on a Margaret Becker kick. She was my
girl back in the late 80’s and 90’s. Now
I’m listening to her again. I really
hadn’t noticed until this go ‘round how much she sounds like the Wilson sisters
of Heart; a band I also liked in the 80’s.
But Heart’s “If Looks Could Kill You’d be Lying on the Floor” is a far
cry from Becker’s “Say the Name.”
Looks Could Kill” would have gotten me through a breakup or hard times back in
1988. But words like, “I was a sucker to
believe in you, a sucker for every line,” or “Love is on the line, I ain’t about to be kind,” have such a
negative ring to them, don’t ya think??
But I remember blaring that album, (you know, vinyl record albums) in my
cute little four-plex on Judge Ely Blvd. in Abilene, TX back in the day.
thankfully, I’ve progressed past the negativity! I can sit back and “Say the name that has heard my cry, has seen my tears and wiped them
dry,” and find a much more productive healing. Now, “Just
a whisper is enough to set my soul at ease.
Just thinking of this name brings my heart to peace.”
Several years ago, I was standing a few rows
behind an elderly woman while we were singing Natalie Grant’s song “Your Great
Name.” She was seated, but when we got
to the words, “The enemy, he has to leave, at the sound of Your Great Name,”
she struggled to a standing position. That
gesture of respect moved me to tears. “May I never grow so strong that my heart
cannot be moved. May I never grow so weak that I fear to speak the truth. I
will say this holy Name no matter who agrees. For no other name on earth means
so much to me.”
God exalted him to the highest place
gave him the name that is above every name,
10 that at the name of
Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and every tongue
acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.
“From now until
the end of time, I’ll Say the Name.”
|Photo by Lois Flores
was recently asked if I could “Be Still” for a while and await an answer
regarding a job. I replied, “Well, I can
tell you it is part of Psalm 46:10 and the entire Psalm starts out with
telling us that God is our refuge and strength.
But to actually put it in to practice, nope, I can’t do that.” Fortunately my potential employer chuckled
along with me, also knowing that waiting isn’t easy.
you’re single, your income is it. You’re
not a supplemental income alongside your spouse’s to help with extra
expenses. You’re not a comparable amount
to be part of the monthly budget. You
I find that scary.
I find it an exciting opportunity to see how God will work things out.
still…and know that I am God…
I find it frustrating.
I find it a good way to trust God.
know that I am God…
I want to make a phone call and get things rolling.
I just want to sit at His feet and watch Him work.
know that I am God…
not just “knowing” that He is God. I
have to “let” Him be God. It’s the
difference between reciting Psalm 46 and believing it and trusting Him enough
to live it out.
joke around with friends and say, “This is the year I marry money!” My Portland to Coast team would like extra
money to buy a van, team T-shirts, a cushy hotel and massage in Seaside after
the race. But until I find that rich
husband it just isn’t going to happen.
But in reality, I have found someone…
found Him while I was being still enough to know
Him and then let Him be God.
my theme song for last summer…
became unemployed and homeless all in one weekend in the spring of
2013. So in June I found myself on a
plane headed for Tennessee to spend the summer with some good friends working
as their nanny. I also needed to clear
my head and figure out what was next.
drove around beautiful Franklin, Tennessee with its green cotton-ball trees,
Sidewalk Prophets’ song “Help Me Find It” always seemed to be on the radio
every time I needed it to be.
“I don’t know where to go from
here, it all used to seem so clear.”
”If there’s a road I should walk,
help me find it.”
And the comfort of…
step, I’ve never been alone.”
“Even when it hurts You’ll have Your way, even in the valley I will say, with
every breath You’ve never let me go.”
was alone in the car I would sing it at the top of my lungs! But one evening
the song came on while I was driving the girls to dance, or to eat, or to a
friend’s house or to something. I said,
“Oh, I LOVE this song. It’s my theme
song.” They asked me why, so I started
singing along with the words like I was telling them my story. When it got to the words “You’ve never failed
before” I had to turn my head and fight back tears, because He never has.
before that phrase are the words, “I will wait for You.” That’s the hard part!! But I’m learning to “Be Still and Know
(remember) that He is God.” These are not
new concepts for me. It’s just when you
find yourself in a difficult situation you learn them all over again.
months later I’m still a bit in limbo.
But, He’s never failed before!
That’s all I need to know. So
even though I don’t know where to go from here, I
will wait for Him. And He won’t fail me
this time either!
I started thinking about my house the other night. I was missing it but decided I couldn’t let my mind wander east 7 miles. So I stopped and decided to count my blessings and think on all the good things of where I am now. Being a basement dweller is working out fine. Now do I step out and say it is working out fine “for now” or just keep saying it is working out fine. Because it is. But I do miss my house.
