Musings From A Musical Mind

Archive for the ‘Moms’ Category

24 Years Ago

I remember where I was 24 years ago tonight.  I was in a room in a hospital in New Castle, PA – getting ready for 5 hours of hard labor to have my first-born child – Ashlee Renee.  I went into labor on her due date of August 5th and she was born at 2:27 am on August 6, 1987.

So much has changed since I was 26 years old.  We’ve lived an entire lifetime since then – crisscrossed the country a couple of times and have finally wound up back in the Pacific Northwest.

Everything about life changes when you have a baby – our doctor told Greg and me that we would enter the hospital as two people – and  leave as three.  Our life really changed and we discovered that Ashlee was the new boss of our home – deciding when she would eat and sleep – and most often in those first few months – she was at an opposite schedule – so NO ONE slept much.  I remember not minding – she was precious and I had prayed for a girl and she was PERFECT.

Happy Birthday, Ashlee – you will be 24 in 6 hours!

Where were you 24 years ago today?

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

Drops Of Jupiter

I can’t tell you why I love these song lyrics – but I identify with them somehow.    I was singing this with a voice student of mine this last week – and I asked her, “What do you think these lyrics mean?”  Interesting question, right?

I have found that the best song lyrics have a universal meaning.  And even though the writer of these words was taking something from his real life – it usually is a personal story that inspires the best songs.   This song is actually about a dream.  The lead singer of Train lost his mother to cancer and had a weird dream about missing her.   Enjoy it – it’s one of Train’s best songs and after listening to the song and seeing the lyrics – there is another video of Pat explaining about the dream and why he wrote the song.  It’s really great!

Who’s your “Drops Of Jupiter” today?  Who do you miss?

God Bless


Loosening My Firm Grip

Image representing iPhone as depicted in Crunc...

Image via CrunchBase

I was out taking a walk around the neighborhood yesterday, in one of those rare sunny and fairly “warmish” days.  I had my iPhone/iPod tunes coming through my ear buds and I was humming a happy little tune.

I turned a corner and walked toward a nearby park when all of a sudden the thought struck me:  What if I lost all this great music on my iPhone?  What if my computer had a melt-down and my WHOLE music library was GONE!  In an instant!

Well,  while this and other great thoughts invaded my mind along my walk – I had to ask myself, “would it really be a big deal? – I mean, come on – it’s just music, right?”

I had to admit that it would not be a huge deal.  An inconvenience for sure – but not the end of the world (as in what’s supposed to happen this Saturday – but that’s ANOTHER story).  No – my life and my world would continue on – I would just turn on my Pandora Radio and slowly rebuild my music library again – or just listen to CD’s and the radio in the car until I gathered my music once again over time.

Now while this is a silly example – I thought about the “things” I hold on to.  Those things that I feel ownership over.  The things that are mine.  My personal belongings, my pictures, my books, my computer, my piano, my blog articles and so on and so forth.  What if something happened to them?  Would I be Okay?  Would I survive?  If EVERYTHING was taken away from me tomorrow – would I really be able to make it?  Is my identity defined by all those things?  Would I really be lost without them?

No.  I would be Okay.  I choose to keep a loose grasp on my material blessings.  I can move, sell, sort and get rid of extra junk when I need to – and have in the past done several BIG MOVES across the country and back – to know that I am not defined by things.  I’ve witnessed several households of furniture come and go in 30 years of marriage and have not been devastated when the time came to unload it – or lighten our load.

I believe there is a principle in this for not only the material “things” – but I believe we should be willing to let go of our firm grip when it comes to the people in our lives – even if we don’t want to.  I was determined when raising our two children, that I was NOT going to be one of those mom’s who couldn’t bear to let my kids grow up, change and become independent from me.  It is perfectly normal for them to need me less and less as they mature – and to someday be fully developed and have their own life – apart from me.

Our children are only on loan to us.  I don’t believe there are any accidents.  God knows what He is doing – and He gave me my children to love and raise.  I do not OWN them.  And when I have invested into them everything I can – (not always in the most perfect way – but with the best intentions),  I can release them, knowing that they are individuals who must answer to God for themselves – they are no longer my responsibility.

