Musings From A Musical Mind

Archive for the ‘Patience’ Category

How Persistent Are You?

sunny disposition |24

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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

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Depending On How You Look At It

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Twenty years ago I fell on some rocks at the ocean in California where we were living at the time.  As fate would have it – I broke my fall with my strong side – and my strong hand and arm.  My hand was  so painful by the next morning I couldn’t move it and had to go to the doctor – who rushed me into x-ray where the technicians move your already injured hand in twisted and contorted positions to get a proper ‘read’.  Ouch.  Anyway it was determined that a tiny bone was broken and they put me in a cast up to my elbow.  I had to wear the stupid thing for 6 weeks – and at the time Greg was pastoring a small church and I was the ONLY one to play piano.  Needless to say – we went acappella for all that time I was out of commission.  It was terribly pesky – I couldn’t write or anything – even eating was hard – I can’t do anything well with my left hand.

Several years ago I fell down some cement steps at our church – on a Sunday morning.  It was very embarrassing and painful too.  I ended up going to the doctor and found that I had broken my foot.  And as fate would have it – it was my right foot, which meant that I couldn’t drive a car – or push the sustain pedal down for the piano – not sure which was worse, being that I am a music teacher and accompany my voice students – it is part of what I do each day.  Driving – playing piano with the pedal – it was a toss-up.  And to add even more drama – Greg was doing some remodelling in our home at the time – putting wood stairs and railings to our 2 story entry way of our house – so during the time of my ‘infirmity’ there was NO RAILING for the stairs and I literally had to hug the wall coming down from the bedroom to the first floor of our home every time I went back and forth.  It must have looked HILARIOUS to anyone watching.  I felt completely handicapped and miserable – didn’t think I’d ever have a normal foot again – and in fact when I would take the ‘boot’ off to shower or to sleep – I was so glad to put in back on again – as I would have the protection – and was afraid of being injured again – my foot was SO tender.

While I was in this injured state – Greg drove me to the grocery store one day.  We parked the car and Greg came around to get me and walk me in.   There was a cross-walk directing in front of one of the entrances and we needed to wait for the cars – or have them wait for us – whichever was the case at the time.  When it was clear we started across very slowly. A car that was stopped and now waiting for us to get safely across – and this was now visible to my dear husband.  If you know my husband you know that he is the most gracious man in the world – does not have an enemy and always tries to do the right thing.  He is generous to a fault and would never want to inconvenience anyone.  And so this car having to ‘wait’ for us really bothered him – and he proceeded to drag me across the intersection.  Looking back – it must have been hilarious to onlookers.  But at the time – I was NOT amused.  After all folks – I was handicapped – and I thought to myself, ‘let them wait’!

It is different to each of us – depending on how you look at it.

And so it is with each of us on this journey – called life. Some are gracious – some are impatient – some let life pass them by – some wonder what happened.

I no longer have to wear that cast or boot and I’m glad that I am not ‘handicapped’ anymore.  At least in the obvious physical way – we all have our internal disabilities that no one sees.  The part that is just between us and God.  And those physical limitations are always going to be there – especially the older I get.  My shoulders, neck and back are not what they used to be and because I carry all my stress there – during a production week like this one – I struggle all week-long – not to feel handicapped – but to feel normal. Hmmm – what is normal?

But normal is relative too – depending on how you look at it. 😉

 

God Bless

I Know Nothing

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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

With God’s Help, I Shall Be Myself

Cover of "Funny Faces"

Cover of Funny Faces

‎”Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given, and then sink yourself into that…Each of you must take responsibility for doing the creative best you can with your own life.”
–Galatians 6:4-5 The Message

 

Found this passage of scripture yesterday on a page that I subscribe to on facebook.  I love The Message Bible because it speaks with everyday language that I can understand and more easily, apply to my life.

With life’s cares, burdens, stresses and other things – it becomes difficult to even remember who I am – what my calling is – and just how to do it.  And yet I am instructed to – BE WHO I AM.

Being who I am is difficult.  Not so much in my own head – although that can be a problem too after years of masking who I am – in order to fit it – get along with – or remain with the status quo.  Mostly it is hard because the image I project is sometimes very different from who I really am.  And my responses are carefully guarded after so long of being careful not to offend – and not to be rejected for being different.

But in this scripture I am encouraged to be me.  To do a thorough inventory of myself. Not what others see me as – or want me to be.  Not what I have carefully tried to conceal from people and even myself – but to break free from other thoughts and ideas that others would try to project on me – and just be me.

I have many stories from past ministry life that would raise the hair on the back of your neck – how others tried to muzzle me or tell me what was right for me – how to act – what to say – how to dress etc. etc.  It made me very cautious – it made me very conflicted inside.  I wasn’t sure for many years – who I was – or even if I was satisfied with being different.  Even as recent as two years ago I had a situation where again I felt free to be me – only to be blasted because I was expressing that part of me that had been shut up for so long.  I was once again muzzled and felt humiliated for my words  – by someone I thought understood and encouraged me to be me!  What a concept.  I was wrong – and my attempt at being myself and breaking free was met in the end with lack of understanding and rejection.  But the last couple of years have taught me something.  I like who I am.  I like being free to say and do what I like – without having to fit in to anyone else’s agenda or protocol.  And I have lost my fear.  Others cannot hurt me anymore in the same way.  Or silence me.  I have found myself.

