Mash-up….

What did you just say? Mash-up?

Don’t you just love that word? Conjures up all kinds of mind boggles right….or not. I just love the sound of it, the inflections you can throw in there, how it just kinda rolls of your tongue. You tried it, right? Got ya.

I first heard of this word when listening to a post by Pastor Louie Giglio of Passion Church when he did this awesome science/creation piece based on one of the psalms that talked about the stars  and the animals of the deep praising God! It was amazing, listening to the recorded sound waves coming from those twinkling lights in the sky. Then he added the sounds of some whales talking, then dropped in a Chris Tomlin song on top of it all  and wow….just wow!

As explained in the dictionary: a mash-up is something created by combining elements from two sources…..such as a piece of music created by digitally overlaying an instrumental track with a vocal track from a different recording OR a movie or video having characters or situations from other sources.

I got thinking about us …. my kids, my dad and the uninhibited joy we all get from dressing up!  We can definitely “create some combined elements”.  I don’t know when it all started but as I look back through family pictures and look at the ones we post on Facebook there is always one of us clowning around …. bringing laughter to the environment we are in.  It’s the one thing that keeps us together, even though we live in different US states and other countries.

As far back as I can tell, my dad started it!  Come on now, he just won best male character dress up at a 60’s/70’s dress up party he went to at the retirement village where he lives!!

I followed in his footsteps and taught my kids to do the same. From impromptu dressing up as little kids, to vacation bible school, skits and just because we can and want to moments. It all lays in that innate ability to laugh at ourselves and make others laugh with us in the process. You should be with us when we have those rare moments of all being together – I promise you will hear the laughter being belted out and see the tears roll as I go into my silent, laughing to hard to breathe mode!  It’s the simplicity of  truly loving and enjoying one another.

It is an overlay of who we are as individuals and the combined element of who we are as a family …. one child who was adopted out, who found us and was embraced into our hearts and lives, one child who came from a broken marriage and who became the focus of doing life together as just the two of us,  one child who was adopted in and now lives nearby with his family,  and the two who came from a second marriage, that was founded on acceptance, love and a forever commitment.

As I think about that word mash-up, its who we all are.

Each of us created individually and perfectly from the combining of  two elements – the desire of our Creator to love and be loved.

It doesn’t get any better than that.


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Heinz 57 and Grace

I think the tendency to liken grace to Heinz 57 varieties could be valid.  You know there really are 57+ varieties of Heinz products. Of course, the most famous is their ketchup. In years past a new plastic bottle emerged, just squeeze it and that tomato based, red sauce goes wherever you direct it. Sure the lid gets a little messy if you try to close it mid- squirt, and if starts to run low, just add some vinegar, shake it up and you’re good to go. Oh, and if that bottle starts making those noises, go ahead and chuckle. We all do!

Don’t we do that to grace? Tend to aim it where we want it, get messy with it, dilute it?  Now before you come at me with theology based reasonings, critical assessments or even doctrinal correctness, I have to tell you a little something, just so you know, I receive grace on a daily basis. So please just go with me as I try to figure out what it looks like.

Come sit at my dining room table with me, would you? Seated? Good, now let’s say grace. “Thank you God for this food we eat, help Billy keep it on his plate and off his lap, look after Uncle Sam and Aunt Sue as they travel, and please keep PJ’s goldfish alive one more day, thank you. Aaaa-men.”   Honestly, will I ever truly grasp the depth and width of this five letter word.

Webster’s dictionary defined grace in a variety of ways – 10 actually, but I want to see if I can find a glimpse of grace in this one to start: Clemency (mercy, leniency, pity, charity, forgiveness, compassion, kindness).

Who has ever exhibited greater measures of pity and compassion on people than Jesus Christ?  He opened blind eyes, healed withered arms, gave barren women children, poured living water on dry souls, forgave adulterous women, restored the dead back to life (one was 4 days dead!), set the demoniac free, wept for a nation and forgave those who persecuted Him. Is this grace?

