The only thing that counts

faithlove1I started a new journal (one of about 10 – don’t judge) this year for recording verses and thoughts that strike me in a new way. I have read through many of the books of the Bible several times, but, as I have said before, I truly believe that the Spirit reveals things to us from the word in a new way as we are needing them or as we grow and become ready to receive them. To that end, I have decided to journal these verses as they present themselves with the significance they have to me at that moment in time. Just the other morning while I studied I wrote down this verse. “…the only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.” (Galatians 5:6) There is so much meaning layered in these few words. On the morning that I wrote them, I truly was thinking about serving and loving on the people whom God has brought into my life – mostly through Celebrate Recovery and our new church home. And I whole-heartedly believe that truly, as a Christian, our faith is expressed through the way we love those around us. This morning, though, as I re-read that verse, it presents a new, slightly different meaning. I think of this verse today in terms of my covenant with Brian. We just celebrated our first anniversary. I would be lying if I said that everyday of that first year was like a honeymoon, with rose pedals and violins,etc. We had our challenges. Not only the challenges presented by trying to blend our families (I use the word BLEND very loosely), but also just the ups and downs of really learning each other and living together AND growing in our walk with God at the same time. At times, we were overwhelmed and thought that maybe our expectations of this covenant we had made with each other and God were too much. We were very intent on the fact that our marriage was priority and that God was using our love and our union to make us more holy. But in the day to day “muck” of life – that all seems too lofty and leads to disappointment. I am certain that God brought Brian and me together for His purposes. I am certain that Brian is the man God intended for me, and I am so grateful for the love that we share. This verse this morning really spoke to me as far as Brian and my marriage is concerned. We can get bogged down in daily life, raising kids, paying bills, highs, lows, failures and disappointments. But when we take time to be still and to share with each other, “the only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.” I am made more holy through this covenant. I am learning to love like Christ loved through this covenant. I sit here in the middle of a home that has, at times, felt broken and failed…and I am more certain than ever that I am where God called me to be. My faith in God is being expressed through this love.

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One year later

The weekend is over – at least according to the calendar. But it is still being replayed in my mind over and over.  It was a weekend that we had anticipated and looked forward to for some time. On December 10, 2010 Faith Passage played our first “show” at Now or Latte Cafe in Trenton, Ohio. We had only begun writing songs a few months prior to this – but couldn’t wait to get out there and share them with people. A lot has changed in this last year Continue reading

Mr. Intensity

I wrote this poem several years ago about my son. He must have only been about 9 years old at the time I decided to write about him and his nature. Growing up, my daddy wrote poems about my sister and me and I can remember how special it made me feel. I wanted to try to follow that same tradition and write about my children. As I revisit this piece now, I chuckle a bit at the last line…”my little man.” My little man now towers over me…has feet twice the size of mine…and I believe his heart has grown even bigger and more caring! 


ZACH

 

They call him

“Mr. Intensity”

On the field

 

But it fits

Him

In everyway

 

He is passionate

And intense

Emotional and loyal

 

The kind of personality

That draws a crowd

And then entertains them

 

He in tender

And caring when

No one is looking

 

He will have his

Heart broken

Many times

 

But it will not

Change his intense

Caring nature

 

He is my

Little man

Zach

The Evolution of a Guitar Player

Some of my earliest memories of music as a child are of the acoustic guitar. I can remember my daddy picking up his guitar with the strings curling wildly around the tuners (not sure why he didn’t ever cut them) and playing “Froggy Went-a Courtin.'” My whole family was very musical and both of my older brothers played the acoustic guitar. We also listened to a lot of bluegrass music (still a favorite to this day) and I marveled at the sounds that came from those guitars and banjos and mandolins. I am certain that all of this exposure to acoustic instruments is what has always fueled my passion for those sounds. When Brian and I formed Faith Passage he had never played the acoustic guitar but rather grew up playing and learning on an electric guitar. I worried that he would not be as intrigued by the acoustic but certainly hoped it would grow on him. Watching his evolution as an acoustic guitar player has been amazing, rewarding, and definitely enlightening. Brian is NOT content with imitating anyone else. He has taken to this new instrument and in a very short time period has developed his very own style. He looks toward other guitar players for inspiration and “ideas” but always takes what he learns and makes it his own. Everywhere we play, people comment on his style and sound. I am so blessed and honored to be able to write and perform with such a talented, gifted musician. I often don’t want to put lyrics over the stuff he comes up with because it could stand alone – beautifully. Brian is an original. He is disciplined and talented and never afraid to try new things to push himself beyond his comfort level to create amazing music. It has been such a memorable journey watching him grow and evolve as a guitarist, and artist, and a person. I am so grateful for my earliest memories of music and the guitar, and so thankful that those memories carry through in our own music today.

Small blessings

This morning I am faced by the always present pile of pool/beach towels. Dozens of them…waiting to be washed – again – folded and stacked. It has become my morning ritual, gathering damp – sometimes soaked – towels from around the pool, chairbacks, bathroom floors, and occasionally hanging from a towel rack – go figure. Now, one might think that I am complaining about this morning routine…but I am not. I actually am counting it as a blessing. I am blessed to have two wonderful, healthy children to spend time in the pool this summer. I am blessed to have three more children in my life who help create happy pool memories that will last forever. The giant stack of pool towels each day are a reminder of how much I do have and how happy it makes me to be surrounded by family and those I love. So this morning, I’m counting that big load of laundry as a small blessing!