Musings From A Musical Mind

Archive for the ‘Intentional Life’ Category

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.

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A Good Father

Tomorrow we celebrate another Father’s Day.  I am fortunate to still have my father – he is pushing 80 and that is very hard to believe!  Some of my friends younger than me have already lost their father.  Some do not have pleasant memories of their biological father.  Some have emotionally disconnected because of that.  Some never knew their father.  Some of those relationships were complicated.  And like there are so many different individuals and personality types – so there is father and child.

What does it mean to be a good father?  If you were lucky like my sister and me – who had a good father – one who was steady and hard-working, who loved the Lord and his wife – then you were blessed.

So many do not have a legacy like this one.  My own father does not.  With a biological father who fled when he was a baby and a biological mother who abandoned him at a young age – he had absolutely no idea and no role models to show him how to be a good father.   The family that raised him taught him how to work hard.  And he was determined to be a better person and example than that of his parents.  In recent years he has written of his experiences growing up with this family on a farm in northern Canada.  He chooses to remember the good and to take all things taught him, to be generous in nature and finances and God has truly blessed him.

My father was a young father – just 22 years old when my sister was born – he was mature for his age because of his life experiences.  But my mother and father were very poor and going to school was difficult for them and they had to work hard for my father to have any education and succeed.  As a little girl I remember spending the summers in Missoula, Montana for him to work little by little on his master’s degree in music.  The summers were hot and sticky and we spent much of our childhood in little plastic swimming pools with the neighbor kids.  My father was a high school teacher in Calgary, Alberta – our home until I was 8 years old.

In 1969 we moved to Seattle, Washington so my father could pursue his doctorate at the University of Washington.  Times were hard.  There was very little money – but as a kid I don’t remember being poor like my parents do.  It took about 3 years for my father to earn his Ph.D all the while teaching part-time at Northwest University in Kirkland (formally known as Northwest College).  His special distinction is that he was the youngest and the first man to receive his doctorate at the College – and still a Canadian.

I remember during those years it was important for us to be quiet in the evenings so my father could study.  He was always studying for another exam and another level that would earn him the ultimate goal of that doctorate.  But once a week – he would put away his studies and we would have a family night where we would watch our favorite TV programs and eat cake.

The father/daughter relationship is not too difficult to understand – it is simple and straightforward, uncomplicated.  I have seen this same understanding in our own daughter and her father.   The adoration of father/daughter goes both ways without effort.  But I have seen Greg relate to each of our children in different ways.  With a son it is much more difficult over time – especially as that son grows up and becomes a man.  The son tries his whole life to gain the approval of his father – while the daughter does not have to prove anything – she just is.

I believe that Greg has had his own issues to come to grips with concerning his own father.  It is in the things spoken or written that are sometimes hurtful, though well-intentioned – but also in the things that are not spoken.  Being and staying a good father is like walking a tight-rope as your children are not small anymore – but have their own lives and families.  And it is much harder for a father of a daughter to accept a son-in-law as another man now enters the picture and takes over where he has always been king.

We are both lucky in that we have wonderful memories of our father.  It seems incredible that we are as old as we are – and that our own fathers are as old as they are too!  But what we’ve learned over the years is this:  some things are timeless and unspoken between a father and his children.  Hopes, dreams, plans and happiness are always there in a silent prayer as you watch your legacy continue through your own children and grandchildren.  And if you are lucky enough to have a Christian praying father then you are indeed blessed.

Happy Father’s Day to all of you Dads out there!  May your children have fond memories and speak well of you when you are old.

God Bless

Here is a great song of dedication for all you Dads out there!

Shadows are falling and I’m running out of breath
Keep me in your heart for awhile

If I leave you it doesn’t mean I love you any less
Keep me in your heart for awhile

When you get up in the morning and you see that crazy sun
Keep me in your heart for awhile

There’s a train leaving nightly called when all is said and done
Keep me in your heart for awhile

Sha-la-la-la-la-la-la-li-li-lo
Keep me in your heart for awhile

Sha-la-la-la-la-la-la-li-li-lo
Keep me in your heart for awhile

Sometimes when you’re doing simple things
around the house
Maybe you’ll think of me and smile

You know I’m tied to you like the buttons on
your blouse
Keep me in your heart for awhile

Hold me in your thoughts, take me to your dreams
Touch me as I fall into view
When the winter comes keep the fires lit
And I will be right next to you

Engine driver’s headed north to Pleasant Stream
Keep me in your heart for awhile

These wheels keep turning but they’re running out
of steam
Keep me in your heart for awhile

Sha-la-la-la-la-la-la-li-li-lo
Keep me in your heart for awhile

Sha-la-la-la-la-la-la-li-li-lo
Keep me in your heart for awhile

Keep me in your heart for awhile

Finding Better Things To Do

Yesterday in keeping with my article theme of “Finding My Sense of Humor” – I will recount our yesterday’s activities in full.

