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Can You Dig It?

Posted by Shelley on May 26, 2006 in songs

I was 6 years old the summer of 1978. I broke my left arm that year and soon after that Mom became pregnant with my middle sister. My Dad was in medical school and I began first grade with tall tales of fictional brothers and sisters that I imagined I had… guess things were too quiet at my house.

For some reason there were several appointments to the doctor’s office downtown to check the progress on my arm. We headed down Red Mountain Expressway in the Honda hatchback Civic, I am sure I was in the front seat with no seatbelt, and nearly everytime we drove in that direction a particular song by the group Chicago blared from the radio.

I realized today, 27 summers later, that the same song was blaring out of my radio on the classic hits station in my 21st century SUV. And I was still in the front seat, driving this time, fighting traffic in the opposite direction I used to go to the doctor’s office so many years ago. In fact, I don’t even think anything of significance was even built nearly 30 years where I happened to be today (Costco, in Hoover, the hometown of Taylor Hicks).

With kids in the car and a mortgage I knew I was not 6 years old waiting to get my cast off my arm. But it was nice to think about it, while the familiar song played its way past 8 tracks, cassettes, CDs or ipods and came right out of the blackbox built in the dashboard. Just like it did many summers ago.

Saturday in the Park, Chicago V, 1972

Funny days in the park
Every days the fourth of july…
People reaching, people touching
A real celebration
Waiting for us all
If we want it, really want it
Can you dig it (yes, I can)
And I’ve been waiting such a long time
For the day

 
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Circus, Circus

Posted by Shelley on May 21, 2006 in poetry

I’ve always thought I should’ve jumped that circus train
Taking me places
Where you get paid for flying by the seat of your pants
Like those trapeze artists do.
Or by simply being different
It becomes a line on a resume
And someone finds some value in your flaws.
How about courageously facing fear in its face, whether it be a lion, tiger or bear
And it becomes entertainment.
One ring,
Two rings,
Three rings,
Organization amidst the confusion.
Laughter, applause, amazement.
And somehow it all makes sense as you get to do it again and again!
Day after day, night after night, weeks become months, months become years…
A circus performer I might become yet.

 
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Growing Up Sassy

Posted by Shelley on May 16, 2006 in Real Life Stories, kids

So, Melodi came into the world knowing how to talk. She very soon learned the art of imaginary friends, to be honest, she couldn’t have been more than two and a half when Sassy came on the scene. In fact, our precocious child named her imaginary cat friend Sassy… Sassy was the one who always seemed to be in trouble. She did lots of things and mysteriously disappeared, leaving only Melodi to answer to Mom or Dad about what might have happened. We have laughed about Sassy for a long time now but she’s still an active member of our household. Now she is held in high esteem as Melodi tells tall “tails” about where Sassy might have been, what she’s been doing, how famous she is becoming. Seems like she’s not the scapegoat she used to be (we have a brother to do that job now) but rather Sassy is living the life all little girls (and big girls) dream about. She is fun and never out of fashion and can do the most amazing things!

We recently had to come to grips with the death of our family cat and somehow Sassy came up in the conversation. We commented on the fact that Sassy is still with us and always would be… I mean, imaginary cats don’t die right? Leave it to the precocious one to point out the obvious, “Well, Mom, you know the older I get the more Sassy does go away.” I wonder if Sassy heard my heart break in her imaginary world.

Tonight Melodi Jayne Shaw proudly danced on the stage in the BJCC Concert Hall. She was at her recital dress rehearsal and decided the best part was being backstage. I’ve cried about alot of big (and little) steps this wonderful child has taken and tonight was no exception. There she was way up there and there I was in that big auditorium wondering where Sassy the cat was. Instead, I saw a young girl who was fun, never out of fashion and doing the most amazing things. It was Sassy dressed like Melodi. Or maybe it was Melodi dressed like Sassy.

 
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A Psalm of Shelley borrowed from Frances

Posted by Shelley on May 15, 2006 in songs

Written in the 1800′s, this hymn was resounding loud and clear in my mind and spirit when I awoke Saturday morning. I haven’t sung it recently, I haven’t heard it recently and to be honest, I don’t think I’ve ever sung the complete hymn (seems much too long for traditional Baptist church services, first and last stanzas please!) Nevertheless, when verses like this are brought into my mind there is always a bigger reason. Wonder where He plans on taking me with songs like these in my subconcious…

Take My Life and Let It Be
Words and Music by Frances R. Havergal
and Mozart. Public Domain.

