Musings From A Musical Mind

Archive for the ‘healing’ Category

You Are My Hiding Place

Last week at choir practice our director had us sing this song called “You are my hiding place”. I had heard this before and it put me in mind of the movie about Corrie Ten Boom, “The Hiding Place” – about a family who hid Jews during the Holocaust years. The movie is about an ordinary family living their lives during WW11 – doing what they felt they had to.  Eventually Corrie, her sister and their elderly father were imprisoned for suspected treason, although the Jews they hid in a secret chamber behind a wall in one of the upstairs bedrooms, were never found. While in prison camp, Corrie eventually received news that all the Jews they had hidden – were safe and had escaped. It was sent to her in secret code beneath a postage stamp.

It is an amazing true story that will move you to tears in both the film version and the book.  I love the end of the movie where they show the real heroes of the story in pictures alongside the actor who played them.  And then there is a word with the real Corrie Ten Boom.   She says she promised her sister (who died in prison camp) that she would tell of God’s great love and that “no pit is too deep that God is not deeper still”.

I hope you will be inspired by this song, sung by Selah.  And if you have never read the book or seen the movie, “The Hiding Place” – I hope you will check out this great and amazing true story that happened to ordinary people.  I know you will be moved and be able to see God’s hand on Corrie’s life even while she was in prison – what a testimony she has been able to share with millions of people during her later years!

God Bless

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Getting Older – not fun.

I am at Valley Medical today while Greg has a procedure. Nothing is wrong – it is called “getting older” and having the doctor recommend routine tests are normal as precautions against anything really bad. These “procedures” are not for the faint hearted. I should know – last week one of “those” gave me a wicked migraine. It was Greg’s turn today. After seeing how I weathered it last week – he was not too thrilled to have it done. But such is life and we are both thankful and grateful to be healthy in spite of these interruptions to our routine.


I am situated in the cafeteria with a venti-size Starbucks latte on my table. It is called “sugar mama” and has white chocolate, hazelnut and vanilla. Very good. I only got lost down the endless “rat’s maze” corridors in the bowels (no pun intended) of the hospital. After finding myself heading straight for the “sleep study” area I knew I had taken a wrong turn somewhere. But some very nice people in little blue scrubs showed me the way. I found the cafeteria on the first try and had a nice breakfast sandwich from a corner table, able to observe life here in the hospital.

The first thing I noticed – everyone on break is STARVING! They head straight to the breakfast bar where biscuits, gravy, sausage and bacon is the standard fare. Others were ordering french toast – but I ordered a breakfast sandwich and they made it just the way I like it – bacon, pepper jack cheese and mushrooms. Everyone in blue is very helpful and unusually chatty and happy. It is nice to be in this atmosphere. I sit in the coffee bar section and am surrounded by pleasant chatter from the barista’s and other “blue” people, enjoying their break.

This is everything you hope a medical facility will be – when you have to be here. And though we would have chosen to do something entirely different with our time – if the doctor says, “do it!” we do – and the staff both here and at the medical building are wonderful.

The sun is shining – the world looks bright and inviting as I sip my coffee and write. I am extremely grateful for the blessing of health, and am aware of the many around me who are not so fortunate. It has been a tough year for many of my friends and my thoughts and prayers continue to be with them all the time. We are praying for a better year – many good reports of healing, health and God’s faithfulness as we stand on the thresh-hold of another New Year.

God Bless

I Just Want You To Be Happy.

English: 1882 photo of Lillian Russell in the ...

English: 1882 photo of Lillian Russell in the Bijou Opera House production of Gilbert and Sullivan’s Patience Português: A cantora Lillian Russell, na ópera Patience, em 1882 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This sentence has always troubled me.  I have heard it off and on when I was growing up.  And today in movies and television programs – there it is again.  Usually from parents talking to their children.  Usually after a “talk” about what they should or shouldn’t be doing.  The sentence “I just want you to be happy” is a disclaimer to any and all unpleasant topics and issues.

But what does it really mean?

