Put on another song

It is hard to run without a soundtrack backing you up.

Last week when I was about 15 minutes into my run, my phone (acting as my timekeeper and mp3 player) froze, probably because of an incoming email or text message. The music stopped. I guessed from another clock hanging on the wall how much longer I needed to go, and started plowing through.

Running in relative silence is tough. There was no beat to help me keep up my pace, and all I had to focus on was my heavy breathing and my feet hitting the gym floor, mixed with the sounds of Angry Birds flying through the air from the games my kids were playing.

I usually run to the same music every time I run. I know exactly what songs are coming and how many I have left. But most importantly, they help get my mind and heart focused on the reason I am running in the first place: God. My running time is my personal worship time.

When I began this running routine, these songs kept my feet going in praise to my Creator. The lyrics helped me to pray while moving forward. This is the time of the day when it’s me and God, and the music caused me to recognize and worship.

Worship syncs my life to the rhythm of God’s heartbeat. 

Worship brings clarity. So many times during a run, God has spoken to me about a mission he has for me, a person I need to pray for and encourage, or an area of sin in my life that He and I need to deal with.

Personal worship is incredibly important for every Christian to cultivate. Each of us need one-on-one time with Jesus, just talking, praising, thanking, listening. It requires making room in the schedule. It can be during a run, in the car while on the commute to work, or in the shower, but it must be intentional. Just as we want our spouse or best friend’s full attention when having a conversation, rather than texting someone else the whole time or being distracted with a TV show, God deserves that from us, too.

So, turn on the music. Crank the volume. And, worship the God who gave you breath and life.

The following is a video of one of my playlist songs I run to. I know it’s not upbeat, but the lyrics get my heart going. 🙂

Christmas Countdown Day 7: Shhhhhhh!!!!

Our Advent Scripture Passage for Day 7 is Micah 5:2-4.

“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,
Though you are little among the thousands of Judah,
Yet out of you shall come forth to Me
The One to be Ruler in Israel,
Whose goings forth are from of old,
From everlasting.”

Therefore He shall give them up,
Until the time that she who is in labor has given birth;
Then the remnant of His brethren
Shall return to the children of Israel.
And He shall stand and feed His flock
In the strength of the Lord,
In the majesty of the name of the Lord His God;
And they shall abide,
For now He shall be great
To the ends of the earth

After we read our Bible verses, I announced what our family activity would be tonight. Jackson was thrilled! We were going Christmas shopping, and he and Lauren would get to pick out gifts for each other. He immediately told me what he thought Lauren should get him: a Buzz Lightyear.

I could see all the toys he wished for dancing in his head as he grinned, but when I told him there would be a price limit for our gifts and that Buzz Lightyear was above that, his smile disappeared. He was frustrated. For him, this family activity was about what he could get, instead of what he could give.

My husband gently began talking with Jackson about why we give gifts at Christmas and that we wanted him to experience the joy of giving to others. Jackson’s attitude began to change as Matt shared this verse with him:

It is more blessed to give than to receive.

The kids loved looking down the aisles, of course first gravitating to the toys they wanted. They created quite a stir in the toy section at Walmart when they started screaming with excitement over Angry Birds toys. We split up, girls and boys, and went on the hunt for the perfect gifts for the other. After making their choices, I snuck them up for purchase without either seeing their gifts (score!) and wrapped them in at least five plastic bags so peaking would take some serious effort. (That’s also why there are no photos of them in this post, because it would figure that one of them would see this and the surprise would be ruined.)

Now, we’ll see if either kid can keep a secret!!!