The greatest lesson…& a Giveaway!

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Please make sure you read to the end of the post for the details on another amazing giveaway!

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When I think about my mom, the thing that comes to mind first is that she is a worshiper of Jesus. She was involved in leading worship at our church since I was very small. I spent many a Thursday night worship practice running up and down the aisles of the church sanctuary, hiding underneath pews, and exploring every nook and cranny of the building to the chagrin of the church custodian. As I grew older I served on my mom’s worship teams playing both flute and piano, singing, and eventually leading worship under her leadership and encouragement.

It wasn’t just a Sunday morning gig with my mom. My earliest memories are of her cranking up the Hosanna worship tapes on the stereo and dancing with us in the middle of the living room. She especially loved percussion and accumulated many fun percussion instruments, from congas to rain sticks and all sorts of types of shakers and gorges. We would all dig through her stash of percussion treasures and make a “joyful noise” together pounding on drums, shaking various shakers, and singing our hearts out. She carries on this noisy tradition with her dozen grandkids and doesn’t mind the high decibel level their pounding and banging reaches.

Mom would sit at the piano in the middle of the week and sing. Even as an adult, she took lessons to sharpen her skill at her instrument for both leading and writing her own songs to worship Jesus. And did she ever write songs! There was always a notebook up on the piano containing the overflow of her heart and she made singing that overflow look normal and natural.

I watched her worship in the good times and the hard times alike. I remember so many times seeing her cry at the piano – her tears mingling with her fingers on the keys. I did not fully understanding the connection she was experiencing with the Lord in her brokenness until now being a mom and stealing those moments of broken worship to the Lord myself. She lived a life of bringing a sacrifice of praise and was committed to teaching and pastoring others to do the same in all circumstances. She would often counsel me –

“We don’t bring our worship to God because we feel like it, we bring it because He is worthy of all our praises.”

Without a doubt the most impact she has had on me in the area of worship was in this past month. On March 9th, Jesus took my dad to be with Him. While my family sat in their room praying for healing and crying together as we realized his spirit had departed, my mom worshiped the Lord in the middle of her greatest pain. She led us in the hymn inspired by Lamentations 3:

Great is Thy faithfulness, oh God my Father;
There is no shadow of turning with Thee;
Thou changest not, Thy compassions they fail not;
How Thou hast been, Thou forever will be.

Great is Thy faithfulness! Great is Thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see.
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided;
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!

At a time when many would not blame her if she accused the Lord of not being faithful, she instead declared His faithfulness in the middle of deep pain and grief. My mom has taught me that the greatest gift I have to bring my Savior is all of my worship, especially the worship that is costly. Especially the worship  that I can only give in this age where i experience lack, pain, suffering, and veiled understanding. When we see Him face to face, worship will be automatic – every knee shall bow and every tongue confess – but in this time when it is costly to bow and confess His Lordship, voluntary worship is the sweetest gift of surrender we can bring.

She has lived her life by the words of King David:

I will not offer to the Lord my God burnt offerings that cost me nothing. (2 Samuel 24:24)

This is the greatest lesson I have learned from my mom.

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Today, we have a beautiful art print donated by Gina of Silverlakesound. One lucky winner will receive an 8×10 copy of “Growing In Love“.

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How to enter:

Leave a comment on this post, sharing a way you strive to keep worship at the forefront of your family. (MANDATORY ENTRY)

For additional entries (1 per action done):

  1. Visit Silverlakesound on Etsy and leave us a comment letting us know what other art prints you love.
  2. Subscribe to 5 Minutes for Faith (and tell us how you do).

This giveaway will remain open until 9PM (Central Time) on Wednesday, May 15th.  A winner will be chosen using Random.org. All winners for all giveaways in this series will be notified by email and announced at 5 Minutes for Faith on Friday, May 17th.  Please make sure your email address appears in the comments.  (U.S. & Canada entries only.)

18 Responses to The greatest lesson…& a Giveaway!
  1. Charrise
    April 23, 2013 | 12:08 am

    Hi there,
    Every Sunday I worship with my children at church with banners and flags.I also sing with them at home, play the guitar and help them sing as well. We play drums and do learn musical instruments. Lots of prayer too!

    • Charis
      April 23, 2013 | 12:21 pm

      that is awesome charrise – my kids love using flags in worship (i think it is fun and freeing too!). drums seem to be a great way to engage kids and make worship fun. the skill of playing an instrument is such a blessing for family worship times – especially the guitar because it is so mobile and versatile. looks like we have similar names as well – how do you pronounce yours?

