Musings From A Musical Mind

Posts tagged ‘Greg’

The “Un” Review

Yesterday Greg and I had the opportunity to go to the theater in our town and see “Les Miserables”.  I was really looking forward to it – because years ago we saw the stage production at 5th Avenue in Seattle.  I remember the music  being breathtaking if not haunting in its beauty.  The story itself is all about forgiveness and redemption – one of my favorite topics.  My favorite part in both the live version and on the silver screen is the scene where the priest who takes in the fugitive, Jean Valjean (played brilliantly by Hugh Jackman) – forgives and helps when Jean is caught stealing his valuables.  When the police bring him to the priest – the priest simply says, “my friend,  you forgot the most valuable candlesticks here on the table”  It is very moving.   And when the young woman played by Anne Hathaway who through a series of very unfortunate and I can’t help but think, very avoidable circumstances finds herself on the street in dire poverty, cold and illness – sings “I dreamed a dream” – I lost it.  Her performance will win many awards, I’m sure.

New phone

New phone (Photo credit: fd)

But after this point it became apparent to me that I would have to see this movie again some other time – in the privacy of my own home.  You see we were sitting a few seats away from some teenage girls.  The movie was long – they were bored and began giggling, laughing, checking their phones ( a real NO-NO in a movie theater) and when I could not take it any more the girl 2 seats to my right pulled out a noisy bag of CHIPS and began crunching them one by one – each time putting her hand in and out of the bag causing it to snap and crackle every few seconds.  To say it was distracting and disrespectful would be an understatement.  I could have made a stink about it – could have really caused a fuss and made it very awkward for the remainder of the movie – but I chose instead to practice patience and silence.

My silence comes in part to a terrible experience of “shaming” that someone gave me years ago when I was checking an email in an auditorium before a show actually started.  I don’t remember the circumstances except that it was not during any performance but clearly in a place that should not have bothered anyone.  But instead of being treated with grace and tolerance – I was severely reprimanded by a very unkind lady behind me.  I can’t remember exactly what she said – but remember how it made me feel.   I felt like a scolded 12-year-old girl.  I remember hearing this saying from years before: “It is better to discipline yourself to do the right thing than have someone else discipline you” (or shame you) – and I set out to always be conscious of doing and saying the right things as to not offend.  It is no fun to have someone tell you that cell phones aren’t allowed!!

So you can understand my hesitation in “shaming” the young ladies next to me.  Now I know many of you reading this would have said or done something.  And that’s okay.  But most of the time it does not win a friend or go well for either party – and can cause serious division and hurt feelings.  Silence, forgiveness and much grace is needed for some people in this life as demonstrated so eloquently by our leading man in the movie we were watching.  And I will admit to you – I was angry.  Movie tickets are not cheap – and we were really looking forward to this.  And we expect common courtesy and find that it’s not very common at all.  I had to fight my emotions most of the way through the long movie – and almost lost it a few times.  It took everything I had within me not to at least  SHUSH them with a BIG “SHHHHHHH”.  But then I thought, “wouldn’t that be the same as what that lady long ago had done  to me?  How did that make me feel?  Do I really want to be one of those?  But don’t you and I have our RIGHTS? ”   Yes.  But that doesn’t make it right.  Perhaps you are one that keeps order and makes sure that everyone is in “check” – but just make sure that as you feel compelled to do so – that you aren’t wounding someone with your words and actions.  Is your comfort really more important than someone’s feelings?  Is it worth it to burn that bridge?  How awkward would you feel to come across that person in the lobby or restroom after the movie – especially if you had just LET THEM HAVE IT!!  I thought about my silence when I went to the rest room afterwards.  I actually did run into one of the young ladies.  She looked at me shyly and smiled.  And I remembered that as the movie ended one of the girls said rather loudly, “that made me cry”.  I was angry at the time and wondered how she could have been still long enough to get the full impact of emotion – but you never know about some people.  We are all different.  We all process things at different rates.  And just because she was chatty and noisy – doesn’t mean that she didn’t gain something beautiful from the film.  And I hope she did.  Perhaps she will learn to be more tolerant because I didn’t spoil the movie for her by “shaming” her into being quiet – and rising up to my standards.

