Monthly Archives: July 2012

Can You Please Not Sing?


A phrase commonly heard whenever kids and adults are in a car together, Evan spoke these words to me as we drove to church the other night.   Then he asked if I would stop conducting; someone might see me.  Am I not allowed to have ANY musical fun in my own car?  I told him I did not care what other people thought, and told him I wasn’t conducting anyway. I was playing percussion.   Or some other instrument.

This concern over “conducting” began with Laurena when she reported “Riley and McKenna were at a stop sign and they saw you waving your arms around!  It was so embarrassing!”  “Oh no,” says I.”   “Think of it as just adding to the mystique that is NONNY.”  McKenna and Riley like me I know it.  The parents might think me odd, but then again I bet they have their own silly things they do too.

Years ago, when the kids were 1, 3 and 5, I remember looking in the rearview mirror as we drove along listening to the last song on Michael W Smith’s Christmas CD and there they all were, waving their little arms, strapped into their little car seats, CONDUCTING just as their Nonny was.  It’s the type of song one can’t help but CONDUCT.   Give it a listen and I’m sure you will instantly start conducting yourself.

On this particular CD we have our favorite songs and we proceed through the CD in order.  Ah it’s just heavenly, and sharing it as I have through the years with my 3 little wonders makes it all the more so.  When I drove Laurena to Preschool lo these many (6) years ago we listened to an Amy Grant Christmas CD that included “Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee” after which Laurena asked “Nonny, who is Joyful?” Lovely moments for a Nonny. I think she was too short at the time to notice any arm waving I might have been doing.

Then there’s Caedmon’s Call and their CD….um…let me go look…hang on….oh yes it’s called Chronicles.  And again there are favorites that we methodically go through.  It’s been THE favorite for years. The kids have given names other than the ones given by the writers to some, for example, there’s the one they call “The Piano Song” while another is “The Girly Song.”  Over time I have gotten them interested in more songs than the three we started with so it’s more interesting FOR ME, nevertheless, I can’t complain when they are all three singing “All my life, you can have all of my life….” to Jesus Christ, at the very top of their lungs, and saying “Again!”  when it finishes. Not to mention that I get to explain the stories behind lines like “I saw Peter putting away his sword. He  won’t fight no more.”   They were spellbound as I told them about the night in the Garden of Gethsemanae, Peter cutting off the soldier’s ear, and the healing  touch applied lovingly by Jesus right after.  Opportunities, opportunities…..always opportunities to pull the kids into knowledge of the Lord.

Also opportunities, opportunities to conduct, play instruments in the air, and sing as we listen to my favorite music in the car.  Just maybe with a little less enthusiasm when they’re with me!


The First Church of Panera


The feeling washed over me as I sat:  this is why I came.   Looking at those 4 children, sitting around the table at Panera, Bibles open, I was reminded once more “This is why I came.”

It’s well-known among my friends that I like going to “the first church of Panera” now and again to have my Bible study time.  This morning, however, “they” wanted to come too.  And Harley had just shown up as well.  Harley is not my grandson–just a neighborhood friend we love and usually take everywhere we go but was I up for 4 at Panera?  For my Bible study time?  “OK, OK, OK,”  I relented.  “Harley, do you have a Bible?”  “YES I DO,” he nods in expectation.  “Then go get it.”  Soon he’s back and we all pile into the van.  I grab a family devotional book on the way out thinking someone might like that as well.

I park and realize that MY Bible and my study tools are in MY CAR, not in the van!  Ah well, there we were.  No turning back now!  So much for my own Bible reading!   We scurry in and with their $2 budgets the kids make their selections, receiving their own plates.  Such excitement over that!  Nonny takes the longest because SHE gets a bagel toasted 2-3 times but finally we all sit around the table.  Bibles are open.  The two 7 year-olds are early readers; the 5 year-old has the picture Bible.  Still, with reverence, they look through the pages.  After a time I open the family devotional book and choose the story of Ishmael and Hagar.  There’s an angel in it–thought that’d get their attention.  Introductory questions are asked.  Children respond, the story is read and we talk.  One more story (another angel):  Jacob and his dream about the stairway to heaven.  More questions.  Then I ask Laurena to read from Isaiah 43–just the first few verses.  The younger ones are challenged to find the word “God” on their pages.  Harley finds one and hands me his Bible–I read the passage.  Then Laurena wants to sing a song she learned at VBS.  Ryan, not to be upstaged, sings Jesus Loves Me.  Then Harley remembers a song from church camp about being a sheep.  He struggles to remember ALL the words but gets through it and we are delighted.

Can you picture this?  Can you envision how lovely, how beautiful, how precious this sight is? As I sit and observe their eating and their talking  I remember—I reflect—then I rejoice– -in this visual aid before my eyes.  Even with all the unusual circumstances of my coming and  my personal situation even now I am overcome with peace and joy.

Yes, this is why I came.