Sunday, September 27, 2009
Friday, September 25, 2009
Friday, September 18, 2009
The summer was coming to a close on an overcast, but warm afternoon. I donned a pair of pinstriped black pants, a silky black blouse and sensible flats. My hair was twisted and pulled back in a simple barrette, and I wore a small satchel purse to hold my keys and drivers license.
I drove to a sweet country inn in Nipomo, feeling nervous and excited at the same time.
And then I began to play make believe.
"I am here to assist Ken, today," I told the dapper Father of the Bride.
Ken entrusted me with one of his substantial Nikons, gave me some direction, and set me free. I eyed flowery still lifes and beautiful smiles, children entranced with bubbles and lovely ladies draped in satin. Memories of love and devotion and celebration framed within a little view finder.
The ceremony ended, and the rain drops began to fall. The bride's eyes sparkled and her face became even more radiant... she loves rain. The groom sheltered her with an umbrella and they shared married kisses in its soft shadow.
While my photos only served as a back up to Ken's amazing professional portfolio, it was so inspiring to step into a new pair of shoes.
To play another role.
Like grown up make believe.
My fairy tale came to an end on Sunday morning as I dangled my bare feet over the edge of the bed. The effects of several hours of lunging and squatting had crept in during the night. The day after the "happily ever after."
Nothing worth doing is ever very easy. Marriage is one of those things. It's not always happily every after. We want the better without the worse, the richer without the poorer, and the health without the sickness. Yet life brings both the good and the bad, and when the bad comes, it's easy to say, "I didn't sign up for this." But I did. I made a vow and signed up for it all... not just the fairy tale.
The shadows prove the sunshine. The raindrops prove the clear blue skies. What a blessing it is when two people are brought together in a sacred covenant to warm each other in the shadows and frolic in the sunshine. It is a beautiful mystery.
Friday, September 11, 2009
Because words are powerful.
And they can change everything ... in an instant.
At times, even if they are unspoken.
About three Sundays ago, the house was empty. I had some rare moments to myself. Strains of blue grass praise echoed through the family room, and I danced and lifted my hands in praise to my Savior. My heart was full of emotion and joy came easily and fluidly. Cleansing tears emerged from my soul, and a divine hope filled my mind. Sweetness and light.
My father was soon in the driveway with my youngest who'd been visiting at his house.
"Can I talk to you about something," he said, his face grave and serious.
He had recently had an MRI on his back to see if he'd be a good candidate for back surgery. The doctor found something they hadn't expected to find. A mass was growing on his kidney and he needed to go to USC's medical center to have a specialist look at it.
"Cancer," I thought. But no one spoke it. If someone spoke it, it might somehow give it life... make it real.
But words are meant to be spoken. Or they fester and come out in other ways... like torrents of tears. When we bring things to light, there can be healing.
My father underwent a major surgery yesterday. Skilled hands removed the tissue that was increasing inside him. Though invasive and uncomfortable and painful in the present, our hope is that it will prevent disease from spreading and taking over his body in the future.
As much as I have been struggling with fear over this dreaded "C-word," I am thankful that it was brought to light. It has brought words of prayer, words of encouragement, and words of love and affection. And an opportunity for the Word, Himself, to reveal His glory.
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
The Pioneer Woman recently posted about Shel Silverstein's The Giving Tree. She loves the book, and about 98% of the people who commented said that they cry like a baby when they read it. Having great sentimental value, most people cherish the simple story.
I, on the other hand, have a hard time with it. It makes me profoundly sad. I'm not sure if I am sadder for the tree who gives until she is a stump and gets nothing in return or for the boy who never learns to give. Perhaps, I don't really understand it's meaning. Is the tree God? Is the tree a mom? Does is speak to the selfishness of humanity or of unconditional love? Or is it a completely dysfunctional relationship?
Maybe it's because it can be interpreted in so many ways, that it is a "good" piece of literature. Maybe we can learn from it depending on where we are in our own personal journeys. I really have no idea... that's why I asked my friends on Facebook.
I really liked the interpretation Steve gave...
"A metaphor and allegory of two kinds of people, those who take, and those who give. Those who seek only to please themselves wind up bitter, alone, and coming back to those who give. Those who give are portrayed as having a seemingly endless wealth of creativity and imagination, while those who take merely consume, consume and consume. Peace!"
Even if I gave and gave until I was only a little stump at the end of my life, I think I'd still rather do that than be a lonely, bitter consumer.
Erma Bombeck once said,
When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, "I used everything you gave me".
I like that.
And I am left with a question... How do you teach children to be more like the tree than the old man?