Musings From A Musical Mind

Posts tagged ‘God Bless’

The Mouse In The Corner

Yesterday I drove with Greg on one of his many road trips.  He does weddings and funerals for a living and has numerous meetings throughout the week for these weddings and funerals.  It was raining the whole way there.  He dropped me off at a local Starbucks – then went on to his meeting.  It was a day much like any other.  We have done this hundreds of times before.

 

 

 

But yesterday was different.  Fall is in the air.  And, so it seems – tempers and grumbling – at least where I was.  I had chosen a table in the middle of the coffee shop and noticed 3 little girls sitting in the back next to what appeared to be their mother and grandmother with a baby in a car seat on the floor beside them.  It is a little unusual to see children in a Starbucks, so I was curious and smiled at them as I sat down.  My back was to them and I was very quiet – at my own little table with my iPad – reading and playing games, trying to mind my own business.  However as I sat there I became increasingly aware of two very different conversations going on around me.  The children’s “mother” was agitated the whole time.  They were there a good 1/2 hour after I sat down – there’s no telling how long they were there before I came in.  Ahead of me were 2 young females in their early 20’s.  One had her back to me and I couldn’t hear what she was saying – if in fact she was saying anything at all.  The one facing me seemed to be doing all the talking.  It was really quite humorous and hard to concentrate on what I was reading.  The young girl – though not unattractive, was certainly drawing attention to herself by talking in a raised voice – so that everyone there heard her rants about a “stupid guy that would not call her back” – her disgust and hatred of children – (she called them “kids”) and how amazed she was that she couldn’t get anyone interested in her!  I smiled while looking down at my iPad.  I felt like raising my hand and saying, “I know – pick me” but somehow I don’t think my comment or any remarks would be welcomed.

Roller Girl yelling

Roller Girl yelling (Photo credit: San Diego Shooter)

Behind me the woman with the baby and 3 little girls kept yelling in an attempt to keep order.  I felt sorry for these girls.  How could they be expected to just sit there for so long?  When one had to go to the bathroom – I thought the woman was going to have a stroke!  Such language and rude comments!  I couldn’t hear if the older woman with her was giving her any good advice – or even talking at all – because the  mom dominated the conversation the entire time.  I couldn’t even imagine what it would have been like for the young woman in front of me doing all the talking, to try to have a conversation with the young mom behind me!  Who would listen?

 

 

English: A young girl kisses a baby on the cheek.

English: A young girl kisses a baby on the cheek. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have witnessed rudeness in restaurants in much the same way.  Someone doing all of the talking at a nearby table and talking louder than normal to draw attention.  I have witnessed young moms in grocery stores who are out of control and I genuinely feel sorry for the baby or young child throwing a fit or crying incessantly. I know that the mom is to blame.  There is always a way to diffuse a volatile situation with children.   Yelling and being cruel – embarrassing them or finding a way to humiliate them in public is not the way.

 

 

 

As I sat there and heard the sniffling from these little girls – I felt so bad for them.  They are trapped.  Trapped with a mother who is overworked, tired and fed up.  I’m sure that her temper and exhaustion is taken out on them.  And too often, those little ones grow up to be exactly the same way.

 

 

 

I wondered if that young girl ahead of me doing all the “trash talking” was one of those.  She had not had good classy role models in her life and would never attract the right kind of man.  Was she doomed to a mediocre life where everyone else is to blame and there is not empathy or humanity?  Where simply being courteous would never occur to them?

 

 

 

What a crazy world we live in.  It’s hard to even wrap my brain around it some days.  And yet I always try to see the best in everyone.  It rarely changes anything – but still I try to never lose hope.  And I always wish there was something I could do.

 

 

 

As this young family walked out of the door in front of me I stole a glance at the  mom’s face.  “Why – she was really young!” ,   I said to myself.  She looked about 25 or so – funny.  She had sounded so much older in her anger.  I think she used to be very pretty.  But now she was just tired and angry.  The “grandmother” looked the same way.  No hope there.  No help for her.  Her life was probably over.  I whispered a little prayer for her little family.  That God somehow would be able to make a difference, shine hope in a dark place and that they would be able to call upon Him.

 

 

 

Can simple kindness, compassion and love really make a difference?  Jesus thought so.  That is why He chose to come to our crazy mixed up world.  To give simple hope to the hopeless and show compassion to the lost and hurting.  Help me Lord.  Help me be in a place where I can really make a difference and help others that are struggling – not just overhear a conversation or two.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

God Bless

 

 

 

Somewhere

Last night we finally got a chance to catch up with a program called – American’s Got Talent.  And as a student of all great singing reality shows, this one has been an interesting one to watch this season.  Some of these individuals and groups have some really great talent!  This next group is one that caught my attention.  And as a voice major myself – I always perk up when someone comes on these shows that can really sing.  These three guys met online and combined their beautiful voices to make a trio called “Forte”.  This is their performance from Radio City Music Hall.  The ending gave me chills!  If you missed it – here it is!