      • Charrise
        April 23, 2013 | 6:40 pm

        Hi there Charis! Yes we do have very similar names. My pronunciation is Sha-reese; a little different than your but your name is BEAUTIFUL! Thanks for blogging to help others!
        Charrise

  2. Tracy
    April 23, 2013 | 4:40 am

    I did not grow up attending church or believing in God. I see the strength and balance people who do believe and live a believers have and I crave it and want it. I desperately try to find that and give that gift to my children by reading scripture with them and regularly attending church.

    • Charis
      April 23, 2013 | 12:17 pm

      tracy, as you seek the Lord’s guidance in giving this to your kids, i believe He will give you wisdom and ideas of how to make faith and worship real to them! the fact you crave it is a great thing – He satisfies the hungry with more of Himself. thank you for your comment!

  3. Rosann
    April 23, 2013 | 9:02 am

    I strive to keep worship at the forefront of my family by listening to Christian worship music in the car and in our home on a very regular basis. My husband and I also pray with our children every day, sometimes multiple times throughout the day, and we attend church as a family every week. Every night we read a devotions with our children that involves studying a Bible verse. We also encourage participation in youth club at the church, VBS, and any other faith-nurturning programs that come up during the year.

    • Charis
      April 23, 2013 | 9:42 am

      rosann – sounds like you a leaving a great example to your children of how to incorporate worshiping Jesus all throughout their lives in different ways. what devotional do you use with your kids?

      • Rosann
        April 23, 2013 | 10:00 am

        Charis we use the One Year Mother Daughter Devo (it’s a pink cover) by Dannah Gresh for my 8 year old. And for my 4 year old we read the One Year Devotions for Preschoolers (Little Blessings Line). Both have a related bible verse and excellent conversation points.

        • Charis
          April 23, 2013 | 12:15 pm

          awesome! i will have to check them out!

  4. Rosann
    April 23, 2013 | 9:03 am

    My favorite painting at Silverlakesound is actually the one you’re giving away. I loved the others too, but this one really speaks to me. I could see myself hanging it up in my home.

  5. Dawn St Amand Paoletta
    April 23, 2013 | 9:27 am

    First, Charis, what a beautiful legacy from your mom. Wow. That is such a gift. Secondly I adore the painting- it really speaks to my heart. Third, keeping worship at the forefront of our home is a challenge. It was easier when my daughter was younger. Everyone is on different pages so I often seek God on how best to reflect and reveal Him through my life at home. Still learning. 😉 Beautiful post!

    • Charis
      April 23, 2013 | 9:45 am

      dawn, thank you! i believe the way you are seeking to reflect and reveal Jesus through how you live your life will pay off – i was, and am, most impacted by the way my mom lived her life and your daughter will be too. i imagine as kids get older and schedules fuller that it does become a challenge to gather as a family unit as much as you can when they are young.

  6. Jules
    April 23, 2013 | 10:16 am

    Oh I loved this post. Having been raised in church worship. Singing and praising God are not foreign activities to me… But learning to worship when all seem lost, without a job, sick and my world crashing…. Yet finding strength to sing a praise and worship God just because of who He is???? Yeah, that’s when the worship is sweeter…. Because it comes with great pain, but a flow of gratitude of knowing God is faithful!!!!!

    • Charis
      April 23, 2013 | 12:14 pm

      jules, you are exactly right. it is difficult to have strength when our circumstances are grim, but it is the sweetest times as well. i think it is in those times our faith is tested and found to be real and true. bless you!

  7. Karin
    April 23, 2013 | 3:47 pm

    Charis — This is a beautiful tribute to a beautiful godly mother!! We are a blessed, blessed family!! Love you all!

    • Charis
      April 23, 2013 | 4:55 pm

      thank you karin! we are blessed. i am very thankful for the example that has been set for me as to how to live a life of worship.

  8. Rosalinda Acevedo
    May 14, 2013 | 12:39 am

    Thy mercy, O LORD, is in the heavens; and thy faithfulness reacheth unto the clouds. Thy righteousness is like the great mountains; thy judgments are a great deep: O LORD, thou preservest man and beast. How excellent is thy lovingkindness, O God! therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of thy wings.

    • Charis
      May 21, 2013 | 4:25 pm

      i love that passage rosalinda. thank you so much for sharing it.