Musings From A Musical Mind

Archive for the ‘Blogging’ Category

Just Because You Are Special

WordPress Logo

WordPress Logo (Photo credit: Phil Oakley)

Yesterday and today I have had some fun setting up some widgets for my blog site.  It’s been frustrating, but also really fun.  Frustrating in that – I was not able to get everyone on “Blogs I follow” because it seems not everyone is compatible with this widget – or does not have a gravatar picture, or both – and FUN because now that I am done I can see everyone’s SMILING face looking at me.  All the people who have encouraged and contributed to my writing and being.  Their fresh faces gazing approvingly on my site  – and I am satisfied.

No one is an island, not even those of us writers who prefer to live somewhat secluded and just – write.  Or in my case – express.  Either way it is not necessary to get a pat on the back or a smile of encouragement from others, but it is still appreciated.  And I try to make a conscious effort to do the same to all of you.  I sometimes forget what that comments of love mean to me.   It is a wonderful thing to connect with others who feel the same and need someone else to say something they have been thinking and never written down.  This has happened to me as I’ve read all your blog articles out there.  Sometimes it’s like, “Wow – I can’t believe they said that!”  And I find myself nodding and smiling.

Please don’t feel left out – if you are a reader and contributor and do not see your smiling picture on the right side of this page – please make me aware of it – it is not in the slightest bit intentional!  I want to connect you with my readers and have others gain encouragement from the very thing you are writing about.  You just never know who you are going to meet and come across because of this unique blogging community.

And if you see yourself there – just know this:  we may not talk every day, or leave comments all the time, but you have been a part of my journey the last 4 plus years and I appreciate you!

Let’s encourage one another!

 

God Bless

Just Another Coffee Kind Of Day

Today I sit and drink coffee at a familiar setting but in another town, listening to my iPad music library through my earphones. The sights and sounds are all around me. I am trying hard to block out the conversations near my table. But I must admit that I am intrigued by others and what they have to say. I am not purposely eavesdropping – you could call it a ‘forced eavesdrop’ only in that I am in a confined area with no where else to go. And things are especially loud if I can hear them even with my music blasting away.

The weather is nice today – not quite as hot as what I thought it would be. Not hot like Leavenworth a couple of weeks ago, which was around 100 degrees! It is clear and about 85 – at least where I am today. The nice weather brings people to Starbucks to have iced coffees, frappuccinos and other iced beverages. People are gathered around tables, happily sipping from their plastic cups. Behind me is the ice machine and I hear coffee brewing and blenders whirling. It is just a matter of time before I take out the earphones and give in to the noise around me. At least for now.

There is a young woman in the corner absorbed in her book, “The Coldest City” (it looks intriguing) and some guy on his laptop across the lobby. He wears a pony-tail and glasses, shorts and boots.

A local policeman just interrupted me while standing and waiting for his drink on the bar to ask me, “is that a bluetooth keyboard? – I mean – does it work well?” I explained to him that it does. Both the iPad and keyboard are bluetooth compatible. “How about that”, he said. Many people have seen laptops in here and probably iPads too – but I have a separate wireless keyboard which I LOVE and I’m realizing that it is not something most people are used to seeing.

The policeman sits in a lounge chair near the window and reads his phone messages. He could use an iPad 🙂 And a wireless keyboard.

Have a great weekend

God Bless

Crossing Paths

English: Crossing of paths, Gwydyr Forest The ...

English: Crossing of paths, Gwydyr Forest The waymarked walk taking in Llyn y Parc is crossed by a singletrack section of the Marin Mountain Bike trail. Walkers should watch out for speeding bikers (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Every once in a while the many tracks of our lives intersect.  The subtle joining of like interests and purpose combine into one timeless moment.

My journey and purpose that God has uniquely designed for me sometimes crosses the path of my past life and career, my music legacy, sometimes through writing, sometimes through people sometimes through specific events  – leaving me feeling  humbled and reflective.

The last week I have been organizing my music studio/office in my home – plus gathering video and pictures for my website, which just went up for the first time this last Monday.  If you missed it – you can visit me on my website at  Cindy’s Music Studio  It is my first attempt to duplicate what happens in my studio and in person – to an equal experience online.

