Tag: bus love

So, what are you guys doing now?

We used to do this all the time.

Get up early and drive. Be dressed just so. Have a set list. Prepare a short, mental list of goals. Buck up. Settle the children. Smile and act naturally. Respond to the canned questions and comments with canned answers.

singingWe called it ministry. We usually did it 3 weekends out of four. But this kind of ministry… a “singing” at a church on a Sunday morning… well, it’s been two years since the last time.

We were glad for the opportunity; it was for a friend, it was local, it would be fun. And simply put: there is a difference in doing ministry like YOUR life depends on it as opposed to doing it like perhaps someone else’s life does. We didn’t need a minimum or even a morale boost. It was simply, “We get to visit a church and Rod’s gonna sing and hopefully lead some people to worship in a new way. Cool!”

We have friends who still do this travel-and-minister thing because they are called. Our calling for it left us without much ado in a season when God pretty much stripped us of all our creature comforts, even our work. IMG_4162It was strange to wake up and realize, “Hmmm…. We don’t do that anymore,” without there being a press release or any dramatic show of it. In the mean time, He’d replaced our calling with something new. At first, I thought it was smaller: because it mostly takes place within our local church (our beloved, spectacularly awesome local church). And lately, I realize it’s bigger.

See, with a message of grace and a method of integrity, and an “Event” that didn’t ask permission or strive to stroke egos or be fancy, we had a specific goal… I’m not sure we reached it, but I know we forged new relationships that have lasted and had impact and meaning, and that’s probably even better.

We were seeking to change an industry.

Now, we simply seek to change the world.

I could cower from that and decide it’s too arrogant to write. But I don’t think so.

deanna

Not when a friend of mine who started a magazine out of her kitchen last year will be seeing it on the shelves of Barnes and Noble this year. Not when my friend retired from an illustrious and exhausting career as a teacher and found his second act in Habitat for Humanity.

And then there are the life changers I see every day around me: the ones who drop everything and pray for their bankers and doctors… the ones who take meals to strangers who have sickness in the family… the ones who stay with their friend’s mother so their friend can go to church or out to dinner… the ones who give away couches and TVs and beds to people they’ve never met… the ones who move a farick guatemala copymily in the pouring rain just because someone asked… the ones who look at people who are hurting, lost, confused, or lonely and call them by name, and aren’t afraid to hug them, and show them that people still care about people.

Yeah. That’s how we change the world.

I don’t know what my/our “next act” is. Sometimes I still get restless. I love hearing my husband sing more than just about everything. And I love new opportunities to share my writing with others. And make no mistake… I do get that temporary high off of a success, off of recognition. But that is not where I live anymore. Are we doing something of value? Are we helping people get what they need? Are we loving like Jesus? Those are the questions that guide our ministry… and that ministry starts with our own family, our marriage, our kids, our parents, before it works its way outward.

burtons2013

We did not step down or step back or retire. We did not accept a lesser position. We did not leave the ‘limelight’ for the local church. We still sing for Jesus. We still sacrifice to reach out. We still strive to keep the spotlight on the message. We’re still here… following Him. He is leading in places different than we expected. He is surrounding us with people who stayed or came along the way. He is here… every time one of us commits an act of love in His name.

Jesus, help me to love my neighbor even if I don’t understand or agree with her. Help me to find as much satisfaction in cleaning the office toilets as I do in great conversation. Help me to listen more than talk when I pray. Help me to sing my own song with You as my audience. Help me to be kind and patient and helpful and sincere, and not just waiting for my turn. Help me to follow Your lead, whether it leads me to a big stage, a small corner, or something I haven’t even imagined yet. Help me to let go of the past and the people who stayed there and appreciate what and who is in my life right now. Help me to be more like You! Amen.

Why We Are Friends

A not so Wordless Wednesday:

I took this picture right after writing this post on why moms should support each other.

My friend Martha had borrowed and returned the pack-n-play sheets on the left. I had packed the one on the right. As I was getting Kaity’s bedding ready on the bus, late Saturday night, I had to laugh.

We are a study in contrasts. We are great friends.

She swears she didn’t iron them, but compared to the one I “folded,” that’s hard to believe.

One more time: I have the best friends in the world.

A day on the bus

The Day: Thursday, March 18, 2010

We woke up for the first time today at 5am, at the Walmart/Sam’s lot in Hendersonville, Tennessee. We’d put the girls to sleep together on the pull-out bed as an experiment (usually Randa sleeps on her Princess Cot and Kaity attempts to sleep in her port-a-crib). They were waking up a lot. It was a little cold in the front of the bus, so I covered them with an extra comforter.

