Saturday, June 26, 2010

The Joy of NOT Being a Professional

This has got to be a first for me - I'm sitting at the Birmingham Museum of Art, listening to the strings rehearse the Holst suite - and blogging!  (I love Wifi!)

Plus, I get to watch my amazing husband at work. . . . .

. . . which always makes my heart go pitter patter!

And I have to admit, there's a definite joy for me in NOT being a professional  musician.

I mean, other than the fact that no one would ever hire me.  And I'd have to practice a lot more.  But that's beside the point.

It is such a treat, such a privilege for me to play.  When I get the oppportunity, to be able to sit in an orchestra, or this time around, sit in a chamber group - it is sheer joy.  Not drudgery, not wondering when I'm going to get my union-sanctioned break, but joy. 

There's just something - how to explain - there's an "in the moment" feeling, where the only thing I'm thinking about is the quality of my sound, working with the group, the phrase, intonation (ugh.  always intonation). . . . . not about cleaning the house, solving the next kid issue, what's for dinner, our budget (ugh.  always the budget), or tomorrow's schedule. 

You get the picture, I think.

A moment.  A few moments.  To be, and enjoy, and make music. 

It brings me great joy in my journey.

Friday, June 25, 2010

A Weekend Read - Especially for my Mommy friends

Dear Friends:

This blog post, by Marcia Somerville, encouraged me greatly yesterday.  I've had many days when I've been wailing, "But GOD!  I'm toooo buu-ssss-yyyy!" (Insert whiny voice here)

I'm starting to see them as a blessing.  Really.

Go read.  You won't regret it.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Contrast and Conviction

I had an interesting experience this morning. . . .

I had to bring a forgotten item this morning to church, where many summer camps and programs are in progress.  When I went to drop the bags off outside the classroom, I noticed the room was rather quiet.  Figuring they had just left to gather their campers, I peeked in - and was awed and humbled and convicted as I saw the worshipful attitude of a room full of teenagers, pouring their hearts out to God in prayer.

Realizing I couldn't interrupt their time, I walked down the hallway to find my oldest, and let her know the wayward crafts had arrived.  As I approached another classroom down another hallway, I heard a strange "snapping" sound.  Walking past, I realized that this was a different group of teenagers, warming up for their day of helping summer campers by playing some sort of game.

The contrast was stunning.  As was the conviction that immediately followed.

How often do I spend my morning preparing for my ministry by truly, wholeheartedly, passionately worshiping God? 

How much more often do I spend my morning preparing for another day of "events", with the spiritual equivalent of playing a "game" with my personal relationship with the most Holy God?

I have much to repent of, indeed.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Wordless Wednesday - Anniversary Edition

(here's to at least 19 more years of joy in our journey)

Breaking Hard Ground

Two Saturdays ago, I did a rather foolish thing.

I decided to dig a pumpkin garden.  In hard, Alabama clay soil.  By hand.  In 90 degree heat.

Yeah, I know.  Vintage Heather moment.  My hands hurt for days.  And wouldn't you know?

I still haven't gotten the pumpkins in!  Waiting on some nice, fresh horse manure from next door, but that's a whole 'nother story.

The day after I attempted this rather futile project, I left Facebook.  At least for the summer, and maybe for good.  What does that have to do with digging around in the dirt?

Plenty.  For some time - maybe the past 3 months or so - I've felt the still, small voice of the Lord whispering to me.  He's got some work to do on my heart.  There are areas of sin that need digging up, turning over, fertilizing with tears of repentance, and planting the seeds of the Word of God.  And - kindly - God showed me that my - ahem - addiction to dear Facebook was not helping.

You know, when your kids say, "MOM!  You're not going to put that on facebook, are you?"  There might be an issue.

I'm just sayin'.

So I'm spending the summer digging, weeding, fertilizing and planting in the soil of my heart.  Praying for God to cause His Word to grow deep roots. 

And for my heart to be more responsive to Him than my small, hard, still-not-planted pumpkin patch.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Seismic Shift

This is my baby.

The one who introduced me to motherhood and adulthood, all in the same moment.

The one who I was certain would never sleep through the night, or learn to eat solid food, or toilet train.

