Thursday, March 29, 2012

Live Music

Today was not a great day. I was tired. I was grumpy because of snow and rain and gray and ... and ... and .... It was blah. Blah. BLah.

It all turned around around 6pm. When the Jr. High Jazz band began to play Swamp Monster.

It wasn't just a 'it got less blah' turn around. It was a sit on my seat, move to the music, grin like a fool in love kind of turn around. I'm pretty sure that if you measured my heart rate, it not only would have sounded healthier, it would have sounded happier.

I forget this. But every time I around live music, from the Junior High Jazz band surrounded with family to community to Natalie MacMaster on a special night out with a friend, my spirit is healed and raised up to soaring.

I don't know if music does this for everyone.

But I do believe that everyone has something that does this for them.

What Wakes you up? Can you do it this weekend?

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

John Bunyan

Marc and I have had this book for longer than we have been married. It is a compilation from the folks at Renovare - our very favorite small group resource. My 2012 intentions include thoughtfully reading parts of this book. 

Most recently, I read excerpts from John Bunyan. John Bunyan was gifted to preach in a time when only those with the right pedigree and connections were allowed to. Consequently, he spent a lot of time in jail where he wrote what he is most known for -  "The Pilgrim's Progress". These quotes aren't from TPP, but even weeks later still have me thinking a lot about the stewardship of my life. (bold is my emphasis, and my favorite part)

"I began to see that the Holy Spirit never intended that people who had gifts and abilities should bury them in the earth, but rather, he commanded and stirred up such people to the exercise of their gift and sent out to work those who were able and ready. And so, although I was most unworthy of all the saints, I set upon this work."
"I perceived that although gifts are good to accomplish the task they are designed for - the edification of others - yet they are empty and without power to save the soul unless God is using them. And having gifts is no sign of a person's relationship to God. This also made me see that gifts are dangerous things, not in themselves, but because of those evils of pride and vainglory that attend them. Blown up with the applause of ill-advised Christians, the poor creatures who possess these gifts can easily fall into the condemnation of the Devil.
Gifts are desirable, but great grace and small gifts are better than great gifts and no grace. The Bible does not say that the Lord gives gifts and glory, but that he gives grace and glory. Blessed is everyone to whom the Lord gives true grace, for that is a certain forerunner of glory."
John Bunyan (1628-1688)

Monday, March 12, 2012


I remember how I felt in third grade when introduced to multiplication. The stomach/head anxiety multiplication gave me is still a sharp shadow. Not getting it. Not getting it. Day after day. The whole year.

I don't remember ever receiving a failing grade or my parents being called in for a conference. But I remember that year knowing that this didn't make sense to me and that it terrified me. (So did my teacher that year, but that's not part of this story.)

I believe it was the first time in school something was hard for me. And I didn't know how to ask for help.

I had built the habits, rewarded by the school, of being a quick, independent learner.  Well, not really learner. More of a performer. I had acquired no learning skills.

For the rest of my academic career, I continued on the same path. Mostly it was easy. But when it wasn't, I knew there was something terribly wrong with me, and I would rather live in fear and anxiety than admit it to an adult that I needed help or clarification.

The habits are still pretty similar, though with the coaxing of Marc (for 17years!) and the learning environment we are trying to provide for our kids, I am beginning to become a true learner.

 I just last year began to not feel stupid when I had so say 'I don't understand, please tell me that again.' And the amazing thing is that no one has ever walked away from the conversation or the friendship because I asked for help.