but they are full of the peace and joy of trusting in their Father, no matter the circumstances. Incredible.
I chose this picture because it's a sparrow in hand--a great reminder of how His eye is on us and how He holds us tenderly because we are fragile.
Lord, I want my first song to be You. I want to thank you, praise you, and love your children, especially the ones I'm just meeting, who are physically weak but sing full-out about your faithfulness. Their songs are ringing out and not returning void. Be my life's First Song.