Monday, November 29, 2010

through the trees

There are images I store up in my mind, as a virtual scrapbook of happiness ready at a moment's notice. Sunlight through the trees. My father's crooked smile. Long winding roads through the Florida countryside. Lit up Christmas trees in a darkened room.

There are sounds with equal recall power: water rushing down a river, a motorcycle, Jim Brickman piano cds and my niece and nephews laughing.

You know how it feels when the warmth of memories rush back and flood your body, and your fingers tingle and the corners of your eyes are mysteriously wet. All of a sudden, you are transported to the place and time where the love was overflowing and the arms of your loved ones were especially warm.

This is also the feeling of worship.

How precious is the gift of words put to song on a Sunday morning? Well, any morning. Well, any time of the day, thanks to my iPod and some earphones. I am thankful for the whispered words of inspiration given to songwriters who can so eloquently express what it means to be loved by our God and to worship him wholly. Now, my voice is not what you would call beautiful, or even halfway nice, but I worship with enthusiasm.

Hands raised.

Side to side shuffle.

Eyes raised to the sky.

Thanks to a quirk of fate, I sit in the balcony row behind the sound booth, because that is where my husband is on Sundays. At first, I didn't like being out of the crowd. I felt on display. But then I realized that I had more space, which oddly makes it more intimate. Without the crush of the crowd, but with the swell of the music and the flow of the Spirit, my little balcony perch is the perfect place for me to enter into worship.

I am thankful for our worship team and their commitment to the excellence at each service, but I am more thankful to a God who holds my world in his hands. As our pastor said yesterday, sometimes we have to quit whining about where we are and look for God in the spot where he has placed us. My life isn't an accident. Worship him where you are at, and he'll show himself to you.

I've felt broken, but he is my repair.
I've felt alone, but he is always there.

Lift your eyes to the sky and experience the light through the trees. Take a moment and tell him your worries and burdens...release them.

I promise you will feel pounds lighter.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

she looks happy...

Normally when I get out the camera, Phoebe runs away, or at least averts her eyes. Strangely, once we had to put a cone on her to stop her from licking the fur off her paw, she lights up for the camera.

What a happy smile!

This photo freaks Charlie out, but I really love how close she let me get to her face. I tell you, normally she is SHY when it comes to the camera. That's why I normally have pictures of her sleeping.

In reality, she hates the cone and because she is such a big dog, it is a big cone. A really big cone. The first couple of nights, she knocked several things over moving around the house, and now she uses it to push us around too. That part is annoying.

Still, recorded for history, she looks happy in the cone. I will choose to remember this reality.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

an ode to dad

I've got Sammy out today, as today is Veteran's Day and my dad passed away 13 years ago today. But, instead of being sad for you, I thought I would share some funny things about my dad with you.

Here goes:

  • My dad ate his buttered popcorn with a spoon, since he didn't like to get his hands greasy.
  • He named all our dogs Fuzzy. We never had more than one at a time, but they were all named Fuzzy.
  • He called our Ford Festiva a Ferrari all the time, even though it only had four speeds.
  • He taught me to drive stick shift.
  • He introduced me to James Bond, Garrison Keillor, Michael Crichton and the Shadow.
  • My addiction to magazines comes from my dad.
  • He drove us from Alaska to Florida in a two door Cadillac the year I was eight.
  • He collected antique radios and all us kids have one now.
  • He recorded Dave Letterman every night and we watched the monologue and Top Ten list every morning over breakfast.
  • When we were kids we had these things called "run-and-hold-you-ups" in which we ran down the hall and jumped into his arms and he held us up over his head. Fancy name, I know.
  • He would dance with me in the kitchen. He was killer at the twist.
  • He was 6 foot 6 inches tall.
  • He loved Grey Poupon.
  • He wore flannel shirts before they were cool and let me steal them when grunge was cool.
  • He encouraged Senior skip day.
  • He laughed like Bill Cosby. He pulled pranks like Bill Cosby.
  • He loved a La-Z-Boy recliner which I have inherited.
  • He loved Wendy's Frostys, McDonald's Hamburgers, and pizza with salt and pepper.
He loved me, too. And I miss him.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

foster care?

Today we went to a meeting about Foster Care and Adoption, hosted by a couple at our church that adopted from Guatemala. It had been on their hearts for a couple of years to connect all of us at our church that our interested in any kind of adoption, whether international, domestic or through the foster care system. Charlie and I thought it was a good idea to attend, and we did.

It was an interesting hodgepodge of information, testimonies, and information from a couple of women in the adoption industry. One from an adoption agency, one from an agency that licenses couples to foster or foster/adopt. There was even one speech from a teenage girl currently in the foster system who was encouraging couples to look at adopting teens. We all wanted to instantly take her home.

It was an emotional lunch and the lady who spoke about fostering is thinking about offering 30 hour course at our church in the new year, that we can take over 10 weeks. I think we are going to do it, not because we are certain we are going to go the foster care route, but because we feel God pushing our hearts to expand. Who knows where it will lead, and I haven't really had time to process all of this with Charlie yet. I came home after the meeting, but he had to stay and work. I went home and curled up with my nook. And some cold medicine. And my doggies.

So, just pray that we will know the will of the Lord and it will be clear to us.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

rooting for the wrong side

Only recently I started watching The Good Wife, and I love it. I really like the characters and have been a fan of Josh Charles forever. The premise is very interesting, and something ripped from the headlines. How can the wife of a prominent politician stand by his side when the whole world knows your husband is scum. That he cheated on you, paid for it, and isn't shamed by it.

L to R: Josh Charles, Julianna Margulies and Chris Noth

Now, I'm all about keeping your marriage vows and working through any problems you might have, but if someone's infidelity is splashed around the internet and public media it brings a whole other layer to it. It's not just in your home, it's in EVERYONE'S home.

What to do? Hmmm.

But that isn't the point to my post. The point of this is, I keep rooting for the main character Alicia to leave her husband and get together with the romantic love interest. Her husband is a cheat, obviously, and kind of a shady character, but shouldn't I want her to work it out. I mean, that's what I would recommend to a real life friend. I would want them to at least try and work it out. But on this show, the chemistry is between Alicia and Will, her boss and college boyfriend. There are long pauses, stolen glances, and that one kiss. (If you've seen the show, you know what kiss I'm talking about!)

It is in the writing. I know it is entertainment. It is designed to make you want to root for certain characters. And they know you want to give her a "get out of marriage free" card because her husband cheated on her with prostitutes. And the husband character, although he does profess his love for her, just doesn't seem to get the whole situation. He doesn't understand why his wife doesn't just want to take him back.

So, in this situation, I don't want her to cheat on her husband. I want her to end it and move on to the other guy. I want this because this is television, and not real life. I want this because I have had a crush on Josh Charles for years (remember, I already said that.)

What do you think about television shows that make you wonder what you would do in real life?