Impromptu Encounters

I love waking up in the morning to a plan. At work I always have a list of to do’s, follow ups and scheduled appointments. Since I am a lover of relationships I am always trying to connect with everyone possible by scheduling special moments with them. Then of course with kids there are always things happening that need to be on the calendar. But, life is not always something that we can control on a timetable.

Last Sunday in service a flutist played a song that was improvisational and intimate. In musical terms it was a piece that would be called impromptu or spontaneous to the soul. As music is a spiritually transforming relationship for me, the flutes notes in particular brought warmth to my listening ears and chills that spread to my fingers and toes. It was an instance that could not have been an appointment on a daily calendar. My friend calls them innocent and holy intimate encounters with God.

God pursues us through those nostalgic moments that make our heart quicken. When a handsome stranger tells you that you look beautiful in orange or your daily Starbucks Barista tells you that they have noticed your absence because you light up the room. The daily calendar plays out your schedule while the beckoning of Christ is felt by the cool breeze brushing across your shoulder. His presence caresses your heart string while sharing a treasured couple of hours with dear friends who share a common endearment for the Savior.

So many of us have grown up with a violated understanding of love and relationship. Confused on issues of intimacy. Hardened by the pain of love lost. We put things on our schedule to assure that we are in control of what comes next. We try to write out the impromptu music that melodically chimes into our carefully planned lives in order to protect our heart from certain struggle or another love lost. Was it true?

Having past testament of this tragic reality of common humanity it has become somewhat of an adventure of mine to acknowledge God’s happenstance love taps on the back of my daily living. To seek out and pray for loving encounters that speak of God’s intimacy, not the world’s idea of it. To sacrifice unsatisfying physical desire for the soul satisfying bond that is built on “God is Love”.

As my well planned schedule played out in the pages of the hours that passed, I did not miss the impromptu presence of God’s unchanging hands embracing me in the enjoyment of a sunset and a sea of blue. Treasured moments that offer hope to a little girl sometimes lost at sea, sometimes lost in misunderstanding, but always willing to take the risk knowing that the water always comes back to kiss the shoreline.


Authentic Sound

One of my favorite sounds is a pure tenor voice. My father had a voice like that, perfect pitch, pure sound. Real. Genuine. Authentic.

In living we discover that life can really throw some cheap shots. We learn that humanity is not always helpful, truthful, or honest. We realize that time does not always heal the wounds and fairness is not always a reality. It is difficult to discern what is right and what is wrong, what to believe or not to believe, what religion is the most available or plausible in explaining our existence. The truth of our depravity is never more noticeable than in the mirror. How can we hear the sound of authenticity?

I remember that epiphanal moment when I knew that all this jazz about Jesus that people had been playing ungracefully in my face was actually true. I recollect questioning it a million times because it never seemed to pan out the way I wanted it too. Some religious beliefs seemed to offer much more happiness and personal control and some rules just seemed made to be broken. But, I knew that something was ecliptically wrong with my days. There had to be something that led to better rhythms than the never ending blues.

Then I heard it. Real. Genuine. Authentic.

Sara Groves sings a song that says “sweeter than springtime, purer than sunshine, ever my song will be, Jesus you’re beautiful to me.” Jesus is sweet honey on my daily bread. “Sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.” Jesus’s words are a testimony of God’s relentless pursuit of our soul’s authentic tune.

The sound of my Father. His voice penetrates the lies and exposes my authentic sound.

Have you heard yours? If you are changing the stations always trying to find the song that speaks to your heart, consider Jesus. I promise its a melody that will not disappoint.

It’s like that beautiful, clear baritone/tenor to my listening ears. Real. Genuine. Authentic.


Hitting the Roof

I think everyone was awakened last night by the sound of the torrentious rain drops coming down. Facebook was sprinkled with reports of disturbed sleep. I know that I awoke as my oldest daughter came through my room, obviously disturbed as well in her slumber.

I lay quietly in my bed listening. Since I have a metal roof on a make shift mobile home the sound is just a little more amplified. It sounds more like a freight train barreling at high speed through our living room. I, however have been conditioned by it for a long time now. It is a sound that reminds me of the awesome power of God!

The pitter patter of rain hitting the roof is a soothing sound for me. We laugh often, with a sort of anxious giddyness when the storms come because we have no where to hide. Our bathtubs are on opposite sides of the house both exposed to the external walls and of course there is not a place that is enclosed because our home is, well 16 x 76. Yet, our park isn’t called Thousand Oaks for fun, we literally have thousands of huge oak trees that protect our homes. We figure when everyone with a house plays duck and cover, we will just pull up a chair in the middle of the living room and enjoy the show….ok maybe we can get the extra mattress from my youngests trundle and throw the couch over us as we pray for God’s sovereignty to continue to reign.

We literally are inundated with calls and texts from loved ones warning us of incoming weather reports. We always look at each other and smile, take a gander outside at the sky and then say “God’s will be done!” Most people think we should high tail it in the car and try to out run it. Can you out run God?

