Shh, don’t tell anyone. . .

but I’ve been listening to Johnny Cash all morning.  Don’t tell my husband, or best friend.  I may, or may not, have said some pretty strong words about country music, over the years.  They are both country music listeners.  

Isn’t it funny when we do unexpected things?  I just started craving Johnny Cash music this morning.  For no apparent reason, he just seemed like the right mood.  He was!  He was the perfect soundtrack for my coffee sipping and oatmeal eating.  Wouldn’t it be awful if I didn’t give myself the room to enjoy country music every once and a while?

It makes me wonder if there are other areas I’m not allowing myself to explore and enjoy.  Maybe I should give Brussels sprouts another try?

Just in case you need a little Johnny too:

Love’s been good to me  or Meet Me in Heaven

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When good things have an expiration date

On Sunday morning, I was walking to my car, after church, when I looked up, and saw this:

It’s a Banksy!  If you haven’t heard of Banksy, he’s a street artist from the U.K.  His film, Exit Through the Gift Shop, had its SF premier recently. Since then, everyone has been talking about the Banksy’s found around town.  This one is in Chinatown.

There are reportedly six in all.  No one knows how long they will be up, because the property owners, and or city officials, could paint over them at anytime.  So, everyone is frantically visiting all the sites.  It’s a pretty fun thing.  It’s like a grown up scavenger hunt, except, it’s in appreciation of “possibly” illegal art.  It also helps that Banksy is such a mysterious figure.

It’s got me thinking about good things that need to be enjoyed in a timely manner.  Maybe it’s because I saw the Banksy after church, but it reminds me of manna.  (We’ve been talking a lot about manna at our church.)  Manna was the food God gave the Israelites during their journey in the wilderness.  The thing about manna is that it was not meant to be stored up.  God provided it in a miraculous way, everyday, and they were only to take enough for that day.  “But when they measured it out, everyone had just enough.  Those who gathered a lot had nothing left over, and those who gathered a little had enough.  Each family had just what it needed.” (Exodus 16:18)  When they tried to store the manna bad things happened: maggots, and stink.  

In my normal humanness, I want to make the good things, the norm.  I want to store them up and have them everyday.  But, for some things, like manna, or Banksy’s, storing them up ruins the goodness.  The gift is in the ludicrous generosity!  That God would part the skies and rain down manna all around the Israelites, for just one day’s worth of food.  Or, that Banksy would think through and plan out works of art, that people might not find, that will be painted over eventually.  That’s crazy good fun! (Yeah, I said, crazy good fun.)

Don’t you want to get in on that?  I am a daily receiver of these kind of crazy good gifts, not because of anything I’ve done, but because I have a ludicrously generous God.  And, because it does not come naturally for me to be a gracious receiver, He has had to teach me.  The same way He had to teach the Israelites not to hoard their manna.  One thing I’ve been learning is that the better I get at receiving, and celebrating these gifts, the better I get at giving them.  Isn’t that fun?  So, receive your crazy good gifts.  Thank the Giver profusely.  Then, watch and see how ludicrous you can become.

*photos courtesy of Hypebeast.com

Planted

 

My brain has been mush lately.  So, I’m going to use what I’ve got, and make today about manual labor. 😉  I’m starting a REALLY big project today.  I might take pictures to show you.  I’ll give you a little hint:  it involves thousands of my dad’s books.  Ha, I might find something good to read along, the way!

But, I wanted to share this with you.  It is THE most beautiful photo blog!  As I was clicking through the pics, last night, my soul sighed in pure refreshment. 

“He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither.  Whatever he does prospers.” Psalm1:3 

Oh, I am so thankful for streams of water, today.  The fruit, and the leaves, and the prospering, I will leave with my Maker.

Mmm, goodness

My dad has a huge sweet tooth.  When we were little, his sweet tooth would anounce itself randomly.  “Why don’t we go to the candy store this afternoon?” he would say.  Of course, my brother and I always loved this idea!  There was this one little corner store, that we lovingly named the candy store.  I’m not exactly sure why.  I don’t even know why it was our chosen place to go.  It wasn’t the closest convenience store.  I have since, driven by it, and to be honest it looks more like one of those corner liquor stores that you would want to steer clear of.  But, maybe it was different back then. 

We would pull up in front and run inside to the wall of candy that stood in the middle of the shop.  I’m sure if you could have seen us, you would have seen joyful anticipation, promise, and probably a bit of greed.  I know, because the shop owner always got a kick out of us and would sometimes throw in something extra. (Just for our cuteness, I’m sure. ;))  We probably looked like these kids , just more Asian. 

But, I remember how I would get a little overwhelmed with the amount of choices.  I would labor and labor over the what if’s.  And, my dad at some point (probably because his blood sugar was low), would prod me to choose something.

Do you ever feel this way?  Just too much goodness.  I get a little lost and overwhelmed with the choices.  My first inclination is to be a bit greedy.  Can I have all of them?  But, if I learn from my candy store experiences, I know that if I just make the best choice for that day, it will be more than enough.  

