Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Unexpected Memories

It is a day of fever, a sore throat
and generally feeling blah.
I've cancelled my schedule for Wednesday
in favor of trying to accelerate
recovery from this "bug".
Besides my voice sounds like a foghorn
at the moment and isn't much good for
singing or teaching.
Tonight was supposed to be a long
awaited dinner with Michael and Emily
but can you believe she is also feeling
under the weather?
Poor dear.
I tell you all of this in an attempt to have
you judge me less harshly when I tell
you the reason I was inspired to
pop on here and write this post.
You see
I just noticed something that took me back
to some very special times in my childhood.
Back to the days when we lived in the parsonage
beside the church my Dad pastored.
In that church was a study
where Daddy spent many, many hours
preparing for his Wednesday evening prayer meetings,
Sunday morning and evening sermons.
In the course of most days he would head next door
with plates and cups in hand.
He would return empty handed.
After a while there would be a noticeable shortage
of dishes and glasses in our cupboards.
When this happened Mom would offer my
brother and I an opportunity to earn some
money by gathering all of those things back up again.
Off we would go with a basin to carry our treasures in.
We enjoyed this.
I mean, the man had plates, cups, saucers, spoons, knives and forks
everywhere over there.
It was a very real treasure hunt!
We were paid in coin
but to us it was just what we needed
 to purchase
Bottle Caps, Gobstoppers and Grape Bubble Yum
at the little grocery store a few miles away.
It was within reach by bike.
Now you may have figured out what it was that inspired this
memory today.
Perhaps not....
But it was the moment I looked up at the window sill
and saw not one, not two...
but three cups from today.
My cups.
One for hot tea, one was coffee
and one was orange juice.
Apparently the apple doesn't fall far from
the tree when it comes to collecting
cups, at least.
And in a time when my dad is on my mind
I just don't feel too badly about that.
I hope I have other traits of his as well....
since this wasn't one that we generally bragged about,
ok, we never bragged about it....
but he could have had much worse vices
than that of eating in his office.
Well, and not returning his utensils.
But don't you find that it is the little things that
bring them back to our minds?
These ones not with us now.
I'm thankful that it has come to a point where the
pain of loss is less than the sweetness of the memory.
For those who are facing new grief
know that time does help.
Walk the path.
Feel the feelings.
Trust the Lord.
Look forward to that day when the
memories bring sweet comfort
and smiles to your heart.
Miss you, Daddy.
See you when the time is just right.
This post is dedicated to two wonderful friends
who have recently lost their fathers
 very unexpectedly.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Missing Time with the Camera

Hello!  It has been more than a month since my last post.  Unbelievable!  I guess without taking my camera out and capturing beautiful things it just isn't as exciting to blog.  But that doesn't mean that nothing has happened.  Not at all.  We have been living it up!  Hehe.

Warren and I had a very fun date on Saturday.  We went to see Mark Lowry and The Martins in concert at the American Music Theater.  It was great.  I loved how chatty Mark was.  Getting to hear more from him than one can when you see him at a Homecoming event or the Gaither Vocal Band.  It was very special.
Taken with my phone from the balcony.  They were there...not the ghosts they appear to be. 

The Martins are siblings who have very tight harmony.  They have a new acapella project and sang some songs from it.  We enjoyed it very much.   And then we were off to meet up with some friends who are doing a candle fundraiser toward their adoption of a second little boy from China.  His name will be Hudson.  Here's the really fun part about this meet up, though.  We decided to go to Chili's near their home and meet someone there for the candle exchange.  Right beside the Chili's is a Dunkin' Donut.  So....Warren and I enjoyed a fabulous dinner and then he got after dinner coffee as we met two of the family's beautiful daughters to hand off the candles.  Mixing business with pleasure?  Always!

Speaking of business and pleasure.  I've hired a helper on a semi regular basis.  I really have two helpers but one in more persistent in asking to help.  :-)  I love both of them!  Melissa has been a long time friend and so having her here once a week or so to help me get stuff done is more like hanging out with a friend than having a work night.  Although, I do make her work for her pay.  :-)  Ask her about wicking tea lights and how much she likes working with my poor old broken hot glue gun.  Ha. It is definitely time to get a new one.  It is just one of those things that you get used to working with and really don't think that much about until someone points out how bad it really is.

Last month we had a one month anniversary party for Michael and Emily.  It was so special to see family that we haven't seen in a very long time.  Aunts and Uncles came in from far.  I was going to say near and far but none are near ....so they all came from far.

 It was also fun to see cousins again.  Our kids don't really know their second cousins because they are all ...far...away.  But they enjoyed each other's company.  We took the family guests to see Moses.  I think they liked it.  What's not to like, right?  I enjoyed seeing the show again.  It is a great production and a truly wonderful story.

Chelsea got good news recently.  She was promoted to full time at Sight and Sound in concessions. We are very happy for her.  She loves to stay busy and without a firm plan for her future this was something she really needed.  It took effort and growth on her part since they were looking for her to become more outgoing and confident.  In her usual Chelsea way once she knew what they wanted she set out to challenge herself to work hard on this area.  Forcing herself to start conversations with guests and other employees, etc.  She really made huge strides and surprised herself by enjoying this new aspect of her job.  She has made some wonderful friendships among her co-workers and it pleases us to no end to see her settling back in after nearly a year of struggle after her YWAM trip.  There are many wonderful things about doing missions....coming home and readjusting are not some of them.  We knew going in that it would be hard but it isn't something that you can really prepare for.  Even while she is doing the work of settling back in she is studying the Thai language seriously.  It is so neat to hear it roll off her tongue.  It is on her heart to return to Thailand at some point in the future.  And while she has applied to return as early as July we have serious doubts about that....with the world in the condition it is in and other things to consider.  However, God knows.  He would have to change the hearts of her parents on that one.

I'm leading a Small Group at a large ladies Bible Study.  Ridiculous of me to try to do this in the Fall with all things candle at record levels but it just makes me rely on the Lord more.  I know I can't do it in my own strength and so far He has supplied my needs there.  We are doing Beth Moore's study on I and II Thessalonians.  Amazing!!  Altogether there are more than 100 ladies coming.  We have about 12 in our group.  Twelve lovely and encouraging ladies.  What a blessing!

The other blessing that is coming out of this Bible Study is the gift of song.  I get to help lead worship each Wednesday morning.  This is a dream come true.  I feel as if God has "Opened up the Floodgates" of blessing in my life lately.

And on the same note...I am also teaching music at the co-op we graduated from.  Two classes...2nd/3rd and 4th-6th.  What a blast this is!  We sing together, laugh and play as we learn music theory.  I am so delighted to have so many long held desires met all at the same time.  I feel the love of God poured out in my life.  We have come through very dark and trying times in the past year but He was faithful through them all and is blessing us with JOY now.

At the same time I must ask you to pray for one of my dear friends who lost her father unexpectedly.  I saw her yesterday and the pain is intense.  I know she would appreciate your prayers.  And also for another friend, whose son fell from a horse yesterday.  He fell directly onto his face and has lost some teeth and also broke his jaw.  There are some other damages as well but those were the most severe.  In this world we WILL have trials....but we know the ONE who has overcome.  Holding onto HIM.  Lifting these families up in prayer.

Well, enough of my rambling.  Have a blessed day.