There have been several weekends when I have come home from singing on the road and told my husband Ron about someone I met along the way. It has almost become a joke–he’ll say, “who’s your new best friend?” This past weekend is no exception.
I had the joy of being at Trinity UMC in Grand Island, NE… You betcha we had fun! While there I met a wonderful young lady who is so full of life and full of love to share. She is showing everyone she meets how to live life with a positive outlook. Within the first five minutes of our meeting, she was hugging me and telling me how much she loved Nashville and country music and Christian music. She hugged me like we grew up on the same block. Her smile comes from somewhere deep inside her, from a place most of us have forgotten about. I experienced a contagious joy while talking to her that was as genuine as any I have ever encountered. Sunday evening before the concert, she and I laughed so hard… I believe people wondered what we were up to. What got it started was that I commented as I looked over the banquet hall, “you know what I’d be doing if I were sitting at those tables? She asked, “what?” Quickly I said, “eating my dessert!” For some reason that got the ball rolling.
One of the reasons she and her husband are a vital part of their congregation is that they simply love people. When they hug you, there’s no doubt that you’ve been hugged. When they say they love you, they look you straight in your eyes and really mean it. When they share a compliment, it is so sincere that you know they are blessed by it more than you are.
Jesus spoke a word or two about living in the moment. Check out Matthew 6:33-34 But strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own today’s trouble is enough for today.
How long has it been since you lost yourself in the moment, whether it was laughter or a hug or telling someone how you fell about them or a compliment? What’s really funny is that I see my truest self in those moments — when I let go and find myself swept away in the moment. I think what way special about these folks is that they lived in the moment. Do you know someone like that? Are you someone like that? I ran into that kind of life in Nebraska and I hope that I can love others around me with a portion of the passion and enthusiasm I received… to my new best friends.
This has been a unique two weeks for the Whitler family. Rarely do we get to the mountains AND the beach in one month. Our event calendar had us at both with only 36 hours in between. I’m not crazy about the forced choice question–I love both! Our mountain event was a youth leadership event in Estes Park, CO. Snow was falling and in that winter wonderland we listened to Christmas music. At the event, we explored the theme “Christians Under Construction.” We talked about God’s role in that endeavor and our individual and corporate roles in our growth. At the beach event in Fort Walton Beach, FL, we’re taking a look at encountering God. One of the things I love about the beach is the shore line. It’s that dynamic line where all of the ocean meets all of the land–2 different substances encountering one another. Max and I have explored that line–we sneak up on it and run from it. The line has a lot in common with the place where God meets us. During the event we’re taking a look at some waterfront encounters with God. Celia will be in St. Paul, MN on Sunday and we’ve got a year end visit to Houston to wind up our travels. It’s been an incredible year!! So how ’bout you . . . beach, mountains or both?
Zachary McKay Whitler joins the family, “So Far” — a new recording & 39 events in16 states
It’s been a big year for us and a wacky year for our world. Who’d have thought at the beginning of 2001 that we’d end up here.
We’ve had a great year. We’ve expanded our family with the addtion of Zach. If you haven’t checked him out at http://www.celiamusic.net/infopages/zachpage.html, he’s a looker. And we completed another recording. It takes a lot of work to get to the finish line on a project, but we’re glad we made the trip. “So Far” is celia’s best recording to date. It reflects the acoustic nature of Celia’s performance. Our travels took us all over the U.S. We met some wonderful folks along the way.
(listed by state, city)
Bauxite & Mountain Home, AR; Prescott, AZ; Escondido, Julian & San Diego, CA; Breckenridge, Broomfield, Denver & Wheatridge, CO; Fort Walton Beach, FL; Indianapolis, IN; Lafayette, LA; Shreveport, LA; Mio, MI; Minneapolis & St. Cloud, MN; Mocksville & Salisbury, NC; Devil’s Lake & Grand Forks, ND; Alamogordo, NM; Columbus, OH; Athens, Collierville, Franklin, Madison & Nashville, TN; Arlington, Austin, Plano, TX; Ferrum, VA
We’re on the road… it looks like it’s going to be a great, busy, hectic, wild, exciting summer… lot’s of airports, hotels, camp songs, time in the car, new movies to see (yah baby), afternoon naps, firefly watching and sunshine… summer used to be a time to take my shoes off and relax, run in the sprinkler, drink icees (save those coupons–i still have the icee bear towel i got with those coupons) and drink those blue snowcones that turn your tongue blue, sliding on the slip’n’slide, the old turtle pool in the back yard and time to play hide and seek until dark… i hope in the midst of our busy-ness, we take time to rest and time to just be with friends… this summer, i’m looking forward to making new friends and traveling with my buddies… sabbath is what i’m talking about… i’m listening for God in the midst of this welcomed change of pace… i invite you to do the same.