Monday, September 30, 2013

A 31 Day Challenge

For over a week now I've felt like the little kid on the playground being dragged through the dirt as she tries to get on a merry-go-round already in motion. I came back from a week in Denver, spent with my dad who has Alzheimer's, and have been hanging on for dear life to a jam-packed schedule of school carnivals, meetings, cross country meets, a funeral, and trying to catch up on the laundry and stay on course with my son's homeschooling. I just kept hoping to make it to the end of the week, but then I realized this week (and the next and the next) look just the same, and then I'll be making another trip to Denver to start the whole process over again. I admit I've had a few meltdowns and tears have flowed plenty.

Sadly, when life gets this crazy, my natural reaction is to cling to the merry-go-round rather than God. I wasn't completely out of the Word, because I had a Bible study lesson to finish, and anything last week that had a set deadline was accomplished. But those times where I just quiet myself and meditate on His Word? Didn't happen.

So yesterday when I opened one of the devotionals I read, Jesus Calling, it wasn't surprising that the bookmark was set to September 22. Let me share part of the day's reading:

Trust Me and refuse to worry, for I am your Strength and Song. You are feeling wobbly this morning, looking at difficult times looming ahead, measuring them against your own strength. However, they are not today's tasks -- or even tomorrow's. So leave them in the future and come home to the present, where you will find Me waiting for you. Since, I am your Strength, I can empower you to handle each task as it comes. Because I am your Song, I can give you joy as you work alongside of Me. 
The Lord is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation. He is my God, and I will praise him, my father's God, and I will exalt him. ~ Exodus 15:2

Oh, how encouraging and instructive a reminder I missed a week ago! Even if I had only read it on Wednesday or Friday it might have settled my spirit and encouraged me to turn to God instead of my own failing strength.

Amidst the craziness last week I shelved an idea I had been mulling over. For the first time I had planned on participating in the 31 Days Writing Challenge offered for the last several years. It was going to be a challenge, that's for sure. I am an inconsistent blogger at best and for the last two years I haven't even managed 31 posts in either year. But I had an idea, and was strongly considering it, until last week. No way! I can't justify spending the time. Everything is falling apart.

Trust Me and refuse to worry, for I am your Strength and Song.

Reading those words reminded me that because everything is falling apart is exactly why I should take on this challenge.

 photo 31-Days-of-Hymns-banner.png

I'm simply going to spend 31 days sharing my favorite hymns. I'm not a singer nor a musician, unless you count being a high school band dropout, but I love the great hymns of the church. I like them so much that when I created my initial list I came up with 79 different hymns, not including seasonal hymns. Those were just my top favorites -- I love the classic hymn Amazing Grace, but it didn't make the top 79!

If hymns aren't your thing, you won't hurt my feelings, but hopefully you'll still find some encouragement in this series. Sometimes I will post a youtube video* with the song, but sometimes I'll just let the lyrics speak for themselves. Sometimes I'll share why the hymn is special to me. And if there is a day where you just find the name of the hymn and the lyrics, pray for me. It probably means I'm tempted to cling to that merry-go-round again instead of trusting in my Strength and Song. 

Because I am your Song, I can give you joy as you work alongside of Me.

My prayer is that we will all take joy in whatever October brings, singing a song of praise.

And now, for my absolute tied-for-first-place {grin} favorite hymn: I Know Whom I Have Believed

I've already written so much for today, so I won't go on and on about why I love this hymn so much, but I will tell you that the last verse followed by the refrain gives me so much comfort and joy. Sadly, that verse isn't included in the video I share below, but I loved the singing so much I included it anyway. : ) Until tomorrow!

I Know Whom I Have Believed
Daniel W. Whittle, 1883

I know not why God's wondrous grace to me he hath made known,
nor why, unworthy, Christ in love redeemed me for his own.


But "I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able

to keep that which I've committed unto him against that day."

I know not how this saving faith to me he did impart,

nor how believing in his Word wrought peace within my heart.

I know not how the Spirit moves, convincing men of sin, revealing Jesus through the Word, creating faith in him.

I know not what of good or ill may be reserved for me,

of weary ways or golden days, before his face I see.

I know not when my Lord may come, at night or noon-day fair,

nor if I'll walk the vale with him, or "meet him in the air."

* When I share a video, I am not endorsing any of the groups or individuals behind the videos or performances. I'm simply sharing the videos to encourage us to worship our Heavenly Father.


  1. I love your topic for a 31 day challenge. I, too, love hymns. My favorite part of my day is when I go into my student's classroom and the teacher has instrumental hymns playing softly during their writing time. The reason I love it so much is because I have the hymns memorized. The words go through my mind and blanket me with peace and calmness.

    1. I feel the same way every time I shop at Hobby Lobby and they have those instrumental hymns playing. : ) I think it's awesome that teacher plays hymns in her classroom!