Musings From A Musical Mind

Archive for the ‘Words’ Category

On The Hill

Mountains - Autumn in Denali

Mountains – Autumn in Denali (Photo credit: blmiers2)

I have a new appreciation for the Olympic athletes.  The years of sacrifice and lost childhood.  Dedication to their craft – a single, gut-wrenching focus.  Muscles, determination and low body fat.  No fatty foods, like chocolate.  No pizza.  I like pizza.

And so – feeling less than adequate compared to the chiseled young bodies – I am on a personal quest of health and fitness – at 50+.

There is a really steep stupid hill adjacent to our home.  I say stupid because it has a steep descent to the bottom (where Maple Valley Hwy is) that takes a good 10 minutes walking at a normal clip.  To turn around and walk straight up it is – well – STUPID!  But because we are determined and like those famous Olympians who I’m sure started with a steep hill somewhere in their early training – we press on – past the pain – past the sweat – past the chest pain (in my case) trying to breathe deep and just keep going.

We started doing this last year and in the beginning of the summer it was a torturous feat – and I had to stop many times and just catch my breath.  But by the end of the fall I was pretty good.  Then came the rainy and cold months and the STUPID hill was left on its own. (“Good riddance”, said I)  Until…it became apparent that we needed to take to the hill again because our 2 mile walks were just not cutting it.  This time we had a puppy to go with us.  She LOVES going for a walk – especially off-lease as she is on this path.  Daisy effortlessly RUNS up that stupid hill.  Stopping every now and then to scamper and sniff new and exciting things – then because we’re taking so long she runs down to circle round us a few times and then runs happily on ahead to wait for us again.  This has become our new dance – on the hill.  We huff and puff (OK – I huff and puff) and Greg and Daisy walk up with no problem.  Well – Greg walks – Daisy runs.

I am going to conquer that hill someday – it will not beat me.  I will walk up light and not out of breath – be free and more fit.  Not quite like an Olympian – but for my age an Olympian at heart 🙂

God Bless

Here is the song by Phillip Phillips that is the theme song this year for the women’s gymnastic team 2012.  Enjoy and feel inspired!

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The Quiet Center

Dream of the Abandoned Chair

Dream of the Abandoned Chair (Photo credit: garlandcannon)

We sang this beautiful song during our morning church service.  The words are reflective and personal.  With any good lyrics, I find myself searching deep within and relating so well with each line.  The title is simply, “Come and find the quiet center” and invites all to pause and reflect.  In stepping away from the noise and chaos so often associated with our busy lives – I love the times I can quietly retreat and find my ‘center’ – that place reserved for God alone.  A place where He is my focus and steadiness in a world gone mad.  In the second and third verse (which are not on the video) there is a richness of word pictures.  I especially love how ‘silence is a friend who claims us, cools the heat and slows the pace’.  And ‘there’s a place for deepest dreaming, there’s a time for heart to care, in the Spirit’s lively scheming there is always room to spare!’

 

Do you have a quiet center?  A place of reflection?  A refuge in time of  the great storms in your life?  Take a minute today and reflect on these beautiful words – you will be blessed!

 

 

 

God Bless

 

 

by Shirley Erena Murray

 

1 Come and find the quiet center
in the crowded life we lead,
find the room for hope to enter,
find the frame where we are freed:
clear the chaos and the clutter,
clear our eyes, that we can see
all the things that really matter,
be at peace, and simply be.
2 Silence is a friend who claims us,
cools the heat and slows the pace,
God it is who speaks and names us,
knows our being, touches base,
making space within our thinking,
lifting shades to show the sun,
raising courage when we’re shrinking,
finding scope for faith begun.
3 In the Spirit let us travel,
open to each other’s pain,
let our loves and fears unravel,
celebrate the space we gain:
there’s a place for deepest dreaming,
there’s a time for heart to care,
in the Spirit’s lively scheming
there is always room to spare!

 

Finding Out What Works

Life everyone else – it is by trial and error (a lot of trial and too much error) that I learn.

It is not a fun way to learn – but there it is.

I have tried countless brands of this and that from cereals to deodorant before I found the right one that worked for me.

I have downloaded hundreds of pieces of sheet music trying to find the right song for  students (and learn how to do it)

I have tried numerous website browsers for my computer before landing on the “right one”

I have struggled learning software programs and trying to understand my iMac and before that, my PC – all in an attempt to better communicate, write and teach others.  It took me longer than anybody else because I refuse to give up before I have answers. Some would call it a futile effort – but it is what has worked for me.