It seems to be an epidemic at movie theaters – especially taking out cell phones and checking them during a movie.    I don’t think I’ve gone to one movie in the last 5 years that I didn’t have to see someone do this at least once.  A few years back we bought tickets to go see a Christmas concert of Michael W. Smith here in Seattle.  Same issue.  People just couldn’t leave their phones alone.  And then there was a fussy little girl behind me that had to have snacks.  Very NOISY snacks – especially during the quiet moments.  Not fun.  Finally Greg turned around and got the attention of the Mom who didn’t seem to be paying attention to the noise – or was just used to it – and it helped but did not entirely stop.  It’s hard to believe.

I’m finding that I enjoy movies much more in my own home and from now on will REALLY have to love the movie in order to go to the theater.  This is my “un” review – since it had way more to do with people watching the movie, rather than the actual movie!

Happy movie going – I hope all the people sitting around you LEAVE THEIR CELL PHONES AT HOME.

God Bless

Anniversary Week

31 years ago tomorrow I walked down the aisle at 20 years old to say “I do” to Greg. One of my favorite memories from that crazy day is the song that Greg and his two brothers sang to me, “What a difference you’ve made in my life”. I found a version by B.J. Thomas – and although it is not the same as the karaoke version we used back in 1981 it is still a fun memory to hear it played today.

Marriage has its ups and downs and we certainly are not a perfect couple by any means. We are flawed human beings who have done our best to stay current and adaptable to any and all situations that life has thrown at us. There were misunderstandings and people who have come and gone in our lives. There have been weaknesses and shortcomings in both of us, but they have also been the glue and bonding that have become a key element in keeping our marriage, love and friendship alive.

I have changed much since I was 20. I’ve discovered things about myself I didn’t know or couldn’t reveal when I was younger.  I’ve experienced things along the journey that made me stronger and made me want to be a better person.  And there have been those that have planted seeds of freedom and courage in me.  Some of those people are still with me today – but most are not.  The one thing that has stayed constant is my relationship with Greg.  He has stood by me and truly been a best friend.  He has allowed me to grow and express myself.  He has given me wings to do the things I feel called to do.

Humor and laughter have remained a constant thing in our marriage.  We have always laughed and still laugh many times a day.  We have found a new-found communication in the last 4 years or so and we talk about things for hours now, instead of just brushing them aside.  We have favorite programs we like to watch in the evening – and we love to walk and talk.  We share a love for coffee and puppies.  And we both agree that our two “children” are the best looking, brightest and most adorable – EVER!

Our solid foundation has been a faith and personal relationship with Jesus Christ.  This has kept us strong and in tough times has given us strength to make the right choices and do the right thing.  And we have found that God’s grace renews everyday – is fresh every morning.  So glad for this!

We look forward to 31 more years together.  Still doing life together and enjoying each new day.  Supporting and encouraging each other’s strengths – but standing by the weaknesses.  Being true to our vows and believing the best in each other – always.

God Bless

Visiting The Past

Yesterday Greg and I were on a day trip, about an hour from our home.  We went to a park, explored a rocky beach, enjoyed the nice sunshiny day, had a run-in with a VERY LARGE dog at an off-lease park and after Daisy yelped and ran under the safety fence to get away from him – we decided it was time to call it a day.

We were driving past a city where 40 years ago, my Dad had been a music/youth leader in an Assembly of God church.  Our family used to make the hour-long trek to church twice a week so he could have this job.  I was about 10, but my memories are clear.  I could see the church in my mind.  The hallways and many rooms, the nursery where I used to love to help watch the babies, the youth room, the choir room and the sanctuary where we spent much of our time.

