Wednesday, June 22, 2011

A milestone day!

Twenty years. Wow. That is a considerable amount of time. Not long enough to be half of my life, but a good chunk of it. Twenty years ago I left Whidbey Island and moved to Sioux City. In another five years I will have lived in Iowa longer than I lived in Washington.

Was it the right thing for me to do? Ultimately, I believe the answer to that is yes. God has shown me over and over that this is where I belong. Was it easy? Uh, no, NO and no.

It still brings tears to my eyes to picture my parents on that morning. It was so hard to drive away from everything I have ever known to a life that was completely unknown. It was a good thing Galen was driving because we were many miles down the road before I could see through my tears.

The first year I was here was one of the hardest years of my life. The weather was extreme. Pacific Northwest thunderstorms are nothing like the raging tempests that rip through the Midwest. Humidity! Ugh. I had never operated an air conditioner before and the first time I tried to run it I couldn't figure out why it was so cold in my little rental house. I kept turning it down, which made sense to me, you turn a furnace down to make it cooler and it was on the same controls. I figured it must be broken and felt pretty stupid when I found out that you turn the A/C up to make it warmer and down to make it colder. It was doing exactly what I was telling it do to.

My first winter here was one of the worst winters Iowa had experienced in about a decade. It started off with severe ice storms that closed down most of the city. The sheer weight of the ice snapped off power lines and trees with great resounding cracks and pops. Winter started early that year, as the ice storm cancelled Halloween festivities and it seemed to last forever. Snow, snow and more snow. Piles upon piles of it I remember one storm we got almost two feet of snow in one shot. Crazy snow. Have I ever mentioned how much I hate driving in the snow? I cannot tell you how many times I thought to myself, "WHAT AM I DOING HERE?!"

As I look back, I think what I was doing here was learning a lot about myself. When you move to a town and know exactly one person in it, you learn how to manage things for yourself pretty quickly. I also learned to rely on God. This big move occurred before cell phones, Skype, Facebook, texting and instant messaging. I was alone, going to college,working three jobs and barely scraping by. I didn't have time to cultivate relationships and I was painfully missing (and still do!) the friendships I left behind. Phone calls were carefully budgeted in and made after 9:00 at night when the long distance rate was 10 cents a minute.

God had always been on the sidelines of my life and never at the center. When all the familiar was stripped away and I couldn't run to my family or friends I had no where else to go but to God.

I was required to leave many things behind, but I have gained so much. God is still where he belongs as my center. That guy that drove me to Iowa? We will celebrate our 18th wedding anniversary next month. We have three amazing kids and a pretty good life here. I can't imagine being any where else. Yet another example where God knew just what he was doing and I just had to pipe down and follow along. I am thankful I did!

How about you? Have you ever had to do something really difficult that you see now as a blessing?

In His Peace -

Thursday, June 9, 2011

The Great Lyric Massacre

Have you ever had a moment when you realize that a song you have sung for weeks, or even years, does not have the words you thought it did? You have been belting out your very own tune and not at all what the songwriter wrote?

The kids and I had a huge chuckle about this the other night. Our oldest daughter is involved in show choir and as the competition season progresses the entire family feels we could sing the songs from all the East High teams in our sleep. The other night our youngest, who is nine, was singing along with his sister when we discover he had a couple of the lyrics wrong.

One of the songs that New Sound sang was Deep Purple's "Smoke on the Water". The opening line of this song is "We all came out to Montreux". My son was singing, "We all go out for Nachos". I am laughing just typing that. Perhaps it is one of those "you had to be there" moments. The Headliners sang a song called "Welcome to Wisconsin", in the song they are lamenting cold Wisconsin winters and one line is "gorgeous under all those clothes" and Cameron was quite certain the line was "gorgeous Cinderella's clothes". Which is a good lyric, but not the one that belongs in the song!

I love, love, love the Casting Crowns song "East to West" it is one of my favorites, the ringtone on my phone and one that is cranked up in the car and sung along with on the radio. However, when this song first came out, and for an embarrassing length of time after, I was singing one verse totally wrong. It made sense, but the way Mark Hall wrote it was much better. Still makes me laugh when I hear it. 

The bridge where Mark sings "I know you've washed me white". I thought it was "I know you've watched me whine". It is true. I am sure God gets tired of our whining and I was only one consonant off, but it is still funny.

Here is a nice YouTube video with lyrics of the song: East to West, Casting Crowns must not have an official version because I couldn't find one. You know what is humorous about this YouTube version? It has a lyric error, too!  Almost at the end the video creator has "your truths were revealed" when the actual lyric is "About the truth Your Word reveals".

Can you relate? Have you massacred a song lyric that makes you laugh now? I would love to hear your story!

In His Peace -