I have tried several dry, canned, raw foods and doggie snacks (even given away several boxes of snacks and crackers that Daisy won’t eat) in an attempt to feed a healthy balanced diet for our finicky puppy and finally found something that works!

We tried several churches after resigning from a full-time staff position more than 3 years ago – and finally found something that worked for us in this season.  It only took us a year or so.

I designed a music lesson plan and contract for teaching piano and voice after much trial and error – and early on in my career found something that worked.

I have tried several types of friendships in my life time.  I now choose my relationships based on very specific things after being around the block a time or two with those who stole my trust and broke the rules of friendship. – These things that I value are not definable – but very tangible to me.  It has not always been so in past years – but now I value what is most important in my intimacy with others – this works for me and allows me to feel safe.

I write a blog based on things I am interested in and do not follow other things more trendy or universal in appeal.  Knowing that I being true to myself at the same time helping others is enough for me – one person at a time – and that is something that works for me.

I have tried to please others.  I have wasted much of my thought life of caring what others think of me.  I am guilty of putting too much thought into those who don’t care anything about what I’m doing or thinking.  And I’ve come to one conclusion:

The only one I need to please is God.  Any thoughts I have are not wasted on Him.  He listens with rapt attention to my emotions and struggles.  I am safe with Him.  And my time spent with Him is always valued and never tossed aside.

He brings my thoughts and emotions into balance – helps me be a kinder, more compassionate person – and helps me find the meaning in my sometimes crazy and mixed up mind – my many trials and errors and helps me understand why I am like I am and do the things that I do.  And with Him to balance me – my life is complete.

It is a simple formula.  Loving my family, friends and my Heavenly Father.

And that is what works for me.

How about you?  What have you learned by trial and error?

God Bless

 

Being Left Alone

English: An anxious person

Image via Wikipedia

Sometimes things just happen.  Sometimes it’s a good thing.  Sometimes it’s bad.    There are things and people added to our plans – and sometimes things and people are taken away.  There are times of happiness, comfort and safety – But  then there is a time of desolation, hurt and loss.

No one wants to feel abandoned, isolated and left behind.  While it may not happen so much when we’re young – sooner or later it does as we get older.  The same comforts, circumstances and even people in our lives, that are with us when we begin our journey, or part way through our journey – sometimes do not continue with us the rest of the way.  It is the feeling of being “left alone”.  It is difficult to understand.  But it is called life.

This week we’ve been training our 14 week old puppy, Daisy to stay home alone – without anyone here.  Training her to wait – be patient – that we will come back again – therefore reassuring her, by our return that she is not being left permanently.  It is a training for us too as we do not want her to feel lonely, brush her aside like she is not important – but at the same time we want to reduce her anxiety by the fact that we will return.  It is difficult to explain that to a puppy.

In the same way – I wonder how much our earthly anxiety is a mixture of “unnecessary worry” and “childlike anxiety” simply because we do not understand our situation and circumstances like God does.  We don’t have the ability to wait and trust that God sees the bigger picture – and that it is only for a “season” and not “forever”.  I’m sure that God must say, “I know best.  I can see everything all at once.  Trust me”  But we miss it – because we’re too busy being uncomfortable at our own perceived feeling of “being left”.  And more than that – that God doesn’t hear us or understand.

There are some lessons that can only be learned without anyone with me.  Feeling that isolation is good for me.  In anxiety I learn trust.  In feeling abandoned by my overwhelming circumstance – I learn faith.  And I also want to remain hopeful that God has all the answers to the questions I have.  That there will be a time when I understand.

And until then – I must learn the same painful lesson that our puppy must.  Being left alone is sometimes how God speaks His most powerful insights to me.  It is in that lesson, that I am stronger, more compassionate to others, and ready for God to use me again.

When was the last time you feel completely alone?  When you lost something you thought you would always have?  Did you hear God speak to you?

 

God Bless

Wrapping Up Christmas

I feel like I’ve been absent – even though I have posted something every day since the week of Thanksgiving.  We did all the Christmas things, made Chex mix (multiple times) made the pumpkin pies for Thanksgiving week, decorated the house, put up small trees on tables this year, watched all our favorite traditional (and non-traditional) holiday movies, listened to old and new Christmas songs, got together with family and friends, spent a few short days with our college son, home and gone before Christmas, ate too much snack food, made a new potato recipe from my friend, had wonderful spiral ham and now I’m making split pea soup from the bone – and finally – it’s time to wrap up Christmas for another year.

