Why I Am On The Art Bus”–by my sixteen year old daughter
When I first heard about this journey I was so not sure if I wanted to go or not. I was thinking I would have just gotten out of school so why would I want to get back on a bus again the first week of summer? I know, so selfish and so not the right state of mind.
So then I began to pray and pray about it. I felt the Lord was calling me to go. There I would be the youngest on the bus with not much experience. However there is nothing that I love more than art, children, and Jesus Christ. The more I thought about it the more excited I began to get. This was my calling and the Lord was telling me to go.
Telling people about Christ and having an art studio on wheels is just so amazing. Watching people love on this bus just brings so much joy to my heart. The fact that we can bless others as well as the Lord with the bus is just so incredible.
I have learned lots of thing while along this journey. Number one, patience is key. Trust God no matter what happens. This brings me to one of my favorite verses…”Be cheerful no matter what happens.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-19. Throughout the trip I was reminded that He has a plan for us and the bus and even if we were not able to see it, He can.
I can’t believe I ever doubted being apart of this team. This again is where I will thank God. He let me see that He wanted me to be apart of this and I thank Him again for giving me the ability to be able to listen and to obey Him. I was blessed with many new friendships on this trip that I wouldn’t trade for the world I thank God for that, also.
I can’t wait to see what the Lord has in store for it/us when we bring it back home. It can’t be anything but good. This has been one amazing journey and I am so glad I was called to hop on board!
We have a little family joke that started with my grandmother. She would ooohhh and aaah at every gift that was opened at Christmas and any and all special occasions. It was delightful behavior to be around as a child.
Pure joy. Pure excitement. Unrestrained rejoicing.
She, my Gama, was a child of the Great Depression. One of thirteen children, she was appreciative of everything. So when the bows and the wrapping were thoughtlessly tossed aside, she would gather up the bows and salvage any of the wrapping she could. She’d gather and save.
And as each gift was revealed she would say, with her beautiful big smile and her beautiful big eyes, oooh and then aaaah. She just simply delighted in the gift and the moment. Large. Small. Modest. Simple.
The gift didn’t matter. It was just the moment and the exchange, ever so small between family.
So we adopted this custom. Truthfully we poke mild fun at her dramatic response as we have family fun ooohing and aahhing over the unwrapping of gifts. We remember her. Her joy.
But truly, isn’t life more fun when we celebrate the small unwrappings. Delighting in the small things that border on just mundane. When we celebrate small milestones, or small joys. When we take a moment to rest in a moment of beauty.
Breaking out a smile, broad and wide, all toothy and glistening over a kind remark from a devoted friend, a text of encouragement or endearment from a woman who walks out life with you, an email that says simply. ” I am missing you terribly.”
Aren’t these moments worth busting out cheerfulness and joyfulness.
I delivered news this morning to a friend which I felt would disappoint and maybe cause her to feel that I had let her down. Her response was one of affirmation. You are choosing rightly, you are doing as you should, go and enjoy and have fun. This is important, she says to me.
We have been deep cleaning and spring cleaning my house. I look on the fruits of the shared labor, and smell the clean, and see some progress toward de-cluttering. I smile and say this is good. This is better. I am encouraged.
Such small things often delight the heart. And they are worth taking a moment to say, “This is good.” To give it a simple label of “nice” or “good” or “beautiful” or “kind”. To release an ooh or an aahh over a favorite meal when fellowshipping with family or friends. This is good. This is yummy.
Finding the moments that are gifts of life, ever so small and allowing them to be named as good. To savor for more than a second.
This morning for me it was the smell of cut grass. They say that the sense of smell is the memory which we hold on to the longest. I don’t know if that is true, but a wave of memories poured into my bedroom and delighted my soul as I thought of times that were good as fragrant cut grass stimulated my memories, all tucked away and resting.
Words were said. There was a disagreement. I would not have won any mother of the year awards for my part, for my responses to the situation. But in a moment of reconciliation my child told me how very much he loves me.
I was humbled. I am deeply touched by a love that forgives and works through and doesn’t stay stuck. This is good. This is healing. I stop and say this is unexpected grace.
I am looking for things to celebrate this weekend. We are cheerfully and happily celebrating a graduation of a precious young woman in our life. We love her so and we rejoice at this milestone.
But I am looking to rejoice in the small things too. The little oooh’s and the little aaah’s. The shell on the beach, the giggle around the table, the crisp spring air with birds singing overtime, a clean fresh start for some places in my home, a comment in love, a comment in friendship, a word of encouragement. A gesture toward forgiveness. A gesture toward healing. A word of praise. A word of thanksgiving.
I am seeking to rejoice in all that He gives. And while I don’t have my Gama’s eyes which saw the world so differently than I, I can seek to see what the Lord has placed before me as blessing and gift.
The tide comes in, the tide goes out. The bumps and bruises and dust ups in life will come and go. But I choose today to look for joy.
Will you join me. Won’t you join me. It’s more fun doing life together.
Wonderful Weekend Full Of Grace, to you all.
And may you ooooh and aahh all weekend long at all the joy that comes your way.
“A well-developed sense of humor is the pole that adds balance to your steps as you walk the tightrope of life” –William Arthur Ward
I may have lost it. My sense of humor that is. Do you know the guards at Buckingham Palace. The ones who stand guard like concrete statues.The ones you cannot get to flinch, to smile, to giggle, to break their poker face icey stares. That is me. If this mothering gig doesn’t work out I have a great chance of signing on at Buckingham Palace as the first female guard. You cannot break this stone-face stare.
I stand guard at the threshold of my home. These teenagers and occassionally our adult child have to pass through my icey stare and answer all the questions. How was this? How was that? Fun right. And I don’t blink. This job of mine has such dire consequences, if I stumble and fall, they ALL fall down.
Or so I believe. What if the first thing they see is a smile? Will they reflect joy. What if the first thing they are met with is a warm embrace. Will they reflect compassion. What if I warmly insert humor in my third degree line of questioning.
I am bone-tired of standing like a soldier, guarding my chicks like a stoic mother-hen. Wait can a hen be stoic. What if a grade slips, or a curfew isn’t met, or an errand isn’t completed on time. Or sunscreen isn’t worn, or a pill isn’t taken, or youth-group is missed to go support a friends soccer match. What if. What is the worst thing that can happen.
“A cheerful disposition is good for your health; gloom and doom leave you bone-tired.”- Proverbs 17:22
I need to cheer-up this disposition of mine. I need a spirit of cheerfulness and light-heartedness. Pronto.
I am going to find a recent one of me laughing so I know there is potential there.
This tightrope act. This thing we call balance. It is just plain hard. When to speak and when to listen. When to reprimand, when to remain silent. When to speak words of praise, encouragement, discipline,challenge,love, hope and pride. When to rein in. When to loose the grip, the grasp on these children we love so, and when to tighten and cinch in the boundaries.
When to press in on standards and conformity, and when to let loose to allow and even encourage creativity and individuality to flow freely.
I love what they are becoming and who they are becoming. In Christ.
But as it says in the Proverbs, “gloom and doom leave you bone-tired.” It is time for a season of laughter. Of joy. Of smiling and letting little things just lie.
I need humor to walk this tightrope of life. I may stumble and I may fall. I may slip up and fail. No, I will stumble, I will fall, I will fail, but I want to go down with a smile on my face. I want my children to see joy and laughter in my contenance.
I want them to experience Grace when they are in my presence. I want it to wear a smile.
And I don’t want to move to London this close to Mother’s Day.