It has been a long while since I have posted anything here. I have been busy completing three years toward my B.A. in English and my senior year is underway. My current class (Creative Writing) has finally given me the space to take off the tight harness of academic writing rules, and it feels SO GOOD!! After reading my first assignment, Mom and Daddy gave it their thumbs up and suggested I make it a blog post, so here it is. It is my story and their story. It's a little longer than my usual posts, but as with everything I have ever posted here, I pray it encourages you to run "up the sunbeam to the sun" (C. S. Lewis).

"Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ." 1 Corinthians 11:1 NIV

I sat above them on the stairs. Looking down through the window-like openings in the partition between the living room and the stairway, I listened to the basketball players, football players, baseball players, wrestlers, track athletes, both the lettermen and the also-…

A Different Kind of Loud

After three unexpected hours of standing in the parking lot of Oakland's Oracle Arena, it was finally time to go inside. My spirits lifted immeasurably as I exchanged the bone-burning ache of standing indefinitely on concrete to at least putting one foot in front of the other up the ramp toward the entrance. Drummer Boy, She So Sweet and I moved quickly into the darkened interior of the arena and made our way down the lighted stairway to our seats where we waited with relieved anticipation for the show to start. One session of the taped-for-TV auditions for Simon Cowell's singing competition show, XFactor, was about to begin!

We watched with interest and listened to the preliminary instructions given to us about our role as the audience, and played along with the people whose job it was to warm us up for our role in the show; they especially wanted to get us prepared for the grand entrance of the judges. Comedian, Frank Nicotero, who acted as a sort of master of ceremonies, did a fabulous job of hyping everyone up and he set up a little friendly competition--it seems we were the largest audience they had hosted in all the San Francisco Bay Area tapings, and he told us he thought we should be able to break the decibel level previously set by their loudest audience ever which had set a mark of 120 dB the night before. You can imagine how we responded.

A video began to play on the larger-than-life screen on the stage. Powerful music and the voice of the narrator built the excitement to a fever-pitch as we all awaited what we knew would come next--the entrance of the celebrity judges, and our moment to set a record in XFactor history!! This was the only part of the show where we were allowed to have our cameras out, in fact they encouraged it, so here is what my iPhone captured:

WE DID IT!! We broke the record, topping out at just over 121 dB!! It was truly deafening in that room, and the enthusiasm of the thousands of fans straining their voices and clapping wildly created an energy in the room that was not only heard, but felt.

All week, I've been thinking about how deftly and effectively the XFactor team was able to create a near frenzy of cheering excitement, a unified effort toward the achievement of a goal, and a sense of impassioned teamwork in a crowd of strangers--all because four ordinary, albeit famous, people entered the room.

And I thought of Heaven. Someday, we will cheer like that for the only One who is truly worthy of it! We will all be in one accord, and we will cease to be strangers in His presence! Heaven is going to be loud, y'all! Light (only His), music (some of it may surprise us!), and singing like you can't believe will be part of the biggest show we've ever dreamed of! The cheering in Heaven is going to blow the doors off anything our XFactor audience achieved! Did I mention, I think Heaven is going to be LOUD?!! Yeah. I think it will be!

I think Heaven will be unutterably quiet too. Have you ever heard the hush of Heaven that hovers over flowers worshiping in a meadow?

Heaven knows the secret that the quiet radiance of lifted faces is a different kind of loud. A smile that warms the heart of a passing stranger is a different kind of loud. A pie delivered to a neighbor, or an email just to say, "How ya doin'," or telling a janitor you appreciate the work he does--they're all a different kind of loud from Heaven's point of view.

Being who God made you to be, right where He has placed you, is a different kind of loud that sometimes rings a brighter bell, a prettier tone than all the cheering crowds in all the arenas cheering anything, anywhere! Jesus in you is a different kind of loud, and the world needs to hear Him.

"Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might . . ."


Joining Ann Voskamp in counting His graces for her Multitudes on Monday
I hope you'll join in if you haven't already!
In the counting of the endless gifts I say with C. S. Lewis,
"This also is Thou!"
Counting my next 1000 Gifts, joining Ann in The Joy Dare--like a scavenger hunt for graces, gifts and glory!! Wanna come along?  I dare ya!!