I must say that I’m disappointed we had no snow whatsoever during this season – and there is still no snow in sight.  However, I did feel all warm and toasty many times with our cozy fire and warm blanket when the temperatures dipped below 30.  Our puppy, Daisy has been fun to watch as she grows, plays, entertains us with her clownish ways – and as she snuggles up and sleeps next to us by the fire.

I have also learned something new.  When people write “Merry Xmas” it’s actually NOT a bad thing, like my generation (and my parent’s) used to think.  “X” means “Chi” in Greek – or another word for “Christ“.  Who knew?  Ever heard someone say, “They are leaving out Christ when they say or write it that way”  Guess what?  They aren’t!

And as my pastor pointed out yesterday, when we say “Happy Holidays” it actually  means “Holy Days” – and I say it all the time!  So glad I was actually saying something good all along – don’t you just love being chided by other Christians when they think you’re forgetting about Jesus when you don’t say Merry Christmas?  It’s ALL good, people – and let’s not forget that there are three holidays to speak about, Thanksgiving, Christmas AND New Years.

So the next time you see “Xmas” – I encourage you NOT to be miffed – but embrace it!

And with a clear conscience I can say “Happy holidays” and “Merry Christmas” to all!

Have you ever been chided by someone over these things?  I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Warm after Christmas thoughts to you – as you “wrap up Christmas” for another year!

God Bless!

Interesting…

Man and woman in bathing suits in a rowboat ne...

So Greg and I were sitting at the kitchen table having a discussion over scrambled eggs, toast and coffee, when suddenly we found ourselves on a topic that has been hashed around in our home MANY times:  Why can’t a man think more like a woman?  And to be fair – Why can’t a woman think more like a man?

Greg, of course – sides with all the men out there and sees the need to defend his “maleness” – while I struggle to fight for the “right to be heard” and explain that women just don’t think like men.

It is a very familiar dance.  The male vs. women thinking – a completely different approach to life,  to people and relationships.

When men see something such as a picture or image on TV – it does something for them.  When a woman sees that same provocative thing – they are usually disgusted and turned OFF.  When a woman is just being friendly to a man it can be interpreted as something else – but the man can think that it means something else entirely.  The woman see that as it is – just being friendly.  And making a new friend.  When a man is friendly to a woman – woman usually see this as friendly – unless it is creepy in some way – while a man may be thinking totally differently about his friendliness and her responses to it – leading – shall we say – somewhere else?

Greg was telling me that he heard on a radio program the other day – how men like seeing pictures of women – so these same men think that sending a nude photo of themselves will somehow be a turn-on to women he’s never met on the internet or through text messages.  Clearly men DO NOT UNDERSTAND WOMEN.

I love all my friends and I have many – both men and women.  But understanding the differences in how men and women relate with one another can takes a lifetime.  Is it worth it?  Yes.  A well rounded person should have friends from both sexes and have an easy rapport with both.

And after being married to the same man for almost 30 years, I can clearly see the differences – at least in our home:   Men see and feel through their eyes.  Women see and feel through their heart.  

Because men assume that women feel as they do – often times conversation can be misunderstood.  And because women assume men think like a woman – when they just want a “good talk”  (like they would with any of their girlfriends) – it can be misunderstood.  Woman love having deep conversations and often times their guy friends are like their girl friends – comfortable and dependable.  With nothing meant – and no interest whatsoever.

Greg has had to learn the art of listening – because I like to express myself through talking things out.  And I have had to learn that he doesn’t just want to talk all the time 🙂  And by communication, we’ve learned that I am a natural “nurturer” – loving to help, encourage and lend support to those out there within my reach.

And I have learned that Greg needs to be admired and be the “hero” in my life – making even the most difficult of days – better.  He longs to fix and offer wisdom and advice to my everyday problems and situations.  He loves to be connected and be consulted in even the smallest of decisions.

We’ve learned to support each other and to play to each other’s strengths – and yes,  even help each other understand why men and women react and respond the way they do – when it seems foreign to us.

It’s – interesting.  It’s called life.

What do you find the most interesting about woman – if you’re a man?  And about men – if you’re a woman?  Do you try to walk around in their skin once in a while to see if you can understand them better?  Try it – it’s very – interesting.

God Bless

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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