I have always loved words. I love to read them, sing them, and write them. I love to teach words to eager little minds that soak them up like sponges. Words are such an important part of communication, whether they are spoken, written, or signed. Familiar words to favorite books and songs are like a warm blanket to me, wrapping around my shoulders and offering comfort. I love words.
Early in the year, I felt the Lord leading me to change my daily devotion time with Him from night to morning. When I was a young teenager, my wonderful youth pastor Thomas Hyche and his wife Linda taught me the importance and the actual process of having a daily quiet time with the Lord. I started then to meet with Him daily, right before I went to bed each night. I enjoyed reflecting back over the day with Him. Now, I’ve always broadcasted the fact that I am not a morning person. I can barely make it from my bed to the sink in the morning. Really, it’s true! Mornings are not fun to me! But on one cold day in January, I felt the Lord whisper to me about sacrifices. I was walking up the stairs in my house and I literally stopped and looked around, looking for what it was that He wanted me to sacrifice.
It was my mornings.
Really, Lord? Because, You know, I can’t really think in the mornings. I can barely walk. I can’t hold up my head! How will I be able to read and listen and pray?!? You know me, Lord. You know I can’t.
But God is so faithful. He called me to meet with Him in the mornings. Not because everyone needs to do their quiet time with Him first thing in the morning, but because He wanted me to sacrifice something I thought I couldn’t do without. And when I made that sacrifice, God gave me a special gift that He knew I would especially love.
He gave me more words.
Lots and lots of words! And songs, too! At least once a week, I would come out of my quiet time with a new melody floating around in my head and out of my lips or fingers.
I knew this year when God called me to sacrifice my mornings that something new was in the air. He began to give me more and more words and songs, so I asked Him for another gift. I asked Him to send me opportunities. I wanted opportunities to share my new songs with others at my home church, at school, at other churches…anywhere! I prayed daily for God to send me an opportunity. I had no idea that He would send me the opportunity of The Writing Room with Dony and Reba McGuire, some of the greatest songwriters I know.
For two days I have clustered and mapped and scribbled and doodled and laughed and cried and talked and sang with some very talented writers around a table of words at The Writing Room. They love words just as much as I do. It was an experience that I will never forget and I know that it will make me grow as a writer. God gave me a wonderful gift in this opportunity and I can’t thank Him enough!
I wrote my first song when I was fourteen. It’s still one of my favorites. It came from my daily quiet time, when I read a verse in James 4:10. “Humble yourself before the Lord, and He will lift you up.” I wrote the song Lift Me Up from that verse and once I started writing, I couldn’t stop. It’s a very simple song, with very simple words. But that’s okay. It has such a sweet promise from the Lord that I am reminded of often…when we humble ourselves before the Lord, He will lift us up. What a week! This was such a sweet part of my of my story, and this is my song (an oldie but goodie!)…take a listen!