Tag Archives: counsel

Secret Passages

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Life logistics, gateways and forks in the road…

I have a photo album on Facebook called “Doors and Windows”.  Mostly the pictures are of stained-glass windows in churches where I have been blessed to sing over the last several years, although there are some pictures of other windows and doors that have captured my attention with their beauty, location or some other unique quality.  The possibilities they represent fascinate me, the prospect of leaving a place and entering another one.

Life is like that for me right now, and, as I am firmly entrenched in middle age, it will continue to be like that for the foreseeable future.  I have encountered a number of passages over the last several years, gateways to step through, forks in the road that have demanded difficult choices.  And even as wide-open as I tend to be, there are some passages I have to navigate alone, only discussing my journey with a few trusted friends and my beloved Sweet Pea.

Choosing between good and bad options is a no-brainer.  The difficulty comes in making a choice between a good thing and a better one.  Discernment is key, and can only be achieved with prayer and wise counsel from people whose opinions I respect.  Sometimes I have to realize that “doing it all” is logistically just not possible, especially if I want to do things well.  Sometimes, I have to choose between good and better.

Baseball great and amateur philosopher Yogi Berra is quoted as saying, “When you come to a fork in the road…take it.”  (Wait, WHAT?!) On the other hand, my Mama, when someone was having trouble making a decision, would often say, “Either ____ or get off the pot!”  I’ve thought about that a lot lately, and while her words were not exactly genteel, they got the point across.

Here’s to passages, doors, windows, gateways and taking the fork in the road!

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Countless

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Name them one by one…

My blessings are countless.  Yesterday I was reminded just how blessed I am, through the friends God has placed in my life.  I see Him in their faces, feel His love in their hugs and smiles.  I hear Him in their voices as we sing together, as we laugh, as their sweet words offer counsel, comfort and affirmation.

Meetings both planned and unexpected filled my day, feeding my body at lunch and supper, and my soul throughout the hours.  After running a quick errand I stopped for lunch and ran into my sweet friend Valencia, a member of my CPE (Clinical Pastoral Education) peer group from 2012, who has been on my mind for a couple of weeks now.  I was about to sit down and found myself instead scooped up into a long and joyful hug, the kind only Valencia can give!  And then she invited me to join her and her precious daughter for lunch.  We enjoyed a meal and a visit that nourished me in more ways than I can count.  It was a total God moment running into her, a blessing I didn’t realize how much I needed until it happened.

Afterward I proceeded to my friend Clay’s church for a couple of hours jamming at the piano and organ, him playing as I sang.  After the singing came a long conversation and some catching up.  Clay is a former Delta Omicron student, a reminder to me of my own student days and the value of the mentors who guided me when I was young and trying to find my way.  I’m still finding my way in some areas, a work in progress as we all are, and it always amazes me how people like Clay offer such reinforcement without even being aware of it.

After this I had my nails done and then met my friend Tina for supper to discuss “life stuff and musician stuff”.  I’ve known Tina for 30-plus years and sung with her in several ensembles over the years, from college to now.  She is a Delta Omicron sister from our college days, a level-headed, intelligent, grounded woman whose counsel I trust and whose love for God inspires excellence in all she does.  Sometimes I need a gut-check with people like that, and our meal together offered me assurance that some recent decisions I’ve needed to make came from a place of priorities rather than of pride.

If I started counting my blessings right now and did nothing else for the rest of my life, I’d never complete the list!  Yesterday’s encounters, planned and spontaneous, reminded me how much God loves us through the love of other people.  My friends and family serve as God’s hands and feet, His eyes of compassion and His voice of reason.  Gracious God, please use me this way in someone else’s life, that they may see Your blessings through me.

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