Enjoy and God Bless

Lessons From Our Journey

Last Sunday Greg had the privilege to speak in a small church while their pastor was on vacation.  And while Greg speaks all the time doing weddings and funerals,  speaking at a church is something he feels out of practice, having been away from pulpit speaking for a number of years.  Still he took on the challenge – and did a wonderful job!

He decided that the only way to really be effective was to take the congregation with him on the “Lessons learned from our Journey”.  He told personal stories of things we had gone through, all the different places we had lived and walking through “open doors” to get to the next place.

These 3 points are taken (borrowed) right from Greg’s message:

1.  The “decision” to move and the subsequent preparation seems much more difficult (at least emotionally) than the move itself

(So true.  We mulled this over and whether or not it was the right thing to do.  FOR YEARS.  Once we came to the conclusion it made sense to explore other areas, everything else fell into place.)

2.  The Longer you stay in one place, the more “stuff”, the more “baggage” you accumulate.

(Wow.  Isn’t this the truth!  As Greg started cleaning out the garage for one of MANY of our Open House events, he found boxes we didn’t even remember having!  And cobwebs and all sorts of dust and junk all the way up and back on shelves high up in the rafters.  Do we really need all this stuff?  Especially when we didn’t even know we had it?  But you never know, right?)

3.  When you make the decision to move (or just to downsize, or to “spring clean”), it sets a whole lot of things in motion.

(Yes and Amen.  One thing leads to another.  One empty shelf cleaned out to sell – leads to 3 others that aren’t.  Selling one piece of furniture leaves things uneven in a room.  Must sell.  We have way more than we need.  We found out that we can live in about half of the space we live in and it really makes sense to rent to a larger family needing our space and going somewhere else.)

And so he talked about the cobwebs and junk that we all carry around and how necessary it is to clean and remove them.  Things we don’t even realize we carry around.  It makes sense to lighten the load, let go of it and begin again.  Sometimes in life – you just need to do this.

After the service several people came to him and told him that he spoke right to them and their particular situation.  So many people on a similar journey.  So many finding themselves at a crossroads of sorts – waiting on the “next step” and that “open door”.

I believe, as does Greg – that if we are healthy, have our priorities right and the main things are in correct alignment, such as character, integrity, faith in God and kindness towards others, that it does not matter where you live and what you do – those things are secondary.  If we stay “open” to hearing what God is telling us, as we believe He does by working through our personality and gifts, then He will bring opportunities our way.  It is up to us to either seize the moment or pass it by.  And to be honest – when people ask me if we’ve heard what our next step it – I just laugh and say, “we don’t know anything – except who we are”   We are staying busy – preparing for the “unknown” and enjoying each moment.

It is much easier to steer a moving car than a parked car

Parked cars in San Francisco California

Parked cars in San Francisco California (Photo credit: Wouter Kiel)

What about you?  Are you also on a journey?  Does it take you out of your comfort zone?  Have you kept busy and in motion?  What lessons have you learned?

 

God Bless

The Absurd To The Ridiculous

This weekend in the Puget Sound we have experienced record-breaking high temperatures.  Usually the bottom level of our 2 story house stays pretty cool.  The heat rises and only on the hottest day of the year (usually one or two) it is uncomfortable in the house.    The sundown brings in this lovely cool air – and with fans in every upstairs window we have cool air to sleep.   And if you don’t have anything to do during the day – don’t have to move around much – then it’s bearable.

But…not this weekend.

Recently we decided to rent our home by the end of the summer and to do so meant  throwing an open house.  Right in the middle of the heat wave.  This meant cleaning, packing boxes of books off of bookshelves, (to sell furniture)  getting each room “open house” ready, packing up personal belongings and pictures on walls,  patching holes etc..  Yes we are insane.  Most sane people in their right mind just go somewhere else to wait out the heat – not us.  We clean like two fools and have strangers walking through our home.  We planned this.  And we have sweat pouring down – glistening on our faces.  Every fan on in the house with the windows closed.  Priceless.

I know that this is one of those events that we will always remember.  Like so many we have experienced over the years – the more painful, the better the story.  We don’t ask for “drama” – live quiet, unassuming lives – and yet – we seem to always get the good stories.

I’m starting to believe that we are so boring – (even our pups thinks we are) we need something drastic and radical to shake us up out of our slumber and complacency!   Nothing like a heat wave and no air conditioning to do just that!  It will be just our luck to get ready to move in another record-breaking heat wave at the end of the summer.  I can just imagine have a moving sale and trying to move furniture in this same heat.

If we end up living somewhere really warm – please let there be air conditioning.  I need less drama.  I need to be able to think straight.

