Sunday, October 24, 2010

Remembering the Loaves and Fishes

This week I did something I haven't done in years.

I bought a new music accompaniment track.

Years ago, I was very involved in the music ministry of my church, singing solos, acting in our huge Christmas and Easter productions, etc., etc., etc. But then came the difficult years and my voice was striken from me.

Not to mention my heart and soul.

As many of you know, in the last few years I've been on a quest to find my voice again. My doctor put me on some thyroid medication. Then we changed it after it seemed I might have an allergy to the binding agent in that particular brand.

Since then, I've gotten alot of my voice back but not to the capacity, clarity, and dependability that it once was, which has been very difficult for me to accept. Used to I never had to think twice about my voice cracking or just disappearing on me suddenly, but it is something I've had to work on and try to adapt to in order to sing these days (and some days are better than others).

A few years ago I wrote about having participated in a musical Christmas play at my church. Still not the best singing job but better, and it felt so great to be acting again and reaching others. Recently my music pastor has had me do some poems and scripture readings in services - can't tell you how wonderful that has felt. This week he also asked me to participate in the praise team in a couple of weeks.

That's gotten me to thinking.

When you've been used to having a clear and lovely voice, it's hard to accept anything less from yourself. But what if - just what if - God could still use whatever voice I have to reach others? No it isn't perfect, no it isn't what I've grown up being used to, but maybe just my willingness to put myself in the hands of my Lord, He might touch someone through the words of a song. I long to once again be an instrument played beautifully by the hands of God again, have His light shine through me and touch others. It's truly the most incredible feeling in the world.

So even though I expect perfection from myself, perhaps the little I have to give is all He needs to touch a life or two. I'll never know until I make myself available to Him in that way again.

Just can't help but remember what He did with a few loaves and fishes.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Comfort In The Midst of Uncomfortable

"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God."

2 Corinthians 1:3-4

How true this verse is being played out this week.

This evening I went over to the hospital in a nearby town to comfort a young friend. After getting my mother on the road toward health and healing from her mastectomy this past January, we received news this week that a friend was going to have to have a mastectomy.

She's in her early thirties.

Never dreamed I'd see someone else I know go through such a traumatic procedure so soon. Never in my life did I ever expect someone so young to have to endure it.

I mean, I know it happens - and to those even younger. But those are the stories you read about in the news or books. It's hit so close to home tonight.

Certainly hope I can be a comfort to her in the midst of this trying time. I was able to share some helpful hints before she went to the hospital this morning. It sure was good to see her tonight and know that she came through it okay.

But the road to recovery will be long and rough. The cancer is in her lymph nodes. I didn't have to endure that with my mother. Even so, I know I can still be a source of solid information and pray that I can be of comfort to her too. Somehow what we endured with my mom is coming back around to help someone else. Maybe - somehow - someway - what Mom went through is taking on even greater significance and meaning.

For there truly is comfort in the midst of the uncomfortable when we've walked that path of pain and lived through it.

Thanks, Mom, for allowing me this learning opportunity and enduring the pain you went through so that I could learn how to help someone else. Only God knew how soon I'd need to use His comfort once again.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Homecoming Happenings

Well tonight is the night of homecoming and all goes well thus far.

My son still is on tap with his date (they confirmed pick-up this afternoon) and has plans to meet with a group of friends and their dates for dinner before the dance. They're all looking forward to a fun, splendid time together.

Once again, we're having positive moments that continue to build on each other throughout his milestones of life. Senior year grades are holding up very well, he's connected deeply with guys in his youth group and made tons of new friends, his connection to the Lord is growing stronger every day, college is heavily in focus, and now an opportunity to take a lovely young lady to his high school dance.

This week we spent some time re-watching some of his Mark Gungor DVD's concerning Sex, Dating, and Relating. Then there's the Manly Man conference bonus DVD, but you don't want me to go there.

I've tried very hard to raise my son with a positive awareness of what it means to be a man of courage and character, to understand the differences in how men and women think, to be aware of pitfalls in dating and relationships, and to see realistically how physical intimacy in a relationship too often replaces true intimacy. These DVD's don't necessarily try to give a moral argument against sex and its equivalents before marriage (though they are from a Christian perspective) but a real-world argument about how physical intimacy before marriage too often destroys the foundation and trust needed for a marriage to succeed long-term.

I think we can see how that is daily played out in our culture.

I've made my own mistakes in this regard and wish very much to protect my son from the hurt, heartache, and disappointment that destruction leaves in its wake. I know in the end it will be his choice how to conduct himself in his relationships as he leaves the nest. But I never want him to come back and ask why no one ever told him. For me, I want to know that my son has a chance to live life and live it abundantly.

Maybe then he can be part of the solution instead of continuing to be a part of the problem. But for tonight, we'll just get past homecoming and his first real date.

Lord help me be able to sleep tonight. :-)

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Bursting My Buttons

I am proud of my son.

As I wrote this past spring, my son asked a young lady to go to his junior prom with him. However, said young lady ended up accepting then canceling on him at the last minute, which fried my butt to no end.

But tonight I'm proud to write that that little fiasco, as painful as it was at that time, hasn't stopped him from getting up and trying again. This weekend is homecoming and he's invited a girl from school to go with him. They've been hanging out talking after their government class and choir, so he decided this past Monday to take a chance.

She accepted.

They've been planning where to eat beforehand, clothing coordination, etc. My son even asked when his next haircut was rescheduled for after having to move it from last weekend. He was relieved when I told him we were able to get him in for this Saturday morning.

Just in time.

He's also planned his wardrobe, coordinated directions with his date, and is going to clean his car - and all of this without my having to direct the efforts.

Wow! It sure is nice having a responsible young man in the house. :-)

So I'm looking forward to sitting back and watching him take care of it all. Of course, I hope I get a picture or two of them together before the night is through.

Knowing him, I'm sure he'll swing by after they go eat dinner. Kinda goes back to that responsible thing, you know? My buttons on my blouse are about to burst - with pride!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

The Fast and Furious

October is here - the air has turned cool (thankfully) - the leaves are beginning to drop.

The college applications are coming in fast and furious.

For weeks now, my son has been bombarded with letters, postcards, and applications for various colleges throughout the country. My head is spinning, much less his. But he thinks he now knows where he'd like to attend next year, so we're at least getting a few items checked off the long list.

Now if we can stop adding five for each item we check off.

However, yesterday the mailbox contained something a little new. The college he's decided upon sent an unsolicited scholarship for the Dean's Scholarship, based upon his ACT scores. It's small but it is something and hopefully only one of many to come his way. He's planning to apply for a music scholarship as well so it would be wonderful to see that pan out for him too.

In the meantime, my hands are busy tapping away at admissions and scholarship application forms to guide my son through the process. Good thing I'm a writer, otherwise my fingers would be numb by now.

Makes me wonder what winter will bring.