Aug 30, 2009

Sing Like You Mean It!

Singing is something that I love to do, although I will be the first to admit that it is not a talent I possess. I was in college choir my senior year hoping that it would help, but alas, all I learned was that meeting at 7:30 in the morning and trying to sing was pointless, my voice needed a couple hours to warm up! So, I graduated college and what did I decide to do? Join the church choir!

In church choir, we are always being told by the director to, "Sing like you mean it!" and "Think about what you are singing and show it through your face!" It is something that now I find my self doing more without needing reminded; it is something that I should have been doing my whole life. Growing up in a Christian family, attending church three times a week, and going to a Christian Academy and College, I have several instances where I find myself singing, whether it was in church, or chapel, a special, or just an opening exercise for a class.

This past weekend, I, along with other college girls and my sisters, was visiting some elderly folk in the Nursing Home. Our last visit was to a godly woman by the name of Peggy. Peggy has been in the nursing home as far back as I can remember and if she couldn't make it out to my Dad's Saturday service then we would be sure to go down to her room and visit her. We would always find her sitting in a chair with her Bible in her lap. Sometimes she would read to us, sometimes she would ask us to pray for her, but we always ended with a song or two.

This past weekend when we went into her room, we found her altered. She was lying in bed, her room not as tidied as I was accustom to seeing it, and her body looked so frail and little. She had her eyes shut, but I knew she would want us to wake her. She was too weak to carry on a conversation so we decided to just sing her some songs. I chose the first one that came to mind...a familiar one to many of the elderly.

There is coming a day,
When no heart aches shall come,
No more clouds in the sky,
No more tears to dim the eye,
All is peace forever more,
On that happy golden shore
What a day, glorious day that will be.

What a day that will be,
When my Jesus I shall see,
When I look upon His face,
The One who saved me by His grace;
When He takes me by the hand,
And leads me through the Promised Land,
What a day, glorious day that will be.

As I sang I began to think about the words and this elderly woman, this song that I had sang countless number of times began to take on a new meaning. As she lay there mouthing the words with us, I realized that here was a woman that was truly "singing" it like she meant it. Tears began to blur my vision and I had to inhale quickly to keep from crying, I fought back the tears, put a smile on my face and began to sing out with more meaning,

There'll be no sorrow there,
No more burdens to bear,
No more sickness, no pain,
No more parting over there;
And forever I will be,
With the One who died for me,
What a day, glorious day that will be.

What a day that will be,
When my Jesus I shall see,
When I look upon His face,
The One who saved me by His grace;
When He takes me by the hand,
And leads me through the Promised Land,
What a day, glorious day that will be.

Aug 28, 2009

Conversings with and among children

Working full time at a Pre-school, I find myself quite entertained by children. The conversations I find myself having with them never cease to amaze me, nor do the conversations I overhear among the kids...

Here's one I found myself having today:

I was coloring at a table with Sarah B. when I looked up to see her staring back at me with her big mischievous brown eyes. She leaned in close within inches of my face and whispered, "What are afraid of Miss Nickel?"

"I have this phobia about water and I don't like snakes..." I replied, wondering where this was leading to.

"Well," she whispered, "Are you afraid of vampires?!"

"Sarah, what are vampires?"

She looked back at me as if I was totally not up on current events and said, "They are creatures of the night...and I am one!"

I couldn't help but laugh aloud, "No, Sarah you are not a vampire, there is no such thing."

"Oh, yeah...then explain these," she said as she bared her teeth and opened her eyes wide.

I chose not to argue any further with her...

Conversation #2:

"So, Troy do you have any brothers or sisters?" I asked.

"Ya...a little sister, Ella, she's two and ugh..." he said as he rolled his eyes, "she is the most annoying creature on the whole earth!"

"Creature...your sister is a creature?!"

"Uh huh, she is like always following me wherever I go and always wants whatever I have; she is always trying to give me hugs!" he moaned.

"Well, Troy, that's because she loves you and looks up to are her big brother. You make sure you are nice to her."

"I know..." he said maturely, "I try, it's just so hard. I try to get away from her but she is always right behind me. School is the only place I can escape her!"

Kids, you got to love them...

Conversation #3 (this is one I overheard two children having)

"Did you just lie to me? I can't believe you would lie to me..." A little girl told another who must have just stretched the truth.

"Don't you know that there is a God in heaven who made you and that He is looking down on you right this very minute!"

The "lying" child looked back at her guiltily, and let out a big sigh.

The little reprimander continued, "If I were you, I would be so very scared..."

"Why?" the other asked.

"Why? Because, number one: God just saw what you did, and number two: who knows what He might do to you!" She looked up and caught my eye, gave a half smile then discontinued her mini sermon.

I was rather disappointed: she was just getting warmed up and I was anxious to hear point number three.

