Here is the latest Coffee & Pearls Podcast:

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I do not like little kid songs.  I have a deep respect for preschool teachers who manage to sing those high pitched jingles with joy to their kids.  I can’t stand the sound of veggie tales either. My children really enjoy the veggie tales songs but it’s something they get to do with their dad when I’m not in the car.  I don’t feel bad about this, it’s just not one of my gifts.

The one exception I make is for our Sunday School Songs.  For some reason it must tug on my Protestant heartstrings and remind me of the few Sunday school classes I went to as a child.  I really enjoy this CD and when I end up putting it on in the car, I find that I desperately needed a lesson from one of these delightful songs.

It might seem silly to think that there are great lessons to be found on a children’s CD but it’s a goldmine for simple truths.  I often need to hear those simple truths when I’m driving in the car, thinking about the day ahead of me.

The bible is really good at giving us one liners for inspiration.  This was no accident.  I think Jesus knew that we were going to be busy and because of our broken nature, we’d easily forget the simple messages that Jesus brought us.  So he built in a good memory system, a lot of quick phrases that we can repeat to ourselves to get us back on track.

Though the phrases I’m going to share aren’t direct quotes from scripture, they are all truths that can be found in the bible.  Here are the ones that seem to reach out and grab me while I’m driving.  They help me to calm down and to realize where my focus should be – on Jesus and not on the busyness of my day or the worries in my heart.

  1. I’ve got the peace that passes understanding down in my heart.
    This is just such a great phrase! Every time I hear it, it gives me pause.  This is the heart of Christianity.  Because we are so loved by God, we have a great peace and this peace is beyond understanding.  The world can be crashing down around us and yet, we can still have peace.  Now, we may not be very good at practicing this yet, but it is just that, a practice… something we need to cultivate.  When I hear this song, it helps center me and it reminds me that no matter what crazy is happening, I should have peace inside my heart.
  2. I have decided to follow Jesus. Though none come with me, still I will follow.  The world behind me, the cross before me.
    This is such a beautiful song and one that our priest sings often in Mass.  The actual song repeats each of these phrases many times but I thought I’d just include them once here.  I think all three parts are really important here.  First, the active choice to follow Jesus.Next, the test.  Though none come with me, still I will follow.  And for many of us, we are part of Catholic or Christian communities so we’re not completely alone but I think this refers more to all the small moments we break free from the current culture to choose Jesus and His way.  Those moments can feel really lonely and in them, we are often surrounded by the world and not the comfort of our small friends circle.Last, the vision.  This is our goal in life.  The world behind us, the cross before us.  Let us not be distracted by the noise in our life but be lured by the glow of Jesus and His love for us.  Focus on who is before you and keep walking towards Him.
  3. I’m in the lord’s army, yes sir!
    If you do not realize that we are all in a war, fighting in the lord’s army. Even though we may not have physical weapons, this war is being waged everyday right around us.  We are fighting for souls.  We are fighting for Heaven.  We are fighting to keep God’s love in the world.  I think we lose a sense of preparedness or the nerve to fight sometimes by not realizing that we’re actively in a war.  It’s easy to hide in the quiet comfort of our homes and to be in denial of all the ways the devil is attacking us.I think of the music and television and advertisements that try to break into my home.  I think of the neighborhood conversations and conversations my children hear.  It is my job to protect them from things they cannot understand and to explain the things they can.  This is an active battle I have to fight everyday and when I let this idea slip into the back of my mind, I start to lose.
  4. When we walk with the lord, in the light of his word, what a glory He sheds on our way
    If you are not reading your bible every day, go to Adoration and pray that Jesus give you the wisdom for how to do this and the strength to carry it out.  Since I have become Catholic, I see the wonderful way many Catholics protect the sacredness of Mass and make sure that they go every single week, no matter what.  This dedication is admirable!Next, I would like to see Catholics feel as fiercely about reading their bible every day.  I think reading the daily readings from a Blessed Is She email counts.  I think reading your Magnificat counts.  I personally still like to touch and open up my actual bible.  But no matter what you choose, God gave us this amazing guidebook as a resource.  Stop making excuses.  If you’re stressed and drowning and confused about life but not reading your bible… you’re missing the low hanging fruit!What a glory he sheds on our way.  Doesn’t that sound lovely? Make time.  Read your bible.
  5. Oh be careful little eyes what you see.
    This last one is one I’ve been thinking about a lot lately. I have a friend who has six children and they have a saying in their family, “Guard your heart.”  When either of the parents say this phrase, their children and to bow their heads and close their eyes.  It means that something unsavory is in front of them that the kids should not see and do not need to see.  Maybe it’s a lewd billboard or an inappropriately dressed person or something violet.  The kids know not to question this and to protect their hearts by closing their eyes.I really like this idea and I think it’s great training for kids to later filter out what they see.  As I get older, I watch less and less television and fewer movies pass my husband’s test for something we think is worthy of being watched.  We must be careful what our eyes see so we do not because lured by the world and distracted by the sinful shiny things.

Now, if you’re a mom like me who doesn’t like kid songs, don’t worry about it.  You don’t need to listen to this CD to be reminded of the simple truths Jesus wants us to know and to follow.  Find a few bible verses that speak to you and put them up over your house.  Put a few sticky notes in your car, in your kitchen, in the bathroom.

We are all weak and so we need constant reminders to hold on to what’s important to us.  There is no doubt that Jesus is my number one and I want to be a saint in Heaven but it’s easy for me to be distracted literally every five minutes and to lose sight of that goal.  It’s okay to use childish games to keep our head in the game, in fact, I’d say it’s wise to do so.

I’m praying for all you mamas out there that Jesus piece your heart with truth and longing and that you use His strength to go into battle every day this week!