Wednesday, October 31, 2012

A Teenager!


I can hardly believe it, but it happened!  My littlest is a TEENAGER!
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Light in the Night


An amazing blue moon tonight makes me think about the power of reflection.  A moon has no light of its own, but it shines by reflecting the light of the sun and by doing so, it can reach the places that the sun can't directly touch. This could be much like being a light in a dark world, reflecting the spirituality that shines from a source far more powerful ... and in my case?  God.  :-)
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Saturday, October 27, 2012

Shake It Out


So far, 2012 has been one for the books! The trials have been ones I would have rather not experienced ... EVER ... but at the same time, the triumphs are starting to build.  So much of that seemed showcased as my "little" Miss M (who is now officially a teenager) danced to "Shake It Out."

I can't watch her dance to those words without crying.  It's a pretty personal statement of her own struggle. She's had to wrestle a good bit of darkness.  And we're starting to see some real light at the end of the tunnel.  Tears come even now.

Shake it out, shake it out, shake it out, shake it out, ooh woaaah
Shake it out, shake it out, shake it out, shake it out, ooh woaaaah
And it's hard to dance with a devil on your back
So shake him off, oh woah
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Thursday, September 27, 2012

Mirrors


Tonight the topic of mirrors came up in a group discussion ... as we talked about peace and what it looked like to us (the portrait, the smell, the sensory clues that communicate "peace"), we talked about those glimpses being mirrors that God gives us to help us picture His design.  We see through a glass darkly ... knowing in part.  These mirrors give us hope.

My mirror is broken ... but there is beauty in the brokenness.  There is an artful array to the tears and tragedies of life.  It's unique.  But it can still reflect the moments of peace and creativity that I crave.  And in some ways, I love knowing that it's completely mine!

I know I won't do justice to the topic that worked its way into my heart tonight until I spend some time digging into my favorite thing ... WORDS (and by that, I mean the nerdy original language stuff).  But I just noticed on Facebook that someone else already blogged and gave the definition of the word "peace" that was discussed.  But in the meantime?  Here's a Bible verse for the photo ... it's my riddle, my enigma, my beautiful puzzle!

1 Corinthians 13:12
Amplified Bible (AMP) 

For now we are looking in a mirror that gives only a dim (blurred) reflection [of reality as in a riddle or enigma], but then [when perfection comes] we shall see in reality and face to face! Now I know in part (imperfectly), but then I shall know and understand fully and clearly, even in the same manner as I have been fully and clearly known and understood [by God].

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Friday, September 14, 2012

Son and Grandsons


Seeing my son hold his son for the first time? PRICELESS!  OK, family, for the rest of the photos, you can see them on Flickr or Facebook!
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Thursday, September 13, 2012

Aiden and Gavin


I'm a grandmother from afar ... these moments are SO precious!
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Saturday, August 18, 2012

Black ... White ... Grey



Out of darkness, light shines.  Out of the black earth, life blooms.  It's so much more than black and white. Those grey areas that bring so many questions and make us wonder if we're going the right way or making mistakes are very present.  And in the big picture, they all play together in a wondrous image.

My challenge?  Learn to embrace it all.  Pursue the light ... but never be afraid of the black or the grey.  It's all part of our existence on this earth.  May we all find the spectrum a pleasing picture in the end of emerging into who we were meant to be - beings who are gracious, glorious, compassionate and real.

And a little nugget ... when darkness seems to overwhelm, forgiveness can bring the light where it is needed and reveal the good.  Just like exposing an image, it can bring out the detail and beauty that was hidden behind a shroud.  I love the ways that God turns even the dark days into opportunities for His light to burst through.  His healing always reveals hidden beauty, bringing strength and grace to us when we need it most.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

It's Gonna Be Alright


Very uncanny week ... started with "Letting Go" at the single mother's breakfast at church and a very poignant letting go at Jeff's memorial yesterday afternoon.  This afternoon, prayer came like it hadn't for years, and as much as it was for another, it made my heart break, too, because I wasn't sure I could ever get back there.  And I even feel like I heard God speak inside me ... "THIS is what you are supposed to be doing. All that other stuff can wait."

