Musings From A Musical Mind

Archive for the ‘letting go’ Category

New Dream

dreams and wishes. 62/365

Image by nicole.pierce.photography ♥ via Flickr

I looked for someone

like searching in a fog

chasing after

an endless mist

straining for

that unattainable someone

or something

thinking that it would satisfy

what’s deep within

heart-sick and weary

all my efforts

came up empty

and my searching

and reaching

brought no relief

for I found

that in the searching

it was me that I found instead

alone and empty

sad and confused

“Is what I seek

my dream only?

never satisfied

why do

I continue to pursue?

Are my “dreams” just those I make up

bringing emptiness

and endless struggle

instead of fulfillment

and relief?”

And yet I searched for you

my unobtainable someone

and something

that threatened to destroy

and devour me

The one I craved

the things I craved

could be my undoing

and the searching

and dreaming for them

like a slow death

And at the end of the road

I was still there

running on empty

defeated and broken…

It was when I was at my weakest

and tired of running after

and insisting on my own way

that He came

and I heard

a still small voice

and in my confusion

and tears

which caused me to slow down

be still

and listen

that I heard Him

that voice changed me

as He reached in

and held the broken

and confused me

and finally I don’t need to know

all the reasons for before

I reluctantly surrender

and replace

all the running

and searching

for something unknown

instead of something

that does not satisfy

and begin a new path

with His dreams

and plans for me

and at the end of the road

there is no disappointment

and emptiness

or brokenness

and I have almost 

vanished from view

even though

my selfishness and pride

are still there

but they are covered

and kept in check

and it is He that is waiting

giving me

a new dream

which fulfills

and satisfies

instead of

all the things

I wanted

and thought I needed

He is giving me

much more

than I could ever dream

as He replaces my will

with new people

new things

and a new dream

 

What is your dream today?  Have you surrendered yours for His?

 

God Bless

 

 

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Launching The Kid

Today I put my husband and son on a plane bound for California – the place of dreams for my 19-year-old son – as far back as he and I can remember.  I remember 10 years ago while on a family vacation – we were in L.A. and driving by the U.C.L.A. campus in Hollywood – and Shawn saying – ‘I’m living here someday’.  And although he will be attending Musician’s Institute in Hollywood and not U.C.L.A. – it feels the same to him – he will be living his dream of “someday”.  And we have all learned that today – “someday” has arrived.

I have many memories of my son as I think of him trying to navigate in strange surroundings and remember that he was the child who did NOT like anything strange and unfamiliar.  He would hang back – ponder and take his time on everything – even as a young child.  One time when he was three and staying the afternoon with my parents  – they couldn’t find him – he was playing “hide-n-seek” and took it seriously being very still and quiet – even when they called and called him.  They freaked out and called the police because they were sure he had run away or something terrible had happened to him.  I came back from my errand and they told me “not to panic” but they couldn’t find Shawn!  Because I know my son – I was confident it just was NOT in his nature to run off and knew he must be hiding.  As soon as he heard my voice – he came out – and was bewildered that there were police there – not understanding what all the fuss was about!

He has been a shy, timid and thoughtful child his whole life – growing into a kind and generous human being with a great sense of humor.  He has what Greg and I have always called “the X-Factor” – charm, good looks and talent.  He has also made and kept many friends – one in particular, since he has been three years old.  This is the mark of an excellent person – one who keeps friends,  his promises and cares deeply about others.  But he has never been one to venture too far from home.  Oh he’s gone on the occasional trip with friends and even some missions trips with church – and one memorable trip to help with the relief effort in Haiti this last December – but he always came back home.  There was always the safety of knowing where he came from and felt our arms of love and protection over the years.

As his talent grew and made way for him – we saw him blossom – and God use him in incredible ways with his music – and particularly his drumming.  We’ve been proud of him, self-taught like his Dad and I’ve been proud to have been his singing and piano teacher for a time in his earlier life because I believe it gave him the foundation to teach himself guitar as well and develop as a song writer and worship leader.

Leaving home for bigger horizons was just a matter of time – and we have known this day would come for about two years now.  But God as been preparing all of our hearts and so beautifully blessed him financially and with a wonderful support system of friends and family.

But still – like any parent I ask myself these questions:

Did I do enough?

Was I a good enough example – with all my flaws and failures?

Did I prepare him enough?

Will he cling to Jesus in his darkest and loneliest days so far from home?

Will his faith sustain him?

Will he remember all the things we tried to teach him?

Were we good enough role models?

Did we love him enough?

Did we live what we believed?

If you are like me – you probably wonder the same thing as your children grow up and begin to step into the world and have their own lives.  As they begin to launch.  I’m thankful that God makes up for any lack that I may have – and He understands that I am flawed and human.  I also know beyond all question that Shawn was given to me to raise – and not someone else.  God knew that I was exactly what Shawn needed me – flaws, mistakes, shortcomings and all.  And because I know that to be true – and that He loves Shawn even more than I do –  I can rest and know that all is well.

