I grew up in a home filled with music. We always had an organ and a piano in our living room, and they were not decorative. They were there to be played. I can’t say how many people learned to play music on Grandma’s piano and/or organ, but I know I was one of them.

Photo of Grandma's piano.
I am happy to have this piano in my home today.

I’ve been exposed to a variety of music throughout the years. There aren’t many genres that aren’t enjoyable to me. Really, all I need is a good rhythm and a meaningful message. 

Music often inspires me to write. I will get a line or two stuck in my head until I sit down and process it through words on a page. Anyone else?

Thus, the inspiration for this post. 

He Takes Good Care of Me

I grew up going to church. One of the first things I ever learned to say (as all babies at our church!) is “One God”, while holding up my pointer finger. My first solo as a three-year old was singing about Jesus in a Christmas (maybe Easter?) production. I’ve spent many a nap-time curled up beneath a church pew, or on a straw mat laid over the bare ground under a big tent when we had church outside. 

But, as most people do, I came to a point in life where I started to question. Is He real?

I just happened to be a child when the questioning began.

I can’t give you a date and time when God started to become real to me. I know that I was 13 years old when I decided to give Him a chance. Everything else in life had failed, so I thought, “Why not?”

All I know is that, since I gave Him the chance, He has proven Himself again. and again. and again.

He takes good care of me.

 

God, My Healer

Now, you may read the heading above and think you know what I’m going to talk about. You may dismiss healings as coincidence or good luck or great doctors. But, I’m not here to talk about physical healing. Not today, anyway. 😉 

God has healed my heart and mind in ways I can’t ever describe in a blog post. However, let’s consider this…

I was an 11 year old girl unknowingly addicted to pornography (because I didn’t even know what that was!) and wishing her life was over.

I was a 12 year old girl drowning in rated R reading materials and obsessed with inappropriate humor.

I was a 13 year old girl who, for two months of her 8th grade year, others thought was completely mute because of how little I talked and interacted with others. I lived in an empty, rotting home, and once again found myself wishing my life was over.  

And then…

I was a 14 year old girl who, though still suffering, smiled and laughed with her friends – without the dirty humor.

I was a 15 year old girl who passionately sang and worshipped God, free from guilt or shame. I frequently wrote and spoke to inspire my friends to reach for greater things.

I was a 16 year old who literally took other kids from broken homes into her arms and worked hard to show them the love of God.

You get the idea.

Only God can heal a life like that.

That wasn’t just me turning my life around because, well… just ask those around me at that time. I had really rough days, where I couldn’t even convince myself to smile. But each time I brought a new disappointment to the feet of Jesus, He started the healing process all over again. 

He takes good care of me.

 

God, My Provider

WOW. I could write an entire book just on the ways God has provided for me. Sometimes, it was before I realized I needed it. Sometimes, it was right on time. Sometimes, it seemed like it was too late. Looking back, it was always perfect timing.

I’ll just share one of my favorite stories of God’s provision.

When I was a junior in high school, I worked at a little pizza place very part-time. I think I averaged 12 hours a week, at minimum wage. I had only a few bills to pay, and one of those was my school tuition.

(Looking back now, I am almost certain someone in the church “sponsored” me so that the monthly price was low enough for me to afford. Anyway.)

There was a three-week period in the middle of the school year where I didn’t work at all. Thus, I got behind on my payments almost immediately – I barely made enough as it was. Without going into the details (you’ll have to wait for my memoir! 😆), I quickly realized I wasn’t going to get any help from home, regardless of what I was told.

The end of the school year came, and I still owed two months worth of payments. I remember going to the church one morning to pray, and I reminded God of my situation. I knew He was going to help me pay those two months. I felt full of faith after getting up from that prayer meeting.

When I checked my phone, I saw a text from my brother (also my principal) saying something along the lines of… “Remember God provides. :)”

**Those are not the exact words, but the meaning of the text is retained.**

I don’t remember why, but I went down the hill to the school. My brother was in his office, and I chatted with him for a minute. He had a big smile on his face, and he showed me a handful of cash.

