Monthly Archives: May 2011

you might need a little more sweet tea in your voice

lately i’ve been confronted with the way i say the things i say.

apparently… i have a tendency to use harsh tones at inopportune times.

additionally… as a writer i have a unique command of language and words, sometimes to my advantage, and other times… not so much. when you are able to communicate clearly (which is my job, communicating clearly) that also means your meaning is rarely unclear. the caveat is the tone…

if i say something in a sharp tone it comes out differently. i am aware of this, conscious of minding this all the time. you know how tone works… an email that says something sounds different depending on how the person reading it hears it in their head. it just is what it is. you have to hope that you are loving people well enough that they know your heart and know that you are coming from a place of love. (i’ve mentioned the love filter before). if you have invested enough time, then even when you use a certain tone, the person receiving the information is conditioned to hear you with love. but when you are dealing with people that dont know you as well… they might not be prepared to listen with love, expecting love. they may not already know that the motive and heart behind the words is without malice.

i was discussing this with some friends today. it happened this week. someone interpreted my tone differently than i intended… (we have since cleared this up) but it was an unnecessary issue. then another friend Anne posted a facebook status about how texans communicate differently than everyone else… very directly. so if you take my south florida childhood and then 10 years in texas background into consideration and i was primed to struggle with this issue of tone and kindness… in our meeting, my friend, DON DARTT said… “maybe you just need a little more sweet tea in your voice” DING DING DING… alarms sounded in my mind… i thought “highly tweetable” (which i proceeded to do promptly) and i thought, yes. that makes sense. i dont need to change what i say, because for the most part, i just say what i really mean to say, and usually dont try to create or get into conflict, unkindness, etc… i just need to make sure i say whatever it is after dipping it in a nice tall glass of sweet tea. (aka southern genteel-ness).

this is biblical by the way… prov. 15:1 A gentle answer deflects anger, but harsh words make tempers flare.

as an artist, sometimes you have to really monitor the way you use your ability to communicate. you have to consider your audience and the situation you are in… and err on the side of gentleness.

who told them they could grow up?

wow. so two of my kids are at dances at school.

we got new clothes. all showered. all primped and prepped.

i took pictures, of course… and to quint’s chagrin.

and sent them off. it’s scary to send someone off … will they represent well? will they remember they are carrying a family name? will they bring honor to God? will they realize every little decision equals a ripple with uncontrollable effects? will they be safe? will they be treated nicely?

i cannot imagine how people that dont know God get through the day. knowing that the one who loves them best is aware of their situation at all times… brings peace, love and joy.

as a sidenote… one of my friends mentioned that they have already seen quint and  his date at the restaurant where they are having dinner… i always tell him, there are people everywhere, they know who you are and are watching what you are doing… so do well.

i have to say that i think they both look stunning and am so proud of them. i know they are having fun right now, while i’m waiting to pick them up and hear all about it. if i drive and look straight ahead… and do mostly listening… sometimes they tell me stuff 😉

a mother of a video and a dog named Jesus

so creative… this mother’s day medley at Long Hollow should make you laugh and sing along.

and speaking of singing along… last night, for mother’s day, my mom and i went to bluebird cafe to listen to music. gareth asher and the earthlings opened up.

gareth asher & the earthlings at bluebird cafe

she is a self-proclaimed music freak. my mom and my aunt travel together looking for live music. my aunt will go so far as to drive with the windows open down city streets straining to pick up a note or two wafting through the air to indicate the promise of more. it’s a healthy addiction.

you see… my dad and my uncle died within a year of each other… only 3 and 4 years ago. since then, the sisters have been spending alot of time together… and music is their medicine. it soothes their lonely souls, it fills their empty hearts to overflowing and it celebrates emotions good and bad within a 4-ish minute experience. music is lifegiving. music reminds you of your past and gives you hope for your future. sometimes music hurts alot… other times it heals. one thing it isn’t… is stationary, gray, irrelevant.

on mother’s day it was perfect to do the thing she loves to do… (i thoroughly love it too, just havent taken to hitting the streets in search of a tune, yet… maybe one day when i grow up).

listening to songwriters tell the stories behind the songs, and then tell the stories through the songs was exquisite. one writer sang a song she said that no one has picked up yet, but that she keeps believing in… another song was called my dog jesus.  wow. i loved this song. there were 13 singers… Gareth Asher opened the show brilliantly. i downloaded a song from itunes, while i was sitting there : 

i re-realized while i was sitting there… songwriters and i have alot in common. we are storytellers. getting excited to incorporate songwriting principles into my writing preparation… and listen more intently to the stories in the songs i listen to over and over.

what is your favorite song? i dont want to miss it… tell me what it is and why…

meeting michael chanley… at orange.

i’ll be honest. i had trepidation. see, i have been reading and communicating with several bloggers that i became acquainted with through this website for about 6 months. i have enjoyed the learning and sharing that goes on here. it’s a great place to do two things: get equipped and acquainted… and get jacked up about whether you are equipped or acquainted with churchy things enough.

here’s the thing – i’ve written scripts and curriculum for kid ministry at prestonwood, in plano, tx, and now long hollow baptist in hendersonville, tn for the past 7 years… in addition to a slew of un-church related writing projects, curriculum for many different ministries, articles, a book, entrepreneur content… you get the picture… so this past year when i stepped into full-time kids ministry, i felt somewhat behind the curve… who was i supposed to have heard of that i had no clue about? what am i supposed to have read and written about that i don’t have a clue about? some of you probably know what i mean… anyway, the point is, i’ve been learning by reading and when Jason Underhill directed me to this site, i had no idea what was in store. i didn’t realize that not only would i read some good stuff and find some nice resources… i was about to meet and share experiences with some freaking amazing people…

enter MICHAEL CHANLEY. we had traded messages and emails back and forth a few times… same with SAM LUCE, who shared some pre-ripped files with me that made my media intern squeal with delight. so it was with anxious anticipation that i would finally get to meet them in person at the ORANGE conference and somehow “legitimize the relationship”. go from cyber friends to face-friends. i had trepidation because… i so badly wanted them to be as nice and excellent as i thought they were going to be…

for those of you who haven’t yet had the honor, let me assure you – they are. they are excellent, kind, humble men of God doing things to bring him honor… whew. so grateful to discover that and grateful for what they are doing for the eternal kingdom in the places that they serve.

also met kenny conley – and stoked about something in the future that we’re planning. as well as matt mckee who has some excellent things up his creative sleeve for kids coming soon. meeting jonathan acliff (who is also in this picture) proved to be another kindness of God to me.

one surprise connection was benjamin kerns… his blog, which i only just discovered after meeting him and talking about doing ministry in reality, is superb… a don’t miss.

and there is a man pouring into these men … and his name is jim wideman. he’s written a book, you probably own – volunteers that stick.

believe me when i tell you i wouldn’t give you links and names just for lip service…. i hate that. i’m sharing with you because you have shared with me, and i’m better at my job because of it. god is honored when we share, it is the way we show good stewardship of that which he has entrusted to us. as i always tell my kids… hebrews 13:16 – share what you have.