In the process of trying to break down and ‘capture’ all the special moments of my music teaching career over the last 15+ years in this one area alone – it has been a daunting but also given me many thrilling moments looking at many past recital performances and pictures over the years.  The growth and development in each one – and the happy glow of pride and sense of accomplishment – the feeling of joy and resolution in choosing the path of teaching that I chose many years ago instead of a sales career teaching and training women about skin care.

This too has crossed my path again recently as my daughter (who was a little girl at the time when I was with Mary Kay) has decided to join the ranks of the many sales representatives and sell this great product as well as continue to do hair styling and color in her own home studio.  It is all very surreal to me and brings back many memories of my 5 years spent with that company – 2 years as a sales director.

Sometimes our lives intertwine into areas that we never dream we will cross again.  We do not simply just “wave good-bye” and then never see them again – sometimes they comes back in ways we least expect.  It is the same with my music teaching and my writing – the two are different and yet – sometimes they cross.  The things we are passionate about in this life – the unique and God-given talents and abilities we are given –  have the potential of crossing and interjecting every day – through people, events and circumstances – and yes – even our own children.

Surviving The Weather

Today I took an innocent road trip with Greg to Bremerton – about an hour and a half or so from where we live. It was raining a little when we left Renton – but as we headed south the rain really picked up.

Something you should know about me – I’m not comfortable driving in the rain. I have a car that sits very low to the ground and inhibits me from seeing well especially in rain. Larger trucks and semi’s have a way of passing me really quickly and then spewing all their water on my windshield – prohibiting me from seeing ANYTHING for a couple of seconds. This releases sheer panic in me.

I have much history driving in the rain. Anyone who lives in the Pacific Northwest has to sink or swim (no pun intended) as the case most often is when living here. I remember many times driving on the freeway because of necessity either to get somewhere or to get home – usually in the rain – sometimes in the dark – sometimes both. Can you guess the other least favorite thing of mine? That’s right. Dark. Specifically driving in the dark.

So I try not to do either of these whenever I can avoid them.

But today I was riding shotgun and Greg was driving. As I get older I must be getting much more paranoid or something because it REALLY FREAKED ME OUT driving in the pouring rain beside semi’s and other enormous trucks all of them spewing water on our windshield. I know I wasn’t driving – but it still bothered me – and when the brake lights would come from vehicles ahead of us I would feel this rising panic. Greg is not afraid and drives aggressively which may be the reason for my concern. I am not an aggressive driver – especially in the rain and/or dark. I’m always just glad to finally get home. And I’m usually glad when someone else is doing the driving.

One time on the freeway when I was driving – I saw brake lights ahead and thought everyone was just slowing down – no big deal – but then I had to quickly SLAM ON MY BRAKES as the vehicles ahead were at a STAND STILL right in the middle of the freeway – no warning – NOTHING. It really freaked me out – and now every time I see brake lights on the freeway – I say to Greg, “how can you be sure they are just slowing down?” It really concerns me – especially at high speeds in the rain – and in the dark.

And though I know I will possibly always feels this way and never be comfortable on the freeway with less than perfect conditions – I know I must learn to trust others who have no fear – who have a flawless track record and have logged many hours and miles in dangerous conditions. I know there are others who have a handle on it – and I have nothing to fear. And though I can’t see it as being safe – knowing that others are confidant is HUGE.

I wonder if the Lord feels the same way I know my husband must when I’m in the car with him – and I’m really unhappy and untrusting. I wonder if He wonders why I don’t trust Him – when He sees the big picture of my life and can navigate from His great vantage point. He probably wonders why I just can’t relax – enjoy the ride and let Him get me to the places that He needs me to be – without me fussing and fighting Him.

The next time something is happening in your life that is scary or less than pleasant – try thinking of it this way: God is with you – He is in the driver’s seat. He will get you where you need to be. You are safe. It will be alright.

I am still learning this. Mine is a continual journey of trust.

God Bless

A Safe Place

The "Safe Place" logo promoted by Na...

The “Safe Place” logo promoted by National Safe Place. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Have you ever been in someone’s presence and felt that you weren’t safe?  You had to weigh every word spoken, had to ignore the little ‘jabs’ of humor and eventually you found yourself either pushing back or shutting down?