“The rest of your tuition is taken care of.”

My jaw dropped. “What?!”

“Someone came in and paid off some of it, and then another person came and paid off the rest.”

Well, that wasn’t God, you might say. That was the generosity and good nature of others.

For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.

Romans 7:18 (KJV)

I say that God shows others how to be good and generous. How did those people know I needed help? That’s not broadcasted information.

He takes good care of me.


I could certainly go on and on about the goodness of God, but this post is already longer than I intended. So, maybe we’ll do Part Two sometime. 😏

If you find yourself wondering what life is all about, or struggling to see a reason to keep going, or facing things bigger than you think you can handle, I encourage you to give Jesus a chance. If He can do it for me, He can do it for you.

How has God proven Himself to you? I’d love to hear from you!

Music often speaks messages of the heart. A song can succinctly pinpoint what volumes of books may endeavor to describe. I haven’t yet met a person that hasn’t been moved by music at least once in their lifetime.

Where words fail, music speaks.

Hans Christian Anderson

This post is inspired by such a song (link at the end). 

The digital age (or whatever else you’d like to call it) has brought about a fascinating, but dangerous phenomenon, which may have existed before, but certainly wasn’t so obviously displayed as it is now. I don’t know if any scientific studies have been done on the reasoning behind this, but it’d be interesting to investigate.

What is she talking about? you probably are wondering.

It’s this idea that people tend to “say” things digitally that they would rarely, if ever say in person.

I don’t personally have any social media accounts (Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, etc.), but I have previously. Of course, I have a cellphone, and I use it to text frequently. I know from experience how easy it is to type something that I wouldn’t have the courage (or audacity?) to say face-to-face or even over the phone.

Why is this? Why is it so easy to defame someone, to shame one’s thoughts, to openly criticize someone’s intentions, without even personally knowing what’s going on behind the scenes?

I’ve scrolled through the comments section of news articles, blog posts, and social media updates, only to turn off the device in disgust and horror. What is it about the digital world that makes us forgot that the people on the other side of the worldwide web are humans just like we are?

This is certainly not the way God intended for us to treat one another, His precious creation.

But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them. Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. Do to others as you would have them do to you.

Luke 6:27-31 (NIV)

What ever happened to “The Golden Rule”? Yes, it originates from the Word of God, but in times past, it has been a leading principle even in the secular world. 

Now, however, many men and women are too intent on “climbing the ladder”, becoming successful, getting themselves noticed, gathering followers — you name it. It’s all about me, me, me. No longer does it matter if someone else is ruined because of our striving to reach the top. 

“That’s just how it goes sometimes,” one might say.

Who’s really winning? Who’s really succeeding, if everyone is constantly clamoring to succeed, with no thought of who stands in their way?

And often, it all starts with getting comfortable digitally destroying others. 

For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.

Galatians 5:14-15 (NIV)

Let us not forget that the words on the screen came from a real person, just like you. No, they may not look the same, talk the same, believe the same… Maybe all you can see are the differences.

But, maybe, we’re all more connected than we realize.

Maybe that person is looking for acceptance just like you are.

Maybe, just maybe, that person has hurts just like you do.

Maybe that person is struggling with addiction, with loss, with grief, with heartache… just like you are.

Maybe, just maybe… that person has a heart just like you do.

So next time your fingers jump to respond in anger, remember how much we’re all connected. 


Inspired by “The Comments Section” by Sidewalk Prophets

“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” -‭‭1 Thessalonians‬ ‭5:16-18‬ ‭(NIV‬‬)

I find it interesting that Merriam Webster’s first definition of thankful is “conscious of benefit received.”

It’s easy to associate thankfulness with good things.

“Thank you for the compliment.”
“Thank you for serving my food.”
“Thank you for the gift.”
“Thank you for holding the door open.”

But, what about the not-so-good?