And once I was satisfied with who that someone was – something great happened – the most truthful and honest me came out – I then began to evaluate my gifting according to what I had been equipped for and possess – and I began to sink into that work.

When I think about sinking into something – I think about my nice comfortable bed.  Settling in, making myself comfortable and staying a while.  In the same way – I am encouraged to settle in and make myself comfortable – stay for a while with the things and gifts that God has equipped and given to me.

Being an artist and musician – I love the next part of the verse.  I am instructed to do my ‘creative best’ with my own life – the responsibility rests inside of me.

Thank you Lord for creating me with unique abilities and gifts.  Help me find the courage to be myself – lose the fear of rejection, betrayal, and disregard from those who did not like – or did not agree – with who I am.  Help me find the freedom and safety in your warm and loving regard.  Knowing that you are smiling and cheering me on!  As I come closer and closer to being the one who you created with your purpose running through me.

With God’s help – I shall be myself.

 

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

Perception is 100% As I Perceive It.

I have been noticing as I’m getting older – no – let me rephrase that.  I am noticing as my HUSBAND is getting older – that his driving is getting more and more creative.  Yes.  That’s the word.  Creative.

For example:  We were turning onto a street from a shopping center going at a constant rate of speed appropriate for turning into traffic.  I was secure and proceeded to check my emails on my iPhone – when all of a sudden I glanced up as I noticed my husband accelerating to the upcoming RED light!  I was curious, mind you – like any passenger would be (and a little concerned for my personal safety) as he was NOT slowing down – but going toward that light at an alarming speed!  But just like a man (of a certain age) he had misjudged the light turning green and had to SLAM on the brakes – or so it seemed to me.  He has another story – something about having to go at the rate of the traffic on the road.   Hmmmm.  I didn’t see any of them speeding up to the red light – only our car –  leaving everyone IN THE DUST and me with a very worried and stunned expression on my face.  You know the ‘look’.  It’s the one where the mouth opens – but no sound comes out.  Yeah – that one.  When I do this ‘look’ – Greg is quick to tell me that I’m going to catch flies like that.  The nerve.

Now I realize that his erratic driving may just be a perception.  It IS possible that I’m starting to ‘lose it’.  It wouldn’t be the first time I felt like I was.  I’ve raised two teenagers for goodness sakes.  And sometimes I really fear that my grasp on reality is slipping away.  But I do not EVER drive this way – nor do I remember him driving that way in all the years I’ve known him.  He’s always been a very safe driver – much more aggressive at the wheel than me – of course – but still very safe and reliable.  I could fall asleep in the car while we were going somewhere and feel perfectly safe.  Now I keep my eyes open – mostly in a wide-eyed stare – but they are still open.

Perception.  My perception.  It’s different from yours.  I view the world through a different lens than you.  The problem comes when I think that you should see things the way that I do – when you don’t.  Or try to get my husband to see that he shouldn’t be speeding up to a red light – but he should allow plenty of time to put his brakes on (and make me feel more safe).  But his perception of the incident is entirely different from mine.

Wouldn’t it be nice if everyone could just think like me – or do things just like me?  I wouldn’t have to guess at why things happen between friends – worry about what others are thinking – and wouldn’t be concerned at the actions of others.  Unfortunately life isn’t like this – it’s full of ‘give and take’ with the people in my world – making adjustments and allowances everyday with things I just can’t understand.

I have to believe that God made us this way on purpose.  We don’t understand everything and we’re not suppose to.  I don’t understand even the closest people to me and why they think like they do – and life is full of navigating around that.  Different opinions – different preferences – different perceptions.

The older I get – the more I realize this:  It’s not important that I understand everything – I know now I never will.  But it is important to have an open mind for others – to accept and embrace change in my life and realize that I am not the only one in this universe.  To accept that I am not the only one with an opinion or perception of fact.  And to learn to navigate through all the ‘junk’ of youth and inexperience to where I finally get to a place where – that’s okay.  Even if it means getting very used to speeding up to red lights.  Even then.  I guess.  After all – this is how I perceive it.

God Bless

Love until it Hurts…And Sometimes it Will… (via Cindy Holman’s Blog)

Written a year ago and posted on my blog – it is still appropriate ‘food for thought’ today – and I hope it will inspire each of you look beyond circumstances – makes allowances for others – to ‘dig deep’ and love until it hurts.

God Bless

“I have found the paradox – If I love until it hurts – then there is no hurt – but only more love.” Mother Teresa This is my favorite quote.  Mother Teresa – modern day hero – living in an in-hospital situation – in Calcutta, India – working with the orphans and the homeless and unlovely – amidst adversity and poverty.  She considered it an honor to serve her Lord and to love people. I have never been called to foreign missions – but have served … Read More

via Cindy Holman’s Blog

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