 Take my life, and let it be
Consecrated, Lord, to Thee;
Take my moments and my days,
Let them flow in ceaseless praise.
Let them flow in ceaseless praise.

Take my hands, and let them move
At the impulse of Thy love;
Take my feet, and let them be
Swift and beautiful for Thee.
Swift and beautiful for Thee.

Take my voice, and let me sing
Always, only, for my King;
Take my lips, and let them be
Filled with messages from Thee.
Filled with messages from Thee.

Take my silver and my gold:
Not a mite would I withhold;
Take my intellect, and use
Ev'ry pow'r as Thou shalt choose.
Ev'ry pow'r as Thou shalt choose.

Take my will, and make it Thine,
It shall be no longer mine;
Take my heart, it is Thine own,
It shall be Thy royal throne.
It shall be Thy royal throne.

Take my love, my Lord, I pour
At Thy feet its treasure store;
Take myself, and I will be,
Ever, only, all for Thee.
Ever, only, all for Thee.
 

 
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Life’s A Beach

Posted by Shelley on May 7, 2006 in Real Life Stories

At this point in my life I have been to the beach as a follower far more times than I have been the leader on the way to the beach. I mean, your parents, youth group, high school band trip, etc. allowed the possibility of going to the beach and you simply… followed. Yes, I had to be responsible, to a degree. But not the amount of taxing responsibility that makes you think, I need a vacation from this vacation. Does anybody know what I’m talking about???

Melodi wavered on happiness most of the time, except the excruciating pain she endured being in the car, telling us how did we survive without a gameboy on trips like these. We told her it was easy, that our parents simply allowed us to run beside the car (ha ha). Canon wavered on kamikaze toddler antitics like locking himself in the bathroom and falling into the pool. We can’t figure out when he actually fell in, considering we were both within 2 inches of him, how did we let that happen? At least he didn’t wind up in the alligator pit at Fudpucker’s. How did I become one of the two people responsible for making sure two other human beings would stay ALIVE and HAPPY at the beach??? Especially when the toddler decided he HATED the beach but was brave enough to fall face first in the pool?

I came home to Birmingham and thanked my parents for the trips they took me on and basically just stood in awe at the fact that we are all still alive and happy. They had three girls to deal with, some trips that number doubled as we brought along friends. Oh my goodness, I can’t even think about being responsible for other people’s kids happiness and well being at the beach. YIKES!

Well, there you have it, yes Life is a Beach. Sometimes it is serene, almost too quiet and other times, well, Hurricane Katrina makes a dent in a childhood memory. I am finding solace in the fact that one day both Melodi and Canon will lead the way to the beach. And Mike and I will retire to the beach. And maybe they will come see us at the beach. The beach will always be there, a rite of passage of some sort. Moving us from followers to leaders… participants to benefactors… children to parents.

 
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Do you see ten cows?

Posted by Shelley on May 1, 2006 in bible study

Ran across this story from Zig Ziglar, it brought several things to my mind:

Long ago in Hawaii, the price for a father to give his daughter as a bride was measured in cows. There was a father who had two daughters – the younger one was beautiful; the older one was plain. A young man came and offered ten cows – an unheard of price – not for the beautiful, younger daughter as one would expect, but for the plain, older daughter. The villagers were in a state of shock – surely this young man was crazy!

As also was the custom, the honeymoon lasted two years (woo hoo, can you imagine?)… at the end of that time, the couple was to return to the village. A lookout saw the couple approaching, ran to the other villagers, and told them that the young man had returned – but he was with a different wife. As the couple drew nearer to the village, the people saw that the lookout was wrong. The wife was really the older daughter – but there was something different about her (no plastic surgery in those days) and the way she carried herself – it was just that she had become a ten-cow wife. She had come to believe that she was worth ten cows because someone else believed that she was worth it.

Surround yourself with people who see the cows. Pretty soon you will be seeing them too.

Even better news is that each of us are worth a lot more than ten cows. We are worth the life of the Son of God, who gave Himself for each one of us. I am so glad He saw so many cows.

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