Musings From A Musical Mind

Archive for the ‘Thankful’ Category

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

Just a short note to wish everyone in my blogging world a very Happy Thanksgiving!  May the food that you eat today be eaten in true thanksgiving as you count you blessings and not your calories!

Today it is just Greg and me in the new town we moved to last month.  I am excited to make my good friend Deanna’s Sweet and Spicy Cornish Game Hens with Cornbread Stuffing recipe.  Here is a picture of how it should look when it is done 🙂

sweetWell I better get started!

What are you having today?

Take care and 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

Dumb is Temporary – But Stupid Is Forever

MakingAFace

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Can you relate?

I sure can.

We all make dumb mistakes – errors that leave us cringing afterward –  But luckily for most of us, they are only temporary lapses of judgment – and easily remedied.  Everyone would agree – dumb is just dumb.

But stupid is forever.  These are the things that have long-term ramifications – and as former pastor Rick Ross used to say, “Stupid is as Stupid does” – it is so true.  Oh you know what I mean.  Those things or habits that we’ve come to know and even ‘cozied’  up to – blindly ignoring all warning signs that say, ‘STOP doing that!!’  It is then that we cross the line from dumb to stupid.

I’ve done everything that I could in the past to prevent me  from going into stupid after visiting dumb  – but I am human and even I have ventured into the scary dark abyss of stupid.  Making friends with stupid is pretty dumb and no one in their right mind would do it.  But I also know that I have done it – I’ve  tasted dumb – and have not been satisfied with it – and so I’ve taken a drink from the ‘stupid kool-aid’ – unaware of the effects of it until much later.  And sadly – sometimes getting rid of stupid takes forever.

Now the only way to combat stupid and stick to just plain dumb – is this:  Don’t ignore the red flags and the little ‘ping’ you get in your stomach when going there.  Be able to stop and run from stupid at a moment’s notice.  And when you are around stupid people – don’t listen to them.  They are usually as changeable as the wind – one minute your best friend – the next your most hated enemy.  And stupid people will always make you feel like the stupid one.  So beware.  They are slick, fast talking, fair weather people – like the leaves on a tree – blowing any direction – with no stability.  Watch out for them – don’t follow their advice or listen to what they say and stay away from people they hang out with – because most likely they’ve been drinking the ‘stupid kool-aid’  too.  Ever tried reasoning with a stupid person?  Yeah right.  It’s impossible.

I will continue to be dumb – because I’m on a journey just like you.  Mistakes and temporary lapses in judgment are part of my journey as an imperfect person.   I also know there is much grace for me that is new every morning, and God’s love has been such a wonderful and reassuring security for my many mess-ups.  Thank you Jesus!  But I have also gone to the stupid level – and know the pain involved with trying to undo it – heal and be reconciled to situations and people and I can tell you first hand – it’s just not worth it – so I will be on guard and aware 24-7. And let’s face it – even if you decide against stupid – stupid will never let you forget. Not ever.

Dumb is temporary – Stupid is Forever

God Bless

Apple Pie For Breakfast?

A slice of homemade Thanksgiving pumpkin pie s...

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I’m not much of a ‘sweet tooth’ – but I DO have some things I REALLY like and these can tempt me like no other.

1. Caramel Chocolate Bar from Harry & David.  It’s the best thing I”ve ever had.  Ever.

2.  Homemade pumpkin pie.  It has to be homemade.  I’m a snob.

3. White Chocolate Mocha’s or Americano’s from Starbucks.  Again, I am a snob.

4. Chocolate Peanut Butter ice cream from Baskin and Robbins.

5. Nanaimo Bars.

 

Yesterday Greg and I were on a ‘date’ for lunch in downtown Renton – and walked next door to a local Starbucks.  I ordered my coffee and was patiently waiting for it at the pick-up station – when I heard Greg laughing and engaged in some ‘fun’ banter with another male customer over by the pastries.  Naturally I didn’t want to miss out on ANY fun (life is so serious – when there’s fun and laughing I am drawn to it).  So I walked over and found that they had been joking about which pastry was the most ‘healthy‘.  It was hilarious – as NONE of those are very healthy – even the ones that say ‘low-fat’ yeah right.  We gave our opinions and he said ‘Well I figure I better eat something healthy – I’ve been eating apple pie for breakfast since Thanksgiving‘.

