Musings From A Musical Mind

Archive for the ‘Friendship’ Category

I Wish

I have posted this video before – but I ran across it again today and it seems fitting. I love how real Cindy is – how appropriate her lyrics and how cute she is even when she misses some of the words – it doesn’t even throw her off!

This is for all my friends struggling and recovering from cancer – all those who have lost someone they love – and for all those who like me are searching for answers to unanswered questions of life. My prayer is that you will realize that the love of God is deep and wide – big enough for all these questions, problems, sickness and even death.  And that you may know that you are not alone.

God Bless

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

Just a short note to wish everyone in my blogging world a very Happy Thanksgiving!  May the food that you eat today be eaten in true thanksgiving as you count you blessings and not your calories!

Today it is just Greg and me in the new town we moved to last month.  I am excited to make my good friend Deanna’s Sweet and Spicy Cornish Game Hens with Cornbread Stuffing recipe.  Here is a picture of how it should look when it is done 🙂

sweetWell I better get started!

What are you having today?

Take care and God Bless!

Video

Hundred More Years

Yesterday I saw a video of old photographs put together with music.  It was a video celebration made by my husband’s 2nd cousin for his Grandmother’s 100th birthday.  The last song on the video was “Hundred More Years” by Francesca Battistelli.  It stopped me in my tracks.  Such beautiful lyrics – so poignant and fitting for a celebration of a life well lived.

When I watch and listen to things like this, I am reminded how short life is – how quickly time goes by. Beauty fades – the spirit never dies. The body ages and decays – the person on the inside stays the same. Life and death. Letting go, holding on. Changing and yet staying the same. The circle of life.  We all enter life in the same way and we all die when our time is over.  We leave our mark on this world, either good or bad with our family and friends. And when we are no more – others carry on our memory.  Pictures tell only a small part of the story.  Most things happen outside the lens of a camera.   Things done in unspoken ways.  Pain, Joy, Happiness, Failure, Struggle, Change, Resignation, Aging – these are all a very real part of life.  Some live LARGE lives.  Everyone knows their name.  Some live  very quiet lives of significance – quietly doing things for others and live a life worthy of celebration.  I believe this was the case for Great Aunt Helen.

Let’s make it a good hundred years – a great memory and legacy to leave behind for others.  Serving God and others – using up all of our gifts – taking nothing with us. Let’s leave our mark – more than just photographs – may our very lives be an example of a life well lived.

Enjoy this song as you reflect on your hundred years.

God Bless

A Unique Perspective

Photograph of Shuffleboard at the Century Vill...

Photograph of Shuffleboard at the Century Village Retirement Community – NARA – 548567 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Yesterday Greg and I had the opportunity to observe people in action.  People who manage a retirement community here in our area.  They were gracious hosts and showed us what they do to make a safe and comfortable environment for senior adults age 55 and older.  It is an independent living community, filled with many amenities, love and warmth.

The facility itself is large and beautiful – but what was impressive to us – were the people who live there.  Everyone was  happy, in good humor and eager to meet a new friend.  When we first walked up to the facility a couple of older gentlemen sitting outside the front doors flirted with me right in front of Greg,-  telling me that I had made their day – so cute 🙂  Greg got a real kick out of it and teased them back, which they found very endearing.  We walked in to  the large lobby where an art display was in progress.  The artist was a sweet lady in her 80’s that got started with art lessons at age 69!  There was wine and cheese and a display of her pictures with everyone milling around.  And we found to our amazement, someone we had known from a staff position at a nearby church about 5 years ago.  Greg had baptized this man and he had remembered the experience with fond memories.  It was great to talk with him and find out he had been in this facility for 19 months and LOVED IT!

In this unique independent living facility – the live in managers either make or break any feelings or atmosphere for the senior adults.  It was great to witness that this management couple was doing something right.  This kind of lifestyle is certainly not for everyone, but the rewards can far outweigh the drawbacks – because like church work – it is about people.  It is about ministry in the truest form – serving people.

