Musings From A Musical Mind

Archive for the ‘gifts’ Category

Christmas Memories

Stef's Present with Handmade Wrapping

Image by ex.libris via Flickr

I was inspired by a few of my students this week.  I love talking to children about Christmas – to see their eyes light up and the excitement on their faces as they tell me what they are asking for – hoping Santa will bring for them.

This last week has brought joy, excitement and laughter as each student has come for their lesson – with a brightly wrapped present for me.  They love to watch me open their gift (I’m pretty much a kid at heart) because I get so excited to open it!  It makes them giggle.  And it proves that Christmas is WAY more about giving than getting.

I try to make Christmas special for each one of them.  We sing and play only Christmas music in the month of December after the recital is over – and it is REALLY fun!  Last week my grown-up married daughter, Ashlee was here during some of my afternoon lessons – and I invited her in to sing harmony with us as we sang Christmas carols for most of the afternoon.  Special memories.

I have many memories from my childhood as this season approaches.  I remember  taking my very first airplane ride the Christmas that I was 10.  It is forever etched in my memory – and nothing else will likely compare to that Christmas for me.  We were flying from Seattle to Calgary, Alberta – where I was born and lived for the first 8 years of my young life.  My Grandparents lived there – and we were flying up to spend that Christmas with them.  Calgary is very cold in the winter – and we were greeted with a ‘winter wonderland’ of snow!  Our taxi driver was very nice – he could see our excitement and stopped by a Christmas light display at a neighborhood park – turned off his meter and let us get out and enjoy it.  I will never forget that Christmas.

However – we make new and unique Christmas memories every year – without knowing it.  As I look back over my life – I’m sure what I’m doing right now in this season with my students will rank right up there with the most special memories.  And I do have many wonderful memories when our own children were small.

Sometimes we are not even aware that we are ‘making memories’ while they are happening.  It is only as we look back on them – some years later that we truly recognize it – smile and remember.

I’m not sure if we should try to recapture the past – as great as some of those memories are.  Life is ever-changing – and we are all on a journey, good and bad.  The present and future are still there to write upon – and I for one can’t wait!

What are your favorite memories?  Do you think the best is yet to come?  Do you try to recapture the time when your children were small – or still with you?  Or do you see the future as an opportunity to meet new friends and share yourself with others that need your encouragement and warmth?

I am praying for each one of you this holiday season – that you will surround yourself with those you love, who love you and those that cross your journey this season.  That you will have your heart open to embrace and love – and be in anticipation of the wonderful things ahead.  That you will have the opportunity to share the love of Jesus with those you come in contact and share your life with.  That they will be drawn to the love of God just by knowing you.  This is my prayer.

May God truly Bless you!

Advertisements

First Snow Fall

Snow fall in Bass Lake, California.

Image via Wikipedia

I live in the Pacific Northwest where snow during the holiday season used to be a rare thing.  But in recent years it seems we get snow every year at this time.  As a child growing up in Canada – snow was expected and NOT a treat.  It was really cold from October until well past my birthday in March.  In pictures from my childhood – I can see snow on the ground out the window while celebrating another birthday.

Here in the Northwest we don’t get tired of it – at least at first.  It’s a novel thing and can make you feel just like a kid again.  Especially the first snowfall.

As I am writing this – the snow is falling in a beautiful cascade of different sized crystal flakes – making the street and yard all white and ‘Narnia-like’.  And I can’t stop myself from taking pictures of it – and just staring out the window.  It is truly one of nature’s most AWESOME treats for us to feast our eyes on.

And so with ‘holiday’ music playing on my Pandora radio – I am a very happy girl today – and may not get a whole lot accomplished – but it is VERY understandable – as anyone who lives in the Northwest knows:  It just may not last long – or even be here tomorrow, so we will relish the moment and dream of being a child again – where things like Santa, mistletoe, Christmas trees, surprises, warm crackling fires and hot cocoa were always something fun to look forward to.

And for your listening and viewing pleasure I have added a video of one of my favorite’s from Michael W. Smith‘s first Christmas album entitled, ‘First Snow Fall’.

Enjoy and God Bless!

 

What Is Your Slot?

All of us have a place where we just – fit. A lovely little slot where we shine and flourish.

I am happiest when teaching, playing piano, listening to music and when I’m writing.  I love to do a lot of other things too – but this is where I shine and feel happy.

But I am also undisputed in my ‘role’ as the chief cook – Queen of the kitchen.

Greg  has many interests and a couple of businesses which make him very happy – that is where he shines.  But his role in our home is ‘clean-up guy’.  He is very happy to do this.  He is one of those people who is the only one who knows how to load the dishwasher correctly – and does so with a pride and arrogance that is undisputed in our family.  It’s a great set-up – I cook – he cleans.  As long as we keep to that prescribed formula – things are great.

Once in a while it is necessary for me to step in and clean the kitchen and *gasp* LOAD THE DISHWASHER.  It’s never pretty – because I have no love for loading dishes – and Greg can tell.  He sighs and pats me on the head – like he would a small child – and is very patient and gracious with my feeble and uncaring attempts at order and precision under his tutelage.  I am somewhat of a lost cause.

And once in a while it becomes necessary, with my teaching schedule for Greg to step in and begin dinner preparations.  He doesn’t like this especially when I have not thought ahead and just say something like, ‘Greg could you start on dinner?”  It freaks him out.  He has NO IDEA how to just ‘start’ dinner.