I heard it yet again in a movie I was watching – and turned to Greg who was standing in the kitchen and said, “HA!  There it is again!  Those words.”  It is not the first time I’ve turned to Greg after hearing something like this – nor will it be the last.  This phrase seems to be one that is heard over and over again.

What does ‘being happy’ have to do with real life?  What exactly is the state of ‘happiness’ anyway?  Is there a quick pass and free ticket to that place just because someone wishes it for me?  “Well, since you put it that way – I guess I will be happy”  It doesn’t work that way.

Happy is a neutral place found by those who have felt the opposite once or twice in their lives.  Somewhere where pain is absent but easily remembered.  Where struggle and frustration gave birth to break through and hurt and determination yielded fruit.

I can no more wish that place on my children or anyone else without knowing what true happiness means – and what it takes to get there.  I believe you can’t get to happy without the ‘unhappy’ and all the rest first.  I know the journey to get there is worth it.  But I have also lived longer, tried more things and know what works with people and circumstances and what does not.  I am striving to live in that place of  ‘peace with all men’ and will do anything to remain there – in that place that is eternally ‘drama free’.  But that takes experience and just plain hard work.

A better thing to say to others is this:

I want you to be healthy.  Health requires good choices for your body and mind.  To be aware of what influences affect and pull you in ways not good for you.  To know your limits.  To fulfill your purpose.  To develop those God-given gifts and talents.  To move by God’s leading and always hear His voice.

And if you just must reference that word ‘happy’ – then I would say this instead:

I want you to always choose to be happy.  That in itself is a loaded statement.  You mean we can actually choose to be happy?  Even in negative circumstances?  Even when life is crashing down all around?  Even when I have no money for that next bill?  Even when someone has said negative things – ruined my reputation and tried to steal my joy?  Even when illness comes to stay?  Even when no one understands?

Yes.

It is in just those such things that eventually bring a kind of ‘happy’ – but it is deeper.  It is more like joy.  For in those trials and adversity – something happens to us.  We depend and lean more on God.  We get to know and understand His mercies and kindness.  Patience and perseverance are developed in us in an intangible way.  

Psalm 3:3 says:

But You, O LORD, are a shield about me, My glory, and the One who lifts my head.

When He is the one protecting and providing a shield around me and my circumstances, I can look at things differently.  I can lift my head.  I can choose to put on joy.

Won’t you choose to be happy?  Allow Him to walk beside you through those stormy times of life.  And He will lift your head.  The next time someone says to you, “I just want you to be happy” come back with this statement:  “I will choose health and choose to be happy no matter what my circumstances”.  You will be empowered by this statement of faith.  And in your faith – you will find happy.

God Bless

How Do You Love?

Last night Greg and I watched the movie “Three Men and a little Lady” – made some 20 years ago or so. In the last part of the movie – the leading man finally finds the courage to tell the leading woman how he feels about her. She wonders what took him so long (5 years later) in fact on her wedding day to another man – he finally confesses that he loves her, not just for her 5 year old daughter, but for himself alone. Complicated? Yes. Self serving? I’m not sure. Does he have the right to love for just how it makes him feel? With no regard to how anybody else does? Because it brings him happiness to love her?

This has always been a topic of conversation around our house. Greg has always claimed that love in its most stripped down mode – is selfish. I’m not sure I have always agreed. I’ve had my share of relationships (in the love department) gone sour and very bad. And though I agree with the premis – I have trouble coming to grips with loving someone just because it feels good or because they love me. Aren’t people worth loving even when they don’t love back? How about those who choose to walk away? Are we to stop loving them?

The Bible tells us that God loved us while we were still sinners – and far from Him – Christ died for us. That kind of love is far beyond our comprehension. We as human beings have trouble with it. Most people who hurt us, mistreat us, stop loving us, turn away, love someone else, stop speaking, etc. – we write off as being unlovable and unreachable. Even when we have had relationship with them that has been good at one time. How different we are from the heart of God. God loves even when it is not returned.