She's wearing business casual.

Today - (ok, well, it really was a last week, but we had a vacation in there) - she started her first job.

(Disclaimer:  alright, really this is NOT her first job.  She's taught ballet and run her own camp for 3-4 years.  This is somehow - I don't know.  More official, or something.)

She's working 20 hours a week for the kids' missions program at church, and in the fall it will go to 25-28 hours.  I'm so proud of her.  This position is a perfect merge of her amazing organizational skills, her love for children, and her love for missions.

There is, at the same time, a seismic shift going on at home.  Suddenly, my right-hand girl will be out from under my wings, and away from our home for most days of the week.  The rest of us - her four younger siblings and me (especially me!) - are finding our new places as we manage the void.  She's not gone, really. . . . . .but it does change the way we operate on a day to day basis.

It's strange, and good, and sad, and happy.

All at the same time.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Only on Vacation. . . .

Thanks in large part to the Giant Polar Pop my Dad bought me at 9 p.m. tonight, I'm up late here at the lake while the entire house is asleep.  I'm going to pay for this in the morning, I know, but thought I'd use my time productively with a few snapshots of vacation so far.  If I'd remembered to pack my camera cord, this post would be a lot more entertaining, but here goes. . . . . . .

Memorable Moment #1:  The Traffic

In all our years of travel to and from Indiana, this was by far the worst.  We were stopped - a dead stop - just south of Horse Cave, Kentucky (Google it, people!) due to an accident on I-65.  One hour and ten minutes later, traffic started moving.  While we did praise God that a) we were not actually IN the accident and b) that we had 3/4 a tank of gas, it was c) not fun at. all. and d) even more not. fun. when the driver (that would be me) had just had a large caffeinated beverage and really needed a ladies' room even before the traffic stopped.  One mile short.  Of the exit.

Memorable Moment #2:  The Cousins' Yard Sale

Thanks to the magic of facebook (love it or hate it - it's still magic, I say!), my Dad & I headed down to my cousins' yard sale on Saturday, where the following exchange occurred:

Amy:  "Mom! I found this kitty!"  (holding large, stuffed, kitty that we most CERTAINLY do not need)
Cousin Jessica:  "You know, today we have a special going on.  Kitties are free to little girls named Amy."
Amy:  (eyes suddenly big and round)  "MOM!  MY name is Amy!!!"  Grin.

We came home with 3 yo-yos, some scissors, and a large, stuffed kitty.  That we certainly did not need.  But you know?  It was vacation.

Memorable Moment #3:  The Dance Recital

You know, in all my years as a "ballet mom", I've never sat through someone else's kids' recital???

And now I have.  Maddie was beautiful.

And I would just like to say - 

Thank you to all of you - near and far - who have sat through my girls' recitals.  Really.  I get it now.

Thank you.

Memorable Moment #4:  The Graduation Party

My cousin's son graduated from high school.   For so many years, we've not been around for family events - it was fun to be there for this one!  I'm not sure my two younger girls realized that it was a graduation party - to them, it was an excuse to bounce in an inflatable bouncy-house.

But congratulations to Jared!  

And the cake was delicious ;-)

Memorable Moment #5:  Today

It was the ONLY day predicted to have decent weather.  

We swam at the beach, which was mostly deserted and wonderful!  But may I recommend that if you ever use spray-on suntan lotion, you actually rub it around?  The top of my legs look like a white milk splatter on a red sunburn.  (And no, I will NOT be posting a picture of this, even if I DO find my camera cord!)

Then we tubed.  I did not take pictures, because I have about 7 years of pictures of various children on an inner tube being pulled around the lake.  Again, lake to ourselves.  Psyche!!!

Down to Grandma's for dinner.  So good to see her, and spend a little time as a "diversion" for my Mom.  
Again, Mom, the cake was delicious ;-)

Visit after dinner with my Uncle and Aunt.  Their farm is crawling with stinky hunting dogs, cantakerous cats, and lots of good childhood memories.  

So there.  Probably the. most. boring blog post ever.  

I promise to get more interesting tomorrow.

Or not.

I'm on vacation!