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There it was! A giant sign hanging above their heads, staring me right in the face, as they sang anthems of fun, encouragement, and praise to God! It wasn't until during the Baton Rouge Homeschool Choir Concert that I took full notice of it!
That's me conducting!
I had just spent the day before working hard in the sanctuary setting up the staging, sound equipment, instruments, and spent time on my knees making sure that every cable was gaff taped to the floor so no one would trip. I was flying solo with only a couple of young boys to help with the heavy lifting. My husband, Brian had to attend a family funeral and felt really bad to leave me to deal with this huge, demanding task alone.
But, death is a respecter of no one!
It was on his side of the family and I confidently told him I could handle the set up! I do it all the time for school. The boys and I worked together and time was ticking! The dress rehearsal was in a few hours and wouldn't you know it...where was the "Y" that I needed to connect two choir microphones into one input???!!!! I only had 4 channels and needed 5 (that's why I needed the Y) [Perhaps I should call it an adaptor for you non-techie types] it began to seem that everything was beginning to go badly. The countdown was on and I still needed to take the boys home to get dressed for the rehearsal and then pull myself together, shower, fix my hair and make myself presentable....calm....cool....and collected! OH NO! I forgot the plants to put in front of the stage to cover up the messy tape and cords! After spending over an hour problem solving, running back to the storage building, and deciding to use the bigger soundboard (which I do not know how to run), and finally making a phone call and locating my "Y"... which had to be driven to me because it was borrowed and not returned, we finally finished the set up! After much trial and error, I actually DID figure out the soundboard and got some pretty good sound. Whew! "Don't touch a thing," I demanded to the boys!
As it turns out, I didn't have time to take them home so I took them home with me. Their mom would bring what they needed to get changed at the church. I had 10 minutes to swing into Albertson's and pick up a few ferns! We raced to the church. You know, as the director, you've got to be there ahead of everyone else for MANY reasons! Unlocking. Double-checking to make sure you're prepared. Greet and instruct. Air conditioner set to reasonable temperature. Yada, yada, yada...
Sound like a whirlwind? Sound stressful to you? Imagine if it WERE you! Yes, it was a whirlwind and yes, it was stressful! But then again, that's pretty much the way every production goes for me. As a matter of fact, life in general is typically one rat race after another. You know it's true for you too! We are all racing around, running the roads and if you live in BR, the traffic is enough to raise your blood pressure! The demands of life call our name using a giant megaphone...through our job, care for our parents or children, group text messages, a disgruntled employee or boss, urgent emails, and wrong numbers in the middle of the night! It's a raging river of continuous pressure and volume that will surely cause you to sink beneath the quick rush and knock the breath out of you!
Interestingly, we need to be reminded to breathe! Take that deep, reach to the toes inhale, and release it with all the tension that now resides in your shoulders, neck and lower back! Enough of reliving that moment! Let's move on.
I've had to be reminded time and time again to breathe! It's one simple task which is actually an involuntary bodily function. Yet, I find myself holding my breath. Even the last two weeks as I've struggled with many things, I catch myself reminding myself to breathe! Take everything that comes my way, one moment at a time. And I take that enormous inhale. It's a lesson that I keep having to re-learn! I'm sure you can relate. You know, the same ole, same ole...Slow down! Don't overcommit. Rest. Try to focus on the one thing and do it well. Live in the moment, not multitasking your way through life and running yourself down. I know! I'm the queen of it! Silly that we have to be reminded to do such basic life skills! Quite honestly, It's embarrassing.
Back to the sign above their heads...
So this week, (ok, lately) I've been craving for new. A new purpose. A new passion. A new way of living. A new way of fashioning my days. New people in my life. New depths of relating with special friends and relationships in my life. New plans. New goals. New challenges. New adventures. New habits. I've even cooked new recipes! The mundane is not for me! I've felt like I've needed a RENEWAL on everything. So I take it up with the Lord. Then I'm reminded of Ann Voskamp's book and stories of The Broken Way. Yep! I've been dried up and broken just like the crushed wheat. But out of broken comes new! It's hard to conclude that you are broken. But when you realize that miracles happen in the breaking, you can carry on in hope.
So I take full notice of that giant sign! And then my kids sing, Stayed on Jesus. It's a choir anthem that my college friend wrote and I love the simple reminder to wake up each morning with your mind stayed on Jesus. You know, morning brings a NEW day! When we keep our focus on Jesus, doesn't it make life more simplistic? Organized? Happy?!
Here's another quote from The Broken Way and the scripture it quotes is one of my favorites:
He looked out the window and pointed. "Every morning that the sun rises and you get to rise? That's God saying He believes in you, that He believes in the story He's writing through you. He believes in you as a gift the world needs." God's mercies are new every morning - not as an obligation to you, but as an affirmation of you.
I want to share with you the glorious music that once again helped to renew my soul. I'm so proud of my kids. And God used them and that crazy big sign to draw me unto Himself!
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