Saturday, February 19, 2011

Snapshots and Songs

Most memories of times in my life are framed by snapshots and songs. I have always emotionally connected to music and pictures. Maybe, in some weird way, it's been my way to preserve things I want to remember.

The old hymn "Love Lifted Me" can take me right back to the pew in Webbs Chapel Baptist Church, with Lester Heavner singing bass somewhere among those in attendance. I can still hear my Grandma Kiser standing beside me singing it. Her voice is something that I will always remember.

A picture of me as a small girl, sitting on Grandpa Kiser's lap outside of their house, eating a popsicle takes me back to a time that I didn't have a care in the world and one piece jumpsuits looked cute on me. My Grandpa Kiser was the first man whose eye I was the apple of. To a girl, this is everything.

The song "I'm Movin' On" by Rascall Flatts. It defined everything in my life at the time I packed my car and moved to Chicago. It was the hardest, yet most rewarding, choice I had made up until that point. I had to get away-pack up everything and glean my life of unsettled experiences and move on. That year turned me into a woman. I learned that I could make good choices in spite of things that tend to hold me back.

I remember a season of my life that was defined by remote control cars, men in cowboy hats, and playing house. It was a defining time in my life. One that I have learned to take lessons from and pack it away into a neat little package. I can take it out from time to time and put on some Al Green, and remember. Then I put it back away until I need it again. "How Can You Mend A Broken Heart" was one of the songs in my life that will always define certain things for me.

Dancing to "We Will Dance" and taking those lyrics to heart. Making a hard decision to lay it all out there for a man and trust. Definitely the most rewarding decision of mine to date. Hardest thing I have ever done. Definitely the most rewarding at this point in my life and I don't think anything will ever take the place of that.

I could list songs for hours......Some of the ones that I hum around the house now are Dreamin 'Bout Babies (Tracy Lawrence?), Maybe (Kelly Clarkson), and Free (Steven Curtis Chapman). My friends and I are like walking episodes of Glee, so there are definitely hundreds more-but these stick out.

I hope when I am old and grey I can still pull out some Al Green or Steven Curtis Chapman and relive a piece of history. I hope I can walk outside on a fall day and listen to Lenny Williams and be a young woman again. Or raise my hands in worship and remember the night Seth accepted Christ at church. I hope this weirdness about me never changes. I see everything in snapshots and songs-and I kinda like it this way.

Monday, February 14, 2011

The Hallmark Holiday

Valentine's Day-possibly the most disputed holiday in the calendar year. Some people spend hundreds of dollars to celebrate, while some refuse. Some call it Singles Awareness Day (I was one of those not long ago) and some people just never weigh in on it at all. They couldn't care less one way or another. I have always loved it. Always. Sure, some years when I was single were very hard but I always found something to do to celebrate. Either it was hanging out with my other single friends or someone God had put in my life that needed to be loved on, I always had a reason to celebrate it.

Now I have two men in my life to celebrate it with. Two boys that told me Happy Valentine's Day this morning. I will have dinner with them tonight (home cooked-keeping it simple), and we will exchange our small valentine's. I don't take a second of it for granted. My boys are my blessing and I am well loved. It is my own personal redemption story. We tell each other in small ways all year long, but Valentine's day-to me-is a day that we can take extra time out of our busy everyday lives to concentrate on it. It becomes a priority on this day-not just something we "squeeze in"...

So to all the cynics, celebrators, singles, marrieds....Happy Valentine's Day! Praying that wherever we all are in life that we celebrate the sacrificial love of God-our true blueprint for how to love everyone else in our world.