Musings From A Musical Mind

Archive for the ‘Family’ Category

Home

1992

The other day I got a “blast from the past” as my daughter and son-in-law on a recent road trip to California sent pictures back to me from a life of ours 20 years ago when we lived in Fortuna. Greg was the pastor of a small church for 3 1/2 years, our daughter was 14 months old when we moved there – and our son was born there 3 years later. Consequently, we have many good memories of our time in that place. I think everyone would agree with me – the best times of your life are when your children are small – and it is no different for us, however the humble beginnings and places we’ve lived while raising them.

After visiting that town that Ashlee hardly remembers because she was only 4 years old when we moved away – she called me that night and said, “Mom – how did you live there?  There’s nothing there!”  So true – and yet – we were happy.  We did not have cell phones, computers or any way of social networking.  I went to the park with Ashlee and worked on crafts during the day.  A stress break for me back then was baking.  Life was incredibly simple as we lived in the parsonage right next to the church – so we hardly ever needed the car except to go to the store and on occasion to the mall in a nearby larger town.  Fortuna was small – with one or two grocery stores – but they did have a Papa Murphy’s pizza which was called “Murphy’s” back then.  And you should see the one story hospital where Shawn was born!  The town and circumstances did not dictate to us if we would be content and full of joy in our “job” – we simply were.  Home is and always has been where our heart is.  How fortunate for us in our many moves throughout our ministry life – that we have always rested and relied on that fact.  It doesn’t matter that our children are now grown-up and live away from our home – we established our family home many years ago with them – and they still remember and forever keep it in their hearts.

This song from the recent winner of American Idol, Phillip Phillips – says it all.  I wanted to share it with you today.

Enjoy and God Bless!

Advertisements

Ten Years

I’ve been reflecting this past month on the events of 10 years ago. It is the anniversary of purchasing our home in the Seattle area.

Time has a way of sneaking up on you, and for me – this journey happened slowly at times and at other times very quickly.

Ten years ago our daughter was 14 and a freshman in high school. Our son was 10 and in the 4th grade. That seems like a lifetime ago when they were that age – and at the time, it seemed as if time moved very slowly.

But in between the swim meets, choir concerts, endless baseball and basketball tournaments we knew these were the best years and we tried to enjoy them and hang on to every minute, knowing that once these days are gone – they are gone.

When 10 years comes and goes it is a funny thing – we say to ourselves and others around us, “What happened??” And we are truly surprised when things don’t stay the same or when we do something and our bodies don’t feel the same as they used to in the “good old days”. I truly do wonder where we got as much energy as we had to be running all the times with kids and their events and I know I couldn’t do it today without paying for it!

As I reflect on yet another Mother’s Day – I realize this is the first one where we are true empty-nester’s – our daughter has been married for the past 2 1/2 years and our son is going to school in Southern California – so it is my first Mother’s Day without him in the area.

But I also think to myself, “Wow – what great well-balanced grown up kids we have! We must have done something right – or maybe they turned out in spite of us – either way I’m thankful and grateful for all of God’s MANY blessings poured out to us in this last decade and the ones before that.

I am looking forward to a great future in this next decade and the ones to follow as God wills it for each of our lives and can’t wait to reflect back on those memories. But mostly I’m learning to live in the moment and enjoy the journey along the way.

Where we’re you 10 years ago?

God Bless

24 Years Ago

I remember where I was 24 years ago tonight.  I was in a room in a hospital in New Castle, PA – getting ready for 5 hours of hard labor to have my first-born child – Ashlee Renee.  I went into labor on her due date of August 5th and she was born at 2:27 am on August 6, 1987.

So much has changed since I was 26 years old.  We’ve lived an entire lifetime since then – crisscrossed the country a couple of times and have finally wound up back in the Pacific Northwest.

Everything about life changes when you have a baby – our doctor told Greg and me that we would enter the hospital as two people – and  leave as three.  Our life really changed and we discovered that Ashlee was the new boss of our home – deciding when she would eat and sleep – and most often in those first few months – she was at an opposite schedule – so NO ONE slept much.  I remember not minding – she was precious and I had prayed for a girl and she was PERFECT.

Happy Birthday, Ashlee – you will be 24 in 6 hours!

Where were you 24 years ago today?

God Bless!