Our unique perspective was in witnessing the dynamic of happy people living with a group of people who thrive on love, attention and time.

I think we are all like the people who live there.  We thrive when someone takes a special interest in us – someone who makes us feel special, our needs are important – and someone who really listens and understands.  It is a shame to think that we must become senior adults to have people pay attention to us in that way.

It is a lesson to all of us on this side of retirement.  It is a great reminder that life is short.  Enjoy each day as it comes.  Live each day to the fullest.  Listen to others.  Make others feel safe in your company.  Make others feel wanted and special.  Love on people.  Watch what happens.  See people  blossom right in front of your eyes.

 

God Bless

Finales

20130516-redcarpet-29-650x380

This has been a week of season finales for some of our favorite TV shows.  American Idol, Elementary,  and The Office – among others I have recorded but haven’t had time to watch yet.   American Idol ended just as I knew it would – with Candace Glover winning the title.  She deserved it – she could sing circles around the other contestants!  I know we will be hearing a lot from her in the very near future!English: Steve Carell pauses for a moment to t...

In the case of “The Office” – (which our dear son-in-law, Drew started us on while he was first dating our daughter, Ashlee) it was the final season.  Something got messed up on my DVR, even though I went in manually and set the high priority for “The Office” and “American Idol”.  Sadly “The Office” didn’t make the cut.  Luckily we found it online and were able to hook up Greg’s Mac book to the TV and watch it that way.  There were several twists and surprises to this last episode and I must admit, I was actually a little teary when Steve Carell made a guest appearance for Dwight and Angela’s wedding.

In the case of “Elementary” I was glad to find this online also – as I somehow stopped recording in progress to get “The Office” recorded!  Good grief.  But all is well, and we got to see the finale of that as well.  I found this storyline VERY compelling.  Sherlock, who believes his lost love who died two years earlier is suddenly alive!  They are reunited, only to find out that he has been played and seduced.  The woman who was supposed to be everything he had wanted and loved, turned out to be his nemesis!  The actress playing Irene, ah – I mean Moriarty – was none other than the actress who played Anne Boleyn in the fantastic mini series “The Tudors”.  (I looked it up)  How could he have gotten it so wrong?  Did his feelings get so in the way that he was unable to see what she really was?  Even as brilliant as he was?  Yes. elementary_london_bSometimes the things we have rolling around in our heads is just plain wrong.  And has nothing to do with reality.  Have you ever thought something was actually true?  You believe it for so long – it occupied your thoughts, crept into your dreams at night, drove you crazy?  And then some time (maybe even years) later – you discovered you were wrong about everything?  You wasted your thoughts and time on believing you were right?  When people disappear  from your life – often it is because of another completely different reason.  Not the one you have romanticized in your mind.  Sometimes we have to stop the fantasy in our minds.  Stop believing for that happy ending.  Sometimes things are what they are.  No happy ending.  Just hard cold reality.  Not all people are kind.  Not all people have your back.  Not all people want you to be happy.  Sometimes they are so unhappy themselves that their true intent is to destroy you.  Sometimes they never loved you at all.  And when we can make peace with reality instead of a fantasy – it is a beginning.  A step to becoming and staying content.

Something happened to Sherlock when this happened to him – when he finally beat his nemesis.  He grew up.  He let go.  He took the fantasy and turned it upside down, inside out and started a beginning into a new life.  Seeing things clearly  allowed him to move on, be wiser next time in matters of the heart and mostly – it gave him his life back.

Can you relate to Sherlock?  Have you ever trusted someone with your thoughts, your words – even your very life?  You shared a part of your heart with them so intimate and rarely spoken?  You thought you meant as much to them as they did to you.  And then you found out they were not who you thought they were.  Have you been betrayed by someone you really trusted and loved?  Do you still make excuses for them?  Have they gone away and on with their life – and yet you are still holding out for them to come back and change?  Or like Sherlock, have you had a reality check?  You woke up to the cold hard truth one day.  Things are not what you always believed?  And guess what?  You are going to be okay.  This will not finish you.  This will not defeat you.  You will rise up to be wiser, stronger and yes, you will regain your life back.