The “plan” was to go with Greg to Snoqualmie Ridge to help him set up a table for a wedding venue event hosted at the hotel for the next day.  Then we were going to take advantage of the sunshine and find a nice little trail – and go for a long hike.

I’ve lost about 25 pounds since last August – and I’ve been having trouble losing that last 15.  I’ve been just stuck – no matter what I do.  Granted – it’s winter, colder weather – not enough nice days to do a 2 mile walk (like we used to everyday)  But that’s no excuse as we DO have an elliptical machine.  It’s just that I really hate it.  No I mean REALLY HATE it.  I still use it – but I prefer getting out and walking.

So when the weather is nice (no rain, ice or freezing temperature and wind) then it’s a perfect day to go walking.

So we finished up at the hotel and Greg drove to a spot where they have these cool old trains and a cute little museum in the town of Snoqualmie and we parked the car and started walking toward the little trail.

Did I mention there were cute old trains?

Yeah – well we found some.  And I will blame Greg for distracting us from our “plan” – because he just had to climb on all of them – and I being the photographer that I am (or try to be) just HAD to take pictures.  It was a must.  I would be negligent if I didn’t take them.

After exploring those for a while we decided that we really SHOULD go for our walk.  We went to cross the street and right in front of us was a candy shop – with homemade fudge and salt water taffy.  I told Greg we really HAD to go in.  He said, “what about our walk”?  I told him I was cold and really needed to go in there to warm up – and look at the candy 🙂  So we went in – and came away with only one milk chocolate turtle, one milk chocolate peanut butter cup, one large piece of a toffee nut bar and several pieces of salt water taffy.

As we left the store we saw this cool sign:

We chuckled because our church name is “LifePoint” and I had to stop and text this picture to our pastor, Stephen – who I knew would enjoy it just as much as we did – (and he did – so it was worth it!)

By then I had run out of excuses for taking the walk – but we were in a town higher in elevation than I was used to – even though it was sunny and clear – and suddenly it was freakishly COLD.  I had my mittens on – but no hat or warm socks and my ears and toes were freezing.  I told Greg I couldn’t possibly walk with it SO cold.

We crossed the street and decided to look around in the old train museum and eventually came to the little gift shop – where an elderly man dressed like a train conductor was behind the counter.  He was cheerful and full of ‘one-liners’ and puns about all sorts of subjects and had us laughing and feeling very good that we did NOT take our walk after all.

Life is short.  Sometimes – there are just better things to do.

When was the last time you had a ‘plan’ and life took another turn?

God Bless

Moments With Baxter

I saw this dog on facebook several month ago.  And I may have even seen it on some blog sites as well.  Today it was once again brought to my attention and I thought I would dig a little more into the background story on this special dog.

Baxter was part Golden Retriever and part Chow. He lived to be 19 1/2 – and the last 4 years of his life as a certified therapy dog. Please enjoy watching the story of how he came to be a therapy dog, in the first video (and watch for the cute Bichon dog close to the end) and in the second one – see him making his rounds with his owner at the hospital – bringing love and comfort.

There are some things that are unexplainable in this life – and there is a mystery surrounding the touch of animals – but no one can dispute that they have a special ability to touch the heart and soothe the soul. I’m sure you will be touched by hearing and seeing how an elderly dog can bring joy to so many hurting and dying patients.

God Bless


A Funny Guest Post From KC Procter

I read something today that was just hilarious.  It is from my new online friend and blogging buddy,  KC Procter.  KC manages a couple of blog sites – is a happy husband and father of two – is busy finishing up some schooling to become an MBA and is active in social networking.  I have enjoyed his humorous take on life and in his many ‘tweets’ and comments.  I would encourage you to check out this blog called “Some Wise Guy” – and in particular the article he wrote today –3 Kid Words Dads Accidentally Say At The Office .  It is about using ‘kid’ words after we’re grown-up – come on – we ALL do it!  If you need a good laugh today – read the article that he wrote and the comments too – it will make your day!

And be sure and add KC to your blog roll – you will enjoy his articles!

God Bless!

Soul Surfer

Last Sunday Greg and I went to see the highly recommended true story “Soul Surfer“.  I don’t know what I was expecting – maybe some cheesy “B” film with a dramatic and whiny theme – but I was amazed instead to actually be moved beyond belief.

This film is about real life hero – Bethany Hamilton, a surfer since she could walk – living in Hawaii with her family – already famous on the Island for the way she could ride the surf at a young age.  A fierce competitor who lived in the water and who was herself, fearless.  She had a promising future ahead of her until one day while surfing with some friends – she was attacked by a shark, who actually bit her left arm completely off.  But the story does not end there – in tragedy and darkness – dashed hopes and dreams, the story is more about her miraculous recovery and ever-growing faith in God to get her through the darkest and most challenging time of her young life.

