Archive for February, 2012

February 25, 2012

House Plant

So I have this house plant that I got from my mamaw’s house when she passed away a few years ago. I actually had obtained 4 plants. One died in transport between Indiana and Tennessee. One died after transport from Tennessee to Wisconsin. And one is still at my in-laws from when we moved from Tennessee to Wisconsin (over 2 years ago). We do have one at our house.

I have determined that I do not have the capabilities to keep plants alive in my house. The only time I can seem to remember to water it is when it has wilted to the point where you think it cannot possibly come back. Yet, it somehow manages to make it. It’s like Super Plant — which is a good thing. It would have died long ago otherwise. Trying to have orchids in my house would laughable.

I guess I have never been much of a gardener. House plants are not even considered “gardening”, though. They are so simple to care for. I’m not sure what gave me the urge to take these plants. I think it was the idea that these plants would be like a living extension of my mamaw, who was taken from this world entirely too soon at the age of 60. Also, while growing up we had a ton of plants in the house. We had tall plants, hanging plants, ferns, spider plants, etc. Then one year, my mom just stopped watering them. Though my parents’ divorce didn’t happen until many years later, I think there is some deep parallel there.

Maybe I equate the house plants to love and life in my world. If I keep them alive, then somehow Mamaw is still with me and there is a physical proof of love in my life. It’s a thought. But what I’m finding is that I do not have a green thumb. If my theory is true, then if this plant eventually dies I’m incapable of love and my mamaw’s legacy is gone forever.

Well that’s not right… is it? I think often times we develop these unrealistic and unhealthy attachments to objects for sentimental purposes. There is nothing wrong with sentiment. It helps us to appreciate what we have and to remember good times and good people. But what happens when that thing breaks? Or we lose it? Or it dies? We need to take time to understand why we cherish the item, but we need to know that it is just that; an item. The thing to cherish is the memory it invokes.

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February 19, 2012

Couples Dancing: The Lost Art

On Thursday of this week, my musical partner and I had our first “gig”. I’m using that term very lightly, but it was a lot of fun and a great experience. We had no idea what to expect at this “Country Jam.” It was at the American Legion in Winneconne, WI. We had prepared 4 country-ish songs and it seemed to be in the open mic type of format.

At about 7pm the house band began playing. The room had about 20 or so people in it and most were in their 70s and 80s. The band was playing old classic country songs. Most of which I was only vaguely familiar with.

But when the house band began playing, something almost extraordinary happened. There were about five couples who started dancing around the whole dance floor. They were dancing in a way that people just don’t do anymore. The men were twirling their women all over the dance floor in a two-step time. It was so beautiful. I couldn’t help but watch; mesmerized.

My mother had come to watch us play and she had a brought a few friends. We had a wonderful time. As these couples were dancing, though, we felt like we had traveled back to a time none of us knew about. My mother is in her mid-40s and her mother would have been in her early 60s. This tradition of learning to dance as a social activity is at least 2 generations removed from us.

Of course we have danced with our significant others over the years, but not like this. We would dance in our couples unmoving aside from rocking side to side. I learned that night that what we learned at high school dances was not really dancing. I learned that real couples dancing is now a lost art. This revelation made me a little sad.

It was enjoyable and amazing to watch these 70 and 80-somethings dance around that floor like they were in their 20s again. It made me realize that I need to hang on to my youth. By that, I don’t mean desperately grasp onto the unrealistic threads of my twenties as I move into my thirties and forties like many women are doing these days. I mean, don’t forget to enjoy life right now. Laugh and relax. If I do those things now, getting older won’t feel like a death sentence. It will feel like an adventure of growth and excitement around each corner.

We did end up performing our songs with the house band playing to back us up. It was so much fun and it felt very natural to be back on stage again. I hope everyone can find their passion like I have. It is amazingly fulfilling and can be so much fun.

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February 10, 2012

Finding God in the Small Stuff

Last night was one of those nights that just makes you feel good and confident in God’s workings in our lives. We started our next series of connection groups at church. We meet at someone’s house once a week in a small group setting and talk about Sunday’s message as it relates to our own lives. I chose to take part in the women’s group during this series of messages and last night was our first gathering. It was simply incredible! We laughed and joked and even cried a little. It was amazing at where God took our conversations. By the end of the discussion it was like we couldn’t be farther from the point of the discussion, yet we were closer to the point than at the beginning.

The questions that started this whirlwind of conversation were; How do we clean out chaff or clutter in our lives that can distract us from where God wants to lead us? and  When we do make an unwise decision, or mess up, how do we let go of that and forgive ourselves so God can make something beautiful from it? We talked about how important it is to see God in everyday life. He is constantly weaving his goodness in and out of our daily lives. He takes our screw-ups and mixes in his goodness and blessings. All of a sudden, something we made a mess of, he makes beautiful. It may not be immediate, but it happens. Even the great things we do, his blessings make them better. The more we are able to see that in our lives and others’, the easier it will be to focus on where God wants us and the less we feel the need to keep trying so hard to be a “perfect” Christian.

So give it a try. Next time you hear a piece of someone’s story, look for God’s blessings in the making. If you see a beautiful sunset, think of God’s hands designing that beauty. Look at the way your dog gets excited when she knows you are taking her for a walk. Look at the cold, blizzardy snow and admire it’s beauty before you grumble about shoveling… or after if you forget 🙂 If you see a friend struggling through a difficult time (or if you going through a difficult time) pray for God’s blessings to shine through. He never abandons us. Eventually, we will appreciate the littlest things as a gift from God. Life is so much more beautiful that way.

On the way home after our connection group, I heard one of my favorite songs by Mumford and Sons “Roll Away Your Stone”. This isn’t a huge surprise, seeing as the CD is in my car right now, but still. I heard the words and thought how well they fit with the day’s theme:

It seems that all my bridges have been burned,
But you say that’s exactly how this grace thing works
It’s not the long walk home that will change this heart,
But the welcome I receive with the restart

Remember God gives us grace minute by minute. We need to implement that practice with ourselves and others — but trust me, I know how hard that can be. Let’s start by finding God in the small stuff.

February 3, 2012

Here’s to the World of Writing

Recently, God has given me the urge to write. I love so much the world has to offer. I love the people who are placed in our life either for a moment or a lifetime. They are such blessings and everyone has a story worth listening to. Everyone is placed in your life for a reason and it’s important to cherish those encounters.

I love food. I really love eating it, but I also love making it. Cooking has become an unexpected passion of mine. Creating something tangible and useful can be so satisfying. Food is beautiful. The taste, the look, and of course the smell. Wonderful.

My biggest passion is music. I love to sing, write, and listen to music. I could have music playing all day long and never get tired of it. I have so much to say through music. Recently I have decided that music is where “it’s” at. I was given this gift and passion for a reason and it’s about time I start using it. I am on a constant search for ways to be more musical 🙂 I love it!

Well there’s a little about me to get this thing started. Hope I can keep this up!