Great Theater

king.jpgEvery once in a while a song from a musical will get in my head, and I’ll be reminded how much I miss working with the theater. It was one of my escapes in high school, from tough tests and tougher life experiences. Oh, I wasn’t onstage. No, I was behind it. I helped build sets for the plays at our school, and helped run the shows when they went on. This was called being a ‘techie’.

We had so much fun building the sets. We’d have music blasting through the entire auditorium, while we painted, hammered, and drilled. But mostly, we talked. We all were some type of nerd -let’s put it where it’s at. The ‘beautiful’ people were out front in their costumes; we only held everything together so they could look so good.:) As we were a group of differents, we each had our high school angsts and troubles, and it was a great way to unload while we’d pass a roller back and forth over the particle board floor.

The first play I worked was an afternoon children’s showing of Alice in Wonderland. I was one of the kids dressed in black, who moved the roses around on the rosebush after they’d been painted red. I was able to work my way up to more desirable positions- like sound tech, lighting tech, stage manager, and finally, the coveted Assistant Technical Director. The Technical Director was a teacher in the school, so assisting her in a play was the best a techie could get. I have so many sweet memories of my years spent in that auditorium during the shows. There was the play I did followspot (on a balcony in the ceiling), and tried my hardest to forget where I was and focus on the lead actors- hot job! I remember The Wizard Of Oz, how years of watching the movie had never made a dent in my emotions, but watching a real-live actress saying goodbye to the tin man had me in tears every night. The King And I- how every song was catchy and meant to be sung, over and over again, still in our heads as we tore down the set. Then there was the big one I got to stage manage- Little Shop Of Horrors. It was difficult calling certain of the cues with the lighting and the plant just at the right times, but I remember getting it right on the nights of the shows, and feeling so grown up, such a feeling of accomplishment.

I was Technical Director for a lesser-known play called The Lark, about Joan of Arc. Being in that position caused me to get to know this play through and through- that and we took it to the Thespian Festival that year. What happens to be a beautiful, true story about a beautiful heroine comes to life that much more for those who to get to see it play out before their eyes on stage. It was such a lovely experience.

So it came to be that I heard “Whistle A Happy Tune” in my head tonight, and all these memories elbowed their place alongside it. I’m grateful to have been a part of the theater in high school. It was good for me.

Pictures From The Bee

The girl did great- went quite a few rounds and held her own with the third graders. Then came the word, laugh, out of left field, and she had to sit down. She already knew how to do it well (with a daddy like that, all one can do is laugh at times), now she knows how to spell it well, too. Enjoy the slideshow. Click on the caption bubble for my comments.

Can You Spell Nervous?

…And I don’t mean A-Major, the one who is actually in the spelling bee on Monday afternoon. The closer we get to the event, the more my thoughts go back to that fateful day-

One of my earliest elementary school memories was watching a spelling bee take place in the cafeteria at my school in The Plains. I remember that I could have signed up to participate, and I almost did. But, all my shyness allowed me do was sit on the steps and spell the words with the contestants at a distance. I loved to spell. Later on in elementary school, after we moved to Columbus, I remember having competitions just for spelling lesson in front of the class, and always being the one left standing, pleased but a little self-conscious in my role as grand champion.

Then in sixth grade, I was entered in the big Spelling Bee. I got pretty far- it was down to six of us, one from each elementary school, gathered in the library. Things went pretty good until the moment I stood for my word, and heard the word- colonel.

Now, I love to spell, but I don’t love to study, so I could honestly say I had no clue how to spell that word. Up until this point I had only been given words that were spelled like they sounded or were common enough that I had seen them before. But not colonel. I knew it wasn’t the popcorn kernel, I asked for a definition to try and drum up some kind of memory of how it might be spelled. Nothing came to mind. After waiting as long as I could for that nonexistent piece of knowledge, I opened my mouth and spelled, “K-E-R-N-E-L,” knowing full well it was utterly wrong. What disappointment at such a young age. But I could only blame myself for not studying. You can bet that I will never, ever forget how to spell colonel now.

Back to the real heroine- my daughter, who is bravely going before the lions teachers and trying her best at Monday’s Bee. She has been studying, and no matter how far she gets, I will be most pleased, and not at all too self-conscious to yell and whistle loudly at every opportunity to cheer her on.

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Reading this over, I notice I am sounding a little like Jane Austen. That might be due to the excellent PBS series on the television to my left. Such enchantment- please excuse my many airs.

NYR#6: Be A Better Friend

Then Joshua addressed the Reubenites, the Gadites, and the half-tribe of Manasseh. He said, “Remember what Moses the servant of God commanded you: God, your God, gives you rest and he gives you this land. Your wives, your children, and your livestock can stay here east of the Jordan, the country Moses gave you; but you, tough soldiers all, must cross the River in battle formation, leading your brothers, helping them until God, your God, gives your brothers a place of rest just as he has done for you. They also will take possession of the land that God, your God, is giving them. Then you will be free to return to your possession, given to you by Moses the servant of God, across the Jordan to the east.” Joshua 1:12-15 The Message

I think of this passage, and I wonder how many opportunities I have been, and will be given to help a brother or sister along. I also wonder at my total ineptness at it, and how I have probably wasted many of those opportunities. Let’s put it where it is at: my closest friend lives 637 miles away from me, and the reason we are so close is that we live so far apart! She only gets my best in letters and email, never seeing the unplugged, unrated versions of my life. With those who live nearer I can’t seem to get further than a certain level, then we either coast, or lose contact. Maybe this is how it is supposed to be during this busy season of life for me. But every once in a while, I get the feeling I should know more ladies to hand down clothes to, other than take them to Goodwill. I should know more moms who need me praying for them like I need them praying for me. I should know better how to be real, be accessible, be friendly. So I’m going to work on that. We are settling into a new church, and the hope is there that I will find some kindred spirits, and we can learn from one another. That, and the relationships of those in my family that need some cultivating, should keep me busy.