It’s funny.  Life is all about trust.  We trust with all the ordinary things we do in our everyday life.  From sitting in a chair we are sure will hold us up – to eating something we are sure will not kill us – or at very least not make us sick!  Trusting people is a must as well.  We trust the bank teller.  We trust the wait staff in a restaurant.  We trust our parents.  We trust our pastor.  We trust our friends.  These are natural inclinations.  It is only when someone proves to be untrustworthy that we are reduced to being suspicious and cautious.  I believe we are born to be “trusters”.  I like living my life open and trusting – even though others, including my own husband have called me “naive”.

I have also learned that I cannot trust everyone I meet – even if they appear to be all about good intentions.  And this makes me sad.  But it has not defeated me.  I’ve had others try to beat me down, but it has not finished me.   I’ve learned the lesson that I needed to learn.  And with God’s grace, it has not made me bitter.  Nor does it make me look suspiciously on every friendly person that comes into my life.  I’m willing to give everyone a chance.  I have God to credit with that – it does not come naturally to me.  He works in and through my life, finding the good in people.  I look deeper than the surface.  I watch for what others do and not just what they say.  I look beneath just the superficial pleasantries and observe how they are with others, listen to what their friends say about them and watch how they handle themselves in difficult situations.  I remember that I am not very lovable at times either – and God found something worthwhile and worth saving in me.  And in spite of many hurts and slights from people over the years – this simple thought has given me my life back.

I am hoping and praying the same for you.

God Bless

Three Beautiful Things

"Everytime you smile at someone, it is an...

“Everytime you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, and a truly beautiful thing…” (Photo credit: deeplifequotes)

 

Today has been a series of three beautiful things.

 

A reunion with an old friend doing what we love best – singing.

 

A glowing recommendation from a former colleague that turned into a new student and future friend.

 

A message from a former student, long ago in another life, telling me what an impact I made in his life all those years ago.

 

All of these are wonderful in themselves and each of them gives me many things to ponder.  But the fact that all three occurred on the same day is a beautiful gift.

 

Sometimes we just plod along, unaware how we affect others.  Those of us who are teachers, coaches and encourage others – take for granted what we do each day as just part of the job.  It is sometimes not until we really need to hear it – that the miracle of blessing comes.  And sometimes it does not ever come.  And that’s okay.

 

But today…

 

Today as I went about my day – these three beautiful things happened.

 

And I am grateful.

 

And very blessed.

 

Go out and bless someone’s life today.  Tell them what you appreciate about their life and what they mean to you.  I promise that they will be blessed by your words and  you will be their beautiful thing. 

 

 

 

God Bless

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Between The Lines

friend

It is amazing.  I am removed from a situation.  In fact haven’t given it much energy or thought in some time.  But within the last couple of days I have been connected with another whose journey on the subject is so very much like mine.

When we encounter those special individuals along our journey when least expected – it lifts us up and validates.

When walking through something heavy – even if it has been several years – it’s still wonderful to be able to connect and really hear the heart of another person, proving this one thing:

We are not alone.

Such a simple thought.

Truth.

Even when we feel things are between the lines.  Unspoken.

Reading and then shaking my head and saying, “Wow – she really gets it”  over and over.

Who is she?  A new and special friend.  One who has chosen to remain anonymous so she can tell her story.

We all have a story.  Most of us cannot tell it.  Some of us never will.  But we all have one.

There is beauty in “kindred spirits” – minds and hearts that are united in discovering truth.  God’s grace beyond our own humanity.  Friends to share.

And I am thankful.

And so blessed.

Here is a beautiful song by Sara Bareilles.  “Between The Lines”.