I am happy here. There is far less to clean here than in my house. Actually, there is just as much cat hair to clean up it is just in a more concentrated area.
Also, my sister lives just upstairs. You would think that would be handy but will come to find out differently in a future post.
Living within walking distance of where I work has saved me money on gas. And when I recently had a flat tire I didn’t have to rush to get it fixed. Funny thing, nobody mentioned to me it was looking low…
I met my renters the other day. I have a property management company that handles most things but the renters wanted me to come out and discuss the yard. I was happy to do so. I was especially happy to do so when they said they liked doing yard work and just wanted my okay with what they were doing.
They had painted my bright “hello I’m yellow” guest room to a softer, more easier on the eyes sage green. Much, much better. That yellow was a bit harsh no matter how hard I tried to soften it.
They have a beautiful dog. Can’t remember what kind, but just picture a sweet checkerboardy looking hound dog that would love chasing squirrels and the like through a field. Unfortunately he just has my bark dust 10x 20 ish side yard to romp. I think even Mary and Martha would like him.
I know God provided this apartment for me at just the right time. It was available a year ago but I wasn’t quite ready. If I had moved in then I think I would have grieved not being in my house instead of just missing it from time to time.
So for now, or longer, I am content, and thankful, to be a basement dweller. God’s timing is best.
Question: Are you content and thankful?
John 10: 1-5 “I tell you the truth, the man who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber. 2 The man who enters by the gate is the shepherd of his sheep. 3 The watchman opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. 5 But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice.”
My other “hat” at school this year, in addition to my music teaching gig, is being an aide in the a.m. Pre-Kindergarten class. Now, having been a teacher for many years I can honestly say that 4 year -old children are my least favorite age to teach. My favorite would be 3rd or 4th graders. They are old enough to know how to do things but young enough to not give you attitude because they know how to do things.
Students in Pre-K can hardly walk without falling over let alone walk in a straight line down the hall without crashing in to at least 5 or 6 other children in the process. I keep telling the head teacher, Mrs. Sloan, it’s a good thing they are cute because if one more of them makes a break from the middle to the head of the line I’m gonna freak-out.
We have two preciously adorable Asian girls in our class. One speaks virtually no English and the other has enough vocabulary to get by. She knows things like, “No.” She is really good with that word. Their mothers are the epitome of Asian beauty: flawless complexion and petite little bodies. I hate them. They are very soft spoken and watching their little daughters you would think they would be as well. But, not to stereotype, there has got to be an elderly grandmother living with them. The little girls will be working quietly, then turn their head towards us and holler out, full force, “TEACHA. TEACHA.” “My name is Miss Dana, may I help you with something.” “TEACHA. TEACHA.” “Yes, we’ve established I’m your teacher, Miss Dana, what do you need?” “TEACHA. TEACHA.” This goes on all morning.
On the fourth day of school we discovered one little boy REALLY wants to finish his projects. It doesn’t matter if it is time to clean up or not, he REALLY, REALLY wants to finish what he was doing. Or, as he very emphatically told me, over and over, “I. Want. To. Fini. Shit.” It was all I could do to keep from using my own expletives back at him, but since I’m a professional I refrained. Not to mention it is a Christian school.
Another little girl was saying good-bye to her friend at pick up time but her friend didn’t see her open-hug-expectant-arms. Her bottom lip began to quiver at the over-sight so I ran over and offered her a hug. She looked up at me and smiled and I asked her if she knew my name. “It’s Mrs. Sloan.” I said, “No that’s the other teacher. I’m Miss Dana.” Her mom laughed and said her daughter had told her that her two teachers were Mrs. Sloan and Mrs. Slawn. She was glad to clear up the confusion.
Well, my students may not know my name but they do know my voice. The gospel of John says: He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. I keep that verse in my head every morning. When they look back at their Pre-K experience, I don’t care if they remember my name, but I do hope they remember my voice. A voice that spoke kind words of love over them daily. A voice that encouraged them to keep trying and do their best even if the task is difficult. I want them to remember someone who thought they were the greatest kid ever even in the midst of being corrected.
Isaiah 40 says: Lift your eyes and look to the heavens: Who created all these?
He who brings out the starry host one by one, and calls them each by name.
Because of his great power and mighty strength, not one of them is missing.
Not one of them is missing. I may not have children of my own, but God has entrusted me with these 16 kids this year. Mrs. Sloan and Miss Dana will treat His creations with care…even if it kills us!!