Your Favorite Love Song, Please.

Hi,

I’m coming right along with the improved and expanded edition of The Maker’s Marriage (please don’t order from the picture here on the website, as I still haven’t managed to delete it ) and I’m wanting to add beautiful love song suggestions, as music is such a power tool in getting our hearts right, and attuned to love.

So, if you have a favorite love song or songs, or indeed just any favorite beautiful and uplifting music, would you mind sharing via comments, or by simply e-mailing to me at: bevparker@rocketmail.com.

‘I need a song for every chapter (there are thirty something chapters right now) and I don’t want to limit my readers to my tastes only. Also, if you want to include a few lines about why this song is special to you, that might be helpful as well.

Please remember my promise to have this very good (if I do think so, myself) book finished by John’s and my 30th anniversary–October 12, and be ready to buy a copy or several to share.

Thanks very much!

Bev

P.S. If you know how I can delete my current pic of The Maker’s Marriage, I would really appreciate knowing if you can spare a minute or two to share.

Art vs. Ugly

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I listen to Cold Play reluctantly.  The haunting beauty of “For some reason I can’t explain, I know St. Peter won’t call my name,” compels me to explain this listening to myself.

It’s as though against all evidence, as he sees it, he’s determined to create beauty in the face of hopelessness.

I admire this.  Often “artists” express their angst at ugliness via more ugliness.  The true artist, however, shows us the beauty of God, even if he professes unbelief, or at least extreme uncertainty of God’s existence.

The existence of music, such as that of Cold Play, is proof of God.  Proof of Love, Mystery, Enchantment.  Our hearts yearn for the truth of the unseen, the “unprovable.”  We long to be enchanted.  As Thomas Moore says in The Re-Enchantment of Everyday Life, “”Enchantment invites us to pause and be arrested by whatever is before us.”

Last night I was arrested by God’s pencil drawings.  The evening clouds were charcoal lines and swirls, as lovely as though spirits had left ballerina leaps and twirls.  Leafless aspen were grey lace against a pale silver sky, and I was reminded that even to those of us who love all things bright and beautiful, there is beauty in the quieter, the more still, the subtle.  There is a cry for resurrection in the cold and the not quite yet dead.

Would the aspen leaf out again in spring if we didn’t expect and decree and celebrate their doing so?  The calculating mind says, “Yes, of course.  Don’t be ridiculous.  It’s their nature.”

But I say they will do so because it’s God’s nature.  Doesn’t God want to be seen and heard and heralded and rejoiced over?  Doesn’t God want to bless us?  And if we are His, don’t we want to bless the world, to beautify it?

There is art in listening attentively to a child’s meandering story, and in such “mundane” activities as lovingly dusting wooden furniture, or making a cup of tea for a lover.  All of life is, or can be, art.

God has put in every one of us that desire and ability to show Him to the world.  But when we focus on the ugly, when we create more of the same – music without melody, fiction without romance, paintings with polluted colors and lines, words without sweetness – we are saying that ugly is truth.

Ugly is a lie.  Let’s not tell it.

 

House vs. Home

A house is a place to shelter for the night.  It warms the body, but not the soul.

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A home is a place of refuge, restoration, rest, relaxation, and replenishment.

Do you ever wish someone would come in to your house while you’re gone and clean it, organize it, and best of all, decorate so it feels welcoming when you open the door?

Well, here’s the bad news and the good news.  You’re it.  Yes,  that’s a ton of work and you may feel a little learning-disabled in this area, but the satisfaction gained from cleaning and organizing and making your house a home, a nest, is beyond measure.

Put on some motivational music (Bob Seger’s Old Time Rock and Roll should get you going, or Phil Driscoll’s Soldier will work if it’s a real battle you’re facing) and get started.

Put a load of laundry on (if you don’t have a washer begin by gathering up the laundry and putting it by the front door in preparation for a trip to the laundromat) and put the dishes in the dishwasher and/or in the sink to soak as you go on to the next thing.  Now clean the bathroom(s) and then break for fun.  No, I don’t mean bon bons and a TV show (NO daytime TV in a place of refuge).  I mean a break for some decorating.

Rearrange some furniture and hang pictures in places they’ve never been.  Use things in ways you haven’t before.  Maybe even use an entire room in a new way.  Try a different spread on your bed, especially if the one you have is one of those “in-style” atrocities so many of us have, in some fit of insanity, mistakenly purchased (there is a demon grouping in Hell responsible solely for the design of ugly home furnishings).

Now, back to work.  After things are picked up, clean the floors, dust, and wash the baseboards.  Did I say this would be easy?  Anyway, I haven’t said anything about washing windows and screens or cleaning the utility room, have I?  There’s no rest for the best, and as the HOME keeper, you’re the best.

What about your horrid closets and the mess under the kitchen sink?

That’s for another day, a day you need extra therapy.  That’s right.  There’s not a shrink on earth who can clear your mind like a cleaned out and organized closet.

So, now it’s looking lots better, you’re feeling lots better, and the house is feeling more like a home.  What else can you do?

Cook something that smells delicious (bread is always good), or simply put some vanilla and cinnamon in a pan of water and put it in the oven on low heat.  Open the windows and let in the light.  Put out stacks of books that won’t impress anyone with your amazing intellectual tastes.  Include colorful and fun books, crayons and coloring books, easy puzzles, joke books, and especially beautiful children’s picture books.  Don’t have any?  Yay!  You get to go to the library.  Not now!  When you’re finished, or next week, whichever comes first.

Put on beautiful music and be sure there are throws, quilts or blankets on the couches and chairs.  Decorate with Monopoly, Clue, Pictionary and other forgotten board games.  Set one up on an end table, ready for play.

And now, it’s time for tea.  While the water’s heating, go take a quick shower and put on something comfy.  It’s time for a nice cuppa and a not-particularly-memorable but quite easy-to-read book.

If you’re still feeling a little blue after all this (not really likely) change the tea to hot chocolate.  Stir up some raw sugar (or use honey and add after mixture is warm) with a little salt and some cocoa.  Add milk, cream, half-n-half, powdered milk, or evaporated milk (or any combination thereof), vanilla flavoring and/or almond flavoring and heat until almost boiling, stirring often.

Serve in just the right mug with extremely well-buttered toast and don’t even think about calories.  If you think you could use more protein after all that work, go for it – get a second cup of hot chocolate.

P.S.  A little cornstarch will turn this into chocolate pudding – get a recipe – don’t cook like I do with a wing and prayer.