Many parents become unhappy when their grown-up children do not need them anymore – when it is very normal and natural that they should NOT need us anymore when they are mature.  Some are bewildered because they feel they lose their control over their children and even try forms of manipulation and even guilt to keep them young – while imposing their need and dreams of the “good old days”.  While this is natural because of the time investment spent in them – it should not be used as a method of control towards our children.  They are given to us – they really belong to God.  It is important to raise our children “in the way they should go”  and then let them go – loosen the grip – release them in love.  Even if we don’t always agree.  Pray for them – and then trust God.

And though I am far from perfect as a mom – I have always tried to let my own grown-up children lead their own lives.  I feel like Greg and I did everything we could do while they were living in our home – and we tried to set a godly example for them while growing up – through good and bad, happy and sad times.

The secret is to have a “loose grip” on the things and people that we don’t feel we can let go.  Have a firm grip on God – and teach your children to do the same.  He will make His plans known to them – and He is ultimately responsible for their journey – when they allow Him to guide their steps.  This is so freeing to me as a parent and I know it will be to you too.  This will lead to a happy life – full of deep joy with no regret.

How’s your grip?  Do you feel it tightening around things you can’t bear to lose?  Can you just relax and trust?  How do you apply a “loose grip” to your own situations?

God Bless

Guest Post By The GypsyNester

Empty nest of a White-tailed Eagle, location s...

Image via Wikipedia

I just found this great couple on twitter.  They call themselves The Gypsynester.  They are a couple who find themselves in mid-life with an “empty nest” – and decide to travel the world and write and blog about their experiences!  They are funny and quirky and all the things I love!
The reason I can relate so well with them – they are empty nesters who know the ropes.  This article that they wrote, My Dirty Little Secret describes perfectly all the feelings and humor surrounding the subject that I can totally relate too!  With our son just one month away from leaving home for California and embarking on a whole new world – I find myself feeling just like this Mom in this article.  You will find them wildly funny and if you too, are an “empty-nester” – or soon to be “empty-nester” – you will be able to relate and find the humor in your situation too.

Enjoy and God Bless!

Bambina

Breastfeeding offers benefits for both mother ...

Image via Wikipedia

I’ve heard this song on Pandora Radio for quite a few weeks – and I was interested in finding out what she was saying – since I don’t speak ANY French!  And I found out it’s a sweet song about a lost baby or child.

In this day of abortion and ‘right to choose’ – I thought I would play this sweet song that speaks of heartache and regret.

♥  This is dedicated in love – for all of you that have ever lost a baby or a child. ♥  May God continue to comfort you ♥

God Bless.

French 

Bambina

Rien qu’un petit espace
Une toute, toute petite trace
Un petit mal qui reste en moi
Tout c’que tu detestes
Je prends ma petite place
D’un trait de larmes j’efface
Les souvenirs terrestres
Qui trainent dans ma veste

Bambina tu me manques
Les photos qui me hantent
Sont des parfums de rue
Ou je ne vais plus

Bambina…
De ta petite voix
Je parle de nous tout bas
Et quand ca les fait rire
Ca me dechire
Car d’apparence tu vois
Je ne te ressemble pas
J’ai plutot l’air de celle
Qui grandit en toi

Bambina tu me manques
Les photos qui me hantent
Sont des parfums de rue
Ou je ne vais plus

Bambina si vivante
Reviens, j’ai mal au ventre
Bambina, dans ce corps
J’ai ton coeur qui bat

Je t’attends en bas dans la rue
Ou l’autobus ne passe plus
Je chante a tue-tete
Tu verras j’ai la meme voix

Bambina tu me manques
Les photos qui me hantent
Sont des parfums de rue
Ou je ne vais plus

Bambina…
Reviens, j’ai mal au ventre
Bambina, dans ce corps
J’ai ton coeur qui bat

Rien qu’un petit espace
Une toute, toute petite trace ..