Marriage – especially a long-term one is a great example of unconditional love. You don’t always feel like loving all the time. There are disagreements and differences. There is not always romance. You don’t say: “I will love you as long as it feels good for me and as long as you love me back – otherwise all bets are OFF!” Love is so much more than that – it is a choice. 7 days a week, 12 months, 365 days a year. Every year. Through rain and shine – thick and thin – in sickness and in health. Even when the person does not love you back in the way you think they should. Even when they don’t always understand you. Even then.

How do you love? Does your love have conditions? Is your love a selfish love that says: I will love you only if you love me back? I will give of my time only if I get something back from it? Are people worth loving just simply because they are?

I think they are.

 

God Bless

How Persistent Are You?

sunny disposition |24

Image by ms.Tea via Flickr

I am a positive person – one who used to jump out of bed in the morning as a child and have a “sunny” disposition most of the time – just ask my mother.  And although I do NOT jump out of bed in the morning now – I’m still the same positive person – for the most part.

I usually see the best in people – not the worst.  This can be a problem.  How – you say?  Well if I only see the good in people – and ignore or avoid the dark side of behavior or tendencies – then it always seems to surprise and sneak up on me when things go sideways.  And not in a good way.

However – because of my ability to “see only the best” I have been able to go places that few ever dare to.  Jumping in and charging full force into something I have NO CLUE about – or what dangers may lie waiting for me there.

I like to think of this as sheer optimism – but others call it reckless abandon and naivety.   And I have paid a very high emotional cost for going there with some.  A price that I still pay today.

How does one truly love and see the good – without holding back and analyzing people first?  Deciding whether or not they are worth my time – or anyone’s time?  I’ve never been very good at holding back.

I’ve also never been one to give up easily.

I am VERY persistent in the things that other deem “impossible”.

You say I CAN’T do that?  I say – Yes I can!

That situation is impossible, you say?  No it is NOT!  Thank you very much.

You say that I will never be able to learn that new task?  I will learn it or die trying.

If there is an unresolved relationship, daunting and scary to revisit and investigate  – You say – “that person will never revisit – ever begin the scary process of starting again  – where there has been silence – suddenly start talking again”.  I say, “ARE YOU KIDDING ME?”  I will never stop believing – never stop praying – never stop hoping.  My motto is:  “Hope spring eternal” – and that is how I will always see it.  Period.

And if we are Christians and really live like we believe – then SHAME ON THOSE who tell me there is no hope in a situation.  No possibility for reconciliation from a estranged brother or sister – no glimmer of things to be put to right again.  I believe the impossible – because I really live what I believe.  I cannot be responsible for how others respond to pain, loss and hurt – but I can be ready to receive them back – when they finally are ready to come back.  I am ready to give up the fight – and to welcome back what was lost to me.

And I’m just dumb enough to believe that once someone imprints on your heart – they are never really lost to you – and that someday they will come back.  And that love is the greatest motivator we have.  A friendship that had depth and meaning – will always find a way to make amends.  Even when dumb things are said and done.  Even then.

How persistent are you in your faith?  In a relationship gone bad?  In something new that takes patience and resolve?  Don’t wait to resolve it – the other person at the end of your dark journey may just be waiting for you there.

I am praying for you today.

God Bless

Fighting Fair

Erma Bombeck

Image by Ujwala Prabhu via Flickr

Greg and I had an interesting verbal “sparring match” this morning.  It is very healthy to have these – as I have in recent years, discovered – and yet it is still somewhat foreign soil to venture in to the murky dark abyss of this type of “healthy exchange”.  We are still pretty new to resolving our differences this way.  Even after all the years we’ve been married.  It’s easier to say nothing than to deal with some things.

We’ve been reading one of Erma Bombeck’s hilarious books on relationships and in one chapter she writes about a very humorous exchange between she and her husband where she asks him, ‘Linda and Joe have meaningful conversations – why don’t we have any meaningful conversations’?  To which they both agreed, finally that surface conversations were safer in the long run.