NYR#5: Get Deeper In The Word!

Is anybody else as bored as I am at these resolution posts? I guess they sounded better in my head. Only two more to go- let’s keep on pluggin’.

Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. Joshua 1:8

There are so many good reasons to read the Bible; you know this, I know this. The catch is that it is a little like eating one’s vegetables: it’s good for you, but not necessarily the most exciting activity. At least, that is what the Devil and my flesh want me to think, so that I easily fall off the Book wagon countless times. I’m learning that to be faithful at Bible study requires a bit of discipline on my part- something in short supply. But I know that discipline can be cultivated through faithful reading of God’s word, along with many other divine character qualities. A hamster wheel of blessing and success I long to stay turning. A keyword in the above verse is careful- I need to be more careful. Too many of my thoughts/deeds are careless. Going deeper into God’s word can help that, too.

Today’s song of the day would be a good start for anyone looking to memorize more Scripture. 🙂

Aargh

I went to bed at OSU-LSU’s halftime last night, because I couldn’t stand to see any more. Turns out that was a good idea; the second half didn’t go much better.

Sing a little dirge with me, won’t you?

when I think about
what could’ve been
it makes me want to cry

The sweet words you whispered [National Title]
didn’t mean a thing
I guess our song is over
as we begin to sing [Drive, drive on down the field]
could’ve been so beautiful
could’ve been so right
I’ll never hold what could’ve been [a big crystal football trophy]
on a cold and lonely night

~inspired by Tiffany

It is amazing enough that the team is getting to the playoffs this often. I should just be happy with that.

NYR#4: A Year Anxiety-Free

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9

I cannot even imagine what my life would be like if I didn’t spend some of it fearful of one thing or another. During postpartum, one issue I deal with are anxiety attacks. I heard recently how I should, when one occurs, pray, “Lord, please don’t let my imagination cause me to be afraid.” Pretty simple, but implementing this plan of attack on my attacks has targeted what goes wrong in my mind when these happen. What is really going on is me not taking every thought captive and making it obedient to Christ (2 Cor. 10:5). Instead, I am allowing and needlessly suffering fear because of some thought that shouldn’t be there in the first place. Reading and hearing good words also help me in times like those. I’ll talk more in the post tomorrow about what words I want to be reading, but one musical memory stands out I’ll share here. I remember one evening I was pacing the floors of our old house with newborn Noah, feeling pretty anxious. I put in a Chris Rice album and let the songs, especially today’s song of the day, seep into my bones, give me strength to keep going, and a fresh, true perspective. We need to take in the truth, over and over, because it will never come from within, from our flesh. If I spend too much time listening to what I think about things, I will dissolve in fear. It matters only what God thinks, and that He “will be with you wherever you go”.

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Okay, I know I am already breaking my own rules about You Tube, but Rhapsody didn’t have the song. Sorry, Ang. I didn’t look, but it might be on GodTube.

NYR#3: Smile

smile.JPGThese resolution posts have been rather depressing, and I don’t mean to paint such a bleak picture of my life and the coming year. It is a beautiful, fun existence, and I would not trade it for anything. Still, in moments when I am feeling totally inadequate and low, I hope that I can learn better to look up. To smile. To maybe even laugh. This does not come naturally to me- being bubbly, cheerful and outgoing usually gives me a headache. But we all need to lighten up once in a while.That is why I am so grateful to Steve Martin and Napoleon Dynamite. And a new funny guy on my list, Tim Hawkins.

What makes you smile?

NYR#2: Faith In Flood Season

“…get ready to cross the Jordan river…” Joshua 1:2

I’m in Joshua now- anybody figure that out already? Second Timothy ended with, I think, some of the most beautiful verses in Scripture, one from which I got the idea for the blog title ‘Love His Appearing’ (2 Tim. 4:8). I enjoy how whatever I am reading in the Bible just hits the nail on the circumstance I am in at the time, offering the right encouragement and admonition. Joshua is doing just that, as the verses of chapter one are fitting right in with my already-planned New Year’s Resolutions. A fine kettle of fish.

Here we see God giving Joshua a run-down of near future events: he will be the one to lead the Israelites across the Jordan and into the promised land. The people of God have spent 40 years in time out in the wilderness, thinking about what went wrong before. So, understandably, everybody should be eager to do things right this time, and follow their leader to the glory that awaits. But the acquisition of this land will not come without its adventures. As they set out, according to my Bible notes, it is flood season, so crossing the Jordan river might not be such a simple thing. It would require them to trust God to act miraculously in their lives, for them to make it across.

Sometimes I look at my life- six children in nine years of marriage- and I think, this must be my flood season. I am at peace with the fact that this is what God wants me to do- be willing to have as many children as He wants to give me. Most overwhelming to me is that He really thinks I can do this. Many times I lack the faith one should have when flooded with these many blessings and the responsibilities that accompany them. When this season is over, I pray I can look back at the ways He used this precious flood to grow my trembling spirit into someone strong and courageous.

The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!” Luke 17:5

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I hope you are checking out my Song of the Day on the sidebar- today’s is especially meaningful to me. If you missed any, click on ‘song of the day’ for the complete list.