Monday, January 21, 2013

10, 000 reasons

 the laundry was strewn colorfully across the white down comforter of my bed --  piles of it.  it seemed there were 10,000 items in this mountain of folding. and i was standing in front of at least 100 grey t-shirts (i have boys) when i heard her:  little miss began singing in the bathtub just a few feet away and her tiny voice echoed into my laundry loaded bedroom.  it mixed with the grey t-shirts and mis-matched socks and the countless pair of yoga pants (teenage daughter).

she sang and i listened.

my cell phone just happened to be siting on the nightstand.  

and though i rarely remember to use the video option,  i quickly pushed record:

(click on video)

"bless the Lord, o my soul
o my soul
worship His holy name
sing like never before
o my soul
i'll worship your holy name..."

i know her words aren't exactly crystal clear.  but her message is.  and i just had to share it with you this morning.  maybe, today, you are in need of a little soul-blessing. if so, this is the perfect message for you.

it was for me.

it always is for me.

the name of this song is 10,000 reasons (matt redman).  10,000 reasons to bless the Lord. oh surely, yes! it's true, we all have so many reasons to offer blessing.  but let's face it, there are days when we aren't in the mood to list 10 reasons, let alone 10,000.  unfortunately, we all have days like that.  times when we feel flat and frustrated.  dead and defeated. burnt out and burdened.  

but, i want to let you in on a little secret:  that's exactly the time when we most need to sit down with some paper and pencil and begin our listing.  a few years ago, i journeyed through ann voskamp's book, one thousand gifts.  it challenged me to keep a journal and write down the "gifts" i found each day -- the gifts along the way. both, the extraordinary and the very, very ordinary.

children loud and giggly in our backyard
spring sun, hot on my hair
writing with a good ink pen
fresh lemons in blue bowl
new ivy growing lime green on red brick
books stacked much to read
friendly daffodils laughing in small groups roadside
a sleeping dog
clean countertops (indeed, quite rare)
my girls stirring chocolate chips into cookie dough...
                                                                                   ~ (an excerpt from april 2011)

that was easy in the springtime of atlanta two years ago.  harder when i was diagnosed a month later with cancer.  but i continued to trudge through the exercise of listing. there were some days when it felt laborious and pointless.  days when i had to dig a little bit deeper to find something to add to my list.  but it was one of the things which helped me through that tough time.  there is something so healing when you can continue to count blessings in the midst of something miserable.  i suppose that is why, two years later, and i am still writing and still talking about it.

when we are going through the deserts or discouraging places of life, that is exactly the time when we need to begin recording our reasons and listing our gifts.  as i challenged you a couple of years ago, i'll do so again today: physically write them out.  it is one thing to just "think about them" in the mushy places of our minds...another thing, entirely, to scratch them out with ink and record them.  to come back to them. sometimes the greater blessing is in the returning.

that was two years ago.  but i am still recording.  it has become somewhat of a habit.  and i have to tell you, minnesota has taken my list to another level of gratitude.  today as i write this post, the windchill is -30.  (yes, you read that correctly).  and though it's unbelievably cold, i am finding it easy to write down the blessings:

the crackle and heat from our fireplace.
the invention of smart wool socks.
a puppy at my feet.
oatmeal simmering on stovetop.
a day off from school and children still sleeping in their beds.
no place to go.
hot coffee in my favorite blue glazed mug.
a teenage son to fetch firewood  (when he wakes up).
a well insulated home.
the winter sunrise over an utterly silent lake.
a breakfast bagel in front of the fire...

oh, and here's another one for the list... ice house out on the lake...which no one will ever expect me to step foot in! just look at how horribly cold and desolate that looks...brrr....
now that's something worthy of gratitude! 

here's the rest of the can also hear it on my blog playlist -- IF it is working (sometimes not) and IF your computer volume is turned on.
10,000 reasons 
The sun comes up, it's a new day dawning
It's time to sing Your song again
Whatever may pass, and whatever lies before me
Let me be singing when the evening comes

Bless the Lord, O my soul
O my soul
Worship His holy name
Sing like never before
O my soul
I'll worship Your holy name

You're rich in love, and You're slow to anger
Your name is great, and Your heart is kind
For all Your goodness I will keep on singing
Ten thousand reasons for my heart to find

And on that day when my strength is failing
The end draws near and my time has come
Still my soul will sing Your praise unending
Ten thousand years and then forevermore

Jesus, I'll worship Your holy name
Lord, I'll worship Your holy name

Sing like never before
O my soul
I'll worship Your holy name
Jesus, I'll worship Your holy name
I'll worship Your holy name.

 "Bless the Lord, O my soul;
And all that is within me, bless His holy name!
Bless the Lord, O my soul,
And forget not all His benefits:
 Who forgives all your iniquities,
Who heals all your diseases,
 Who redeems your life from destruction,
Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies,
 Who satisfies your mouth with good things,
So that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s."
~ Psalm 103


Leslie R. said...

Her words are crystal clear! Thanks for allowing us the blessing of hearing Bella singing praises and sharing God's words crystal clear.

Simply LKJ said...

So precious. I just started teaching the young 2s at CBS (first day was last Wednesday). A mom that very afternoon sent me a video of her daughter singing the CBS march song. It totally brought tears to my eyes. They absorb it all!! I too read Ann's book, and had every intention of starting a journal. It didn't happen. However, my word for this new year is Intention/intentional. I recently purchased a journal with the cover, Starting TODAY, a journal of intention and change. No time like the present!!

myfourgems said...

Precious words to this heart of mine that tonight needs to focus on His blessings. Xo

Paige said...

THAT is the verse my sweet husband texted to me today:)
Love your heart my friend!!!

Aus said...

Love this Jody - reminds me of Godspell too - but maybe I just showed my age? ;)

hugs - enjoy the warm inside!

aus and co.

Laurie said...

Most precious video ever!

Anonymous said...

My kids have had me play that over a hundred times...and we just found it a couple of hours ago! That is the definition of thankful you hit the record button and shared that! Lu