Thursday, September 30, 2010

Wow. Amazing. Wonderful. Glorious. Superduper.

Can't find the words to express my feelings about last weekend. Muffin arrived quite late Thursday night and for some reason I was very tired and fell asleep a few minutes before I would normally be preparing to drive to Body Flow. I woke up not minutes late, but hours later.  We just chilled after a late dinner of quiche and salad, watching recorded TV shows. Friday morning Muffin started the process of restoring my iphone to "new." Which means I lost some info.  Spent too many minutes replacing the threads, contacts, and other application information. Friday night we attended a Library event at Frontier Texas, our award winning museum which is a fun and educational venue. The food was great, the company included Texas authors and songwriters, and the entertainment was a barroom fight out in the damp grass as the first Fall rain moved in from the north. Later that evening a young man phoned Muffin just to talk about God, his relationship in hearing God, his desire to hear Him explicitly and know His plans. We'll call him Mr. A. Muffin told him that God surely loved him lots and lots and wanted to talk to him personally. He prayed with Mr. A.

Saturday morning the Fall rain had turned into a flash flood event that didn't prevent Muffin and Me from attending a conference at our church. Chris Dupre', composer of Dance with Me, was the featured speaker. We all huddled into the Crossover, our Youth Building that is decorated in sky, grass, street shops and West Texas mural for a day of extraordinary teaching about the Father's heart of love for each of us. Chris loves to explain parables and words and is a master story teller. I found myself unable to take adequate notes because I was listening so raptly.  Chris chose Mr. A, who was in the audience, to come forward and help him illustrate some moments Chris experienced in getting to know God intimately, holding Mr. A's head close to him and telling him how much he loved him.  It was AWESOME! and PERFECT!

Later that evening Muffin replaced a light fixture that fell from the ceiling unexpectedly while I was teaching this summer. It was twenty years old and of course couldn't be matched. That means he really replaced two fixtures and eight bulbs in our extra high kitchen ceilings.  It took too long and made too much of a mess and looks fabulous, which is the normal results of such home improvements, right?  But, we "saw the light" at the completion of the task!

Sunday morning I played with the praise team, who are all the ages or younger than my children and who tolerate graciously my desire to sing along with my violin. We did some wonder songs--We Will Dance on the Streets that are Golden, You are Amazing God, and others. Then David, our pastor, invited Chris Dupre' to sing Dance with Me.  He came to the platform, took the lead singer's guitar and insisted that the remainder of the team stay and play with him. As he sang the words a transformation began.
Dance with me O Lover of my Soul, to the song of all songs.
Romance me O Lover of my Soul, to the song of all Songs.
Behold you have come over the hill, over the mountain
With you I will go, You are my Love, You are my Fair One.
To me you have run, My Beloved you've captured my heart
Winter has passed an the Springtime has come. 

People began to dance all over the church. The youth danced with arms linked and swayed together. The children danced freely in circles in the aisles. The adults danced together in ballroom styles.  All those who weren't dancing were smiling and waving hands as if they were dancing with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  Then it happened.  Chris asked for the violin to play alone. Right there, in my own church, with him playing guitar chords I was playing for a Holy Spirit dance that was the most beautiful thing I have ever seen.  From the Balcony to the front altar it was as if I was playing in the heavenlies and all the people were dancing as the Bride dances with the Bridegroom.  I will never, ever forget those moments.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Giving Music

 When I was a little girl my family would amuse ourselves by singing in the car on road trips.  When Daddy ran out of songs to entertain me he would just make them up. My Mother would get pretty anxious when he was singing because he couldn't "do music" without tapping his foot in rhythm.  That gets a little dicey in a manual transmission car.  We would leap forward in short leaps down the highway or farm road until she couldn't stand it any longer and would get him to pull over and trade places, driving the remainder of the trip while we sang.  

Daddy and his brother, my Uncle Pat, would also sing and play guitar and fiddle or mandolin for family gatherings.  They gave music back to their churches and taught me to do the same. I started playing piano for my Sunday school group when I was in third grade. In junior high  I began playing piano for the church services. During college my professional sorority volunteered at the local state supported school for mentally disabled. On Sunday evenings we would go lead songs--mostly fun songs, and action songs.

 This month I have played a wedding, a funeral and a symphony concert.  All paid performances, but gifts to my audiences just the same.  

 Music became a profession for me but there are still opportunities to give.  My studio groups perform for many venues including nursing homes and retirements centers, community functions and club programs.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Beeyootiful Butterflies in Key West

Our third stop on our cruise was in Key West, FL.  Muffin and I chose to walk the island and made our way to the Atlantic side, traversing Duval Street. We stopped for a key lime slushie and also at the Butterfly Conservatory.  Even the benches and bridges inside are decorated with butterflies.  This is just a small sample of the butterflies we saw. They are in every stage--fascinating! And beautiful!

Muffin's helicopter hat attracted a hitch hiker!

Monday, September 20, 2010

The Pampering

Every night of our cruise the cabin stewards do amazing things in our room while we go to dinner and a show or movie.  The room is cleaned from top to bottom, just as it is in the morning when we go to breakfast. All trash disappears from the containers.  Every spot on windows and mirrors is gone. Clean glasses and fresh ice appear. Any towels left on the floor are replaced.  All are folded and placed on racks. The tissue paper is folded to a crisp point.  
At night the covers are folded back and the towel animals appear with two chocolate mints. 

Who is this? What is this? Pointy little head and floppy ears...

Mr. Elephant

Miss Piggy with Minty eyes.

Stanley Sting Ray wearing Muffin's new sunglasses.

The final night on board.  I heart you too, Carnival Conquest!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

I Miss you, Hatem!

Last week aboard the Carnival Conquest we saw amazing sights.  Many of them were in the dining room where Hatem from Tunisia was M'aitre d.   
I'm eating my blueberries and watermelon at home, but they just don't look the same.  And there isn't a portabella mushroom in the house. 

After weighing in at the health club last night I suppose I'll forgo the chocolate almond cake as well.
But if I see a shrimp anywhere nearby, it's going on a grill and then into my mouth!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Home Again

Muffin and I returned home last night from a seven day cruise departing Galveston for ports in the Eastern Caribbean.  There were so many Brits on board that I felt like I was cruising with Cat Deely, and must say that it was "lovely." We saw amazing sights--flying fish, clear blue-green waters, a rainbow at sea, a lightning storm at night, a butterfly conservatory, and a meteor shower. Kisses from God, all of them. 

This kiss was from God through one of His amazing dolphins.  Loved it!