…… and I can’t get over the cashier who was rude or that loud, obviously agitated woman on her phone, standing in line right behind me.  I get so annoyed at the three teen’s walking in the middle of the road like they own it, at that old man who just keeps talking, like, I have nowhere else to go and who on earth is letting their kid cry like that?!

Then you have this story in the Bible about a widow woman named Ruth, who put her reputation on the line, to go sleep at the feet of male relative. Why? Basically, she was saying, I am willing to risk everything I am, to bring honor to you as my kinsman redeemer (two amazing words right there, check them out). Well, what if people found out that she had slept at his feet …*insert big gasp*… all night?  Her reputation would have been smeared, she would have been shunned on “principle” and forget about any hope she had for a good future.  Is this grace?

Here’s another definition of grace: a special favor (benevolence, courtesy, service).

Boaz, the man whose feet Ruth had laid at, had given her protection as she worked in his fields. He shielded her from uninvited looks and ill-intended chatter.  He provided safety for her, putting her among his female workers, in the best field. He gave her security in providing food and drink. He had heard of her. Her reputation of kindness and goodness, had preceded her presence. He was humbled by the simplicity of her actions. He defended her by rightfully doing everything he could to make her his bride.  Now I’m seeing it. Can you?

Psalm 23 says ” The Lord is my Shepherd I shall not want….”  He refreshes, restores, gives no reason to fear evil, He protects, comforts, anoints in goodness, mercy and unfailing love all the days of ones life.

For the mother on her knees in the middle of the night, praying for a wayward child, He is there…listening, ready with His answers.  At the wedding, the birthday party, He is there … celebrating right along with everyone else in the midst of the love and laughter.  At the funeral, He is there…. grieving with those who mourn, comforting as only He can.  He is there …. with the one alone in a kitchen, making provision, even as she is wondering where the next meal will come from. He is there … in the dark, with the abandoned child, preparing the heart of a family to take her in. He is there … laying with the desperate one, strung out on drugs, as He carves a way out of the mess. There it is. Grace in full view.

HE is grace. I have seen Him.

P.S. Read the Book of Ruth, it won’t take long, its only four chapters.

Posted in faith, hope, leadership, perspective, women | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Rainy days & Birds

You know it, that saying -

You know that saying, “Birds of a feather flock together” … well in this case, adding some different feathers, makes for a bigger flock!

Make sure everyone you're hanging with is going the same direction .... then you won't be left standing on one foot.

Make sure everyone you’re hanging with is going the same direction …. even if you’ve only got one foot on the ground!

...... sometimes you just have to leave the rest of the group for a closer look.

…… sometimes you just have to leave the rest of the group for a closer look.

Just sayin’ 😀

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Saturday’s …..

Slowly clambering out of bed, being careful not to wake my still sleeping hubby (hereafter to be known as my man). This was my second wake up, the first time, as I looked at the clock, I thought, “Nope, not today” and dozed for another 30 minutes. I love Saturday’s! Saturday – that one day that gives me a different routine from my Monday to Friday of work, meetings, girlfriend lunches, reading, studying, dreaming and just doing life.

Life in the fast lane, the turning lane, at the red light waiting for the green light, at the stop sign, or even pulled over, out the front of your house, with some blue lights brightly flashing behind you and a spot light glaringly invading your mirrors! A courtesy pullover I received this week … my license plate light was not working … glad the polite young officer told me, but did we really need all his lights lighting up the neighborhood? 😉 Checked yours lately? ($3 at Auto Zone).  So  how do you do it? Life, that is.

In 1963 a young married couple with two children, left their homeland of England, to travel to the small island nation of Singapore, at the tip of Malaysia. On a three year assignment from the Royal Air Force life was different, immersed in a foreign culture.  Bumps in the road of their relationship, eventually led them to seek a better life in another country.  Leaving the air force behind, parents and siblings in England, they now immigrated to Australia, with their three children. They tried, but they never could flatten out those bumps. After a time they each went their separate ways, finding a new life with someone else.