Ok, to their defense they mean well and they only want us to be safe. But, I can’t think of a safer place than sitting in God’s hands, can you?

I know this frustrates a lot of folks. They think God gave me a brain and I should use it, and to some degree they are right. I have been known to take serious risks. But, in my defense God has placed me right where I am supposed to be. I trust that if danger comes and we are not meant to be like Dorothy and fly the friendly skys in our red sequined slippers(wish I had a pair) that God will let me know what I am supposed to do. Scriptures says if we have the faith of a mustard seed we can move a mountain. So faith is a pretty powerful little kernel. It is certainly more accurate than the weatherman.

So, next time the rains come down and you hear something hitting the roof, consider God. The sound of rain on my roof, or even flying debris is a reminder in my life of God’s tapping on my heart, which sometimes takes BIG things for me to feel it. Its part of that familiar music that plays to remind me that God is in control. The Bible says a lot of things about weather that are all related to Him controlling it. What I love most about it is that it says it is the voice of God.

Jer 10: 13 “When He utters his voice, there is a multitude of waters in the heavens, and He causes the vapours to ascend from the ends of the earth; He makes lightning with rain, and brings forth the wind out of His treasures.”

Now that makes it sweet music to my ears!


Poetic Discourse

Today was an ordinary day. The standard routine, the usual daily grind. But, the day really was different because the evening was approaching. I had an excitement in my spirit to reconnect with an old friend.

One of the most fulfilling moments in my life is connecting with people. Relationships make my heart beat fast, especially the most intimate details that bring deep understanding of each other. If I can discover who someone is, why they do what they do, where they have come from, what tragedies and blessings have brought them to this particular moment in time, I know that God will bring the right words to mind, the scripture that will minister, the kindness that will touch their soul, mercy that will pierce their pain, the grace that will redeem.

What joy comes in reconnecting with someone who shared life with you, who knew some of the intimate details of your life. The part in your symphony when the poetic discourse is revealed in reminiscing about the past, discovering the reality of today and the hope for tomorrow which is woven purposefully into our lives for such a time as this.

Today was not an ordinary day. Today, was a day of redemption, a day of unusual routine. Today I enjoyed a fabulous meal with a truly wonderful girlfriend, a walk downtown, a coffee and a conversation! It was Poetico!

Lamentoso…..I lament

Ecclesiastes 3, there is a time for everything….. I was thinking about this today as the reality of life hits you square between the eyes sometimes. There is a time to grieve, to cry, to weep about the important possibilities and probabilities in our life. Verse 4 says, “there is a time to weep, to laugh, to mourn and to dance”! Why in between the weeping and the mourning are we laughing and dancing? Isn’t that just how our life goes, 1 minute life is good and the next life is hard?

The mountains and valleys that we pass through are meant to challenge us to look up and trust that God is in control. As a mom I lean quite heavily on the controlling side, especially after having a couple of semesters of empty nest under my belt. The girls are back in town and this mom is in great need of a reality check.

So today, I found myself weeping and mourning the loss of my perceived control, yet laughing at my rediculous ploy that I was actually in control in the first place and dancing at the freedom that comes in relinquishing control to God. My girls are 22 and almost 19. I am pretty sure they still listen to me, which is really a big win for me and I know they trust the same God I do. So why can’t I trust them to make important decision on their own? I am such a nagger!!! UGH!

I love hearing the sound of God’s voice in the middle of it all. He is the bridge of the song in my heart. He bridges the gaps I create with my sinfulness and selfish desire. He turns our weeping into laughing, he transforms our mourning into dancing. He is still in control……

He writes the song including my daughter’s song! But, letting go……sohard!

Col Pugno

The only girl….. My earliest memories are in a suburb in Denver where I dug in the dirt for worms, went on wild adventures to catch crawdads and snakes, rode our big wheels and bikes off picnic tables and ramps constructed out of plywood and parking lot stoppers. My barbies were married to army men who wore parachutes and jumped from the 2nd story of our house. I remember getting shot in the back by a BB gun, climbing fences to collect golf balls and racing as fast as we can from the neighbors after letting the snakes go in her house…. Col Pugno – with the fist!

My symphony begins with a bang…banging the piano with my fists.

I am a fighter! Even though I can play hard ball, I still fight like a girl. Like a well trained boxer I have bobbed and weaved through some pretty serious tragedies, yet the notes of my feminine strength are powerful as the music plays. I do fight with my fists, but, God chose those notes for me because He knew you can’t keep a strong woman down, especially one who knows Him.

Three brothers and an ecentric, cheerleader mom made growing up a girl both difficult and incredibly exciting!Like a well choreographed song they quickened the beat of my heart to do exciting and dangerous things, to always take risks, to compete, to win or to lose gracefully! It is a theme that has been woven masterfully throughout my years in sports, in education, in working,in overcoming life’s challenges and relentlessly pursuing truth!

Col Pugno, the orchestrated beginning of an unpredictable life! Capriccioso!

But, God is creating His masterpiece! Listen as He calms the storms in each measure and transforms each moment with precision and love! Con accuratezzo, con Amore!