Monday, August 13, 2012

Lifting you out... (and a winner)

 I have some great photos of my girls weekend but before I get to that post, I had to share today's hiking photos and announce the winner for my previous giveaway.  Congratulations to Alicia who won the Ironstone Nest giveaway with "this is an awesome giveaway!!! i love it all!! going to check out her shop right now! :)."  (Alicia, please give me a shout at to claim your prize.)
 Last night, Adrain and I had been talking about some deep things and I went to bed really aware of an area that I've felt in the pit of despair about for a really long time.  An area I long to see change... but an area that often keeps me trapped and tells me that I'm powerless to change.  We all have one, right?
 As midnight rolled by and I was still awake, tossing and turning, it occurred to me to pray over the situation. I always seem to think of that as a last resort, sadly.  I was taught that praying an actual bible verse over a situation holds tremendous power and I really needed peace (and sleep) so I thought it would be a timely idea.
 The verse that popped into my head to pray was Psalm 40:1-3.  I committed most of it to memory years ago, and it goes like this: "I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock   and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God." (emphasis mine)
 I felt an immediate peace and dropped off to sleep.  I woke up with a worship song stuck in my brain and knew that it was meant to encourage me.  That often happens when I'm going through something and I envision angels singing praises to God while I sleep, safe in His care.  It comforts me.
 I don't know what it is about music and hiking, but for me... and really my entire family, it's such an act of worship.  We have to drive a bit to get to most of the trail heads, and we tend to blast worship music all the way up the mountain.  Once we get out of the car and begin our hikes, it's amazing how ready for a blessing our hearts feel.  Wide open to receive refreshment.
 Today the song I had in my head and my heart seemed like the most fitting song imaginable to go along with the scenery I was gazing at.  I'm a big fan of the group "Lifehouse" and one of my favorite songs is "Everything."  I wanted to share some of the lyrics with you, which I seldom do.  They are so beautiful, and as I stood there gazing at the mountains cradling my family in a meadow sprinkled with wildflowers, I realized what a gift He has given us... His presence in the midst of our tiny worlds, and tiny struggles.
 Find me here
And speak to me
I want to feel You
I need to hear You
You are the light
That's leading me to the place
Where I find peace again
 You are the strength
That keeps me walking
You are the hope
That keeps me trusting
You are the light to my soul
You are my purpose
You're everything
 And how can I stand here with You
And not be moved by You
Would You tell me how could it be
Any better than this

 You calm the storms
And You give me rest
You hold me in your hands
You won't let me fall
You steal my heart
When You take my breath away
Would You take me in take me deeper now
And how can I stand here with You
And not be moved by You
Would You tell me how could it be
Any better than this
 Cause You're all I want
You're all I need
You're everything, everything

 And how can I stand here with You
And not be moved by You
Would You tell me how could it be
Any better than this

  I don't have all the answers to life's struggles... but I know that sometimes when He doesn't change our circumstances, He changes our heart. 

Can you relate to that?


Kate@StillRoomToGrow said...

That is one of my all time favorite songs! Love the beautiful photos you took too. I am always amazed at how reading the bible and praying can offer peace to my weary soul.

Heather said...

Sasha - your beautiful words are so true, and so perfectly paired with the lovely pictures of your family hike. Like you, God works on my heart when I lay myself open to hearing His truth through the Word. Once upon a time I thought that prayer had a job to do and that if I didn't see the results I'd expected, my prayer wasn't really being answered. Now I know that when I come boldly before the throne of grace because of the finished work of Jesus Christ in my life, I am the one changed by that prayer. Sometimes the circumstances change, but not often - mostly it's just my heart in the middle of the mess as I'm in being slowly conformed to the Word of God.

Holly said...

I'm often the same way...trying to work things out on my own while God is patiently waiting for me to turn it over to Him! I love the verse you quoted...He truly has all the answers! I've been reading "Jesus Calling" for almost a year now and it's amazing how almost every day seems to be written just for me! My day goes so much better, and I feel so much closer to God when I start my day in His word, but I'm not always faithful in that either!
I too, am a Lifehouse fan and love that song! It's such a joy to worship our creator in song and word.
Praying that you continue to find His peace!

Kelly Cach said...

First of all, your photos could not have been more perfectly matched with the lyrics.....truly breathtaking!!! You sure have an eye!