My Hiding Place…

hiding

Image by Susan NYC via Flickr

The following is an article I posted 2 years ago this monthI was still trying to make sense out of a situation that still makes no sense 2 years later – and at that time I was still thinking that it would.  Instead – 2 years later I now know that time isn’t always an accurate measurement of understanding – nor is it a rite of passage.  It is simply a journey we all must take – and what we do with the lessons along the way determines our joy or sorrow for the future.  If you are like me and have had setbacks in your life – or things happen that you did not fully understand – have ever questioned God or felt like you didn’t deserve things that transpired at the hand of another – then you will know what I felt like when I wrote this article.  My prayer is that it will bless and encourage your heart today. 
Have you ever felt like you needed a “Hiding Place”? 
What event in your past changed the way you look at life now?
 Habakkuk 3:19
The Sovereign LORD is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to go on the heights. For the director of music. On my stringed instruments.”
 
When I read the above scripture – I was moved.  I am a musician and have the heart and soul of an artist.  I am also told I am a “sanguine” deep and emotional – and while I can be the life of the party, I prefer being alone or being with a close friend – am very sentimental and easily wounded and sensitive.   I have always understood that I view the world a little differently than others do.  I am an “audio” learner – and even more – my friend John recently corrected me – I am a “kinesthetic” learner – which means I not only hear the music – but I get inside of it and breathe it in – and wrap it around me like a blanket and it becomes a part of me.
So the psalms and other scriptures about music and musicians really speak to me.  David was also a musician and I love the poetic way in which he writes – and many of the psalms were set to music back then – and even today we are still doing this.  There is something about the “artist” who is able to put the right spin on words to express and communicate a thought and paint a beautiful picture.  David really felt what he wrote and expressed – was deeply hurt, moved and lived life to the fullest.  I can appreciate his take on his journey through good and bad times – how he cried out to God and how sometimes he was just lost and didn’t know if God really heard – or cared.  I believe that even though he sometimes didn’t understand – he had a habit of going to God and pouring his heart out.  He knew where his safe “hiding place” was – away from the world of betrayal and hurt – away from his enemies who tried to destroy him – away from the prying eyes of those who would later come to judge him for his sin.
I have found a safe place in God’s presence – it is a place where I go to regain my sanity amidst a world gone mad – friends who are not friends anymore – and those who would judge my heart without knowing my heart.  And I find new purpose and resolve after being in this “hiding place” of mine.  And I find that I can make it after all.
Below is a beautiful music video based on a favorite Psalm of mine.  Enjoy – and allow God’s sweet spirit to penetrate into your secret “hiding place”  Allow Him to be that for you today.  He is trustworthy and dependable.  He will keep you safe.
God Bless

Guest Post By The GypsyNester

Empty nest of a White-tailed Eagle, location s...

Image via Wikipedia

I just found this great couple on twitter.  They call themselves The Gypsynester.  They are a couple who find themselves in mid-life with an “empty nest” – and decide to travel the world and write and blog about their experiences!  They are funny and quirky and all the things I love!
The reason I can relate so well with them – they are empty nesters who know the ropes.  This article that they wrote, My Dirty Little Secret describes perfectly all the feelings and humor surrounding the subject that I can totally relate too!  With our son just one month away from leaving home for California and embarking on a whole new world – I find myself feeling just like this Mom in this article.  You will find them wildly funny and if you too, are an “empty-nester” – or soon to be “empty-nester” – you will be able to relate and find the humor in your situation too.

Enjoy and God Bless!

Reactions

HOLY SPIRIT - FOIX

Image via Wikipedia

I have a heaviness in my spirit today.  I usually do not add a preface to my articles – but today I really feel that this is for somebody out there.  Someone who has felt condemnation and judgment from others.  I trust that this will help you today – this is for you.

I’ve always been fascinated by reactions of people when given a certain situation to navigate through.

Everyone responds differently.  It is not wrong to respond differently – it is just that we can’t all be put into a ‘box’ and be expected to look at things in the same way. Although – that is exactly what we do.  Expect people to look at things the right way – our way.