The continuing JOY DARE: 
#1463-1526 (June 3rd through June 23rd)

3. 3 Gifts from Today's Conversations
"Thank you for having me."
"Love you, Mom."
"You know me SO WELL!"
4. 3 Gifts found in Christ
The humblest heart that ever was in the greatest person who ever was--only in the Upside-down Kingdom does that make any sense.
He noticed people.
Unwavering faith, unflinching purpose.
5. A Gift of Peace, of Hope, of Love
The quiet of the wee hours
Looking forward to my brother's wedding in September
All the hard work Hero Husband does out of love for his family
6. 3 Gifts "Ugly-Beautiful"
Hero Husband's beautiful black car that has recently been putting us in the red
A cloudless sky, high, flat, metallic, hot--but a beautiful shade of blue
Everything out of the entry closet--a big project, but an opportunity to clean out the unneeded
7. 3 Gifts in What You Are Reading
Encouragement for writers in You Are A Writer by Jeff Goins
Profound insight in The Screwtape Letters by C. S. Lewis
Instructions for wall-mounting our TV that worked out well in the end--a team effort with Hero Husband!
8. 3 Gifts Empty
The dishwasher 
The paper cup that held my grapefruit flavored soda water--so refreshing!
Shopping bags that brought home the things we needed from the store.
9. 3 Gifts That Made You Really Smile
The wonderful surprise ending of the movie we watched
Oklahoma City Thunder going to the NBA Finals!
Hearing Drummer Boy read the first two chapters of the novel he's writing!
10. A Gift at 8, at 12, at 2
Quiet breakfast with Hero Husband, watching Day of Discovery together
Great worship and fellowship at church
Sunday afternoon at Peet's Coffee--our other home
11. 3 Gifts Painted
The walls of my dining room in a color called Treasure Hunt
The RCMP "mountie" figurine that was a gift from a dear co-worker
Lines on a gym floor
12. 3 Gifts Full
My morning glass of V-8
She So Sweet's gratitude when I brought her what she needed for her dance final at school
The flavor in a new treat I tried--Terra "Sweets & Beets" Chips--so yummy!!
13. 3 Gifts Smelled
Morning breezes
Peet's Coffee
She So Sweet's hand lotion (Country Chic from Bath & Body Works)
14. A Gift Unexpected, Unwanted, Unlikely
Does with their fawns, and two young bucks with fuzzy new antlers
Early morning aches and pains that help motivate me to get in shape
A good deal on the new glasses I need (still so much money, but so much less than it might have been)
15. 3 Gifts in His Word
16. 3 Gifts in Your Dad
Sense of humor
Love of music
An earthly father who shows me what my Heavenly Father is like
17. 3 Gifts From Your Heavenly Father
Beauty in the world He created
His Presence
18. 3 Gifts You Became Today in Serving
Alarm clock
19. A Gift Bent, Beautiful, Loved
My very sore, but still functional knees, back and feet (standing for three LONG hours in line at the XFactor auditions took a toll, but we had SO MUCH FUN, and made Xfactor history!
Getting the compliment that She So Sweet and I look alike (she was SO SWEET, she even took it as a compliment, but clearly I got the better end of that deal!)
The children who bless me so thoroughly and continually!
20. 3 Gifts Found in Light
Clear vision
21. 3 Gifts That Are Difficult
Delayed gratification
Saying just enough and not too much
22. 3 Gifts Found Around a Table
Fun conversation at the end of a busy day
Sharing Hero Husband's birthday cake and giving him birthday cards yesterday
Progress on ongoing projects
23. A Gift in Water, in Words, in White
A hot shower and clean hair
Prayer and a clean heart
Oxyclean and clean clothes

   Beauty in His Grip Button

On In Around button
A heartfelt thank you to these generous bloggers
who make these communities available!

Popular posts from this blog


God Is No Dangler of Carrots

From Generation to Generation