We all had a good laugh – it was great – a total stranger talking about food and pie and Thanksgiving and beyond.  I told him that he should consider that apple pie is actually pretty healthy – if you think about it – it has fruit in it after all.  And I told him – if you’re feeling too guilty about the sugar content then you could just have one of those ‘sugar free’ drinks with it – that should cancel out all the calories from the pie.  He thanked me and said that make total sense to him – with a wink and a grin.  So fun!

There’s only one pie I would even consider having for breakfast – pumpkin.  Homemade.  Enough said.  Oh and you can leave the whip cream off.  I mean – it is breakfast after all.

Have an awesome day as you struggle to eat all the leftover ‘sweets’ and pie from Thanksgiving.  You have to get into shape for the other things that are coming at you this month – so take it slow.  Baby steps toward Christmas eating.  You can do it!   Jillian Michaels work-out anyone?  Ugh.

 

God Bless

What I’m Most Thankful For

Starbucks logo

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I’ve been seeing status updates all month-long, on facebook – saying what people are thankful for.  I’ve even seen longs lists in various places by others, stating what they are thankful for.  But it was not until I saw my friend David put up such a complete and heartfelt list on his blog – that it really made me want to reflect on those things in which I am most thankful for.  And here they are – in no particular order:

 

1.  I am thankful for the love of a good man  (He’s loved me for 30 years – amazing)

2. I am thankful for my children who are young adults now with lives of their own – and who are finding their way and who both have a strong faith in God – and a great friendship with me and their Dad.

3. I am thankful for the opportunity to use my gifts everyday in music and I LOVE my students so much.

4. I am thankful for good friendships – both past and present and what I have learned from both – but especially the ones who stayed – you are the roots in my life.

5. I am thankful for Christian parents

6. I am thankful for my relationship with Jesus Christ – that started at a very young age.

7. I am thankful for a discovery about myself that allowed me to be free to express myself without fear

8. I am thankful for like-minded believers at my church family – and especially my pastor Stephen and his wife Mandy.

9. I am thankful for Starbucks coffee

10. I am thankful for a fireplace in the winter

11. I am thankful for an outdoor grill in the summer

12. I am thankful for laughter – the daily medicine

13. I am thankful for facebook and my blog site to connect and reconnect with people from all over the world

14. I am thankful for Skype – so that I can see and hear my friends

15. I am thankful for my DVR that records programs I can’t see right now

16. I am thankful for my big screen TV for watching holiday movies and specials.

17. I am thankful for new facebook and blogging buddies – who have found a way of expressing ourselves that is quite unique to us.

18. I am thankful for a warm bed – with adjustable frame so I can sit up in bed and read or watch TV.

19. I am thankful that my husband still brings me a first cup of coffee in bed – after all these years.

20.  I am thankful for all my readers.  We are in a unique world of the written word – and if you have found  yourself here – you know a little more about me than most folks – because this is where I live and express myself.

 

God Bless

Thanksgiving

The First Thanksgiving, painted by Jean Leon G...

Image via Wikipedia

To help put us in the mood for a wonderful Thanksgiving – here is George Winston playing a wonderful tribute to the spirit of ‘Thanksgiving’.  My hope and prayer this year – is that we would all stop and focus on what we are truly thankful for.

 

Enjoy and God Bless!

Fear Of Failure

Thoroughbred racing at Churchill Downs.

Image via Wikipedia

Heard an excellent message this morning from our pastor – “How to deal with Failure”.

I jotted down some thoughts while I was listening:

We have all failed.

We can let that failure make us better – or keep us bitter.

God uses failure in our lives to prepare us for better things.

It can be Fear of Failure that keeps us back and holds us down.

