I have two elbows and chances are that you do to. Let me tell you a little about my elbows......
Recently I was on a photo shoot with a friend and brother in Christ that I admire. No matter what, I can always count on him. For instance, I was suppose to meet with a photographer early one morning and because of certain circumstances he had to cancel 60 minutes after we were suppose to start. Well, I was showered, dressed, make up on and hair done. I was still good to go! Naturally, not wanting to waste a good hair day, I called my buddy, Randy, and he packed up his gear, scouted out areas with me and we shot at four locations.
At the last location he asked if I had any CD's to give to the people whose space and property we LITERALLY invaded (in fact we did that at all three sites, but that's how we roll) and I said "No, I don't have any, I normally have them, but....." As I continued to explain to him the reason He said "Mia, those are just excuses. Excuses are like elbows everybody's got two of 'em." That shut me up. He was right. I was unprepared. For all the times I pack my CD's just in case I have an opportunity to share them with someone, I failed. I was NOT prepared and what I needed to do was NOT make excuses.
But, now, every-time I walk out of the house I think a bit more quickly to myself about grabbing some spare CD's in case the lady at the grocery store tells me she likes music and I am able to just give her a CD. When people speak the truth to me, I may pout my lip for a moment, but my heart hears, receives and becomes all the wiser and more aware.
Some people thrive on affirmation, I thrive on loving reproof. I thrive on people pointing out my weaknesses so I can be better. Several years ago I was at a place in my life, music and ministry where I desired so deeply to have someone who would just tell me the truth and stop telling me that everything I did was good. By the grace of God, He sent those people in my life...... people that recognized I needed help, guidance, direction, honest feedback and a swift kick in the butt.
Some of it came from my friend, Mark, who is a gifted songwriter. He saw that I needed stronger songs to sing. And so He allowed me to sing my heart through his music. He offered to work with me on the songs I was writing so we could make them better. My ministry needed someone like him and I am so grateful.
Some of it came from my producer who worked with me on the last two Tree Hill Collective Recordings. OK, he may have made me cry, but that's mostly because He speaks so much truth, pushes me harder than I have ever been pushed, challenges me on the words and notes that I sing and does not let me slack. He tells me to deal and accept certain things and face others things head on. He does not let me cower.
I thrive on that. Last week as I was leading worship at a church. I could hear His voice in my head "Why are you singing that song" "What does that mean" "Who are you singing to" "You sound like you don't care" "Did you just belch in the microphone?" Having him speak truth in my life challenges me everyday to stay focused on why I do what I do and who I am doing it for. It keeps my eyes fixed on Jesus the author and perfector.
I am a better worship leader, piano player, singer, writer and leader because of what the people in my life have dared to do for me....speaking truth in love, the hard not so fun truth. I love it. I need it. Do I accept it easily all the time? No, sometimes I pout my lip, sometimes I walk out, sometimes I cry, (my husband, Bob, knows this best as He is my biggest truth-giver) but just about every time, I come back a whole lot stronger and a whole lot wiser than I was when I first started.
For that I thank these brothers in Christ. I could not walk this road without them!
So it leads me to this. If I appreciate truth so much and the fact that people dare to give it to me, am I loving people the same way by speaking truth to them? For me the answer lately has been yes, but it has been hard. And when it is difficult, I just remember how much I desire truth and desire to do the same for others as God leads me. #LoveGodLoveOthers
Who loves you in truth and who are you loving the same way?
My husband, nephew and daughter (aka, the Principal, the Biology teacher and the student) all had the day off. So, we spent it being led by one of our favorite staff members, Joe, as he gathered a group of high school students to head to Fossil Creek
near Strawberry, AZ.
It was a nice drive up north. A nice drive, that is, until the last 15 miles of bumpy dirt road that we maxed out at 15 miles per hour. About half way in we saw that our first van had stopped and the kids appeared to be looking over the cliff.
Obviously we were curious, so we got out to join them. So began our first lesson in driving on bumpy roads with no rails and steep cliffs.
Lesson 1: Don't drive over the cliff.
After an hour drive on the road to the creek, we quickly realized, it was all worth it. Every bump!
I think what blows my mind is how in the midst of the desert, if you follow just the right path, you end up in what seems to be a tropical paradise. The water was clear as glass, with electrifying shades of blue and green. I forgot that I was in Arizona and for a moment though I was back on the sandy shores of Haiti.
At this point we began hiking. I had heard rumors of hiking adventures with Mr. Richter (our trip leader), most of which can be summarized by the fact that even if there is no path, the land can still be hiked.
Lesson 2: You don't need a path when you can see the top of the mountain. Make you own path!
So the first group went ahead followed by my group which included my husband and two other young men. We quickly figured out that the only way (that we could see) was straight up the river as we saw no path and much of the ground was thick with bush (and bugs). I am thankful that there isn't (much) video footage of me trying to make my way upstream. Trying to get my footing on slippery rocks, sudden depth changes and a strong current make for an interesting trek. Here is the first current that I tread through safely. However, this same current on my way back actually picked me up and pushed me against the rocks and down the little fall. I gained a new appreciation for water, rapids and currents. Very powerful!
Lesson 3: Respect the power of water
Venturing on to our second destination was a favorite for the students as they enjoyed the water, the view and the jumps!
It was a great day. Fun to be with the students, fun to be with my husband, daughter and nephew, fun to experience a bit of paradise in the desert with the people that I love and respect.
Today was worth every bump and bruise.
At this point, I have to over share, so I am giving you warning to turn back now if you want to leave this story on a high note.
As with every adventure and journey there are always a few mishaps. We had a bunch, as this is what happens when you hike the untrodden trail and make your way up stream and downstream grabbing on to branches and anything else that will keep you from going under. ENJOY!
The Ouchie Segment
(All in a days adventure)
A collection of writings from a life based on the truth that about midnight anything can happen.
As an imperfect servant of the Lord, I often feel I am fumbling my way through life, looking upward for guidance and outward to love. So, I write about it, to break up the noise in my head.