And secondly, um, yeah.....I can relate to this. God changed my heart rather than the circumstance. My baby girl's Down syndrome is forever, but my heart is constantly evolving....thank goodness

Mandy said...

they are one of my favorite groups too:) so glad the Lord is refining you for greater glory friend...

slip4 said...

Thanks for sharing the lyrics and the beautiful photos...I really needed it this morning.

Donna said...

Great post is oh, so many ways. Glad you are standing on the Rock once again....slimy pits are no fun.

Alicia said...

not gonna lie, it was pretty hard for me to get past the first paragraph of this post...i won!?! excuse me??? ok, well that's just awesome!! :)

i love that you're a hiking family. we love hiking. i love that you can so easily tie in hiking pictures with what's on your heart..

Jensamom23 said...

ongrats, Alicia! Sasha, music is se very powerful. Gorgeous pictures, too. (I must say looking at them, my head was singing, "The hills are alive...with the sound of music..."

Yolanda said...

He rejoices over us with singing - Zephaniah 3:17. Yep, that's what He did for you!

Stephanie said...

As I read your post today, tears filled my eyes. You see my husband and I are facing struggles with job, health, etc, and I just told him that I feel as though it is a hopeless situation. And I open my email today to find your blog and actually had time to sit and read it while I sip my coffee. I want to thank you for opening your heart and sharing your thoughts, as you never truly know who it will help or give encouragement to outside your life.


daisy said...

You sure have such beautiful scenery around you. Enjoy the peace in your heart...

Lorraine and Jessica said...

Thank you Sasha for such a beautiful reminder that God hears our cries, our prayers and our praises!!!! What an awesome God we lift you (and us) out of the miry pit, to give you sweet & peaceful sleep and to put a song of praise in your heart for the morning!!! What a gift nature is <3 and how awesome that you have such a beautiful gift close by to share with your family!!!! Always remember that He is faithful and mighty to save!!!!

Farmgirl Paints said...

That's one of my very favorite songs! Love what the Lord is teaching you. I so needed to hear that today friend. Those pics are breathtaking!!

The Every Day Extraordinary said...

"When he doesn't change our circumstance, He changes our hearts. " Amen. Thank you.

Mommas Sunshine said...

Absolutely! You put into words what I was thinking as I washed dishes just a few minutes circumstances haven't changed but my heart has. Beautifully said.

...and your photos make me want to sing "the hills are alive with the sound of music!"

truly, He is our strength and song!

...and you already know I just love this blog!

Leslie McNeil of MarveLes Art Studios said...

Yes, Maam! I can RELATE. Beautifully done.

Lee said...

Oh yes - I can relate to that!! Thank you for sharing such a beautiful song (definitely looking that up!), and the lovely photos from your hike.

Sending you prayers for encouragement and peace as you hear God's plans for getting out of your current "pit." =)

Erin McG said...

Those pictures.... just WOW! You are right, how can you not see God in a place as majestic as that? What beauty and splendor!

six3design said...

I keep thinking I have to find a new door to walk through,but just maybe my situation hasn't changed because I haven't! Maybe it wasn't supposed to just change the person responsible for the craziness of our life but to change me too! How can I grow if I don't change how I'm reacting to the situation? Right on sista!

Jennifer said...

Beautiful Pictures!! And I totally agree. Stay strong my friend!

Victoria said...

Needed to hear that last line! "Sometimes when He doesn't change our circumstances, He changes our hearts..." yes, He does. I don't just want to get through the tough stuff, I want to come out better for it. That Psalm is so good too.

Krista said...

Sasha, This post is so timely for me. God spoke to me through your words today - thank you for writing them! We moved to a new city last week. Away from all of our family. 20 months into our marriage, I was so comfortable, perhaps too much, and God called my husband's ministry to a new place. So, here we are, no matter how much I screamed and kicked. And since our move last Monday, I have broken my foot, the stove broke, the washer broke, a man in our church that my husband was becoming close to was killed. . . And God blessed us through all of this through our family who traveled here to help us and love us. And after all this, all the work He has done for us, all the times in the last week He has assured me that this is all in His plan and we are blessed and safe, your post really drove it home. He has changed our circumstances. I now need to allow Him to change my heart.