 

A few days ago my husband and I went to see ‘Secretariat‘.  And yes I am actually old enough to remember watching him race  in those ‘triple crown’ races in 1972-73.  It brought back many memories for me – and was thrilling to hearing the back story.  The film also had a common theme today with our pastor’s message.  Failure. The owner of that magnificent race horse – had experienced failure and set-backs.  She could have given in to defeat and even what she knew about the horse’s genetics – but she refused to give in to either.  She knew that horse was a winner and so against all odds – she believed and that belief empowered her.  Instead of being afraid – she pushed on – and Secretariat is still known today as the greatest race horse that ever lived – no race horse has come close to beating his record in 37 years.

When I heard the message today – I was reminded of that horse.  And of the horse’s owner, Penny.  She was completely convinced that her horse was the best – even though the horse had lost a race at first and others told her – to give up.  She stared failure in the face and didn’t bat an eye.  At a great financial gamble – she believed and made the investors believe too.

How much I would love to be like this.  Just because I know something is true – how often do I really believe it and act on it?  Stare fear in the face and not bat an eye?  Take my power back?  Not care about the whispers and humiliation set against me?  Push on past my own reputation and pride?  Get back up after failing and be changed and transformed through the experience? And most of all – see the blessing in it?

It’s hard.  I have failed.  I am just now seeing the blessing in that failure.  But at the time – I thought it would be what would take me down and steal my joy, my testimony and my walk.  And although I am no champion – like Secretariat and numerous others that have had set-back and failures that are far more high-profile than I – I would have to say that it is because of that failure and my response to it – that I am where I am today. I found God’s grace in the midst of pain and hurt.  I might never have discovered first hand how much He loves and forgives if it hadn’t been for my failure.  I might never have discovered how much my husband really loves and believes in me – or how many true friendships I have – how much they have my back and love me beyond my many mistakes.

The key is our response – not the fear of failure.  To fall down and be broken before our God –  but then to get back up. To allow that failure to create something gracious inside of us that sees past the shortcomings and failures of other people.   To allow grace, mercy, humility and love to be our close friends when dealing with other people.  And to release that champion in our hearts that just wants to run – free – just like that race horse.

Here is a beautiful passage of scripture from the Message Bible.  When I was listening to my friend lead worship on a youtube video – she quoted a portion of this Psalm and it is so fitting when speaking about failure.

Psalm 51

1-3Generous in love—God, give grace! Huge in mercy—wipe out my bad record.
Scrub away my guilt,
soak out my sins in your laundry.
I know how bad I’ve been;
my sins are staring me down.

4-6 You’re the One I’ve violated, and you’ve seen
it all, seen the full extent of my evil.
You have all the facts before you;
whatever you decide about me is fair.
I’ve been out of step with you for a long time,
in the wrong since before I was born.
What you’re after is truth from the inside out.
Enter me, then; conceive a new, true life.

7-15 Soak me in your laundry and I’ll come out clean,
scrub me and I’ll have a snow-white life.
Tune me in to foot-tapping songs,
set these once-broken bones to dancing.
Don’t look too close for blemishes,
give me a clean bill of health.
God, make a fresh start in me,
shape a Genesis week from the chaos of my life.
Don’t throw me out with the trash,
or fail to breathe holiness in me.
Bring me back from gray exile,
put a fresh wind in my sails!
Give me a job teaching rebels your ways
so the lost can find their way home.
Commute my death sentence, God, my salvation God,
and I’ll sing anthems to your life-giving ways.
Unbutton my lips, dear God;
I’ll let loose with your praise.

16-17 Going through the motions doesn’t please you,
a flawless performance is nothing to you.
I learned God-worship
when my pride was shattered.
Heart-shattered lives ready for love
don’t for a moment escape God’s notice.

18-19 Make Zion the place you delight in,
repair Jerusalem’s broken-down walls.
Then you’ll get real worship from us,
acts of worship small and large,
Including all the bulls
they can heave onto your altar!

 

May you find that this new week  steeped in ‘chaos’ – is actually a ‘Genesis’ week – a new beginning – rich with possibilities and newness.  And no fear of failure.

 

God Bless

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