Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The Joy Set Before Us

Every day is Music Day to Zibby. She and her piano are the dearest of friends. In some ways, the piano is her "voice." Quiet by nature and not one to "explain" how she feels, Aaron and I have noticed that, at five years old, her long fingers do the talking as they fly over the black and white keys. To sit at the piano is playtime to Zibby. So, you can imagine how exciting Piano Lesson Tuesdays are to her little soul. "It's piano with Miss Miriam today Mommy!" After kindergarten, on Piano Lesson Tuesday, she quickly eats her lunch, packs her music bag and is out the door like a flash.

On one of those Tuesdays, we turned down the muddy driveway and pulled up next to Miss Miriam's little spring green house on the Abiqua. Zibby was in such a hurry to get out the car door that she caught her foot on my bag and tripped, knees and hands first, into the muck below. I was sure she would cry, or at the least be embarrassed, but No. That girl got up, wiped her hands on her now filthy jeans, and said, 

"That's okay, Miss Miriam won't mind."

And with a smile she turned and ran to her lesson. 

Not even falling into a muddy puddle could take away the excitement of Piano Lesson Tuesday with Miss Miriam. 

And then I thought about my own life. 

How many times have I let a "muddy fall" keep me from entering into the Joy set before me in Christ?

I feel too dirty to come and sit with Him. 

I feel embarrassed and imperfect. 

But, the truth is, we are ALWAYS WELCOME. 

No matter how bad the fall...

He just wants us to be so excited to learn from HIM, that nothing can keep us from coming.

He is the JOY set before us....

The lesson we learn at His side is the Song of His Unfailing Love.

Saturday, February 2, 2013


"What's your favorite season?"

It's one of those "favorite color" "favorite food" questions that I can never answer.

Yesterday I was walking through The Oregon Garden with our roly-poly black lab. Usually I'm running, but today demanded a walk. A "slow down, take a look, stop and smell the roses" kind of walk. (okay, so my hip was hurting again.) 

It was February 1st. The calendar says winter. But all the earth around me is clearly waking up. 

It happens early in the valley. I see the buds on the camilla and the daphne. The bulbs just pushing their way through soft soil. And yesterday it was all light and life at the garden. Even the birds were singing about it.

It's not winter and it isn't spring. It's in-between. 

We may still have a flurry of snow on the horizon or another endless month of fog and drizzle, but today, spring is on its way....like Aslan on the move. 

And I realized that my favorite season is this in-between. Like the way our summer fades to fall and fall yields to winter and winter gives birth to spring. It's exciting, the change of things. The realization that this life won't always stay the same. It's sad and sweet at the same time. 

Ben turning ten this week was like the in-between to me. I see him as a boy in the shadow of a man. I look forward to the person he will become, I treasure the boy he still is. It's like an awakening...a new season of life about to begin. The calendar turns. 

I embrace it all...and I except it..gratefully.

 The ten year old in-between
The garden in-between