“Thank you for holding up traffic.”
“Thank you for this extra workload.”
“Thank you for leaving your dirty clothes everywhere.”
“Thank you for this storm.”

That sounds crazy, right? Unless someone is being passive aggressive and spewing sarcasm (which, I’ve learned, typically does more harm than good), it’s unlikely that those sentiments would come from a person’s mouth.

However, as it always does, God’s Word challenges us to go beyond the instinctive.

“…give thanks in all circumstances…”

Some people jump to the defense and say things like, “I can’t be thankful for sickness! I can’t be thankful for this pain and grief!”

I’d have to agree.

That’s why it’s important to note the small preposition used in this admonition from 1 Thessalonians. We aren’t to be thankful for all circumstances, but rather we are to thankful in all circumstances.

It really boils down to perspective. 

Will I dwell on the pain of my situation, or will I focus on the personal growth that could happen as a result?

Will I drown in grief, or will I embrace fond memories?

So while I may not always be thankful for my circumstances, I choose to be grateful in the midst of my circumstances.

  • Jesus loves me, and He has never failed me.
  • I have breath in my body.
  • There is hope beyond this life.
  • I have a loving family.
  • Beauty can be found in the smallest things, like the autumn air and the faithful sunrise.
  • I have a home, plenty of clothes, and a variety of food.
  • …and on, and on, and on.

Yes, there is so much to be thankful for, despite circumstances.

Talk about defying expectations. 🙂 Ah, a good topic for another day…

May you be filled with gratitude, no matter how different this holiday season may be.

Happy Thanksgiving to all!

My hands and feet look shackled
But my spirit cries, “I’m free”
My body wracks with pain
Yet, my spirit cries, “I’m free”

The world looks on in wonder
They mock, and laugh, and scorn
All the more my spirit cries
Again and forevermore
“I’m free”


My home seems like a prison
But, my spirit cries, “I’m free”
Life may be unfair
Yet my spirit cries, “I’m free”

Sometimes the road seems long
And I can’t always find my way
But when I lack the faith
Jesus whispers
“You are free”


Not by might, nor by your power
Can you say, “I am free”
But it’s by the blood of Jesus
That your spirit cries, “I’m free”

So shake the shackles off
Defy pain, and shame, and fear
And don’t you worry about tomorrow
Because forever
You are free

Kelsi Morrell © 2019

A lot of people write about the power of saying, “No.” Saying no to another project or commitment calling your name; saying no in order to be sure and take care of yourself; saying no so that you won’t become overloaded and take on too much responsibility. Saying no can free one to pursue their own hopes and dreams, to find what you’re truly passionate about. Saying no can be liberating.

However, saying “Yes” can be just as powerful, just as liberating, if not more so. I fear that, with all the encouragement to remember the power of “no,” we forget the incredible power of saying “Yes.”

Do I think that every project we are asked to take on must be accepted? No. But I do believe wholeheartedly that the attitude with which we approach life can greatly affect the attitude with which we approach our God.

Have you ever thought about the power in saying yes to God?

“Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.” (Matthew‬ ‭16:24-25‬)

The power of saying “Yes” to God cannot be underestimated. His ways are so much higher than our own, and He works in ways which we cannot even begin to comprehend. Who am I to tell the Lord that I can’t handle another “responsibility” or “burden” which He may ask me to carry? He created me after all, and knows my limitations.

I’ll just say “Yes
You’ll lead the way
I’m not afraid of what it means for me to say
This life You gave
Is not my own
I’m trusting You to hear my “Yes”
And lead me on 

And there is peace when I say, “Yes”
I might not see it now
But You save the best 
For all who trust You and obey
There is an answer
No more delay 

I’ll just say “Yes”
Yes Lord
My life is Yours

The liberty, the freedom, the peace, the overwhelming joy that will come when you say “Yes” to whatever God asks is worth every sacrifice involved. Indeed, there are so many benefits in the power in saying yes to God.