Being and feeling safe is different for each of us.  And by safe, I mean something beyond just comfortable and easy.  It’s that intangible something that feels like you’ve come home and don’t have to watch everything that you say – you’re free to express without judgement, free to be yourself, free to confide, and be appreciated for your own uniqueness.

I saw a movie the other night on the life of Earnest Hemingway during the war years – and at one point in the movie he had to address a crowd of people.  He suffered terrible stage fright and when finally was able to speak to the crowd he told them, “I’m a writer – writers don’t have to speak out loud and address a crowd”  And in this very same way – we all relate in our own unique way.  Some of us are writers – some are good oral communicators – others are teachers some are shy computer geeks.  And each of us communicate in different ways to others.

Sometimes that mode of communication is misunderstood by others.  For me personally I have found that to be true.  Frustrating yes – but also disheartening.  I begin to hear people as they “joke” and “jab” about “those of us who are expressive” and “those of us who write feelings down” and I slowly begin to shut down.  It’s past the curiosity of just being different – it’s a smallness and intolerance that I find sad – and it’s in those people whom I do not feel safe.

Where is your safe place?  Do you relate to what I’m saying?  Do you have those whom you feel safe with?  Where you are able to express those words, written or spoken?  Where you feel understanding and acceptance for the way you are?  If you do – then you are blessed.

Don’t let anyone rob you of your unique voice.  God made you the way you are for a reason.  Years ago I had a pastor friend of ours tell me, “Cindy – don’t let anyone steal your joy”  This was after I got into trouble for being myself.  It was great advice and I still remember his words to this day.  Others have tried to mold and make me into what they think I should be.  But I am always frustrated when I am not free to be me and express myself in the way that is God-given.

Eventually though, someone – if not everyone will disappoint you at one time or another and even “rain on your parade”.  Where is your safe place then?

Psalm 18 says this:

1-2 I love you, God— you make me strong.
God is bedrock under my feet,
the castle in which I live,
my rescuing knight.
My God—the high crag
where I run for dear life,
hiding behind the boulders,
safe in the granite hideout.

3 I sing to God, the Praise-Lofty,
and find myself safe and saved.

I love this.  In God we find a safe place where we can hide out and feel loved.  He will always accept us and encourage us – help us to find our unique voice.

He breaks down the barriers that safeguard my heart

He encourages me to be me

He hangs on my every word

He offers His silent support

He makes me want to be better

He has time to love me right

To fill the emptiness

and loneliness

and promises unending joy

He restores that which has been lost

and those things I cannot let go

knowing me better than I know myself

He is my safe place.

 

God Bless

Finding Balance

Adele - Hometown Glory (Re-Release)

Adele – Hometown Glory (Re-Release) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I sit at my desk this morning listening to “Hometown Glory” by Adele.  I am reflecting on the last busy week, struggling with stress, unexpected twists and turns, and then lack of sleep resulting in a head cold – all of these I could have done without.  And yet, despite all of these events – I am grateful for the continual blessings I experience each day.

I believe that life is a series of highs and lows and the secret to happiness exist in learning the balance minute by minute – day in and day out.  Existing in the unexciting, preparing for the unexpected, finding stability and holding on in the temporary euphoric – realizing that real life happens in the ordinary events – the ones that are not very exciting – and finding contentment and laughter in something every day.

Balance is such a key to a rich and full life.  Learning to ride out the storms of life which are always temporary times.  Realizing that life cannot just exist in the high points – but that the real sustenance and strength of character comes from the dark days.

I am a much happier person for all my experiences, good and bad.  They have made me who I am today  – the dark, bad, ugly and also the joy and lessons learned through pain.  Happy has such a close and intimate relationship with pain and struggle – one cannot truly exist without the other as a measuring stick.  And deepest joy from God alone comes from an understanding and experience with both.

Whatever you are struggling with today – just know that it is temporary.  God understands and knows your struggles.  Won’t you allow that struggle to pull out of you some joy and understanding to pass on to others?  As you allow pain and struggle, lack of understanding and dark circumstances to do their work in you – you will have a story of God’s great joy in the midst of where you are living right now.  They are forming an even better you.  One with a heart of empathy and understanding for others and a word of hope.