Case and point – the other day I was busy teaching and in a small break I asked him if he could ‘start dinner’.  I laid the items out on the counter and told him quickly what to do.  I was assuming he would get it – forgetting that he is not comfortable in the kitchen unless he is making breakfast items – or following along (precisely) from a cookbook.  So I left him in the kitchen – very much in distress – and very much to his own devices.  Very scary.

I went back to teaching.  When the last student had gone – I went into the kitchen hoping that dinner was ready.  Greg seemed pleased with himself.  I looked around and spotted a half-opened jar of marinara sauce on the counter.  Hmmm.   I did not see any container or pan with sauce in it.  The trout was simmering in a pan on the stove – the butternut squash was in the microwave – just as I had directed.  Where is the sauce? –  I wondered.

I peaked in the microwave and under the paper towel.  And what to my horrified eyes should appear – but butternut squash with marinara sauce on top – bubbling away!  I was horrified – and couldn’t imagine what ever could  have possessed him to think that I wanted him to cook it that way!  He saw my horror – and began to quickly explain, ‘You said you wanted squash with marinara sauce’ – as if that settled the question – and would assure me that he had done everything just as he was directed to do.  I took out the raw squash with the very hot and bubbly sauce out of the microwave and proceeded to spoon the sauce into a bowl while explaining, ‘Greg, what I meant was that the squash would be served with marinera sauce.  Squash takes a long time to cook so you can’t have sauce on it – when cooking it’.

I realized something.  Men and women don’t think the same way – even about food.  You can’t assume.  My husband needs very clear directions.

Butternut Squash with Marinara Sauce

Squash with Marinara Sauce via Flickr

Very clear.  A woman would have understood that I wanted the sauce on the side and heated up separately – but not a man.  I should have said, ‘We are going to have squash served with marinara sauce for dinner.  This is how to cook the squash – slice in half, put a little butter and salt and pepper – cover with a paper towel and cook for 15 minutes on high in microwave. – pour the sauce in a pan – put a lid on it and cook on low heat’  Next time I will be more clear.

He was very happy to let me take over – and was happy to clean the kitchen.  He feels very much at home doing it – it is a good fit. And all is well that ends well – the dinner was a wonderful success – fresh trout – butternut squash with sauce – on the side. It was very funny – and he was such a good sport about it 🙂

The Bottom Line is this:  We all have areas where we shine – tasks are easy, almost effortless!  Those we do with joy because we love them.  And then there are those that do not seem to fit us.  We struggle.  We get it wrong.  There is no love.  It is in these times that we need to have grace and patience for others and understand that we cannot – nor should we be good at everything.

What is your slot?  Where do you shine?  Or not shine?  Have you figured it out?  Are others patient with you?  Are you gracious to them?

Here’s hoping that you will find it – as you slosh your way into what is the best fit for you – and as you discover how to fit in your slot.

God Bless

Find Your Passion

Yesterday my friend,  Ron Almberg wrote a very interesting article entitled “Human Capacity”.  I encourage you to read it when you have a moment.  It got me thinking about the subject he was writing about – talents and gifts that we all possess and how they are used.  Also the age-old question, “why does ‘so and so’ have more talent or gifts than I do”?

As I pondered this question and others like it that he brings up in this article – I was keenly aware of those on programs like American Idol and other reality shows – who may think they are really gifted and talented – only to have the truth plainly spoken to them by others with both experience and insight in that field to tell them – they are not.  As a musician I am very interested in this subject and I can’t tell you how many “gifted” children and adults who have walked through my doors over the years.  Well at least they thought they were.

There may be something that you have a passion for – but reality sets in and you may have to give that dream up – because your dream or goal may be unrealistic in comparison to your gifting and talent.  I looked up the word ‘passion’ and here’s what I found:

1.

any powerful or compelling emotion or feeling, as love or hate.

strong amorous feeling or desire; love; ardor.

2.
strong sexual desire; lust.an instance or experience of strong love or sexual desire.

3.

a person toward whom one feels strong love or sexual desire.

4.

a strong or extravagant fondness, enthusiasm, or desire for anything: a passion for music.

5.

the object of such a fondness or desire:

Accuracy became a passion with him.

6.

an outburst of strong emotion or feeling:

I believe you can have a ‘passion’ for something and yet – lack the talent or skill needed to accomplish a personal goal.  How many times have you heard the judges tell a contestant, “Singing is not going to be your career – you need to find something else” and while those words may be a HUGE blow to someone – ( we see the outbursts and tears don’t we?) – it may be the biggest favor that these strangers could give to that person.

I believe with my whole heart that NOT getting everything we’re desperately wanting – we’re passionate about – may be the greatest gift we ever get.  Not getting everything we ask for – is sometimes for our own good.

So what am I saying?  Don’t work hard at anything we’re passionate about?  No way.  But I believe that God “gifts” everyone in different ways – and it is our job to find what uniquely makes us different and special from all the rest. Not trying to fit into something we’re not – not trying to be a pro athlete if we’re not given special ability – or to be an artist – if we have trouble even making stick people.  Find out what makes you unique – and where you have abilities that only you have – better than anyone else.  Can you pray?  Do you have a passion for interceding for your friends and family – how about missionaries?  Then be that prayer warrior.  No one can pray like you can!  Do you have a special ability to work with your hands?  Do you like to build things?  Do you love to bless people?  Just know this:  No one can do that as well as you can!

We are happiest and most joyful when we find and operate in the boundaries of what God has gifted us to do.  As soon as you discover what that is – ask someone you are close  to – to  confirm it.  Soon you will be soaring – sharing what is unique to you.  No copycat attempts – just a special and gifted…YOU!

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 Magazine

Godinterest Magazine covering 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.

%d bloggers like this: