There are some interesting theories here. What do YOU think?
Yesterday our friends were telling us a story about an old guy with Heelys speeding town the main street in our little downtown. Heelys are those shoes that have wheels built in the heels. You’ve certainly seen tweens speeding around the mall wearing them. THIS guy, our friends said, was OLD.
“He was, like, FORTY!”
This week I’m listing the “con” before the “pro.”
Forty is way too old to think that wearing Heelys is appropriate in any way.
At the age of forty you don’t care.
Recently a friend shared with me a difficult time she and her family endured and how they were given the following words of encouragement by a long-time friend of theirs:
Sometimes God calms the storm. Other times, He lets the storm rage and calms the child.
Tonight as I put my sons to bed, after prayers and nighttime songs, we lay there on the bed in silence. The sounds of the gloaming hour serenaded us. The low purr of air-conditioners. Love songs sung by a choir of cicadas. Sweet lullabies sung by jays and cardinals to their young. The moment was so peaceful I could even hear the beautiful rhythm of my son’s breathing as he drifted off to sleep. There was no storm. All was calm. Still.
Half way around the world I imagined what another father and his sons might be hearing during their bedtime ritual. The shriek of air raid sirens. Hurried footsteps of neighbors and friends scrambling to reach the shelter in time. The roar of fighter jets and shrill whistles of missiles. The deafening thunder of impact. The storm raging all around them.
How blessed am I – are we – to live in one of the few places on Earth where we can hear the laughter of children playing in the cul de sac. Crickets calling to each other from across the front lawn. The bliss of the night breeze caressing and cooling all that was baked and blistered in the harsh summer sun. How blessed are we to have been spared the horror of battle. The heartbreak of indiscriminate casualty. Clearly it is not by our own will or might.
For some unknown reason, God calms the storm for us. He grants us peace. For our brothers and sisters a world away He allows the storm to rage. For them there is no peace.
Eurythmics are always represented in my iPod playlist. Lately, though, I have had their song “Peace Is Just A Word” on repeat. The lyrics are the reflection of one who has given up hope for peace on Earth and the surrender that comes from that loss of hope:
Stop the world
My fear is that peace IS just a word. Of course I hope I’m wrong, and I pray that the storm will be calmed for those caught in its fury. But if God will not calm the storm, I pray that God will calm His children. That He will give them a sense of inner peace and strength that will enable them to carry on in a broken and bleeding world. I pray that they will be able to see God in the ashes and the rubble. That they will still hear His voice calling to them and comforting them in the eye of the storm. And that they will call to Him in reply.
But mostly I just pray for peace.
Thanks to Amanda and some new friends, I realized I have WAY more than ten things to list about my experiences in the music industry. So for this week, here’s the next chapter:
Top Ten Times I Asked Myself The Question, “What Am I Doing With My Life?” While Working In Christian Music (Vol. II)
10. The time I went shopping for food for the bus on a promo tour and one of our VPs gave me his/her “rider” for his/her bus food requirements: 1) Creamy Skippy peanut butter (with his/her own spoon), 2) Bananas without brown spots and 3) Bottled water (Dasani preferred).
9. The time I was with a band in Dallas and we got stuck on the wrong side of the Christmas parade in the downtown area. I could NOT find a way around or through the parade route and the band decided to nickname me Powder.
8. The time I showed up to the bus for another promo tour and the bus driver only had one leg.
7. The time I hired a road manager for yet another promo tour and he/she disappeared once it was time to load the artist’s gear from the hotel to the bus. Once my co-worker and I schlepped the artist’s crap to the bus we found the road manager – on the bus – relaxing and having a nice cool beverage while watching a movie.
6. The time I lived through this.
5. The time I was at my very first sales conference and walked by the soundboard only to kick the power cords out of the wall, causing the video and audio presentations to come to a screeching halt. 100 people in the conference room sitting in silence, wondering what happened, when the sound tech yelled, “Just a moment ladies and gentlemen. SOMEBODY kicked the power cord out of the wall.” I was the only one standing up in the entire room, let alone near the soundboard.
4. The time I fell down the stairs at my very first Gospel Music Week. Brick stairs. And when I say I fell, I mean I fell to my knees at the top of the stairs and proceeded to slide down the brick stairs. On my shins. With the artist I was escorting for the day right behind me. Yes, the skin on my shins has grown back quite nicely. Thanks for asking.