I cried at every turn, too, it seems ... Nicole's passion as she read the scripture, Jeff's life now missing in a big jubybean-shaped hole, questions about auditions that I've been too afraid to commit to, a message on the heart that hit home, suddenly praying like I used to long ago (and so humbled that God could still find enough to work with in me), reminders of past relationships, and the great awareness that if I want to move forward, I have to do some letting go.

Of course, so many little music things keep cropping up again.  And it seems to happen with the seasons, so it isn't new.  So when I heard that Dennis Jernigan was going to be at Victory tonight, I knew I wanted (maybe needed) to be there.  And I did. 

This song captured my heart tonight ...

It's gonna be alright, child
Even through the darkest night, child
I'll even use the darkness
To teach you how to hear Me
It's gonna be alright now
Even if you don't see how
I'll even use your failure
To help you to draw near Me

Hear Me, I am calling,
"Child, come falling deeper in love with Me."
Trust Me, you must let go
Or you will never know any deeper love in Me

It's gonna be alright here
If you will let Me hold your heart near
I'll even use your sorrows
To teach you how to love Me
It's gonna be alright, child
I'll hold you really close and tight, child
I'll even use your woundings
To help you know more of Me

Hear Me, I am calling,
"Child, come falling deeper in love with Me."
Trust Me, you must let go
Or you will never know any deeper love in Me

Why do you hold on to the things of your past
Let go and cling to Me and love that will last
How can you know Me if you do not trust My love
Let go! You'll find My love is more than enough.
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Monday, July 16, 2012

The Noose


(Photo from the Passion Play at Eureka Springs, Arkansas ...
a birthday gift from my parents this past weekend.
It was wonderfully enjoyed with family and new friends!)


Sometimes we run with a noose in our hands ... realizing the hazard of our own doings, bent on making ourselves pay the price.  Yet love and mercy and grace are extended always.  I am amazed anew at God's love for his children.

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Thursday, July 12, 2012

Heal Me


"Heal me, O LORD, and I shall be healed; save me, and I shall be saved: for you are my praise."
~ Jeremiah 17:14

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Sunday, July 08, 2012

Paths


Give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways.
~ Proverbs 4:26
You provide a broad path for my feet, so that my ankles do not give way.
~ Psalm 18:36a
~ 2 Samuel 22:37a
“Make level paths for your feet,” so that the lame may not be disabled, but rather healed.
~ Hebrews 12:13

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Saturday, July 07, 2012

Memories and Memorials


There are shooting stars in the darkest of nights ... amazing memories, even though they seem too recent to be memorials ... and I'm glad to have shared the last gauntlets of adventure with Jeff Juby before he passed away last week.  Downtown (and my heart) will never be the same!

Sunday, July 01, 2012

Tennis Balls For Thought


I hadn't thought about it but this little game has a dark side.  I rarely go to sporting events (usually just when it's work related with Girl Scouts) so when my friend who is more of a regular than I commented on his dislike of this particular activity - not just once but several times - I started to think about the money. How much is spent by regular people in hopes of a great return?  It sounds like gambling and it has started to bother me a little, too.  Hmmmmm ... food (or tennis balls) for thought!
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Friday, June 29, 2012

My daughter says this personality profile is EXACTLY me ...


You are a highly spontaneous person who always likes to try new things. Novel and unpredictable situations don't bother you; instead you find them challenging and exciting.
You tend to be focused and resourceful and you are able to juggle a lot of projects at the same time; as a result you are sometimes a whirlwind of activity.
You have a firm grip on reality and enjoy living in the present tense. But you have a keen imagination that enables you to lift off from time and space to beremarkably creative.
You are humorous. You are able to laugh at yourself, and you like entertaining others.
You have a deep sense of compassion. You can show genuine insight into the needs of others; you aregood at listening and talking; and you express agenuine desire to be helpful.
Your tolerance for others and their beliefs, your lack of prejudice, your ability to compromise and youroccasional antics make you popular with others and a great companion.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Context


