Tuesday, October 26, 2010

A Joyful Noise

My mother gave her life to God last summer. That began her journey into the world of music devoted to the Creator and Redeemer, especially the stuff she heard at church on the weekends. She ransacked my collection of CD's, wearing them out in her portable CD player, lamenting as one song after another became scratched to the point of no return.

So my sister and I got her an mp3 player for Mother's Day, and my dear friend loaded it with some great stuff from her own collection (which is, admittedly, much more extensive than mine). As with the portable CD player, she would don her headphones and be "Jammin' with Jesus" for hours on end.

She loves to sing along, praising the One who makes all things new.

She cannot sing. Even without the headphones on and at full volume. Seriously. It's... It's bad. I'm not gonna lie.

...My niece starts to ask "What's that sou-- Oh," giggles, "Mawmaw's singin again." More giggles.

...I pull in the front yard and panic wondering what is crying out in agony.

...People driving past with their windows down slow down and look around with worried expressions.

...Dogs howl in the distance.

...And I fully believe that God responds, too.

I can hear Him hush all of Heaven, so He can listen. I envision the Holy Spirit stopping what He is doing to hover over her, enrapt by the beautiful sound rising up to Him. I can picture Jesus leaning over, savoring the sweet aroma that is her praise!

She knows Who her audience is. And it's not me, or the neighbors, or the dogs down the street. She could care less what we think. And her Audience doesn't hear the missed notes. He hears a melody, pure and holy; unrivaled by the angels themselves! An offering of adoration poured out from a heart that once was dead and knows it! She's not worried about her singing; she's rejoicing in the new life she's been given! Making a joyful noise!

And I am convinced that Mom's singing is God's favorite.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Eventual Left

You know that guy in front of you, with his left turn signal going?

"Wait, he just turned right out of that parking lot. Why is his left signal on?"

*blink, blink, blink*

"Maybe his right one's broken and he was just doing the best he could. It should go off riiigghhttt aboooouuuutttt now."

*blink, blink*

"Hm. Well, he'll hear it clicking in just a second." You tighten your grip on the steering wheel in subconscious agitation. Your palms start sweating and you realize you're gritting your teeth...

*blink, blink, blink*


...OK. So maybe the "eventual left" doesn't bug you as much as it does me. But I got behind that guy on my way home from work tonight and MAN does it bug me!

Of course, that guy doesn't mean to raise my blood pressure. He's not even aware of the fact that he is sending mixed signals (I meant to do that.). Inside the car, he is heading forward, toward his destination. Outside the car, the rest of us are thinking he's gonna turn there. No. Maybe there. No. There. No. He gives the impression that he's turning, when in fact that is (apparently) not his intention at all.

And that got me thinking... How often am I an eventual left?

In my heart, I want to "praise the Lord at all times." In my countenance, the busted radiator hose spewing antifreeze out of my truck irreparably damages my day.

In my heart, I strive to be compassionate. In my communicating, I don't hear what my mother is saying because I'm already whining about my terrible day before she even finishes her thought.

In my heart, I long to be selfless. In my actions, everything I do, say, think, intend, plan, contemplate is centered around how it benefits Numero Uno. Or would it be "Numera Una" in my case? I digress...

My intention is to live as Christlike as possible. To serve others. To help people. To be a willing vessel that He can use in whatever capacity He chooses. And to do it all with a good attitude. But sometimes, maybe even most times, the impression I give is entirely different.

Thank God for that little nudge, that voice that says, "You're blinker's on. You look pretty stupid right now cuz you're saying you're turning, but you're not planning on it. Might wanna turn that off." (Hey, the Holy Spirit communicates in ways I can understand, ok? Hehe.)

What about you? Have you ever found yourself driving with your blinker on?

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

I Boke It, Tica!

I work at a daycare with 12-24 month old toddlers. They call me Tica, which is the name my niece gave me when from "Aunt Marica" she picked out the "T" and "-ica".

There was one little girl. Big green eyes, hair always falling into her cherubic little face no matter how many bows her mother adorned her with... And at 22-months-old she knew everything and could do it all by herself!

"You're going to break it if you don't let me help." I'd warn as she pulled on and struggled with a toy that she knew came apart but didn't quite know how. I'd reach and she'd snatch away. I'd tell her to let me show her and she'd turn her back to me. Utterly irritated, I would finally just give up and turn my attention to someone else.

And inevitably...

"I boke it, Tica." There she would be at my knee, pieces of toy in each hand, looking up at me with those big green eyes. No apologies in those eyes. No "You were rights" or "I was wrongs". No excuses. Just faith. Absolute trust that I could put it back together good as new. I could have left the toy in pieces to prove the point that she should have let me help in the first place, and many times I wanted to. But that complete faith in those innocent eyes and that sweet voice with her missing R's was always too disarming. It never failed that I would pick her up and put her in my lap to let her watch as I popped little plastic parts back in place. She would grin at me in awe as I handed her toy back, good as new, and then she'd be off trying to take it apart again...

"I broke it, God" I say as I display the disassembled fragments of situation that I pushed and pulled and tugged and twisted, being sure that the desired outcome had to be there somehow, until it all just fell apart. How exasperated He must get with me, knowing that He has the answers if I would just listen and let Him. But at 24-years-old I know everything and can do it all by myself. How tempting it must be to just leave my life in the shambles I put it in, in order to teach me the lesson.

And yet how just like Him to smile, pull me into His lap and say "Watch" as He effortlessly repairs the damage I have done. And even to revel in my wonder as I look up at him in amazement when He hands me back something even better than before!

"I tell you the truth, anyone who doesn't receive
the Kingdom of God like a child will never enter it."
Jesus as recorded in Mark 10:15

Monday, October 11, 2010


-noun. a renewal of life, vigor, interest, etc.; rebirth; revival (dictionary.com).

That's what this blog needs: a renewal of life, a renaissance.

Who am I kidding? Renaissance is what this GIRL needs! And I'm getting it, whether I like it or not. I scream I need change, and nothing happens. God says We're redoing things now, and I squeak and panic and start grabbing at things that He's shaking loose as if I can keep it all in place.

I'm a control freak. He's determined to break me of it. And deep down, I want it to happen. I want to let go. To just surrender and enjoy the ride.

Here's to trying!

Here's to Renaissance!