Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Thankful Hearts

A crafty post, hooray!!

As a family we seem to keep coming across this theme of thankfulness. I'm noticing my lack of thankfulness has rubbed off on my mini people and I want to help them learn this lesson of being thankful in everything now.

So I came up with a way to help give them a picture of thankfulness: I made a jar we can fill with "thankful hearts."I'm actually pretty excited about this idea and had a lot of fun making it. And with Valentine's Day just around the corner, I thought it couldn't be more perfect timing and I can share this with the world (or my world, at least), too!

So here goes...

The supplies I used:

  • 11" x 14" poster board (bought a pack of 5 at Hobby Lobby for less than $2)
  • pencil
  • Medium tip Sharpie Pen (my favorite pen ever!)
  • Colored Pencils (I bought a whole pack just for myself)
  • Red and pink construction paper
  • Scissors
  • Glue stick

I took my pencil and a sheet of poster board and freehanded a jar (I'm no artist, so it isn't anywhere near perfection, but I'm sure my loving children will think it's awesome! ;) I also found myself saying in my best Captain Jack Sparrow voice, "I got a jar o' dirt." over and over, much to my husband's entertainment). 
I freehanded some fun letters so it reads: "A thankful heart prepares the way for the Lord," which is based off of Psalm 50:23 and an Enter the Worship Circle song called "Come Fall on Us." 
I went over all of my pencil lines with my favorite pen so they would be darker and more visible.
I added a little color to spruce it up in an attractive-to-the-small-ones kind of way.

Then I cut out a bunch of little hearts from the red construction paper.

I made 20.

I used my favorite pen to write "thankful" on each one.

I was in a goofy mood...

I used the pink construction paper to make a cute little envelope to hold all the little hearts. I could have used a baggie or a regular envelope, but I was feeling especially creative.

Now I will sit down with the mini people and explain to them the Father's desire for us to have thankful hearts so He can use us and bless us as He sees fit (because, after all, that's what any good daddy longs to do). 

They can earn the hearts by responding to not getting their way with thankfulness instead of throwing a fit; or by being selfless with their things, including time, toys, treats, etc.; or by being particularly thankful in any other way their little hearts dream up on their own! Each time they earn a heart we will tape it to the jar. 

When the jar is full of all 20 hearts we will get to have a special treat - like going out for frozen yogurt or spending extra time at the park or having a friend or two over for a celebration... 

And what's to say we can't start filling it all over again??

I'm incredibly excited to do this with my precious little ones. I'm more excited for what the Father is doing in all of our hearts as we seek to walk in thankfulness to Him for all He so graciously provides and does for us.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Singing to the King Himself

As I was spending some time worshiping while cleaning tonight, this song came on my playlist and I found myself on my knees, weeping.

Let me back up some...

I LOVE to sing. It is something I've done for a long, long time. Over the years I've gone through periods of stupid jealousy, ugly pride, false humility, sweet surrender, and holding back regarding my voice.

A month or so ago I was struck with the great revelation that I connect to the Lord most easily through worship - and that's okay! I don't know where I got the notion, but for several years I had believed that worship through music was somehow a less worthy method of connecting to my God than other methods such as reading the Word and praying for hours on end. I would almost feel guilty for enjoying worship so much and needlessly reprimanded myself for getting emotional during songs.

Stupid, I know; so glad that's not how I'm thinking any more! Of course those other methods are just as important and using all areas of life to worship God is most beneficial, but that's another post for another day.

So tonight as I was sweeping the floor and singing at the top of my lungs, my mind was clouded with the many things that often cloud my mind when I'm trying to sing to Jesus:
"I better not sing too loud because that might be prideful or someone might be distracted..."
"Gotta make sure I don't sing off key because that would be embarrassing..."
"Oh wait, no one is around, I can just sing freely without thinking about what anyone would think..."

And before I had a chance to think about how ridiculous and distracting my own thoughts were and before I could make the decision to bare my heart before my God in worship and adoration, it hit me: The chorus was playing and the lyrics are, "Sing out, sing out, the King Himself is coming now..."
I suddenly pictured myself among a large crowd, awaiting the arrival of the King, everyone shouting their praise kind of like when Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey and was welcomed warmly.
I found myself planning to hold back my voice to keep from overpowering anyone else trying to bring their praise...
I stopped in my tracks.
NO!!! That is NOT what the King desires from me. He desires my everything, my full volume, my reckless abandonment to praising Him with all of my being!

This is when I dropped to my knees and wept.
This is when it finally clicked: I sing for an audience of One.
This is when I fell to pieces, but knew that I was whole.

When I'm worshiping through song, I am in the very presence of the King HIMSELF! Nothing else matters. No one else's opinion matters. My performance and perfection does not matter.
I can sing out my love for Him and make my praise known to Him!

Last week we were talking about our vision as a church fellowship for 2013. One item we covered was stepping out in our gifts and not "sitting on" them, so to speak. (You can listen to Destiny Church's vision for 2013 here!)

I've always considered singing to be a gift and dreamed of having some way to use this gift to bless the Bride and, therefore, bless the Lord. I have no idea what that looks like, but I really don't care. I'm just going to sing my heart out to my King!