Tag Archive | joy

Birthday Reflections

My birthday started as I hit the ground running or rather stretching and exercising, trying to nip a back pain flare-up in the bud, and a couple of text messages with birthday greetings. After leaving the house for work a few minutes late I got stuck behind a semi-truck with engine problems. Thankfully, I had prepared our school breakfast items the day before so I was able to serve breakfast on time just a few minutes after I got to work.

My day was filled with pleasant surprises and experiences. I share a birthday with our principal. My friend and co-worker came bearing gifts (among them cake). A third-grade class made a birthday poster for me to post in the lunch room, two coworkers called to sing “Happy Birthday” to me. Our janitor walked through the kitchen whistling a happy birthday tune. Various students gave me birthday greetings as they came through the lunch line. One little guy, missing his front tooth, sang his unique version ending with, “happy birthday Therry”.

After work I made a quick stop at home to put my cake in the fridge and found a card on the counter from my husband. After weeks of Friday after-work appointments I enjoyed attending my Bible Study again. It was interesting to learn more about the cultural celebration of Easter compared to the celebration of the feast days established by God in the Old Testament and precisely fulfilled by Jesus in the New Testament. Next I enjoyed a brisk walk through our little town to meet my friend for coffee (tea for me).

The evening capped the day with my favorite salad at the Nordstrom café, my favorite movie at home (Return to Me) and my favorite friend (my husband).

Accepted in the Beloved~

A few years ago I experienced a particularly discouraging difficulty with an overwhelming sense of rejection. Each morning I would hear that still small voice saying “you are accepted in the beloved.” Yesterday as I read the many birthday greetings received via social media and old-fashioned cards that same phrase came to mind. And I am grateful.

I am not super excited about the latest gift my aging body has given me along with aching joints and the need for reading glasses. But I am grateful for the perspective that coming through some life difficulties has given me. I am grateful for an increasing love for God’s Word and increased understanding. There is nothing more exciting to me than a good Bible Study! I am grateful for increased love and appreciation for my husband. I am thankful and blessed by the love of family and friends. God has given me the gift of peace and I am truly happy. “To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he (Jesus) hath made us accepted in the beloved.” Ephesians 1:6

Advertisements

Anniversary Waltz

WIN_20140309_223629

And so we began
To measure time together
One, two, three – you and me
With high hopes
And moderate dreams
This piece more challenging
Than at first seems
Some notes of dissonance
Within harmonious themes
One, two, three – you and me
Each year at winter’s end
Back to our mutual coda
Singing again our favorite part
Memories treasured in the heart
Courtship and wedding days
Newlywed freedoms, pressures and praise
One, two, three – you and me
Crescendo of our baby’s cry
Pianissimo of sorrow’s sigh
Yet steady rhythm as years go by
One, two, three – you and me
Forte the crises of life,
Marching on as husband and wife
Melodious, quiet and peaceful life,
You and me, you and me

Copyright 2014 Sherry Bibb

Joy and Longing

orchids

Sometimes I long to
wrap myself in the words of a beautiful song,
be engulfed in the swell of majestic music,
climb into the purity of a passage of Scripture,
disappear into the serenity of a nature scene,
Not merely to look, listen, taste, touch or feel
but to become part of it, one with it, indistinguishable from it
What is it?
What power touches a place of deep joy in my soul
and moves me to tears?
What is this intense desire to be made one with such beauty?
Could it be reality awaiting restoration?
A shard of something lost in Eden’s garden-
sheer joy and delight, belonging, in the presence of perfection
Have you felt it? I surely cannot be the only one.

What Sparks a Memory?

Spring unfolds before our eyes,

Awakening land and brightening skies,

We too emerge from cold induced rigor,

With hope of renewed vitality and vigor ~

 

While driving past a park the other day I saw something that took me back many years to my youth.  Days later I glanced down into a ravine and there it was again,  immediately transporting me back to my first year in the Pacific Northwest.

We were Florida transplants, used to seeing palm trees and the concrete houses of our neighbors through the chain link fence surrounding our suburban Miami home.  My brother, sister and I were now wilderness explorers in the woods beyond the little stream at the edge of our new back yard.  We pretended to be younger versions of Lewis and Clark, though we were more familiar with  Ponce de Leon.  We delighted in hiding among the giant evergreens, finding bouncy limbs among the alders and skunk cabbage was an exotic new discovery.

In those few split seconds that it took for my eyes to recognize the emerging pungent leafy plant, I was transported to a distant time and remembering the pleasure of childhood discovery again.  I felt that exciting sensation of being in a place where everything around you is new and full of wonder.  I am fascinated by the way our memory is tied to our senses.  How random sights, sounds, smells and even the feel of the air can cause us to recall experiences long forgotten with all their attending emotions.  To that end, even the insignificant skunk cabbage can be a source of joy.

Classical Music in the Congo

How many students are less than enthusiastic when urged to go into the next room for music practice?   Can you imagine walking several miles each way, six days a week just to go to choir practice?  Or tending to an infant and two other young children while practicing violin?  I was moved to tears as I watched and listened to the recent  CBS 60 Minutes story about a symphony that emerged from nothing but a dream and the deep desire in the human heart for beauty.

A Congolese pilot had been exposed to classical music on his ventures away from home.  Due to circumstances in his war torn country he was no longer able to fly, but  he  had some sheet music and a dream of having a symphony in his home town.  He invited members of his church to join him.  He did not know how to read music and he had no musical training  – none of them did.  They had very few instruments, but amazingly the symphony evolved.  They taught themselves how to read music and play a variety of  instruments.  They took turns practicing everyday on the few instruments they shared.   Violins, horns, flutes and other instruments began trickling in, some in dire need of repair.  They rebuilt and repaired the items they were given with amazing ingenuity and resourcefulness.

I was convicted when I considered my myriad of excuses for failing to learn to play the digital wonder that sits in my living room.   These people overcame every kind of obstacle to create an oasis of beauty for themselves.  Years of diligent effort individually and as a community has produced abundant blessing.  What they pursued for their own edification and enjoyment in the midst of devastating circumstances has brought hope and happiness to not only them and their community, but to people throughout the world.

It was thrilling to hear the powerful voices, skillfully played woodwinds, strings and other members of this volunteer symphony perform complex classical pieces.  The glory of the music was augmented by and reflective of the depth of beauty within the souls of these wonderful people.  The sparkle in their eyes, the sweetness in their smile, the love and gratitude for the music shining in each face was inspiring.   The reporter rightly stated that certainly there are symphonies that have played with greater skill, but none with greater joy.