My husband used to use an illustration in some of his messages.  He would talk to Christian people and explain how the Holy Spirit can cause a reaction in our lives much like someone touching a live wire.  Here are a few ways people may respond:

1.  Jumping up and down, screaming and shouting and holding onto their hand that was hurt.

2.  Some might feel something but then deny they even felt it.

3.  Others may feel a tingle and say ‘ouch’.

In the same way when something  touches our life – especially the negative painful things – we have a few different ways to react to it:

1.  We jump around, scream and shout and coddle our hurt heart.

2.  We say, ‘You hurt me ‘  And never move on.

3. We say, ‘ouch’ – and move on – and never  touch that painful thing again.

I’ve seen this – and I’ve lived it. Even after doing everything to ‘bare my soul’ so to speak – and to do the right thing after something negative – sometimes the reaction from another person is still  negative. There are always going to be those in life that choose to see others in a negative light – even when we are all fallen, sinful creatures – and can hardly hope to redeem ourselves by casting the first stone. I suppose people do this because it makes them feel better – but I’ve never understood it.

And I am well aware that people see things and events differently too.  And like the above  – they are as varied in reaction as the people who react.  There have been those people in my own life who are quick to point fingers at me and tell me how sinful, terrible and unrepentant I am.  Never knowing the hard long journey that I have taken in efforts to keep my own heart right before God.  And the long soul-searching spent in much prayer asking God’s forgiveness and direction.  I’m sure we all have people like that in our lives.  I sure have in mine.  Those who would try to muzzle me from telling things in my own words – or those that even have the audacity to tell me how I feel – and more horrible than that – not only how I feel (or felt) – but they love to paint and dark and scary picture of what could have happened – based on nothing but speculation and supposition.  It’s insane – and only God has the inside track to who I am – what I’m thinking and just what my motives are for thinking or doing them.  Again these are reactions to their own pain, hurt, confusion and frustration.  And I can only pray for them and feel sorry.

My husband knows more than anybody how I have wrestled with criticism – founded and unfounded by those who at one time were my friends.  And how I have done the long hard work of keeping my heart clean from resentment from those who would still judge me without really knowing me and try to hold me hostage for my past mistakes.  I am guilty as charged.  I’m graciously forgiven by my Lord and Saviour.   I have had to be broken before God to make sure that everything is right inside of me.  And I learned something.  Even when you do this – even when everything is forgiven and covered by God – there are those that still will not believe it. And never will.  Therefore the only reaction that I really care about is God’s reaction to me –  and God’s alone.

There is such amazing freedom in this – He loves me.  He forgives my many mistakes.  He has covered all the sin in my life as He promises to do.  He is gracious and full of mercy – and does not react in a bad way – making me pay somehow.  Nor does he remind me of the past – and just how sinful and terrible I am.  I am then free to love you – with no apprehension – with no hidden agenda – just pure motive of wanting a right relationship – insomuch as is in my power to do so.

And those that continue to react badly – those are the people you feel sorry for – assign them an ‘outer orbit’ and you cut them loose – hoping and praying that others will be kinder to them – then they have shown kindness.  And that they will someday learn that it’s just not worth it to point the finger of blame.  And much better to just let it go and forgive – especially themselves.

I am praying for you

God Bless

Are You Happy?

The Sermon of the Beatitudes (1886-96) by Jame...

Image via Wikipedia

Heard another great message from our pastor, Stephen Collins yesterday morning.  He has begun a series on “The Beatitudes”.  This question was asked:

Are you happy?  Is this really what you want?  Will that alone satisfy you long-term?  When feelings change and emotions are fickle?

The most profound statement came in the middle of the message.  ‘When we settle for just being happy – we aim too low’ – missing out on God’s blessing in our lives’. Sometimes, God doesn’t want us to be happy.  Sometimes there are lessons in the ‘gift’ of pain and hardship in our lives.  The most significant changes in our heart and character come when life is not ‘happy’ – but dark and sad.

For me – I know this is a true statement – and sums up just what I have learned and lived through over the past 2 years – as I grew and discovered God’s ‘gift’ of hard times, both personally, in my relationships  and spiritually.

If we accept the ‘gift’ in the way it is intended – then God can do His greatest work in us – bringing us more than just ‘happiness’ – but a blessed and meaningful life And sometimes what may feel like the end of the world – may only be the beginning of a great and rewarding life.