My friend (And, I can call him that, because we will be great friends in eternity.), Oswald Chambers said, “We have no right to judge where we should be put, or to have preconceived notions as to what God is fitting us for.  God engineers everything; wherever He puts us our one great aim is to pour out a whole-hearted devotion to Him in that particular work. ‘Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might.’ “

Hear our praises rise to You

 

“And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.”  2 Corinthians 3:18 

  

  

May our homes be filled with dancing 

  May our streets be filled with joy 

 

  May injustice bow to Jesus 

  As the people turn to pray 

 

  

         From the mountain to the valley 

         Hear our praises rise to You 

From the heavens to the nations 

       Hear our singing fill the air 

  

  May our light shine in the darkness 

  As we walk before the cross 

  May Your glory fill the whole earth 

  As the water o’er the seas 

  

Hear Our Praises, Reuben Morgan (yes, others sing this too, but he was the one I was listening to this morning.) 

 

Empty plates

What happens to you when your plate empties?  Doesn’t it feel great to get tasks accomplished?  In case you were wondering, this plate happened to have a gigantic, lemon ginger snap cookie on it.

So,what’s next?

“Begin doing what you want to do now.  We are not living in eternity.  We have only this moment, sparkling like a star in our hand and melting like a snowflake.  Let us use it before it is too late.”   Marie Beyon Ray

I hope your plate has good things, like lemon ginger snaps, alongside the mundane and the necessary.

To Do or Not To Do

 

I had a To Do List running in my head.  It grew and grew over the weekend and by this morning it was a Monster!  I don’t negotiate with monsters.  So this is my new list:

1.  Let the kids watch some t.v. today.

2.  Have a little snack every time the kids do.

3.  Gather children.  Read some Little House on the Prairie.  Enjoy the productivity of Pa, Ma, Mary and Laura (maybe even Baby Carrie).

4.  Take a little nap when the kids do.

5.  Do whatever is before me to do, as I have the energy and strength to do it.

 

To keep the monsters away:

 

Inner City Living

Our kids are city kids.  I’ve often wondered how this would affect them.  Do kids need a backyard in order to thrive?  Is their life too frenetic?  Are they growing up too quickly because of what they are exposed to daily?  Maybe.  (to all of the above)

But, something happened today as we were driving around our city. We saw a man standing on the divider, in the middle of the street.  He didn’t have a sign, but he was making a motion with his hands that said he needed to eat.  “Do we have something we can give him?” I asked.  The kids immediately started searching the car.  “There!  You have money in the console.”  My mother’s heart was so full in that moment.  Not only were they not frightened by this man approaching our car, but their immediate response was to tear up the car looking for anything that would help.  There was an understanding that we want to do for others what we can.  But, there was also an everyday quality to their response.  I could almost hear my son think, “It’s no big deal.  Everyone gets hungry.  Share when you have it to give.”  (My son does this thing where he goes, “Hmh,” nods his head, and lifts one shoulder.  It speaks volumes.  You’d have to see him do it, to understand.)

We may get to have a backyard someday, but in the meantime I will try to watch for the ways that the city is giving to my kids.  There are lessons to be learned, that extend beyond the museums, libraries, and parks.  There are joys that come from living right up against each other.  Let’s hope I don’t miss them because I’m checking out other people’s backyards!

Here’s one of our favorites.  If you need some inner city love, you need to watch this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7wqfcwgT0Ds

Do not click on link if Flight of the Concords offends you.:)

Dancing the Joy Out

Today was a three cups of coffee day.  Shows you how quickly the tide can turn.  But, then I remembered these lovelies:

They’re popping up all over the place.  These were being blown by the wind, so that they looked like they were dancing!  Dancing always makes me think of pure joy, with no inhibitions.  My kids dance in response to anything they like.  It’s almost as if the joy spills out of them in dance. 

Don’t you wish we adults remembered how to do that?

Which reminds me of this.

“Because children have abounding vitality, because they are in spirit fierce and free, therefore they always say, ‘Do it again;’ and the grown-up person does it again until he is nearly dead.  For grown-up people are not strong enough to exult in monotony.  But perhaps God is strong enough to exult in monotony.  It is possible that God says every morning, ‘Do it again’ to the sun, and every evening, ‘Do it again’ to the moon.  It may not be automatic necessity that makes the daisies alike; it may be that God makes daisies separately, but has never got tired of making them.  It may be that He has the eternal appetite of infancy; for we have sinned and grown old, and our Father is younger than we.”  GK Chesterton

I am working on my dancing skills.  I look forward to a day when all inhibitions are stripped away.  Here’s an oldie, but a goodie.  (I already know which I will be doing. ;))

http://listen.grooveshark.com/#/s/I+Can+Only+Imagine/2ousiB

*I apologize for all the songs, but worship is my number one attitude adjuster.  I’ll hear a song that speaks my heart and I get so excited about it.  (Okay, most days it’s about 3 or 4 different songs.)