A beautiful tree was evolving on the concrete bridge ... an unexpected surprise as I went to take photos of the band playing in the park.  I love the moments that capture creation.  I love seeing a soul express art.  When I looked at my photos, I realized that my perception may have been very different if I saw this man in another setting - even if he happened to step away from his artwork and went to another area of the park to enjoy the music.  The blackened feet and hands alone may have been enough for me to think he was filthy and probably homeless! Oh what we miss when we take things out of context.  Oh what injustice we ascribe with our assumptions.
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Saturday, June 02, 2012

Regatta


re·gat·ta (r-gät, -gt) n. A boat race or a series of boat races. [Italian dialectal, a contention, regatta, from regattare, to contend, perhaps from recatare, to sell again, compete, from Vulgar Latin *recaptre, to contend : Latin re-, re- + Latin captre, to seek to catch, frequentative of capere, to seize; see catch.]

I am now a three year veteran of this wonderful thing called a regatta ... but NOT as a sailor!  I am the one capturing the images.  I loved this definition and word origin.  Capture.

These beautiful crafts capture one another.
The Center (a non-profit behind this particular regatta) captures support.
I capture pictures.
The lake captures me.

I love how everything smells like the lake when I get home.  I don't want to wash anything!  The nostalgic side is so strong.  It brings me back to the land of 10,000 lakes and growing up in Minnesota.

While I am too tired to be eloquent, I did want to make sure I shared at least one adventure of my own.  This is one of the highlights of my year!  Even Miss M looks forward to it and now has two years under her belt as my sidekick.  Thanks to one of our boatmates who was playing sneaky paparazzi (and of course she would, she "IS" the media!), I actually have a photo to share!  (Yes, that is me as the scarf-wrapped, photo-snapping masthead.)

Monday, May 28, 2012

Remembering


I've written about my time in Hawaii a little ... the impact of the oil still bubbling up to the surface after decades submerged in Pearl Harbor. Today I find words difficult to come by.  This afternoon my daughter and I will do something for the first time ... be part of a flag ceremony and help retire the flags of the fallen.  I am sure the emotion and significance will quickly ursurp any desire for words.

Those who dedicate themselves to the freedom and goodwill of others are at the top of my list.  Whether lives are given in battle or in a sense "given" in dedication to a life of good ... I admire those who hold integrity and honor close at hand and reach out to the world around them.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Express


It was effortless (well, almost) when I was young. Less filtered. More bold. I love seeing this in my kids ... At least when it is in a positive light! It does my heart good to see a talent expressed, enjoyed, pursued. It challenges me!

Honestly, even "negative" expressions challenge me. I shouldn't be afraid of the authentic emotions around me or even within me. It's an opportunity in a way. It's a window into the inner world that may go unacknowledged if left alone. It may need some nurture, some guidance, some encouragement, some prayer, some action.

The beauty of expression is something deep and wonderful. I don't know if it's possible to know that fully in one's lifetime, but I have a feeling it is a treasure to be gained when one can find the freedom to wear one's heart upon his or her sleeve. I just hope the effort is rewarded by the people who mean the most when it is!
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Thursday, May 17, 2012

God's Decree


Isaiah 54:11-17 "Afflicted city, storm-battered, unpitied: I'm about to rebuild you with stones of turquoise, Lay your foundations with sapphires, construct your towers with rubies, Your gates with jewels, and all your walls with precious stones. All your children will have God for their teacher— what a mentor for your children! You'll be built solid, grounded in righteousness, far from any trouble—nothing to fear! far from terror—it won't even come close! If anyone attacks you, don't for a moment suppose that I sent them, And if any should attack, nothing will come of it. I create the blacksmith who fires up his forge and makes a weapon designed to kill. I also create the destroyer— but no weapon that can hurt you has ever been forged. Any accuser who takes you to court will be dismissed as a liar. This is what God's servants can expect. I'll see to it that everything works out for the best." God's Decree.
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Sunday, May 06, 2012

Symphonic Musings: Bartók and Banov and Giants and Walls

There is no photo to accompany thoughts (gasp!) ... But a great deal of musing (plenty of which I won't share simply for ease of thumb typing on my BlackBerry!).