Are you happy?  Is that what you really want?  Or do you want more?  Do you want God’s rich blessing poured out in your life.  I know I do.  I want to reap the reward of choosing to do the right thing – when doing that goes against everything I may be feeling.  It means doing right by people and relationships – and being the right person. Living by character and integrity – rather than emotions.  And when I do stray away and don’t choose what is right – at least initially – then knowing how to get back on the right path – hard as it is – to reconcile and fix it – and keep my heart open.

I am more than happy.  I am blessed. I understand this now – but it took a couple of hard lessons to really believe it.  I’m blessed with a wonderful family, a man who loves me with everything that he is –  and friendships that mean everything to me.  What I lost – God has richly replaced – and has taught me a great many lessons in the process.  Things I could not have learned – just by following my heart and emotions because I ‘wanted to be happy’.  When we see life as a journey – and know that there is a much bigger picture than just personal happiness – we will not want to aim so low.

Are you happy?  Are you wishing for more than that?  I invite you to share in some hard times – and think of them as a ‘gift’ – an added blessing to enhance your character and integrity.  I wish you more than happiness, my friend.  I wish you a life of blessing and purpose – a holy calling in which you give up ‘personal happiness’ for something richer and deeper.  To see people the way that God sees them.  To understand there is a lost world out there – and your unique gifts have placed you right where you are – to influence those that He has entrusted to you.  Use them today.

Be more than just ‘happy’ – be blessed and be a blessing to those in your life.

 

God Bless

Tag Cloud

diana iannarone

Wake Up. Stand Up. Live Free. A Perceptual Approach to Rapid Growth and Permanent Change

THE MIND OF RD REVILO

Conscious Thought: Driven by Intelligent Awareness

The Devotion Cafe'

Love and Empowerment

Poems & People

what if poems could be symphonies, and people their orchestra?

The Fickle Heartbeat

A blog about love or lack thereof

knitting soul

turning the knots into something beautiful

Kristi Ann's Haven

Jesus-Yeshua Saves!!

Godinterest Christian Blogs

Godinterest is a place to blog about faith, culture, life and all that other stuff

The Light Post

Scott & Christina Graff

Natalie Breuer

Natalie. Writer. Photographer. Etc.

iwedplanner wedding vendors

This WordPress.com site is the bee's knees

Granny Smith: Unleashed

Observations and random thoughts from a "not so teenager."

meganelizabethmorales

MANNERS MAKETH MAN, LOST BOYS FAN & PERPETAUL CREATIVITY.

TLP

Finding Clear and Simple Faith

lostcompanion

Alcoholism

Brendan Cole - Writer

Musings On Life and Other Minutiae

Chickens Bring Peace to the Earth

Slow down, pray, make better choices

generaliregi

Romance of Five Clouds and Magical Poetry

FOGwalkerBirdie

Walking in the Favor Of God

PROPEL STEPS

Education is Everything

Upside DIY

Born from the love of, "Do It Yourself" attitude!

Soul Access

LAY DOWN YOUR MASK AND BE KNOWN BELOVED

Traveling with Thomas

Follow me as I study in London and travel Europe

Life Confusions

"I Will Find Words, Smith them Down. For Love Is Infinite And So Are They."

ann johnson-murphree

Artist, Writer of Confessional Free Verse Poetry and Fiction

Gotta Find a Home

Conversations with Street People

Ed Mooney Photography

The official blog of Ed Mooney Photography. Dad of 3, Photographer, Martial Artist, Gym Rat & Blogger. Exploring the historical sites of Ireland.

MyCreativeHaven

”Art washes from the soul the dust of everyday life.” -- Picasso.

gabrielsfury

poems & stories, thoughts about people and places between moments of clarity, or not.

Reowr

Poetry that purrs. It's reowr because the cat said so.

A Blumes With a View

Putting the "blah" in blog!!

The Low Low Style

Why do high low when you can keep it on the low low?

Ray Ferrer - Emotion on Canvas

** OFFICIAL Site of Artist Ray Ferrer **

Patterns Tried and True makes a happy YOU

Help Hope Happiness! Knowledge sets you free to become the best you can be!

allmostrelevant

Want to see what an Instagram with no pictures looks like? @allmostrelevant

My Good Time Stories

Inspiring and Heartwarming Stories

STEAL MY POETRY

All things unpublishable.

Jayson D. Bradley

Honest to God

%d bloggers like this: