The Lord is my strength and my song

Happy Tuesday, Confess-ers. (I actually looked that one up. It doesn’t exist in the dictionary I traditionally use, though the word ‘confessors’ does. But that one means a priest who hears confessions, and while you might be a priest, I’m guessing the majority of my readers are not. So I made up a new word to fit the situation and it will go in my own personal dictionary along with words like conversorial and nephanderthal. Ask my husband for the definitions because he’s usually the one making up the words.)

When I was in college, sleep-deprived and distracted, I often made the 30-minute commute between my house and the campus without a single realization of how I got there. Today is much the same. I have no idea how we got to Tuesday because it was just yesterday that I posted my last confession.

A quick update on my husband (I’ll call him dh, writer-speak for dear husband, from now on): His knee surgery was a worst-case scenario. The doctor actually turned his kneecap over and grafted bone and cartilage into a 2cm hole. But the good news is that he won’t he non-weight bearing for six weeks. As he’s able, he can begin walking on it with assistance even now, less than one week later. Praise God!

Today’s confession is dedicated to my dh. He’s the strongest man I know, physically and mentally, but he didn’t get there without God. Thankfully he recognizes that. His surgery on Wednesday, and the recovery since then, has demanded that he rely on God for strength. I’m learning just what that means, and Exodus 15:2 is a powerful confession for the reality of our strength. “The Lord is my strength and my song; He has given me victory. This is my God and I will praise Him – my father’s God, and I will exalt Him!”

The Lord is my strength and my song.

I find that in the midst of hardship, if we can offer a sacrifice of praise – or song – we can bear the difficulty. Inside God’s grace, we find His strength and it carries us. We begin seeing only His goodness and kindness, and the hardship becomes less immediate. Not invisible or invalid, but not impossible. So whatever your hardship is today, find your way into God’s presence and confess this truth. I know I will.

What is YOUR declaration for strength in hard times?

I will burst out in songs of thanksgiving

‘Burst’ is a fun word, isn’t it? When I was a kid in the school cafeteria, I sat two tables away from someone who burst out laughing – with milk in his mouth. Guess how far the milk flew? Yep, I got sprayed with his delight.

In junior high school, my best friend thought it would be cool to drink from the spray nozzle on her kitchen sink. She pulled it out of the faucet, wrapped her lips around it, and pressed the trigger. Water burst from her nose. (I’m still laughing about that.)

Wouldn’t it be awesome if we burst our thanksgiving the way various liquids burst from our oral cavities when we’re being ridiculous kids? Based on Psalm 28:7, I’m practicing that today. “The Lord is my strength and shield. I trust him with all my heart. He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy. I burst out in songs of thanksgiving.”

I will burst out in songs of thanksgiving!

Burst. As I do it, I get some interesting looks from strangers, but it’s the joy in my heart and the reaction from God that makes this worthwhile. Don’t know any songs? Try looking in the Psalms for inspiration, or start Christmas caroling early. Many of our favorite carols started as songs of praise and worship of our Savior. Or go back to your childhood and sing to your heart’s content. This Little Light of Mine, Jesus Loves Me, Father Abraham. Before you know it, strangers will be sending you interesting looks, too. And you might just inspire someone else to burst.

What songs are you bursting today? Leave a comment and inspire someone!

I will enter His gates with thanksgiving

Well, come on. Did anyone really expect any other kind of confession for Thanksgiving week?

In spite of the name of the holiday, too often we become overwhelmed with the details and miss the point. How many people are coming to dinner, how much turkey should I make, is the house clean enough, are my kids clean enough, am I clean enough? These are some of the thoughts I have – thoughts that take up way too much room in my little brain and distract me from having a grateful heart. Instead, I’m going to start the week declaring my thanksgiving. “Enter his gates with thanksgiving; go into his courts with praise. Give thanks to him and praise his name.” Psalm 100:4

I will enter His gates with thanksgiving in my heart!

I have so much to be thankful for. Jesus loves me, my children are healthy and strong, my husband is a faithful, hard worker who loves his God and his family, and we have a warm, safe place to sleep at night. This is just the start of my list. I’ll be working on that list all week in an effort to keep a grateful heart. Join me! Find a peaceful place and close your eyes. Repeat it with me: I will enter His gates with thanksgiving in my heart!

What are you giving thanks for this week? I’d love to hear your reasons!

I will hope in God

What – or who – do you put your hope in? Like the foundation of a house, your hope must be solid enough to hold everything together and withstand tremors. Like a good friend, it must be close enough to be heard in spite of the screams of a dying world. Like every girl’s hero, it must be strong enough to listen to your doubts and remain loving and faithful.

Today’s confession holds all those characteristics. Try it out loud:

I will hope in God.

Whether you face job loss, financial difficulty, health issues, broken relationships, or other troubles, you must decide your foundation. Fear or faith? Hope or depression? Surrender or soldiering on? It helps to choose your foundation before troubles come, but the important thing is to choose well no matter when you do it.

Though the mountains crumble and the waters rise,

Though the fires rage and my heart trembles within,

yet I will hope in God.

In His lovingkindness He rescues His beloved.

He rains mercy and deliverance on those who fear Him.

I say again: I will hope in God.

Yes, even my soul hopes in God.

I choose faith, hope, and soldiering on. I choose to say today’s confession loud and without hesitation. Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; for I shall yet praise Him, the help of my countenance and my God. Psalm 42:11

What is your trouble and what is your foundation?