Enjoy and God Bless

Time to tell me the truth
To burden your mouth for what you say
No pieces of paper in the way
Cause i cant continue pretending to choose
The opposite sides on which we fall
The loving you laters if at all
No right minds could wrong be this many times

My memory is cruel
I’m queen of attention to details
Defending intentions if he fails
Until now, he told me her name
It sounded familiar in a way
I could have sworn I’d heard him say it ten thousand times
If only I had been listening

Leave unsaid unspoken
Eyes wide shut unopened
You and me
Always between the lines
Between the lines

I thought  I was ready to bleed
That we’d move from the shadows on the wall
And stand in the center of it all
Too late two choices to stay or to leave
Mine was so easy to uncover
He’d already left with the other
So I’ve learned to listen through silence

Leave unsaid unspoken
Eyes wide shut unopened
You and me be
You and me always be

I tell myself all the words he surely meant to say
I’ll talk until the conversation doesn’t stay on
Wait for me I’m almost ready
When he meant let go

Leave unsaid unspoken
Eyes wide shut unopened
You and me
Always be
You and me
Always between the lines

It Could Have Been Worse

Cover of "It Could Have Been Worse"

Cover of It Could Have Been Worse

For some strange reason I have a weird way of looking at things.  Good things happen.  Bad things happen.  Really ugly things happen.  I find myself thinking – this could have been worse.

Does everyone think like this?  I’m not sure.  I don’t think so.  I see people around me that are stuck in a quick sand of bad circumstances that have bullied them and beaten them down – until they are a mere shadow of their former selves.  Somehow they have not been able to rise above the negative, hurt and sadness in their lives.

Jeremiah 29:11 says:

 

11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

 

This in itself should give us that ability to “press on” even in times of unusual stress and bad times.  But sadly, I know it is not.

When something bad happens to me my first response is not, “Thank you, Lord – I see this is going to hurt but I also know you’re going to teach me something through this”  Not at all!  But I have found that much later it helps to practice this one thing:    I have allowed my thoughts to go to a place that could have been worse.   There is always something worse.

I fell the other day.  My own stupidity.  Tripped over a carpet end after trying to go over a puppy gate.  I got my one foot caught on the end of the carpet and the other foot did not make it over the gate.  I hung for a moment suspended in an awkward straddled position and then gravity propelled me forward and on to an oak side table.  The momentum was so great that the side table actually broke as I fell on it.  Can you say, “Ouch”?  Needless to say my side that hit and broke the table was VERY sore and badly bruised.  My foot that was caught in the rug, twisted as I fell – another “Ouch” – and I had several other bruises on my arm and hand.  Oh I still have the visual reminders of my fall – and probably will have them for a while.  A bruise is still a bruise after all – and it still hurts.

But oddly enough, as in other unfortunate circumstances that have come my way (and plenty of them) – I have started allowing my thoughts to take me to a place of “what-ifs” instead of just “Oh-Nos!”   You know that place.  The place that is “better” or “worse” depending on how you look at it.  It’s more than just a “glass half empty or full” it’s a place of real discovery.  The discovery is in how I choose to be defined by what happens to me.

I always try to choose blessing and see God’s protection on my life.  Even in the bad things that come my way.  Even in the bad fall.  Here’s what I thought:  “This could have been so much worse.  If I had been older, had less padding and my bones had been more brittle, I surely would have broken my hip or cracked a rib.  I would have not just twisted and bruised my foot – I would have badly sprained or broken it.  The blessing is that I only have bad bruises and a little limp while I recover but  this too shall pass.

I remember an ugly thing that happened years ago now – as I tried to help another person and got too emotionally involved.  Even then, God was protecting me.  That person ended up betraying all my kindness and the friendship,  accusing me of some ugly things.  It could have gone down a much more dangerous and ugly road if I hadn’t realized first I needed to say goodbye.   But as it turned out – God used that person to turn things around, force me to become wiser about who to discuss things with and confide in.  And even though that hard lesson cost me that friendship – I have not stopped being kind and helpful.  I still reach out and want to help people.  I know it could have been worse.  Much worse.

