Monthly Archives: August 2016

Having a Teachable Spirit

I once loved to sing.  I sang in school choirs as I was growing up. I  credit my high school chorus teacher for instilling a passion in me for singing. He made choir performances fun and very entertaining.  He selected songs for us to sing from various show tunes such as Oliver, My Fair Lady and South Pacific. He stretched our voices and tested our ranges.  He encouraged me to audition for a soprano part in a small ensemble. My audition music was O What A Beautiful Morning from Oklahoma. I was pleased to learn that I had been selected to be a part of the group and we went on to perform in musical programs for the school and at various community events.

Through the years, I became a part of music groups in churches.  I helped lead worship on some praise teams, sang in church choirs and even did some solo performances.  Then there was a long time when I pulled back.  Either I felt like I was getting older and did not want to be on stage anymore, the music had become too contemporary and unfamiliar to me or I became involved in other areas of service. I still enjoyed  accompanying my daughter when she played the guitar for family get-togethers or in more private settings when we worshipped  together at our home.

Since my daddy was a classical cellist, music has always been a big part of my life and stirs my soul.  It has never left me, it just has become more subdued and pushed deeper inside of me.

Recently, in church I was asked if I would like to join the praise team again. At first I was hesitant. The members of the group are talented musicians.  At first, I felt inadequate since I  had not been involved musically in a while. I decided to step out in faith to offer up my voice once again in worship.

It has been a season of growth for me. I am learning new songs and harmonies. The experience has been very rewarding.  I have learned that one is never too old to learn something new if we will just be humble, make ourselves available and have a teachable spirit.

 

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A Gardener’s Lament

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My first attempt at growing sunflowers from seed proved to be quite successful this summer.

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The Knock Out Roses are not affected by the heat and drought.

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The crape myrtles are in their glory now. This is a stunning miniature variety called Cherry Dazzle.

Since my last post, we have had a long drought in South Carolina.  If there is rain in the area,  it seems to skirt us and we miss it.  I have been watering my plants diligently but am now beginning to lose some. I have focused on my newest plantings but older ones have started to get neglected. My once beautiful petunias on the back porch dried up weeks ago. My planters on the front porch have only survived since it is a shady spot most of the day.  A rosemary plant that is generally pretty hardy near my back patio has bit the dust. My new camellia has been struggling as it is just beyond reach from my garden hose and the water it gets comes only when I concentrate on it with the fullest power of the spray head attachment. My new purple-leafed crape myrtles are also beyond reach of the hose so  I have had to resort to carrying buckets to water them.

I had great plans for my vegetable garden. It started out beautifully. The tomato and cucumber plants took off due to the early rains of summer. Then the weeds started to grow.  I tried putting loads of mulch around to try to keep the weeds down. The hotter it got, the more they grew and the less I wanted to go out in the heat to battle with them. Before long I gave out and the weeds took over.   I have decided that next year I will  put black weed block in the garden as mulching alone isn’t enough.  On the plus side, my sunflowers look great if you can overlook the weeds.

I am glad I decided to go with the hardiest plants in my ornamental garden as weather conditions can be pretty severe  here in the heart of the summer.  We have had several weeks now when the temperatures have risen to the upper 90’s or near the 100 degree mark on the thermometer.

As I am writing this, I hear thunder. If we get rain, I am tempted to go outside and  dance in it as it has been such a long period of sweltering heat. It is amazing how long periods of severe weather zap energy and lead to an overall depression of mood. The thought of rain suddenly revives me and lifts my spirit.

This is also true spiritually. We need times of refreshing and renewal in the long haul on our spiritual journey if we are to stay strong and endure the fight or race we call life. We also need to stay on top of keeping bad things out of the garden of our mind and heart if we want to produce abundant and healthy fruit.

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