Symphony.
Sumphonia.
Music.
Ministry.

This is the chain of words that comes to mind. There are awakenings in these words and also great resistance.

Last night I found myself in the delightful atmosphere of music (much thanks to a friend who appreciates the same) and found myself enamored with Bartók. I think one of my professors mentioned him as a favorite along with Debussy, and at the time I didn't easily distinguish between many composers, so it slipped far off my radar. Funny how after a quarter of a century it can come flooding back. Béla Bartók ... I even know his first name! As both a pianist and composer, it's no wonder my professor liked him (she was a pianist, violinist, and conductor and loved to conduct the more expressive pieces - and the piece tonight was certainly that).

Tonight at the symphony (well, it still feels like tonight!) I wanted to be invisibly in the midst of those musicians ... But not playing. I wanted to be lying on my back in a meadow, sensing breezes and butterflies and fragrant clover, staring at the sky or my own imaginations scrolling by, swallowed up by sound. A few times, I closed my eyes, but couldn't lose myself too far in a reverie because I didn't want anyone to think I was sleeping!

All this came on the heels of getting weepy as I passed by the pianos in the music store a couple of days ago.

Again, it makes me wonder if God is up to something. These little intersections of musical emotion are not new. I keep bumping up against these bits of abstract glimpses and feelings. Yet there is a great resistance within me.

I just remembered how Georgian Banov said he saw a sleeping giant within me. Ironic ... I think he is also Hungarian like my "new friend" Béla. His music also easily impassioned like breathing, just in a whole different genre ... Praise and worship.

So how does one go about gracefully wakening a sleeping giant? I don't think it's an embrace easily enjoyed.

I probably need to pull out my "I Project" again and continue capturing/remembering/accepting those significant moments. Even now as I am remembering, tears are coming as I recall the great parade of people who have been a voice into these things already. It's awfully humbling. And I think, "Who am I to resist?"

But it's not as much willful resistance as it is fear, I think. And fear started with doubt. Doubt started with trust ... Trust misplaced. All along, I could have trusted my heart.

Last night I was reminded of how G would kick me under the table if it appeared to him that I was enjoying a conversation too much. And I remember being at many a table with amazing ministers, men and women of God who were inspiring and deep thinkers and enjoyers of life, and the signal would come to disengage.

But I also wonder now if the motivation for that signal was insecurity or intimidation? I remember in 2004 before the grand unveiling and crumbling, G said he thought he might be ready to accept my gifts and talents without being intimidated or afraid he'd lose the spotlight. Maybe that's part of the picture throughout!

Intimidation so easily turns around and intimidates. And me? Because I so easily trusted, I so easily accepted. I wrestled but believed it was for my own good. And I ultimately imprisoned myself with invisible walls.

It's time for them to come down. (I almost didn't write that because the thought scares me ... But I feel like I need to say it. GOSH does it ever scare me! I'm fighting myself to delete it even now. Yet I'm leaving this moment here. Evidently it's important.)
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Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Looking Up


Looking up ... Side by side.  It would be so easy to write about looking up and gaining height and momentum in life, but this photo is more significant than surface principles to me.

My daughter has looked up to an older dancer in her studio as long as we have attended.  The last two years, she has worked with my daughter on solos.  And to watch the young lady dance is to feel as if one has just witnessed a secret being unveiled for the first time ... exquisite!

So when I heard that my little one had been paired with her mentor for an upcoming recital performance, I knew it would be meaningful to her.  What I wasn't prepared for was moments like this!  In tandem, full split leaps, in sync with the one she admires.  WOW!

I am so thankful my daughter has people to look up to who pursue excellence.  She is certainly matching their stride!
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Monday, April 23, 2012

Shoes ... Dead or Alive


Did you know point shoes can die? The technical term, from what I understand is ... (get ready) ... dead. They are just dead. So, thankfully, my little dancer has regained life with her new pointe shoes just in time for Parents' Week at her studio.  We are preparing for the recital (MAY 19 for friends and family in the area)!  She will be doing seven numbers, so it won't even be like one of those recitals where you sit through the whole thing just to see one dance.  Plus ... you will get to see the ever-dramatic solo, "Howl."  Maybe we can take over a restaurant afterwards.  You are all welcome to join us!
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Sunday, April 22, 2012

Smiles ... More Important Than Anyone Knows


This week has held struggles and smiles ... like most every week, it seems!  And as I work with photos of Girl Scouts (on Girl Scout Leaders Day, nonetheless) I see so many moments where adults have brought smiles to girls as they learn and experience and grow.

