Better Than a Hallelujah

Last night I had a dream realized.  Something I never anticipated.  Something I had always desired.  Something I figured would always be this little longing in my heart.  

_MG_7305
Music has always played an integral part in my life.  Music moves me in deep and profound ways.  Always has.  I love that God wired me this way.  I can pinpoint key events in my life with hearing certain music.  Like Erasure takes me immediately back to high school dances.  I can be right back in 11th grade on stage when I hear Don't Cry for me Argentina.  I am thrown to Sunday church services when I was a child when I hear the Doxology.  

I find that not only does music affect my heart, but often my entire being.  

I first heard of Amy Grant from my sweet friend, Christina.  The first song I ever heard was a song called Angels.  I was hooked.  Her voice was balm to a heart that was searching and also hurting.  From that point on I soaked in her poetry.  Every song I heard I played over and over.  The sweetness of the words pouring wisdom and truth into a heart that was beginning to soften.

Each stage in my life, truly, I have a song from Amy that is the background music for that portion of my life.  Angels for sure is one.  Lead Me On was from a tough point in my late teen years…. Takes a Little Time from the time we struggled with conceiving…. I know I have a weird mind.  But the depth that music and stories that the songs spin have woven their ways into my heart- into my life- into my soul.

Last night, we got to go to a very special concert.  For my 40th birthday.  

_MG_7308
And we got to sit in the front row.

_MG_7309
It was an intimate evening- only about 100 people.  Low key.  She wove stories into each song.  She sang songs that both Michael and I have such strong attachment to.

_MG_7316
She truly was wonderful.  

But.

The most amazing thing.

This was a special time.  Before the  concert began, we went to a special cocktail hour.

And I had the opportunity, to meet Amy.

_MG_7293
She is beautiful- truly, inside and out.

_MG_7294
She took time with each person.  Listening, talking, completely engrossed with each person.

_MG_7302
Even me.  ME. 

She was so engaged.  She listened to my dorky try at sounding relaxed and cool.  And my tears.  And she let me gush a little.  And she held my hand and was gracious, and loving…and real and compassionate.  And she made me feel as though she and I had been friends for years.  
_MG_7303
 We talked kids, texting, our upcoming trip to China.

I was able to thank her.  For what her music has meant to me. 

And how it played an instrumental part in my relationship with God.

And how very thankful I am that He has used her in my life.  Even if she had no clue.

Until last night.

_MG_7300

For this I am amazed.

This opportunity is something I dreamed of.  Something I never expected.  Isn't it sweet?  I am in awe that something so trivial really, something so selfish in so many ways- that God blessed me with this opportunity?  And knowing that He heard the secret whispers of my heart….makes it all the more sweet and emotional for me.  

Always know that God hears even the little whispers of desire.  He hears the smallest voice.  He hears your deepest fears, your deepest desires.  

And He surprises you.

And catches you off guard.

And loves you passionately. 

And gives you precious gifts.

Thank you.

 

Packing lists…shopping lists…. photos

So I am knee deep in preparation.  FOR A TRIP TO CHINA.  For 5 people going, 6 coming home.  Um.  Yeah.  We are a little crazy.  So…. here are some recent photos.  

_MG_6935
Hay jumping at the pumpkin patch….

_MG_6953
In a hammock at the pumpkin patch….

_MG_7044
Hay bales….great place to hang….

_MG_7033
Survivor?  Amazing Race?  Nope.  Just Sammy.  Eating a bbq'd cricket.  On a dare.

_MG_7038
Can ya tell he LOVED it?? 

Well- he kept it down.

_MG_7063
Tire swing…

_MG_7025
Chatting with friends…

_MG_7162
Last 7th grade football game kick off.  That number 11 looks GOOD.

_MG_7164
Dude.

_MG_7201
Great season Saints!

000015
Love you girl.  We are coming SOON!

Why I love Oklahoma…. a year and a half in

So we have been here a year and a half. 

It seems appropriate to add another list.  Of what I love about our home state.

  • the people here.  Seriously.  I have never lived in a place that is more welcoming and open and caring.
  • the light on the hay meadow
  • the stars 
  • the sound of crickets and frogs 
  • though I could do without seeing frogs suctioned to my window
  • or in my dog's mouth
  • the steam rising off the lake in the early morning
  • the deep red color of the earth
  • just not on shoes inside the house
  • armadillos
  • raccoons
  • the deer that feed in the forest around the lake
  • and how still they can be
  • the sunsets
  • sunrise over the hay meadow
  • watching my kids run in and out of the trees
  • watching my kids ride off on their bikes and not worrying that they will be squashed by a car
  • the smell of the grass
  • rain
  • horses
  • the long horn bull ranch
  • the bad bull that is always in his own pen  
  • and that we call him "bad bull"
  • that is his name
  • the donkey that lives with the bulls.
  • why?  we have no clue, but love him.  Er… her. Sorry, can't tell.
  • local commercials
  • Atwoods is one I can think of.
  • And that home builders.  With his family. Um.  Yeah.
  • Sonic.
  • Even though I am not drinking DC anymore- I love the ice and will sometimes stop and get water.  
  • YES, I pay 35 cents for a Route 44 water.  I KNOW.
  • Shut up
  • our school
  • our church
  • friends
  • my husbands job
  • watching Jack play football
  • living in a place where Friday nights are simply for football
  • going to the high school game with our family
  • the OKC memorial
  • the sound of the leaves through the trees
  • the peaceful quiet of the morning
  • walking with my husband in the evening
  • cowboy hats 
  • that my heart feels at home here.
  • even if there are frogs on my window.