I learned to ride a bike at that church.  Oddly enough, it was in one of its downstairs hallways.  And then outside in the parking lot, with the help of an older friend.  I spent many hours alone, as I was too young to be in the youth choir and the youth group.  My parents did make some exceptions for me and there are even a few pictures of me with that youth choir, though I did not have a matching uniform.  Too young I often entertained myself in that church, downstairs in the many rooms and making up many games and imaginary people.  In the parking lot our missionette group practiced to be in a local parade.

I asked Greg if we could try to find that church.  If was difficult, because the name has now changed.  The area looks completely different as well.  40 years is a long time.  And my memory is not very good when it comes to navigation and direction.  But eventually we found it.

I expected it to look very strange inside.  After all, when you’re a child things always appear differently and usually we remember them as large – when in fact, they are small.  I walked in what must have been the front door, but I do not remember it being there.  It looked very much as I remembered it.  The same hallways downstairs and same rooms.  I rounded a familiar corner and took a look into the sanctuary.  How small it was!  What a strange thing to be standing there 40 years later and have the memories come flooding back.

When we visit the past, things can be strangely out-of-place but sometimes it is just as we remember it.

We all have a story.  We all have those crazy memories from being a child.  And sometimes we just need to pay it a visit.  I’m glad I did.

 

God Bless

Partings and Meetings

Life is full of “meetings and partings” but rarely do we get to have it the other way around. Two years ago I wrote an article: Memories And Lost Boys. If you missed it – check it out.  It is because of that article going viral that one of my “lost boys” was able to do a “google search” for his own name – and stumble upon the article I had written several months before.  This has taken all of us on a strange and wonderful adventure and ended yesterday in a “meeting” after a “parting” some 26 years before.  When you read the article you will see that the brother, William (or Bill as we knew him back when he was just 18 years old) wrote me a comment saying, “two lost boys found” and ended up in many email and Facebook communications since then.

But I must back up.  In the article it explains that Greg and I were youth pastors in Jeannette PA in 1984 and 1985.  This is where our story began with these “boys” – four of them in fact listed in the above article.  We had a special connection with them – all four boys dedicated their lives to Jesus Christ while we were there and Greg ‘baptized’ all of them as well.  Then our world was turned upside down as the church board asked our senior pastor (a man we loved and looked up to) to resign after 10 years ministry.  We had only been there a year, but it was not an option for us to remain without the pastor who had brought us to this church from where we were living in Fairbanks, Alaska.  We soon found another position in New Castle, about 2 hours drive from Jeannette.  The brothers, John and Bill came to see us while I was pregnant with Ashlee in early 1986.  After that – the boys moved to New York with their mother and the others dispersed and went on with their lives.  We lost touch.  This was in a day before internet, email and cell phones.  When you said goodbye – it was forever – there was no way to stay in touch.  Here is what everyone looked like 27 years ago.

John is on the bike – Bill in the blue shirt.

Greg and Bill above.

John, Bill and Greg above.

Some of the girls we’ve never found – John, Bill and me above.

We lived in New Castle 3 1/2 years – and when our time was up in that church we looked to the West Coast where we both were from.  Soon we settled in a little church in California where Greg was the lead and only pastor for 3 years.  From there we ended up in Fort Worth, Texas, Vero Beach Florida and then back in Seattle where we have lived since 1995.

Not a year went by that I didn’t think of those kids in the youth group and especially the boys we had been close to.  It’s funny to think of it – Greg and I were not much older than any of them – at the time it seemed HUGE!   BUT the age gap closed in as I began to think of them and wonder where they were – knowing full well that these were not “boys” anymore but grown men – probably with families of their own – like us!