Maybe you have an issue or circumstance that is weighing you down.  You can’t see anything positive about it.  You feel like it’s the worst experience of your life.  You don’t see any way out.  Here’s a thought for you today:

Look at the blessings and protection from God on your life so far.  Think of how things might have been worse if left entirely up to you.  Try to think of ways that God has truly intervened on your behalf.  Are there things in your story that are more than just coincidence?  Can someone benefit from your story of God’s grace in your life?  Are you able to still be positive and joyful even through your pain and trials?  Can you see any way that others might learn a life lesson from you?  Can you look through a different “God lens” and see how things could have been worse?

I am praying for you today.

 

God Bless 

When Others Wrong You

“Living well is the best revenge.” 

George Herbert English clergyman & metaphysical poet (1593 – 1633) 

Asking For Forgiveness

Asking For Forgiveness (Photo credit: hang_in_there)

 

I heard this quote a while back.  I can’t remember where.  But it struck a chord with me.  All of us at one time or another have had an uncomfortable situation with another person.  A situation that leaves you feeling – well – confused, upset and sad.  Some of those same situations do much more than that – they make us ANGRY and wanting to retaliate.  Sadly, I have not always kept these feelings to myself and I have been angry and said things I should not have said.  But honestly, for me – silence or a soft answer is the best method.  It seriously will drive that person crazy!   Killing them with kindness and all that jazz 🙂
For me – I have not always been able to control what others say, think or even how they react.  If we look out through the  lens of our own uncertainty and insecurity – we at least know our own personal limitations and can anticipate an outcome.  But when it comes to guessing how others are thinking – we can expect  to get it wrong most of the time.
There was a time not long ago that a situation with another person caused me to look at things very differently.  I can no longer assume people always have my best interest in mind – or always have my back.  I’ve learned not to take things lightly.  I’ve learned not to presume that everyone who seems kind, sensitive and helpful – really is.  Sometimes things have happened and I’ve found out the very character of the person I thought was incredibly different. 
A while back it troubled me.  Really troubled me.  Now I just look at the incredible opportunity for growth and character in me.  I know that not everyone is going to react to stress and trouble in the same way that I do.  I can’t control the way people think, the way they were raised and the role models, both positive and sadly, negative that they have had.  And I’ve learned that while my heart wants to help and even rescue and change someone to be healthier and more positive – I just can’t do it.  Only God can fix the very broken and heal the heart.
When someone hurts you – it is often because they themselves are hurting.  If they are not healthy and whole, they will often lash out, retreat at the first sign of trouble or make themselves the victim.   Even those you thought you knew really well.  Even those who thought would protect and never hurt you.
It is sad but true.
One thing you can do  is come to a place of real deep forgiveness.  Even if the other person never forgives back.  Even if the other person cuts you out of their life and acts as if you are the problem.  When we forgive – it is for us.  It is a healthy place to live.  Forgiveness says, “You do not owe me anything – I freely forgive the pain and other things creating a wall between us.  I choose not to remember what you have done to me any more.  I value you above all the circumstances and pain.”  Forgiveness always gives a second chance.  Forgiveness always finds a way.  Forgiveness always reconciles.
The other thing to do is this:  Live well.  Do not allow the grievances of the past to control you.  Continue to grow as a person, to value others and not be afraid to love again.  Love is always a risk.  But a risk worth taking.  In living well – you are an example to the world of God’s love and forgiveness.  You will feel better and live longer.  That is a promise.
Try on a little forgiveness today.  Take on a ‘short-memory’ when others wrong you.  Start each day as a new day of opportunity and a find a way to bless others.  It is truly the best revenge.

Ephesians 4:32 And be ye kind one to another: merciful, forgiving one another, even as God hath forgiven you in Christ. 

God Bless

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