It is a story of ultimate victory over adversity – life from death and renewed determination when life goes sideways.  It is a story that could  put all of us to shame – those of us who whine and complain about life’s woes – with two good arms.

I love how she finally finds her purpose and reason for going on – to be an inspiration to others – her famous quote at the end of the movie – “I can embrace more people now – with one arm”  Simply amazing.

I encourage you to see this film – if you yourself have ever doubted God – ever wondered why things happen as they do – wonder what God’s plan is and purpose in your life when you suffer, experience loss and try desperately to hold on to your faith.  It will touch you – inspire and amaze you – and you will never be the same.

Below, in an interview while the film was in production – is the real Bethany Hamilton.  Her words will  encourage you and her positive approach to life with inspire you today.

God Bless

A Lesson From Jean-Luc Picard

Star Trek: The Next Generation

Image via Wikipedia

I am a Trekkie.  I admit it.  I’ve been a fan since the 60’s when Kirk, Spock and McCoy were first roaming around the galaxy.  I remember watching the show on a black and white TV – and then moving to a color set sometime later.  This show was in reruns on cable for years after and when I heard that they were going to start “The Next Generation” series in the late 80’s – I was not interested in watching it – being loyal to Kirk, Spock and McCoy – but after it came to an end – some seven seasons later – we started seeing it in reruns and got caught up into it.  Now I am a fan – and own all seven seasons on DVD – as well as ALL the Star Trek movies 🙂

One story in particular from “Next Generation” has always been interesting to me.  It is an episode in which Captain Picard receives an opportunity to go back into his past and change things.

Time travel has always been an intriguing notion for me.  I love the “Back to the Future” trilogy with Michael J. Fox and pretty much any movie that deals with that subject.  And I mean, who doesn’t want to see what life was really like for your parents or grandparents?  I’m sure it wasn’t all “pie in the sky” as they sometimes try to tell us.  People are people with the same inclinations and temptations – in any decade or century since the beginning of time.

In the episode where Captain Picard goes back in time – it is to change a circumstance in which he got into a bar fight as a young cadet – and in that fight had a sword put through his heart – and would have died if there had not been an artificial heart (only in the 23rd century people).  And though he was grateful to be alive with that heart – it was not without its problems as with any technology.  So “Q” takes him back to “fix” the mess that got him into that fight to begin with.

Ultimately he learns a lesson about himself. It was his feisty and competitive nature that got him into that fight – but also propelled him into opportunity for his future.  He was a risk taker and someone who lived on the edge.  He was not afraid to go after things with gusto and dare to excel in places that most would not.  When armed with the knowledge of the future events about his artificial heart – he goes back to the past – determined to avoid the fight and keep his heart in tact.  But because of his new cautiousness – everything in his life changes in the future. He jumps to the “present” after carefully avoiding the bar fight – and now in an “alternate future” – with his own heart – he finds himself on-board the enterprise once again – only this time he is NOT the Captain – but a lowly ensign. He overhears his “superiors” doing a review of him – and they say that he is a nice man – but one who has always been careful – and afraid to take a risk. It was too bad, they said – he had a lot of promise.

This is the worse thing that you could ever say about Jean-Luc – and he repents of wanting to go back and “fix” his past – just so he could have his real heart. He gladly accepts his fate as part of his journey for being himself and following his heart – so to speak 🙂

How many of us face a similar crisis of faith?  Faith that things happen in life and along our journey because it is the way it needs to be? There is a rhythm to our lives and only God knows the back story and our future story and all the reasons for things in between.  When we try to “fix” things – we are never successful.  It is like gambling about our future and not having the right cards.  Never a good idea.

All of us were given character traits and gifts.  If we are using them as God intended – we are going to have things that happen to us along the way.  Things that are uncomfortable – and things that we would sometimes like to change.  But because we don’t see the “big picture” of all of our events, like God does – changing things in our past would only be harmful and leave us feeling empty and be a life squandered. There is a reason things happen as they do.  It’s taken me many years to be comfortable with that knowledge – and just when I think I really do understand it – I slip back into the “WHY IS THIS HAPPENING TO ME??” thing again.

God knows all about our lives.  Things come to us to shape us and make us who we are. Those hard and painful things – are more than just inconveniences and things to avoid – I believe in every one of them – there is a lesson. And I am grateful for all of them – for the friends I’ve had to say goodbye to – for the situations that I had to go through, but them ultimately walk away from – for the uncomfortable process of learning more about myself and others – and for separation from things and people who I really thought I couldn’t live without.  Through all of these things – there has been a reason.

And in all of this I say, “Thank you Lord – for your blessings – through the storms of my life.  For the things that have made me who I am today.  For the additions and the subtractions of my life – for the pain and regret – the friendships and loss – for all of it  – Thank you”

I want to live my life with the unswerving conviction – that all things happen for a reason – and not live with regret – but press forward – using everything that God has given me – unafraid to take those risks and try new things – those things that make me uniquely – me.

God Bless

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