But once I was awake, I realized the street noise was a lot louder than usual. I mentioned it to Rod, who solved the problem by turning on the generator. They did not make another peep until 9am.

Yes. The sound of a generator is a lullaby to our road babies.

I had done myself a favor and gotten the coffee ready last night. All I have to do is push a button on my way to fetch milk for the princesses, who this morning laid in bed with me for awhile with no TV or distractions, just lovely morning cuddles.

Rod mentioned he was hungry, so I cooked a Bus Breakfast of Champions, fried eggs and sausage. Randa opted for an Eggo. She so missed out.

I had picked up a few DVDs from the library on our way out of town Tuesday, and this lazy, sunny morning seemed like a good one to introduce the girlies to Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, particularly Adventures in Friendship. They liked it. They don’t love him as much as I do, yet.

This week happens to hold no deadlines for me, so I promised myself I would not make anything but the safety and general contentment of my children the goal of each day. It makes me feel slightly less insane, slightly less like I am living in a pressure cooker.

We only had a 2ish hour drive today, so we opened the windows and let a fine spring breeze blow our hair around. We found the See and Say in a drawer and practiced sharing. We lay on the bed and watched “Elmo Beach” and I nearly fell asleep being cuddled.

We snacked. We talked to Gramma on the phone. “We” tweeted a lot, as “we” always do on the road.

We reached our destination, and my hopes for a “perfect” place for the girls to play outside were dashed.

We settled for a small strip of grass and gravel, right between the bus and the church door, but still too close to a busy street for me. Miranda “fed the birds” with gravel before peeing all over herself, her new shoes, and said gravel. Kaity found big sticks and walked around with them. We sauntered in and out of the church where Rod, April, and Eric (=Hinson Revival) were rehearsing before their debut concert tomorrow night. We walked across the street to Jack’s, where we experienced culinary delights such as ‘Comeback Sauce’ and a cheeseburger that neither of my discerning divas would eat.

We did enjoy the pop. And we still call it “pop” when we are no longer north.

We also enjoyed the fenced in patio area, though not as much as the gravel-patch-near-the-busy-road. Gads. What I would have given for a park today…happy we are mellow enough to make do!

We came back and listened to the music for awhile. Miranda found a cozy patch of carpet on the stage and Kaity found a pen and a piece of paper. This kept them occupied through 2 or 3 songs (I could listen to my husband sing All Day Long. My husband in a group? Mixed harmony? I could listen all day and night).

(Though I’m sure it’s weird that I never find him sexier than when he’s singing, and he’s always singing gospel music. Ah well).

Randa grew weary and we headed on to the bus. They had some Nana Rosa leftover spaghetti. And a little fruit. And the rest of the pop. Now they are sitting calmly watching “Elmo Christmas.” It is near dusk and this is their 5th napless day in a row. I blame daylight savings, and though I have always truly loved DST and the play-out-side-after-dinner-sunshine, I will rue the day it came into being if my 2 and 3 year olds are indeed done with naps.

Anyway.

I can still hear the faint sounds of rehearsal from the church door, just 15 feet or so outside the bus window. I do get a little lonely during these times, because I would always rather be where Rod and his music are, but the kids just can’t always be there (kind of like yesterday, when something really awesome was happening in the studio, and our dear princesses were “singing along” far too loudly to be in the room. The new CD is going to be AMAZING!).

I talk and joke about this life all the time… how far it is from what I envisioned, expected, even what I wanted. But the truth is, it’s mine, it’s Rod’s, it’s the kids. I don’t always understand why we’re here (or “there”, or any place that serves “Comeback sauce”), but I know the plans God has for us and the dreams He’s given us to chase will continue to be an adventure that is better than what I could imagine.


I’ve been homesick this trip, as I heard good news from my BFF, read FB messages about my mommy friends and their kids playing outside in the new spring. But another sweet truth is that we take the love of everyone with us, and it is so, so, so comforting to know they make an anchor that always tethers us to home sweet home.

Before I finished writing this, Kaity crawled into my lap and fell asleep, in my arms, for two hours. I held her the whole time, hugging a bouncy Miranda often with my free arm. Rehearsal lasted until 9ish, then we caravanned over to Cracker Barrel for biscuits and coffee and “playing Checkies” on the rocking chairs. Rod and I almost had an argument about where we are parking for the night (I won in that he said he should have listened to me; he won in that we parked where he wanted to). The divas finally gave into sleep around 11:30pm. I just finished my 3rd episode of Friends on DVD. The friends did not win the Power Ball in this episode. Maybe next time… Good night.
road mamaroad mama