Aug 20, 2009

The Rest of my Trip

I've been wanting to post some pictures from Texas trip...These pictures were all taken at my
Grandparent's. They live in Luling, Texas, which is a small town located about an hour south
from Austin, and an hour north from San Antonio. Grandpa owns several head of cattle and
plenty of acreage for them to roam. It really is a whole other world out there on the ranch.
Temperatures were in the 100's every day and the evening cool would get down to a low of 80 degrees. Nights were my favorite, you could stand outside and strain to hear traffic noises, such as semis, sirens, or speeding vehicles, and you would hear nothing except for the chirping of crickets and the gentle breeze in the trees. It was so very peaceful; no city lights or headlights going by. The only thing that lighted the outdoors was the bright beatiful stars in the Texas sky. Yes, I know it is the same sky as in Indiana, but something was different; it was so open and
for lack of a better word...big. Grandma and I would sit out under the stars in their hot tub in the evening and not say a word; both of us being content to sit in silence and listen to nature and appreciate God's creation. I am definitely not a country girl, but being there always makes me
think that I'd be able to adjust to no Walmart for 60 miles in exchange for the big Texas sky at nights!

Grandpa took me out back one afternoon and showed
me how to shoot. I shot a 17 HMR (pictured), a 9mm, and
a 357 magnum revolver. It was so awesome, and Grandpa
told me I was a great shot! :)

Uncle Jerry lives in an addition that was built on the
ranch about a year ago. I was glad I was able to visit
him every day while I was there.

Grandma and me!

Hanging out with the cows!

Besides relaxing on the ranch, I was able see many sights and do many enjoyable things in Texas. Our activities included: going to a museum in Austin, celebrating Aunt Stephanie's 40th birthday by being moral support as she tandem jumped from an airplane, swimming, shopping, getting pedicures, going to a Mexican market and my favorite-the Riverwalk!

The Bob Bullock Texas State Museum in Austin

Aunt Steph's big jump!

My favorite place to eat in Texas...
Luling Market, which includes brisket,
sausage, and ribs...yum, yum, yummy!

da plane, da plane!

So, it has been forever since I last updated my blog, but things have been very busy. First off, my week vacation. I was able to visit my Grandparents in Texas; I had a great time with them. My trip was filled with much excitement, beginning with the airplane ride...Let me start there...

I arrived at the airport approximately 70 minutes before take-off. I found the Southwest entrance and proceeded to baggage check. I could see that the lines were very long, so I hurriedly clutched my luggage and picked up my pace. Out of the corner of my eye I noticed airport personnel eyeing me.

"What's her deal?" I thought.

No sooner had I walked one step past her did she spin around and suspiciously say, "Excuse me, old are you?"

"'ve got to be kidding me, " I thought. I calmly turned around and very sweetly (and might I add without hardly any faces...) replied, "Um....uh...twenty-two..." I tried not to let the annoyance drip from my voice.

I mean seriously, how young do I look? I certainly hope I look older than 14, or whatever the age is that a minor cannot travel unaccompanied...So went my first incident at the airport, which really was just as funny as it was annoying.

I boarded the plane and found a window seat about the center of the plane. I quickly realized as a steady stream of people poured down the aisles that I probably would not be sitting alone. I wondered whose presence I would be graced with. A teenager around the age of 18 sat in my row, a seat in between us. People were still standing in the aisle and I knew that sooner or later one of them would have to pick the empty seat right next me...Sure enough, someone did. No, it wasn't some nice young woman that I could converse with, nor was it even a business man who would keep to himself, no I ended up with a punk rocker. A young man whose face I would not be able to identify in a line up because it was hidden by blond stringy hair, the strange piercings in his lips and ears and his weird aroma sent warning bells off in my mind.

We had been in the air no more than 5 minutes when he pulled out his sketch pad and pencils and began to draw. I peered over his shoulder and shuddered at his gory drawings. I pulled out my book and decided I would probably not be engaging in any intellectual conversations with this teenager. He and the girl next to him did find topics to talk about such as, their dysfunctional families, how they hated Texas, and whether or not they could carry tobacco on the plane and if they could pull it out now????

Finally my two "plane-mates" ceased their pointless chatter and dozed off. I found myself somewhat disappointed...they had been quite entertaining.

But then the real excitement began. The captain spoke over the speaker and told all passengers to shut off electronic devices and stay seated and secured because we were entering some slight turbulence. I tried closing my eyes and pretending that I was in a car driving in pot holes but it didn't quite work. We were swaying from side to side and it felt as if rocks were being hurled at the plane. My stomach began to churn and I felt a wave of nauseousness come over me.

"Breathe in. Breathe out." I told myself.

I took a deep inhale and remembered all too late that an Indian family was sitting in front of me eating who knows what. Two rows in front of me a little girl was crying, then suddenly, she stopped and began making strange gurgling noises. Ah, yes I recognized that noise... The flight attendants didn't quite make it to her with the barf bag in time...

While I was telling myself now, "Do not inhale, do not inhale, do not inhale" the punk rocker beside me was just getting comfy and began to nod off onto my shoulder. "Very nice," I thought, "Next time, forget the non-stop flight, I'm driving!"


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