English 

Bambina

Nothing but a little space
A really , really little trail
A little evil that remains inside me
Everything you hate
I take my little place
With a tear trail I brush off
The memories of the Earth
That lie under my jacket

Bambina I miss you
The pictures haunting me
Are perfumes from the streets
That I no longer go to

Bambina ..
With your little voice
I talk about us in a whisper
& When it makes them laugh
It tears me up
Because outwardly , you see
I don’t look like you
I rather look like the one
Who grows up inside you

Bambina I miss you
The pictures haunting me
Are perfumes from the streets
That I no longer go to

Bambina so full of life
Come back , I have stomach ache
Bambina , in this body
Your heart is beating

I wait for you down the street
Where the bus no longer pass
I sing at the top of my voice
You will see I have the same voice

Bambina I miss you
The pictures haunting me
Are perfumes from the streets
That I no longer go to

Bambina ..
Come back , I have stomach ache
Bambina , in this body
Your heart is beating

Nothing but a little space
A really , really little trail ..

My Son

Today my baby boy is 19.

I feel like I’ve lived a whole lifetime since he was born.  Greg was pastor of a very small church in Fortuna, CA at that time.  Shortly after – Northern California had an earthquake that did considerable damage to our little town and nearby ones.  The quake happened in the middle of the afternoon while I was nursing Shawn – and four-year old Ashlee was watching TV nearby.  Our family room was a pile of junk and clothes – getting ready for an upcoming garage sale to be held that next weekend.  It created a rocking sensation and things began to come out of the cupboards and the TV ‘walked’ out of the entertainment center and almost fell on Ashlee.  It was amazing and Greg RAN from his office next door to see if we were alright.  We were – just shaken up a bit.  But in the night the after shocks were just as bad – but infant Shawn – none the wiser – slept peacefully for the first time ALL NIGHT LONG.  The quakes just lulled him to sleep.

It’s crazy what things you remember from the past – sometimes it’s the most insignificant things – the little moments that pass by so quickly.  The early bonding we had – the time we had together while he was small – I am grateful for each and every day that I got to spend with him.  I was very lucky – I was a ‘stay at  home mom‘ for both of my children and I will never regret that.

Shawn was always an easy child with a quick wit and much natural talent.  He is everyone’s friend and has that certain ‘X-factor’ that is intangible – but still just a fact that is accepted and acknowledged by everyone who knows him.  A favorite with the grandparents and relatives – he just simply is a special person inside and out.

At 19 – he is still trying to find his way – and I am touched by his gentle spirit – the way he interacts with kids younger than himself and the way he ministers with his gifts – using them to bless others.

And yet – in many ways he is still a child – not yet ready to face the world.  He is one step closer – but still not ready.  He still has some lessons to learn – some pain to face and get through – some hard times to wrestle with and toughen him up – finding his way and finding out who he is and who God has designed him to be. We have done our best with him – and most of our lessons are through – he has absorbed all he can – and now the rest is up to him.  And like all parents of boys of this wild and adventurous age – we are anxious for him to make the right choices and hope and pray we have equipped him to do what he needs to do.  At this age – the parenting is mostly over for him.  And all we can do is pray – and wait.

Happy Birthday to my son who used to light candles for me – play soft music and run a hot bath for me – just because.

Happy Birthday to my son who was very wanted and planned for. I remember praying for you before you were born and asking God for another child – and I knew that child would be special – and you are.

Happy Birthday to my son – who is far from perfect – but who is perfect for me. You make my heart smile – and your humor brightens even the darkest of my days.  God gave you to me – to raise, watch over and pray for – He knew what He was doing – you are my gift – my love and my life. And He knew that I needed you. I can’t imagine what my life would have been like without you in it.  Each day you make me proud and happy – just by being you – and along with you big sister – you are the best thing that ever happened to me.

I love you

P.S. It’s after midnight now – officially your birthday – I texted happy birthday to you – and just received  a text  back – ‘ I love you too, Mom – you’re the first to wish that to me, Mom – almost home  – wanna chat?’  Ahhh – not too grown up yet.

Yes – I do.

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