3. The time I searched all over God’s Green Earth (otherwise known as Manhattan’s Midtown) for a McDonalds for an artist’s breakfast because they were on the Atkins Diet and wanted the egg & sausage breakfast. Once I returned with said fat and lard I was chastised for not having McDonalds remove the biscuits prior to me delivering the meals.
2. The time the FBI called my office investigating the moving truck I rented to carry stuff to a trade convention. It was parked in the lot between my building and the next building over. The next building over just happened to be a secret FBI office and they were afraid the moving truck may have had explosives in it. Not Christian music. Explosives.
1. The time I was peed on while working an instore. Yes, you read that correctly. Peed. On. And not by a child. It’s a long story.
P.S. I actually drank blue Gatorade last Saturday at my kids’ ball games. It tastes like berry-flavored metal. Ick.
When I think of our younger son Andrew, the first thing that comes to mind is his feisty yet sweet spirit. He is not one to be led, not easily influenced (even by his parents). I am pretty sure the phrase “small but mighty” was inspired by him.
Andrew is six years old today. It’s hard to believe exactly six years ago we were attempting to check into the hospital for our scheduled delivery appointment. “Y’all aren’t scheduled for today,” the snotty receptionist tried to tell us, as if we were too thick to get the delivery date of our baby right. Woman READY to deliver + man READY for woman to deliver = I’ll let you guess how that turned out for the receptionist.
Responsibility rang loud and clear once we brought him home from the hospital, for us and for Jacob, who was nearly four at the time and becoming more independent by the day. We realized we were starting over with diapers, nighttime feedings, spit up, bulky car seats and quadruple the laundry loads. Jacob actually asked at dinner one night when Andrew would be going back to his real home.
Rebel Yell is the only way to describe Andrew’s hair when he was a baby. It grew straight up, like a Troll doll. It was immune to any gravitational force. Teenaged boys who spent most of their lawn mowing money on hair product to achieve the same result remarked with awe (and a tinge of jealousy), “Cool hair!” This happened on a near-daily basis. Andrew stared back at them with a deadpan expression, with his fingers in his mouth. “Sucks to be you,” he seemed to say. Imagine my surprise when Andrew started flicking his vertical coiffure with his open palm at us when we scolded him. It was as if he was giving us the bird in his own little language. Somehow cute and incredibly naughty at the same time. It was all we could do not to laugh out loud.
It has been years since he has referred to himself as “Baby NuNu,” his way of asserting himself as the baby of the family, cleverly manipulating all of the adults in his life. In these moments, his big blue eyes said, “You want me to be the baby in this family? I’ll take you up on that and then some!”
Over the years, little Andrew has become not-as-little Andrew. He has his own likes and dislikes, his own friends, his own wants and desires, his own relationship with the Lord. His world is becoming more and more his own all the time, and just the way he likes it. He loves soccer, his buddies at school, Legos, puzzles, music, art, the beach, and on and on and on. He’s assertive, loving, hilarious and deep all at the same time. He’s fiercely loyal and enormously thoughtful. He’s an observer, yet has an uncanny ability to insert himself into the center of the action when HE is ready. On HIS terms.
Russia and Scotland both claim St. Andrew as their patron saint. If St. Andrew was anything like my Andrew, I’d say they made an excellent choice.
Happy Birthday, Son. I love you.
The big four-oh is only four months away and honestly I don’t know how I feel about it. I don’t think I’m worried or depressed. Actually, in some ways it’s kind of exciting. People in their 40’s talk about those years of their lives as being their best yet. But I have a hunch it’s not all fun and games either.
Each Friday from now until my birthday in September I will list my pros and cons about seeing the whites of 40’s eyes (if my memory doesn’t start to go)…
1. I have even less hair to shave off my head = less time in the shower shaving = water conservation.
2. I still have my hearing.
3. Mrs. Beonkey and I will be able to go to the 30-somethings’ potlucks AND the 40-somethings’ potlucks at church.
4. My kids are older = more hilarious and amazing by the minute.
5. I have more confidence to express my thoughts and opinions.
1. I have even less hair to shave off my head = it’s simply migrating elsewhere.
2. I can only take in small doses and dB levels the music my kids are listening to these days.
3. My metabolism is slowing down. Double the potlucks = triple the workouts.
4. That sweet baby smell is no longer in my house or on my clothes.
5. Apparently my “if you can’t say something nice…” filter only had a 40-year lifespan and I don’t care. In fact, I rather like the fact that it has all but evaporated. Pro for me, con for you?