Wednesday, December 27, 2006

A Thought

Have you ever felt that you were so busy becoming who you want to be, that you forget to be who you are?

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

The Life Lessons of Mrs. Richards

Every Thursday night at choir practice, I try to nab the seat next to Mrs. Richards. I recently switched to singing alto, and I must admit, I'm not too good at following the alto part in my head. Mrs. Richards had a bout with pneumonia this summer and has switched to the Alto part as well. Of course, she is so talented and experienced in music, and can follow the alto harmony beautifully. It has been a great encouragement for me to be able to sit next to her, for a couple of reasons.

First, she is always gracious enough to help me when I ask. If I really don't understand a certain section, I'll just ask her for some guidance, and she patiently explains it to me.

Secondly, and most importantly, it has been such an amazing blessing to hear her heart expressed in the way she sings. Really, you can hear the cry of her heart as she harmonizes. One example of this is a jazzy rendition of "I Surrender All" in which Pastor Williams had her do the solo. It just didn't seem right for anyone else. Everytime I heard her sing it, she totally captured it. I think it's because I can see complete surrender in her life. She lives faithfully. It seems like I've been hearing that a lot--the necessity of being faithful to be used for God's purposes. I love it when we both are struck by the same song, and I share the part I love most, and she shares a part I hadn't thought so much about. This happened awhile ago with "To The Cross." I was struck by "with my selfish tears in tow, and with my fighting fears I go to the cross." I loved it when she then brought up "Part of me will tell it 'no,' but Christ was there before me so, driven by a prayer I go to the cross."

I started working on this post a few weeks ago, but hadn't finished it for lack of time. Last night I saw Tony Bennett, Carrie Underwood, Josh Groban and Michael Buble on Oprah. Tony Bennett is only a little older than Mrs. Richards, but now when he sings, he sounds absolutely empty--trying to grasp for something that has passed. I couldn't figure out exactly what was wrong, until it dawned on me: he was singing "The Way You Look Tonight." I love that song, I really do. But it was all about external beauty. When Mrs. Richards sings, the lyrics and the spirit of the song give her voice something to sing for. It may sound crazy, but I'd rather pick her mind than his, any day. The more I get to know her, the more I want to get to know her. Mrs. Richards has a lot of lessons to teach, and I'm just getting started.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

A Good Quarter

Today I finished my week of finals. I love it when a plan comes together. Anyway, I'm so happy to be out of school and running headlong into Christmas goodness, but I'm also sad to be leaving the fun and spunky people I've hung out with this quarter. My classes have been great, and my classmates have been even greater. Yesterday and today were especially weird, considering that I've really become friends with these people, and yet each of us slipped out quietly after we finished the final. We may never even see one another again. But God has His purposes, and even if I never know why I met them, He does. It's something that boggles my mind. Everything that happens is for His purpose.


As I was signing a card for my uncle's 58th birthday, I thought up some poetry that I thought I'd share with you. I didn't think these poems would be appropriate celebratory material to write in the card, but I think you might like them.

Someday when you're rich and famous,
and you have a dog named Amos,
think of your neice whose name is Katie
and send her money 'til you're eighty.

Someday when I'm old and gray,
and I finally have to say
I'm an ancient fifty-eight,
I hope I'm not packed in a crate.