Monthly Archives: July 2018

SNIFFLES

“When you can’t be with the one you love…”

july 9 2016f

2016

Today is big brother’s birthday. Special days always turn my heart towards home and family. It doesn’t change just because we have 500 miles between us. We are still brother and sister. Raised by super parents – even if it was 9 years apart – and nurtured by a creative, supportive extended family, we were blessed. And still, I sniff a little.

“Love the one you’re with…”

I couldn’t be with big brother this year on his special day. Instead I talked with him a couple days ago. Seeing as he is the more social, out-going sib of the two of us, I knew he would be busy doing things from sun-up to sun-down and just enjoying the love flowing around him. There is nothing better at our age.

 

silver 1953

Sniff, sniff…

That being said, the Grands are here tonight filling up the heart that has a small hole because it wishes it could be in Columbus, OH tonight. Their world has expanded exponentially this year. In a couple months, the oldest will be 10 – going on 13 (in her mind, anyway). The younger one running in her shadow, trying to keep up. The years are slipping away much too quickly.

Sniff, sniff, sniff.

As they curled up to choose a movie, after the eldest reading 6 “Junie B.” books, the youngest coloring three “Star Wars” ninjas, walking with Papa (and beating him (and the dogs) back without even being winded), then eating more than I have ever seen them eat, …. then….reading/coloring some more – – – we laughed as they compared how little the queen-sized bed seems now that they have grown “so big”. The younger said, “We were just babies when we started sleeping in this bed.”

True words never spoken which, of course, made me sniffle a little louder.

It is days like this when blessings sometimes have pointed tips to them. They prick my soul awake and remind me to take note. And – when I do, they fill my heart with their richness. These are the treasures that are eternal. The queen-size bed – the movies – the books and coloring sheets – are temporal. It is the cuddles, the laughter, the joy of “gathering in love” that is eternal.

And while I may still sniff, whine, and wish I could be in two places at once, it is the love that surrounds me tonight which keeps me smiling through the sniffles and opening my treasure chest so I can fill it a little more.  On that note – I’m off to go sit in a darkened bedroom, push the kidlets to the sides of the bed so I can squash myself in the middle, and watch something called “Kong”. I will probably be asleep before they are, but I won’t be sniffling until tomorrow when they go home and the house is quiet once again.

Happy birthday, big brother, hope it was the best one ever and blessed with love all around.

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”~1 Cor 13:4-7

 

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TIME TO AWAKEN

“It is already the hour for you to awaken from sleep…”

50 years ago today, I was standing backstage of a theatre in England with 100+ other OH kids waiting to sing our first concert before British royalty. The director stepped up to me and asked, “Are you ready to sing your solo tonight?”

I said, “I guess.”

He looked at me for what seemed eternity, and then said, “Since you’re not sure, John will sing it tonight.” John did sing it that night and did a great job. Me? I learned a tough lesson.

I got to sing my solo many times after that – once in front of the Vatican and a Pope who came to stand on the balcony – but I never forgot that one particular lesson or many others that my director, Glenville Thomas, taught me during my two years with The All Ohio State Fair Choir.

Looking back through my teenage scrapbook this week made me smile. From the distinctive, high school handwriting to the blurry pictures to the various faded newspaper clippings to the required (by the director) letters I wrote home to the anxious parents to a few postcards and old mimeographed programs, I kept chuckling all the way through those bittersweet times. 
Wondering about those lost singing buddies – 
Looking at the list of songs I can still sing in my head – 
Thinking about the many lessons I learned because a Welsh immigrant who loved to sing had a dream.

“…the night is almost gone, and the day is at hand.”– Rom 13:11

It was during these two years that my fascinations with old churches and singing under bridges all began. It was a different time. A different culture. We were given freedom to roam away from the group, and there was a group of us who would seek out old churches – even the ones we weren’t singing in.

There was almost always at least one STAB quartet in our group so we could sing in harmony on most anything we decided to sing and the acoustics were well worth the seeking. If we couldn’t find churches, we would find bridges and sing under them. If we couldn’t find bridges, we sang in parks. And sometimes – we just sang in the lobby of the hotel.

No matter where we sang, people gathered. They laughed. 
They smiled. They found ways to communicate with us even when we didn’t speak the same language. And – strange as it may seem, I remember those tiny concerts much more than I remember the ones we did as an entire group before large impressive crowds. And I remember the choir director who smiled and listened to our stories when we returned.

“I will sing to the LORD as long as I live; I will sing praise to my God while I have my being.”~Ps 104:33

My voice has been gone for a couple of years, but the last few months it seems to be making a comeback. So I have been stretching it and pushing the boundaries a little. It is still not in great shape, but it is better, and I have started to sing just for the joy of singing again.

Darkness is like that. The eyes grow heavy, and it is hard to find the joy in being awake in this world. Yet – even in the darkest night I continue to push myself into the WORD. Push myself to understand what is beyond my understanding. Seek to find that nook where I can stand or fall to my knees or dance for joy or sing a new song for the One who loves me beyond measure.

“…for now salvation is nearer to us than when we believed…let us therefore lay aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of Light.”~Rm 13:11-12

Time to awaken from sleep.
Time to open the eyes.
Time to stand in the nook.
Time to sing for joy.
Time for Grace.

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