Fast forward to the age of email and internet.  Opening doors for those of us who had literally lived all over the United States!!  I was able to find some people through email – if they had been good about staying in touch – with others in was near impossible – like searching for a needle in a haystack.  When internet searching became available right around the time of our first computer, back in the late 90’s – I looked every 6 months or so for those boys.  When MySpace was all the rage – I looked for them then – when Facebook was more popular I looked again – every few months.

Fast forward to 2 years ago – the time when I wrote the article above about “lost boys”. I took a chance and listed their names – just on the perchance that someone would come across it – I didn’t know how – I just did it because you never know, right?

I forgot about it – and a few months later I found the two other boys on Facebook.  We were so excited to find Randy and Todd were both on facebook by then – and had emails and Facebook conversations with them both.  We even Skyped with Randy a couple of times and it was really wonderful to catch up on all the lost years.  But still no Bill or John.  We searched, Randy even helped me – and we looked for some of the other people from the youth group – but hit a couple of dead ends.

Then OUT OF THE BLUE I got the comment left to me on the above article by Bill – telling me I had found them and explaining a little bit about he and his brother – what they were doing now etc.  That was followed up by other emails and Facebook greetings and conversations.  It seemed like a miracle to me especially because all of us lived much of life before internet.

That miracle has been such a blessing – as we met William (Bill) with his new wife, Donna in Seattle and had a wonderful dinner together and a time rejoicing over how good God is in bringing us all together again after so many years.  Bill shared with us that those lost years had been tough ones as his mother died shortly after we lost touch with them – his father had left them many years before that.  The brothers were truly on their own after that and had some rough years.  Bill said that he spent many years running from God and searching for things in all the wrong places – had a few failed relationship and was “lost” – until a man approached him in the lobby of somewhere he was passing through and told Bill, “you look lost”.  This man prayed for Bill right there – and though it took another year for Bill to really turn his life around – he finally did begin by saying to himself, “I need to find a church”.  Soon after he rededicated his life to Christ and became very involved in his local church.  He told us last night that he never forgot being baptized by Greg and the impact that had made on his life – it was his turning point for sure.  He described it “like a marriage” for him.  It was a beautiful moment in the restaurant and Donna and I were very teary.  The picture of that lost boy – (now man) coming full circle and coming back to something he had once believe so strongly in – was a miracle.

He met Donna at that church after recommitting his life back to Christ and they were married a year ago last February.  She is a wonderful lady – so perfect for Bill and we are so happy for them both.

Here are some pictures of our very joyful reunion last night with Bill who is not 18 anymore – but 46!!!  How can this be???


Greg, me and Bill


Bill and Donna


Greg and Bill


Bill and Donna

I am hoping you will be encouraged by what has happened to Greg and me the last couple of years – and that you will know for sure that God orders our steps and allows us to make the impact on lives for His purpose and in His great timing.  Never be weary in well doing – for in time you will reap a great harvest if you don’t give up.  Those you touch and influence for His glory – will never be in vain.

God Bless

Surviving The Weather

Today I took an innocent road trip with Greg to Bremerton – about an hour and a half or so from where we live. It was raining a little when we left Renton – but as we headed south the rain really picked up.

Something you should know about me – I’m not comfortable driving in the rain. I have a car that sits very low to the ground and inhibits me from seeing well especially in rain. Larger trucks and semi’s have a way of passing me really quickly and then spewing all their water on my windshield – prohibiting me from seeing ANYTHING for a couple of seconds. This releases sheer panic in me.

I have much history driving in the rain. Anyone who lives in the Pacific Northwest has to sink or swim (no pun intended) as the case most often is when living here. I remember many times driving on the freeway because of necessity either to get somewhere or to get home – usually in the rain – sometimes in the dark – sometimes both. Can you guess the other least favorite thing of mine? That’s right. Dark. Specifically driving in the dark.

So I try not to do either of these whenever I can avoid them.