Years ago we lived without air conditioning in triple digit heat, while I was pregnant with our daughter.  We lived in New Castle, PA and they were having record-breaking heat that summer.  But like any self-respecting woman – I didn’t sweat – I glistened and glowed.  (I still do)  And before children we lived a couple of years in Alaska.  One year in Fairbanks where they were having some really cold weather.  Dark and cold most of the winter.  I froze, my toes hurt, my nose and fingers were numb most of the time.  Good times.

Heat Wave (album)

Heat Wave (album) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We seem to always live where the extremes happen.

Again we do not ask for this – it just always seems to happen to us 🙂  The Absurd to the Ridiculous.

But we have not lost our sense of humor.  Yet.

Stay cool.

 

God Bless

 

Video

Hundred More Years

Yesterday I saw a video of old photographs put together with music.  It was a video celebration made by my husband’s 2nd cousin for his Grandmother’s 100th birthday.  The last song on the video was “Hundred More Years” by Francesca Battistelli.  It stopped me in my tracks.  Such beautiful lyrics – so poignant and fitting for a celebration of a life well lived.

When I watch and listen to things like this, I am reminded how short life is – how quickly time goes by. Beauty fades – the spirit never dies. The body ages and decays – the person on the inside stays the same. Life and death. Letting go, holding on. Changing and yet staying the same. The circle of life.  We all enter life in the same way and we all die when our time is over.  We leave our mark on this world, either good or bad with our family and friends. And when we are no more – others carry on our memory.  Pictures tell only a small part of the story.  Most things happen outside the lens of a camera.   Things done in unspoken ways.  Pain, Joy, Happiness, Failure, Struggle, Change, Resignation, Aging – these are all a very real part of life.  Some live LARGE lives.  Everyone knows their name.  Some live  very quiet lives of significance – quietly doing things for others and live a life worthy of celebration.  I believe this was the case for Great Aunt Helen.

Let’s make it a good hundred years – a great memory and legacy to leave behind for others.  Serving God and others – using up all of our gifts – taking nothing with us. Let’s leave our mark – more than just photographs – may our very lives be an example of a life well lived.

Enjoy this song as you reflect on your hundred years.

God Bless

Skyfall

Amber Carrington sang this a few nights ago on “The Voice”.  I had never heard the Adele version from the James Bond movie with the same title – nor have I seen the movie.  But there was something really compelling about this song.  Hauntingly beautiful – the music rises and falls around the lyrics, actually sounding like the sky is falling and crumbling.  This young lady is very talented and hats off to her for choosing an Adele song.  They are not easy to sing – and everyone always compares to the original.  I’m happy I had not heard the original when I heard Amber sing this.  She captured the song beautifully – and it is my choice for best song of the night.

God Bless

A Unique Perspective

Photograph of Shuffleboard at the Century Vill...

Photograph of Shuffleboard at the Century Village Retirement Community – NARA – 548567 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Yesterday Greg and I had the opportunity to observe people in action.  People who manage a retirement community here in our area.  They were gracious hosts and showed us what they do to make a safe and comfortable environment for senior adults age 55 and older.  It is an independent living community, filled with many amenities, love and warmth.

The facility itself is large and beautiful – but what was impressive to us – were the people who live there.  Everyone was  happy, in good humor and eager to meet a new friend.  When we first walked up to the facility a couple of older gentlemen sitting outside the front doors flirted with me right in front of Greg,-  telling me that I had made their day – so cute 🙂  Greg got a real kick out of it and teased them back, which they found very endearing.  We walked in to  the large lobby where an art display was in progress.  The artist was a sweet lady in her 80’s that got started with art lessons at age 69!  There was wine and cheese and a display of her pictures with everyone milling around.  And we found to our amazement, someone we had known from a staff position at a nearby church about 5 years ago.  Greg had baptized this man and he had remembered the experience with fond memories.  It was great to talk with him and find out he had been in this facility for 19 months and LOVED IT!

In this unique independent living facility – the live in managers either make or break any feelings or atmosphere for the senior adults.  It was great to witness that this management couple was doing something right.  This kind of lifestyle is certainly not for everyone, but the rewards can far outweigh the drawbacks – because like church work – it is about people.  It is about ministry in the truest form – serving people.

Our unique perspective was in witnessing the dynamic of happy people living with a group of people who thrive on love, attention and time.

I think we are all like the people who live there.  We thrive when someone takes a special interest in us – someone who makes us feel special, our needs are important – and someone who really listens and understands.  It is a shame to think that we must become senior adults to have people pay attention to us in that way.

It is a lesson to all of us on this side of retirement.  It is a great reminder that life is short.  Enjoy each day as it comes.  Live each day to the fullest.  Listen to others.  Make others feel safe in your company.  Make others feel wanted and special.  Love on people.  Watch what happens.  See people  blossom right in front of your eyes.

 

God Bless

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