And so the journey continues – our son who was a special gift on loan to us – is off to pursue and live his dream.  And we release and bless him to be everything that he can be – to be a blessing to others and follow God’s voice in his life.

Launching complete.

When was the last time you wondered if you had done enough?  Have you ever felt inadequate?

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

Let It Go

I saw the above quote yesterday while helping my daughter and son-in-law move into their new home.  We had to pick up some furniture at The Cannery – and I saw this sign sitting on one of the coffee tables inside.

I was talking with an old friend today about the things we go through in life – making us more compassionate to those around us – and was even talking to my friend and pastor, Stephen about his recent back trouble with a herniated disc.  It seems as though our experiences in life – even some of the bad or painful ones – have a way of teaching us perspective, empathy and most of all awareness of those around us.  Often times ( okay most of the time) we don’t see the benefit to our own lives while these things are happening to us.  I know I haven’t.  I would rather NOT go through it at all.  I would rather hang on to comfort, peace, understanding and validation – you know.  The things that make us strong.  But it seems that is not in the plan for me.  I’ve had the rug pulled out from under me a few times – and rather than hang on to my comfort and things familiar – I found myself having to abandon those simple comforts and exchange them for painful, humiliating times of discomfort.  Let’s see…Strong and comfortable – or…Weak and miserable.  Hmmm.

So this leads us to the statement in the above quote.  Do you agree or disagree?  Why?  When I read it – it struck a chord with me – it really did.  It’s true.  We are taught to “hang in there” – “not give up” or “give in” – but I think we may have it wrong. Sometimes you need to let it go – in order to gain perspective and find your inner strength again.  Sometimes losing is really winning.  Sometimes the things that you think will make you strong – really make you unhealthily dependent on those you shouldn’t be.  And sometimes the real test of our faith is to let something go – maybe something that we thought we couldn’t ever live without and gaining something much more in the process.  Gaining ourselves back.

Here’s what I’ve learned so far:

Painful things bring perspective, understanding and clarity.

Real strength comes from letting go

Losing sometimes is really winning

Finding one person who understands your journey makes it all worthwhile

Holding on means dependence on God and God alone

Sharing our discoveries and lessons in life with others to help them is the only way to live

There’s freedom in living an authentic life

So – I guess I’ve learned and I’m still learning to – Let it go

All of it.  And I’ve discovered something.  It’s okay NOT to be perfect and be far from “arriving”.  If people expect this from you – they have probably not been through any pain themselves – or anything that would “rock their world”.  This can make them appear judgmental and hard.  I don’t believe that Jesus was either of those things – and we should not be either.

I choose to be around people who have been through a little of life – and have gained the knowledge and perspective from a well stumbled journey.  Those people who have learned how to really live – after truly letting go.  Who are NOT judgmental and critical of others – but who embrace and love.

Let It Go.  Do it today.

God Bless

I’d like a do-over please

Cover of "Groundhog Day (15th Anniversary...

Cover via Amazon

Greg and I watched the movie (for about the 10th time or so) “Groundhog Day” with Bill Murray.  This is a classic – and needs to be watched at least once by everyone.

It starts off as a typical comedy and then actually changes moods somewhere in the early part of the plot.  It is about a very self-centered man who is given the gift of a ‘do-over’.  Not just one day to do over – but he’s actually stuck reliving the same day, Groundhog day, over and over again – for what could have been years.

I’ve seen the movie so many times – to be honest I wasn’t even picking up on the subtleties of the plot until I watched in last night and saw things I had never seen before.  What this character learned the hard way – was that people are the most important thing.  As soon as he became a more compassionate and giving person – helping those around him in need that were almost invisible to him at the beginning of the story – he was released.  After numerous attempts at winning the woman he loved – it was not until he really changed that she even saw him and took him seriously.

How powerful the kindness and compassion we all possess.  If we only knew how important our words, gestures and encouragement are for others around us – we would not hold them back.

Do you want people to notice you?  Embrace you?  Love you?  Maybe you are caught in a monotonous daily routine that makes you feel like you are reliving the same day over and over again. The results are always the same.  You feel alone, like no one cares, no one sees you and you are not appreciated.   Try using your words of kindness to brighten and cheer up the hurting people around you.  Show love to others – it will literally change your life. And you won’t need a lesson of having to repeat the same day over and over again – like he did until he got it.

Everyone around us is starved for love and attention.  We are called to be a ‘light’ to a very dark world.  We have a HUGE responsibility to live like Jesus – showing compassion and mercy to those around us – being the first to forgive and to overlook the many shortcomings and mistakes of those in our world.

