Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Singing By Heart

Once a month, various people from our congregation descend upon an area nursing home/rehabilitation facility.  We roam up and down the halls inviting the residents to join us for a period of singing.  Some accept, while others decline.  We gather in a common area and pass out song books.  Age and time shadow the eyes of many of the residents making it difficult for them to see the pages.  A prayer opens our time together and then the singing starts.  I love to watch the residents as we sing.  On newer, unfamiliar songs, most sway along to the music and move their lips a little.  But when we begin a familiar song from the past, they come alive.  No books needed!  They sing out with heads tilted back, some tapping their hands on the arm of a wheelchair, all with a pleasant, peaceful look on their faces.  Something about a familiar tune seems to take them to another place and time.  Are they imagining they are on hard, wooden pews in a church building from childhood?  Are they picturing a scene from their youth when the family came together after supper and sang spirituals together?  Are they dreaming of a future home where they will sing praises around the feet of Jesus?  We may never know.  But I do know that at these times, they are singing by heart!

“Send Someone to Sing me Home
When my eyes are cloudy and my hair is gray
And I can’t remember the right words to say
When time is confusing and days seem like years
And I don’t know the meaning of my own tears
When youth is a distant memory so far away
And death feels closer with each passing day
When glimpses of Heaven and glory I see
And my heart’s prayers are silent pleas

God, send someone to sing to me
Of Heaven and hope and of Your glory
For it will be precious songs that spark
Sweet memories and restore my heart
Songs have a way of soothing my fears
Bringing me to Your feet where You dry my tears.
When confusion sets in and darkness has come
It will be a song that leads me home.

Sing me home when life gets hard.
Sing me home when days are dark.
Sing me home when life is short.
Sing me home to Heaven’s door.


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

A Lesson from the Kitchen

Some of you may have read my post on Facebook about my most recent kitchen disaster.  If so, bear with me while I give everybody else a recap of what happened.  My husband, Andy, is organizing Friday night supper for a men's retreat this weekend.  He has prepared chili...his famous "Andy's Disgustingly Hot Chili."  Trying to be helpful, I offered to make cornbread muffins for the hungry men to enjoy.  (Really, I was thinking they are going to need something to soak up all that heat!)  I love Jiffy Mix cornbread!  It's sweet tasting and easy to make.  So, I bought 12 boxes of mix (each box only makes six muffins), a dozen egg, and a bottle of oil.  I know, I know (now)...just hang with me here.  In order to speed things along, I quadrupled each recipe and mixed four batches at a time.  This is mainly because I have two muffin pans that each hold 12 muffins.  I stirred up four boxes of mix, four eggs, and 1 1/3 cups of oil.  You know, because each box called for one egg and 1/3 cup of oil.  While the first quadruple batch was baking, I mixed up the second quadruple batch.  I knew immediately when I pulled that first batch out of the oven that we had a problem.  The paper liners were shiny with oil and the tops of the muffins were caved in slightly.  Bravely, Andy sampled one and boldly told me what I already knew...they were nasty.  So, in the trash they went.  But, I already had the second batch mixed, so I stuck it in the oven as if something different would magically happen.  While it was baking, I decided that mixing four batches at a time must have messed up the chemistry of the process.  Determined to succeed, I mixed one box at a time and filled the muffin pans again.  Anxiously I awaited the beeping of the oven timer.  And once again the contents of the pans were dumped directly into the trash.  Distraught, I turned to my Facebook friends with a picture and this story.  I received lots of comfort and encouragement and then a dear friend pointed out the error of my ways.  She said that HER box of Jiffy Mix calls for MILK, not oil!!!!  Really?
Now for the lesson.  Why did I mess up?  Duh!!  I thought I knew what I was doing and that I didn't need to read the directions.  I put the wrong ingredients in my muffins because I thought I remembered from previous makings what they required.  Don't we do that with God's directions?  I do.  Getting up in the morning and charging into the day without refreshing my memory by spending time in God's direction book, I stumble and fumble and mess things up.  When I look back on the day, am I actually surprised that things didn't go well?  Again, duh!!  I always end up filling my day with better ingredients when I stop to read His directions for me first.  But, just like the muffin mess, often I make the same mistakes day after day after day, as if trying it one more time the same way will eventually get different results.  Reading directions is not overrated...especially when the directions are God's.   

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Saturday, November 10, 2012

My Husband, My Friend

 How do I love thee?  Let me count the ways...

1.  I love to see you laugh.  Like, really laugh, when you are sitting in the recliner watching something funny and you hold your head in your hand and tears come to your eyes, and you hold your side and make the choking noise like you can't even catch your breath kind of laugh!
2.  I love to see you walking and talking with our girls.
3.  I love how you help others...someone with computer problems, a family needing moving help, a young man needing help preparing a lesson, a stranger with a flat tire on a bike ride...they can all count on you!
4.  I love that you start my van on cold mornings!
5.  I love that you do dishes!
6.  I love how the left side of your face wrinkles up when you are teasing!
7.  I love that you turn off talk radio when I get in your truck!
8.  I love walking on the beach with you!
9.  I love hiking a trail with you!
10.  I love the way you encourage me!
11.  I love that our daughters can count on you!
12.  I love that the kids at church have you on speed dial...they know they can count on you!
13.  I love how you got me hooked on Face Book and Duck Dynasty!
14.  I love how you love God!
15.  I love your shiny bald head!
16.  I love how excited you get when you see green in spring!
17.  I love watching you play in the ocean with our kids!
18.  I love that you understand that I don't like playing in the ocean!
19.  I love that you reserve a canopy at the beach so I can spend all day listening to the ocean and reading if that's what I want to do!
20.  I love that you gave my daddy doughnuts at our wedding!
21.  I love that you are friendly!
22.  I love the way you sing goofy songs  (usually because you can't remember the real words)!
23.  I love that you are giving!
24.  I love you until the Spring of Forever!

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