But today I was riding shotgun and Greg was driving. As I get older I must be getting much more paranoid or something because it REALLY FREAKED ME OUT driving in the pouring rain beside semi’s and other enormous trucks all of them spewing water on our windshield. I know I wasn’t driving – but it still bothered me – and when the brake lights would come from vehicles ahead of us I would feel this rising panic. Greg is not afraid and drives aggressively which may be the reason for my concern. I am not an aggressive driver – especially in the rain and/or dark. I’m always just glad to finally get home. And I’m usually glad when someone else is doing the driving.

One time on the freeway when I was driving – I saw brake lights ahead and thought everyone was just slowing down – no big deal – but then I had to quickly SLAM ON MY BRAKES as the vehicles ahead were at a STAND STILL right in the middle of the freeway – no warning – NOTHING. It really freaked me out – and now every time I see brake lights on the freeway – I say to Greg, “how can you be sure they are just slowing down?” It really concerns me – especially at high speeds in the rain – and in the dark.

And though I know I will possibly always feels this way and never be comfortable on the freeway with less than perfect conditions – I know I must learn to trust others who have no fear – who have a flawless track record and have logged many hours and miles in dangerous conditions. I know there are others who have a handle on it – and I have nothing to fear. And though I can’t see it as being safe – knowing that others are confidant is HUGE.

I wonder if the Lord feels the same way I know my husband must when I’m in the car with him – and I’m really unhappy and untrusting. I wonder if He wonders why I don’t trust Him – when He sees the big picture of my life and can navigate from His great vantage point. He probably wonders why I just can’t relax – enjoy the ride and let Him get me to the places that He needs me to be – without me fussing and fighting Him.

The next time something is happening in your life that is scary or less than pleasant – try thinking of it this way: God is with you – He is in the driver’s seat. He will get you where you need to be. You are safe. It will be alright.

I am still learning this. Mine is a continual journey of trust.

God Bless

Things That Go SQUEAK In The Night

I am used to unusual noises in our home – especially at night.  We live in an older home and it likes to POP and CRACK at the most inconvenient times – like when I’m all alone.  When we first moved in – almost 10 years ago, I was downstairs in my office – and the wind blew a door shut upstairs.  I was SURE there was someone in our house!  It sounded creepy like footsteps above me!   And going to sleep was difficult at first.  But over time I have become accustom to it.  When we have guests here – often they will hear something above their heads and then look at us quizzically, and then ask, “are you sure there is no one home”?   We will then nod and look at each other with knowing looks (we could really have fun with people if we chose to) and say, “it’s just our old creaky house – it likes to settle.

It is also not unusual for Greg to be gone until the wee hours of morning.  He is a contractor in his “other” job, moonlighting for a company called “Northwood Construction” and they are contracted out to many Starbucks stores in the greater Seattle area.  So his job includes, and is not limited to:  window washing after hours, high dusting, pressure washing and light maintenance.  Last night it was another late one.  He has become an expert at slipping in very quietly – that is until we got a puppy. Dogs have an uncanny way of smelling and hearing you before you arrive – and our puppy is always looking for someone to come and see her and is listening intently – especially for Dad to come home after working.

So Greg can not exactly slip in unnoticed anymore.  Daisy will jump off the bed, and I will hear her running down the hall, clickety click – down the stairs and then to the back door wagging her tail madly and waiting for that magic moment when Greg opens the door.  Last night was no exception.  But Greg was very quiet and soon I drifted back to sleep.  The next thing I remember was hearing a very loud SQUEAK from one of Daisy’s toys and wondered to myself, “why is she playing with her toys in the middle of the night?” and then I heard a very LOUD CRASH – which had me sitting straight up in bed yelling, “Greg?  Is that you?  What’s going ON?”  This was accompanied by Greg laughing out loud and saying, “well – first I tried to turn out the light down here, I stepped on this blasted squeaky toy and then in the dark, I knocked over the coffee table!”  We had a good laugh as I accused him of playing with Daisy’s toys and telling him I was sure it had been her!