I am ESPECIALLY thankful this week because the smiles have made the difference in some of the biggest ways to the girl who is the most special to me ... my daughter.  It feels like God orchestrated some truly wonderful things from friends old and new to encourage both of us.  A few know the struggles, and if you're one who is reading this, you'll be glad to know that the smile you see on her face here was how the week ended and has continued.

Thank you.  Thank you to family and to friends and to church leaders and to Girl Scout leaders for bringing those smiles.  They are more important than you know!
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Thursday, April 12, 2012

The Thaw


Yes, I still have a few discoverable icicles on the underside ... but life is fast and furious, and spring is here, so before long the thaw will have absorbed the daggers that threaten to dislodge and pierce whatever lies below. 

Today? I am thankful for friends who breathe warmth into my atmosphere and inspire the flow of thought that frees me from paralyzing anger.  It sounds more ominous than it is.  But I am contemplating the value of melting rather than splintering.  That moment of a satisfying, icy shatter probably only affects my own soul.  Forgiveness is hard.  But unforgiveness is harder.
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Sunday, April 01, 2012

Encouragement


Springtime thoughts ... blossoms and blooms ... encouragement from a friend ... refocusing on new life brings blessings to my heart.
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Saturday, March 31, 2012

8 Minutes of Goodbye


There is a video. It is 8 minutes. It ends with the number 8. It was not planned. I think that says a lot!  Well ... ok ... so maybe I am just upset.  It is VERY uncanny, though.
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Saturday, March 24, 2012

Four Generations


This was a gift to me, to my mother, and most of all to my son ... time with precious Aiden.
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Saturday, February 11, 2012

High Intensity


Today was spent on the dance/competition floor at Talent on Parade. Miss M had HIGH hopes for placing first in her division and doing another round of Top Stars. Alas, a fourth place scoring prevented that (and we will be learning from the judges' comments for sure as I thought she really was strong)! But you know what I love? She received one of the "Judges' Choice" awards - only 10 in her whole age category.  That means that regardless of scoring, her performance caught the judges' eye and made her stand out.  Her award? HIGH INTENSITY ... She should be VERY proud (I know I am)!

I may have to post photos later of her creative surprise for her grandparents who came to watch the competition.  Let's say it involved a car "paint" marker and the windows of their Cadillac!  I have to laugh.
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Sunday, February 05, 2012

Blooming


Bloom where you are planted ... that's what they say.  I think "they" are right.  But the key is being planted.

For many years, I have not been completely planted.  I've had the hope of being planted, but one can only flourish in small ways while hope is held at bay.  Proverbs was right ... "Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life." (Proverbs 13:12)

All this rightness is something I've missed for quite some time.  I kept thinking I could catch up, make up, adjust, connect, somehow get right again when my world was right again. But I kept losing my footing along the way, limping in a sometimes-lovely limbo.  But loveliness was a bit of a mirage.

So, I'm planting myself.  I think my dwindling roots had been loose and ready for quite some time.  But hope does not easily let go.  So when the time came, though the pain of change was sharp and hard and reverberating, drawing from rich soil has brought new life.  It's been two months and deep places are reviving from the inside and beginning to spread.  And now?  I'm finally feeling right, too.

Blooming is not without its challenges.  But it is infinitely better than lying dormant.  I think again of Proverbs 13:12 ... Blooming is longing!  And my longings are beginning to find fulfillment.  There is a sense of awe in the air, and I don't want to miss another moment to breathe it in.

So here I am ... before my beautiful Creator ... amazed by the beauty growing from what I thought I had neglected to the point of destruction.  It would have been enough just to breathe, but now I am blooming.
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