As we all push forward today to find balance in our daily circumstances – I am praying for you.

 

God Bless

 

Using Laughter

As far back as I can remember – laughter has always been a part of my life. Even today while relaying a very funny story to my husband as we were traveling to an appointment out of town – I was reminded that humor plays such an important role in relationships. Without it, our relationship over the years would have been much too serious, too dry and stale – as humor seems to work like a balm of soothing medicine – breaking down misunderstandings and helping us from becoming too inwardly focused.

I’m sitting in a crowded Starbucks this morning while writing this. I forgot my earphones which turns out to be a rather fatal flaw in my attempts to fully concentrate – as I am sitting rather close to another table where two young men are talking really loudly about scripture, the bible and what they are learning about both. Normally it would be a curious thing for me to observe and silently witness those around me as I am a captive audience in a small room with many people – even humorous if you will – but today as I try to write it does not seem very humorous. In fact – the more intent I am about keeping to myself – the more they seem to talk even louder – as if, somehow – they are trying to witness to me and everyone around us. Funny. I’m afraid to raise my head up from my keyboard – even though it would be amusing to stop, and look right at them and say, “You needn’t try so hard – it’s okay – I’m already in”

Life has so many of the humorous “moments”. Laughter breaks any tension in a room – between people and removes awkwardness in a second. My students are so funny and I have spent much time over the years in my music studio just laughing. Yesterday one of my teenage male students was there with his guitar practicing with me for an upcoming recital in a couple of weeks. He was telling me a funny story about his brother and I’m still giggling about it today!

Another side note – I have a portable case and keyboard for my iPad 2 that I am typing from. It is wireless and for the most part works. However, once in a while I will strike a key and I get it repeatingggggggggggggg like this. So frustrating – not sure what I’m doing wrong for it to have that function and it takes SO MUCH TIME to go back and keep correcting! Once the repeating letter seemed to have a mind of it’s own and went for 6 lines before stopping!! Yikes. Not a good feature. But you’ve got to admit – it’s funny.

Well that is my blog article today. Between the distractions of the two young men trying “get me saved” and my portable wireless keyboard – that’s all I’m good for today. Both these things will make a great story to tell Greg later – can’t wait 🙂

God Bless

On A Clear Day

Driving to Seattle on a clear day is very revealing.  It shows me what I’ve been missing all the other days of the year.  The things that are there, yet hidden.  The Cascade Mountains, for one.  Suddenly I’m aware that my world isn’t so small after all – and just beyond my ability to perceive them lies untold beauty.

Views of Gas Works Park and Lake Union facing ...

Views of Gas Works Park and Lake Union facing towards the North East from Queen Anne, Seattle WA. The Lake Washington Ship Canal Bridge is in the background with a backdrop of the University of Washington and the Cascade Mountains. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

How many times are we like a cloudy, rainy day in our thoughts – going along through the day with all the correct motions and intentions, and yet perceiving our world as much smaller than it really is.

I was challenged to take a lesson from nature – open up my eyes and LOOK around me – for things I cannot see with my natural limited senses.  I want to reach far beyond the box of “normal” and see with God eyes all the beauty I’m missing.

I thought of the song “On a clear day you can see forever” and was reminded that it is clearness in both our eyes and thoughts that can give us that unique perspective on things around us.  And I want to always remember what is invisible when the storms of life close in on me and I cannot see.

Dear Lord – help me to hang on to that clear vision from those clear days – and to use it when those tough times close in around me.

When was the last time you saw things with “clear vision”?

I heard the following song on Spotify today from a local Seattle band – and have been writing this article with this tune in my head.

Enjoy and God Bless

Tell me somethin’, give me hope for the night
We don’t know how we feel
We’re just prayin’ that we’re doin’ this right
Though that’s not the way it seems

Summer gone, now winter’s on its way
I will miss the days we had
The days we had
I will miss the days we had
The days we had
Oh, I’ll miss the days we had

Loving, leaving, it’s too late for this now
Such esteem for each has gone
Has time driven our season away?
Cause that’s the way it seems
In the world of the speech that is new
I’ll be back again to stay
Again to stay
I’ll be back again to stay
Again to stay
I’ll be back again to stay

To Journal Or Not To Journal

Private journal, Diary of Henriette Dessaulles...