We all need a do-over.  I know I do.  But when you have a situation that needs ‘doing over’ try to see the lesson in it – and don’t make the same mistake again – learn from it – grow in wisdom from it and turn it around to help someone else.

I am blessed to have those in my life right now that like me, have needed a ‘do-over’ or two – and they are compassionate and patient with me – because they have been there and know what it feels like.  Friends like this are special and I cherish each and every one.

 

God Bless

What Are You Waiting For?

richard  gere and hachi in Hachi

Image by WorthingTheatres via Flickr

Last night I re-watched a true story about a dog named ‘Hachiko – a dog’s tale’ with Richard Gere.  A special bred of dog who bonds so uniquely with one person his whole life.

Such was the story of this dog and his master.  A dog that would wait for his master to come home each night on a train – sometimes waiting hours in the same spot across from the doors of the train station – just waiting until he saw him come out.

The dog even sensed something bad was about to happen and acted strangely the day that his master left for work one day on the train.  It was the day his master had a fatal heart attack – and never came home.

Undaunted, Hachi spent the rest of his life waiting for him to come off the train – sitting and waiting everyday for him to appear and walk out of the train station.  He waited – and his master never came.

Such fierce loyalty and devotion.  He would not be dissuaded.  Dogs do not understand death – or absence of someone they love.  Others tried to get him to go on with life, take him away – but he would always run away when he had the chance and continue to wait, day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year.

This was based on a true story – and made into a movie – the real ‘Hachi’ waited for 9 years for his master and died in 1934.  It was so unusual that a monument was made with a likeness of the dog – waiting outside the train station for all to see.

Do we have the same fierce loyalty to other people in our lives, or to what we believe in – or to God himself?  If someone observed us – would they say of us that we were eternally optimistic about life – waiting for the day?  Not allowing other events, people or circumstances to sway us from our faith – our life?

I’m almost embarrassed to admit it – I HATE waiting for anything.  I can not just ‘wait it out’ when I’m in a terrible spot emotionally – or physically.  It is very difficult.  I pout and rant and rave – and claim, ‘UNFAIR’ – when I know deep down inside that waiting for things I don’t understand will produce things in my character and help me become more like Jesus.  But I am unwilling to do it – at least with a good attitude.  And wait in silence?  Never.  Patience and waiting for things – like the reasons and answers for the questions – never comes easy to me.  I want so badly to be more understanding in my ‘waiting’ – to know God more – to let go of myself and my limited perception and just….trust.  But like you – it is a struggle for me.

What are you waiting for?  Do you have the courage to hang on – when you may never get the answer you seek? Can you just…..wait?

 

I am praying for you

God Bless

I Know Nothing

Cropped image of a Socrates bust for use in ph...

Image via Wikipedia

The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.

Socrates

The longer I live I realize the simple truth.  I know nothing.  Oh I know many things experientially – but those things learned by experience only left me wiser and more sure of myself  I didn’t really gain any knowledge about those things – any more than before I was touched by them.  Therein lies the mystery – how can we experience – and yet still not know?

I find myself surrounded by those who claim to know – go on and on about subjects they have no idea about – any more than I – and I am fascinated by their self-proclaimed ‘knowledge’ – knowing they know nothing either.

And those that have the most to say on subjects they know nothing about – know less than the rest of us.  It’s sad – but true.

So – if this is the case – then why do those same people assign themselves as judge and jury for the rest of us who know nothing?  It is a mystery.  And it is irritating at best.

I would love a place in which people would admit their failures, shortcomings and short-sightedness – be ready to take blame for more than their share – and be ready to offer the same graciousness to those around them.  I would love to live in this place where people could admit – they know nothing.

But you see – it takes a big person to admit, ‘I’m wrong.  I may have misjudged you.  I may have believed something that wasn’t true.  I have made  bad choices too – so I can understand how easy it is to do.  I am not perfect either – so I can understand how you must feel – and it’s okay.  It does not define who you are.  I have NO IDEA how this will work out – but I know someone who does.  His name is Jesus – and He is the only one who KNOWS everything about this and everything else.’  He accepts my lack of knowledge – does not judge me – He accepts me exactly the way that I am. I am changed because of His love and wisdom.  He knows just what to say – and when not to say it.  He knows everything about me – and I am still loved.

What an awesome world this would be if everyone could love like Jesus does.  There would be no pressure to know anything.  We could relax in the fact – that there truly is wisdom in  becoming foolish, weak, and knowing nothing.

I pray for you today – that you will come to that place where you can truly say, ‘I know nothing – therefore I can love you and let God take care of the rest.  I don’t have to educate you, blame you, try to fix you and stand in a position of ultimate authority over you, making myself feel better because I’m right – and you’re…wrong.  It isn’t my job.  We are all sinner’s saved by grace and it is all level at the foot of the cross’    Amen

God Bless

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