A Tale of Two Encouragers

The Scene: 5th Grade

The Characters: A music teacher, a mom, and an insecure 10 year old

The Setting: Small town Virginia, 1970s

In fifth grade, a very exciting and unusual thing occurred. Our young, beautiful music teacher announced that she was having auditions for a big musical, “Oklahoma,” by Rodgers and Hammerstein. Yes, the original Broadway version of the musical, edited of course for 5th grade appropriateness. Live music and everything.

We were all beside ourselves with excitement and nervousness. I went home and announced the news to my mom after school. She was a wonderful musician herself, and promptly ordered the “Oklahoma” album so that I could learn and practice the songs to get ready for the auditions. She calmed my many anxieties and steadily encouraged me that I could do this.

Auditions came and went, and lo and behold…..Ado Annie came my way. After a brief disappointment that I didn’t get Laurey (which, by the way, was much too high for my singing voice and not right for me), I dived into the role and thrived under my music teacher’s encouragement and direction.

Somehow, that group of untrained, untried fifth graders pulled off the musical, and we gained confidence and memories that would last a lifetime.

So thank you, Mom. Thank you, Debbie Greeley. You made a huge difference with your love and encouragement. Love, Lisa

P.S. If any of you reading happen to know this song, it will do wonders for your mood to sing along with it this morning. By the end, you will be singing your head off and loving it! 🙂

P.S.S. If any of you would like to share stories of someone who encouraged you along the way, I would love to hear them in the comments below. 🙂

P.S.S.S. Cathy Liles Sweeney….you better be singing along! LOL

Praise You In This Storm

I have been singing the bridge of this song on repeat this morning…..

“I lift my eyes unto the hills, where does my help come from?

My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth…”

Here is my cover of “Praise You In This Storm” written by Mark Hall & Bernie Herms.

Praise God for music….refocuses me in an instant. 🙂

Be blessed today. Love, Lisa

The Glorious Groaning

On a day like today, even the trees seem to be groaning, yearning, reaching, stretching for Heaven. It’s like they can’t get close enough to the beauty of what God has created.

I have been filled with a strange and strong longing this week. Yearning for something. The weather has been so gorgeous, and you would think this would produce the opposite effect. Yet this kind of jaw-dropping beauty stands in stark juxtaposition to the ugliness I am seeing on the news. It illuminates the difference between the Here and the What Will Be so clearly. I love being alive on days like this, love experiencing all the amazing blues, and greens, and bird songs. Yet I know that so much better is waiting in God’s Heaven, where there is no more pain, no more weeping, no more conflict. Thus, the groaning.

“We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the first-fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly, as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved.” – Romans 8:22-24a

I am truly thankful that Jesus will make all things right and new when He returns. I am waiting eagerly. Love, Lisa

A Tale of Caution

Watch this video of one of our resident hummingbirds, and we’ll talk afterwards. Make sure to have your sound up.

Ok…..what struck you about sweet little Howard the Hummingbird? Was he content and happy, drinking his sweet nectar in the feeder? Or did he seem nervous, agitated, borderline obsessed?

Howard has declared himself the hummingbird bully of the yard. He will not allow any other birds to come near ‘his’ feeder, will body slam them if they do, and sits there giving himself a neck crick constantly looking back and forth for offenders.

What really struck me as I watch him, is that Howard is not happy with his possession. He hardly drinks, he doesn’t fly much except for his body slamming, and he seems paranoid. I feel sorry for Howard. The possession seems to own him.

So, a cautionary tale for yours and my Monday morning. I pray we can enjoy and use and appreciate the things we own, and not obsess over them.

P.S., as a side note, listen to the happy tweeting birds in the background….a peaceful juxtaposition to poor Howard.

P.S.S., I love Howard….I just wish he could relax a bit and be kind to the other guys. 🙂 Love, Lisa

Reminders

A tiny, friendly hummingbird looked at me through the window yesterday evening. He didn’t seem particularly afraid as he gazed at me. His small body stayed still as his wings moved with unimaginable speed.

In my mind, I imagined that he was reminding me to fill the front hummingbird feeder, as it is getting low. Such are the thoughts of an animal personifier. 🙂

I am thankful for life’s reminders:

  • My wedding ring to remind me of the best husband in the world
  • Spring flowers after the harsh winter to remind me that God makes all things new, even things I think are past hope.
  • The check engine light so I don’t ignore my trusty car past fixing.
  • Memories of childhood….riding bikes, cartwheels in the yard, reading The Hobbit on repeat, playing badminton in the backyard till dark…to remind me of how to have fun and really relax.
  • My dog dinging his metal food bowl up against his water bowl, to remind me that he needs more food.
  • Memories of all the times God has rescued me through the years, pulled me out of unimaginable pits, to remind me that He is faithful and will never leave me nor forsake me.

So now, I am going to refill the hummingbird feeder.

Enjoy your day and all the little reminders. Love, Lisa