Private journal, Diary of Henriette Dessaulles, 1874, Ink on paper, 21 x 14 cm Français : Journal personnel, Journal d'Henriette Dessaulles, 1874, Encre sur papier, 21 x 14 cm (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have kept a journal off and on since I was a teenager.  I would write in it at first to put my feelings, thoughts and dreams down on paper – and then to look back at one month increments and when I had reached a year or more, then I would look back by year too.  It made me feel like I could go back to a certain situation in time and then see how I reacted and came through it.  I found it therapeutic.

I wasn’t as loyal through my early adult life with this – it was like my creative juices were not needed, or perhaps didn’t feel a need for an outlet until I became pregnant with Ashlee in 1986.  I kept a journal then to help me with diet and show progress with the pregnancy – to register names we likes and used it as a way to track gifts given to me at baby showers.  I kept this journal until she was several months old – then got too busy to be bothered.

I started again when I was pregnant with Shawn – though not as seriously.  Every few months and then years I would post an entry while the kids were growing up.  It was so great to look back at my last entry and see the progress of our family – the dream to own our own home before we did – and the dream to go on a cruise (which we did) for our 20th anniversary.

When I became better online than keeping a hard copy journal – I began using “Word” on my computer to keep track of events, feelings, dreams and other things going on in our lives.  While praying for the right guy for Ashlee I began a journey with my walks and prayer life – and typed away on my online journal – keeping many things personal to me there about each guy who came into our family, while dating our daughter.

When Drew entered our lives, I was in full swing so I was able to journal about his arrival on the scene and everything since we had first met him.  I even wrote a letter to be given to my future son-in-law someday – back before I was doing my journal on the computer – I printed it out and kept it in an envelope in my office drawer for about 2 years.

Last night I took a look at the journal saved on my computer that had its last entry over a year ago.  I have kept it for 5 years.  I look back to see where I’ve come from – what was going on with me and the family back then – what hopes, dreams and situations were going on at the time and see where I am today.  And while I still believe it is great to take a peak back where we’ve come from – I also know we can’t stay and dwell there – but must keep looking forward.  I was reminded of this last night when reading about a painful situation and  I did not like the way it made me feel.  The problem with writing about pain, hurt and sadness – is that it is always there in black and white and there is something permanent about it.

I blog because it is my way of expressing myself through writing.  I blog because it is interactive with others who are writers like me – and find the daily encouragement and comments from others to be therapeutic far beyond private ‘journalling’ used to be.

So this has been my journey with keeping a journal – and I prefer to use those thoughts and feelings to help and encourage others just like me – in a blog.  This is my way to turn things around and keep my focus “outward” and “positive” – constantly moving and becoming…instead of looking back and being “inward” and becoming “negative”.

What is your experience with keeping a journal?  Do you still keep one?  Have you found that your blog site takes the place of keeping a personal one?

God Bless

Faithful

English: Image for BBVA EAGLEs article

Image via Wikipedia

 

My puppy puts me to shame

She is loyal

Faithful

She will not leave my side

even in the early morning when she’s hungry

She waits for me

to have my devotions

and coffee

and to fully

get up

and put my slippers on

even though it takes me

several minutes

to finally go downstairs

She does not get upset

or anxious

she trusts

and waits

 

How faithful am I?

How patient?

Can I wait?

Do I run ahead?

Anticipate?

Set my own course?

Am I willing to wait

on God

for the things

He says I must?

Can I sit

and  quietly contemplate

drink in

calm my scattered mind

and just

be faithful?

I’m tired

and need strength

I complain

fuss and fume

I need

to relax

stop the spinning

sit back

and wait.

But those who wait upon God get fresh strength. 
   They spread their wings and soar like eagles,
They run and don’t get tired, 
   they walk and don’t lag behind.  Isaiah 40:31  Message Bible

What about you?  Feeling weary?  Need some fresh strength today?  I know a source of strength that will not only renew – but help you to soar like an eagle.  Imagine running and not getting tired, walking and not lagging behind?

Yes – I think I can – I know I can – Lord help me to...wait.

God Bless

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