In 1982 a young married couple with 1 child and another on the way, left Australia where they had met and married, to go to America, his homeland.  The wife had made a promise “wherever you go, I’ll go, your people, will be my people.”  As she was walked through the airport terminal to board a plane that would take her halfway round the world, leaving family and country behind, an older woman walked beside her.  As they approached the gate, she slipped a ring off her finger and put it in the hand of the younger woman, saying, “Now don’t cry, I love you.”  The younger woman, swallowed the huge lump in her throat, glanced down at her hand, and put the ring on her finger. It was a ring she had long admired. It had been bought at an antique store in London, England, by the older woman on her first trip back to her homeland since leaving in 1963. It was also the time she joined her remaining siblings as they buried their mother. Phone calls and hand written letters filled with photos of a growing family had kept the older woman and her mother close. Now the younger woman would do the same.                                                                               The circle of life.

Thirty one years later, the younger woman, returned to Australia to see her family.  She had kept up with the phone calls, the letter writing and sending photos of her growing family.  Excitement filled her heart at the thought of seeing those she had loved from a distance for so long: her father, a relationship that had been healed and restored over the years of communication; her oldest daughter, birthed in fear, restored in love, which in and of itself, is an amazing story, but that’s for another time! Hopes of seeing her brother and younger sister filled her mind. Would they want to see her?  The long absent older sister, who didn’t really know them. Then the bonus visit with her oldest son and his wife, who had decided in their first year of marriage to move to Australia, the land of his birth.  Then there would be the visit with the older woman, her mother, that carried with it all the emotion of knowing this indeed would be the last time they would see each other.  She was very ill and her life was drawing to a close.  Armed with the knowledge her daughter was coming to see her, the older woman bypassed a long held nagging fear that she would not see her daughter again.

So many emotions clamored and begged for the attention of the younger woman on that 14 hour flight – but one quieted and covered them all.  That deep seated peace that had held her life together for 31 years, did so now, as she flew far above the ocean’s floor below.   Life indeed is a circle.

For four days, for a few hours each day, mother and daughter laughed and cried, remembered and laughed and cried some more. They hugged a lot. Together they ate their favorite cakes and drank cups of tea….and talked about life. The good life they both had lived. Then, it was time to go. Just as that younger woman had walked through the airport terminal that day she, once again, lifted her head, pushed her shoulders back and hugged the older woman one last time, a little bit closer and a little bit longer. Walking out the door, she turned from what was and focused on what lay ahead.                                                A life that needed to be carried on.

Life on earth stopped for the older woman, my mother, one month ago today.

So as I remember her today, I want to ask you, what distance is there in any relationship you have?  Don’t let time, miles or words build up, write that letter, send some photos. Go ahead and make that phone call.

Love each other well and as much as you are able be at peace with all men.

Until next time

Ava

Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments

Hello world!

Well, its finally happening! After setting this blog up a little over 6 months ago, I’m finally getting around to writing something! Aren’t YOU glad you didn’t hold your breath, while you waited to hear from me?!

It’s been six months of mountains climbed, valleys walked through and sunsets watched. Its been a defining time in my life personally as I pursue what I believe I should be doing in this season of my life.

The blog name “two with one heart” depicts many things – my journey through life with my husband, my individual connection with each one of our five children, how I feel when that friend I cherish, laughs and cries with me. It depicts those times when I am alone in my comfy chair, a good book on my lap and a cup of coffee (or tea, depending on how English/Australian or American I feel!) nearby. It is a myriad of things that represents who I am and who I know myself to be.

I hope that as I begin to write (more frequently…. promise!) that you will accept my invite and be drawn in to discovering more about who you are and who you can be.

Until next time – “Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does.” (William James)

Ava

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 1 Comment