Sometimes meaningful conversations between men and women are at crossed purposes and it seems easier to keep it simple.    I mean, since a man is NOT a woman – by any stretch of the imagination – it is difficult to get him to THINK like one.  I believe a meaningful conversation for my husband or any other guy friend of mine would be full of facts and information – sparring about this and that – displaying and ‘peacocking’ ambitions and accomplishments – news issues or politics – or for the Christian man – a debate on scripture or strategy on church leadership and such.

But women would rather talk about how they feel about issues – relationships and don’t care so much about the facts and figures.  And if it’s a news-worthy topic – it’s usually how people feel that are being affected – world events that talk about people and not just strategy and politics for strategy and politic’s sake.  Arguing or debating is not high on our list of ‘fun things’ to do.

Don’t get me wrong – I love a good sparring match – when it’s fun and harmless – debating about this or that – when it’s done right with no personal ‘shots’ or humiliating comments from the other party – and I can usually hold my own with any man on many topics – but it is difficult finding the balance in the sparring – when it’s your husband.

For some strange reason – over time, at least for us – we know how to do the “dance” of our relationship.  The things and words that push all of our buttons – and then have a hard time knowing how to defuse a situation after it IS into more than just a “healthy discussion”.  We know it’s important to not accuse and say things like, “YOU always says this” or “YOU make me feel lousy about myself when you do or say that” – instead we know to say, “I feel like bad when you say this” or “I am not liking what I think you are meaning by that” but alas.  Often times a discussion can turn south WAY before the intentions for saying the right thing is properly communicated.

I have learned how to have healthy and “meaningful conversations” with my husband out of necessity and out of survival – but sometimes we are not always successful – and occasionally – even we blow it.

Today I did not “stuff” my feelings as I would have done in years gone by – I spoke it right out!  It was a pretty stupid meaningless thing – nothing earth-shaking at all.  But it did have repercussions – as any discussion like this will.  And in frustration I heard myself saying these words, “Why can’t you be more like a WOMAN”?  Yeah right.  Really clever.  The problem is this:  Greg is my best friend – and he’s clearly NOT a woman.   He is a man.  He is also my husband.  So many problems with this arrangement – so much potential ammunition to want to KILL HIM at times – because he is A DUMB GUY!!

And so our dance continues.  I am learning to speak out when things bother me (this is so NOT like me in the past) and he is learning to dial it back a pinch when he has that incredible little imp that sits on his shoulder.  The Brat.  It’s not perfect – but it’s a life-long journey that we call marriage.

I suppose this is what they call “fighting fair” – having a healthy and meaningful exchange of words – really listening to what the other person is saying – learning what to say and what NOT to say to diffuse a situation and most of all – to remember to show a lot of love a grace when personal ego and pride are affected.  When your husband is a man and also your best friend – it’s worth the dance.

God Bless

Where There Is Faith

I came across this song yesterday when looking through some old “4Him” songs on youtube.  Someone put together a beautiful slide show with this song and I wanted to share it with you.  This song has always moved me – the lyrics are amazing – and I find myself inspired by them.  It is amazing the love of our Lord Jesus – and the faith that it instills in me.

On an interesting side-note:  I learned yesterday that a friend and former co-worker from Renton Christian School, Melodee St. Clair – lost her 24-year-old son a few days ago.  Her daughter, Chelsea is also a former student of mine years ago when she was in junior high.  I had already chosen this song and written a few notes about it.  Even more I am convinced that this song is one of those ‘perfect timing’ moments that is more than coincidence.

There are times in our lives where having simple faith is hard.  It writes well and sounds good – but if we’re honest – faith is sometimes just – faith.  You can’t see it – or touch it – and sometimes you can’t even feel it.  It just simply – is.  The longer I live and see God’s hand on my life and in my shortcomings and circumstances – I am more convinced than ever that this simple faith – is enough.  It is our simple trust and dependence on God – that makes Him smile.  And I know that it is He who sustains me – watches over me and love me unconditionally.  “It is a peace like a child sleeping…”  and much, much more.

I pray you will enjoy the following video as much as I did – and that it will build up  your faith today.

And for Melodee St. Clair, Chelsea and the rest of your family – this is for you.

God Bless

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