It’s the little comedies in life that give an extra sparkle to relationships and have us looking at ourselves and others with humor – as we all try to  take ourselves a little less seriously.  And folks, if you can laugh at things even in the middle of the night – then I would say that you have passed the test and have found the little things are some of the most important things, after all.

Here’s wishing you and yours a little more comedy and a little less tragedy as you discover laughter and the true medicine it is 🙂

God Bless

What Do Your Dreams Cost?

Today I had a conversation with Greg while taking one of our 2 mile walks.  It started when he said, “This seems like another great night for a fire!”  And I agreed.  It has been really chilly lately – was VERY cold in the house last night.  And I said, “you know what would really be nice?  If we could have a fan or blower so that all the heat from the fire wouldn’t go up the chimney”.

This statement of mine – which was part a “dream” and just “thinking out loud” – became a HUGE topic of discussion while walking along.  I had ignited a part of my very practical husband that was ready to both contradict me on what was needed – and recite to me the cost of having such a device, when “our fireplace works just fine!”.

It was both amusing to me – and then slightly annoying – as I was once again reminded of how different men and women are.  And not only that, but how the different personalities are within men and women.

I have taken the personality tests.  I am an “Otter” and a “Lion”  – which basically means I’m very social – but am organized and can take charge of a situation, clearly stating what needs to be done – all the while enjoying life, a good joke and people in general.  Otters are highly social – and usually can read a room really well.  You want a good positive and happy time – invite a few Otters.  Lions are great “idea” people – creative and innovative – great and enthusiastic motivators.  Want something done?  Ask a Lion.

My husband is also an “Otter” – but he has just enough “Golden Retriever” in him that makes him much more cautious about new ideas and situations in general – all the while loving engaging with people and enjoying life and a good joke.  His work ethic is off the charts (in my opinion) and our daughter, Ashlee takes after him in this way.  Golden Retrievers are peacemakers more than anything else.  Usually very laid back and happy.  It takes a lot to rattle their world.  They are loyal and agreeable.  But they are extremely cautious and careful – about everything.  He has a little “Beaver” in him too.  Beavers are great “workers” and do a precise job.  Want something done right?  Ask a Beaver.

Because Greg is careful and cautious – he calculates before he dreams and  often does not allow himself to dream with a reckless freedom, as I can.  He sees dollar signs and hard work.  I tell him, “it cost nothing to dream – a dream is just a dream”  The Beaver in him does every job in an impecable way – not satisfied unless it is perfect – and this takes time and patience and he is both.

Now I don’t know if I will ever get a fan or blower for the fireplace – it sure is nice to dream about it though, a fire that actually makes the room warm instead of going up the chimney.  And it’s amazing how many creative ways I can make “dreams” happen – either by looking online, asking others – or researching articles and seeing what others have done.  I’ve been lucky to find items for our home that have cost hardly anything – sometimes nothing at all!  And Greg has the skill and patience to bring it about when I find a deal.  We are a good team.

To me – it costs NOTHING to dream it.  But it is amazing what happens when we dare to dream – things are possible.

What are you dreaming?  Do you stop short because you are thinking about what it will cost you?  If it didn’t cost anything – what would you dream?

God Bless

Photo of a stone fireplace.

Image via Wikipedia

Tag Cloud

diana iannarone

Wake Up. Stand Up. Live Free. A Perceptual Approach to Rapid Growth and Permanent Change

Fallen Pastor

Helping fallen pastors and those affected by a fall from ministry

The Mind of RD REVILO

Conscious Thought: Driven by Intelligent Awareness

The Devotion Cafe'

Love and Empowerment is the Foundation

Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Heart Club Band

⃟ What a strange world we live in... ⃟

Poems & People

what if poems could be symphonies, and people their orchestra?

The Fickle Heartbeat

A blog about love or lack thereof

knitting soul

turning the knots into something beautiful

Kristi Ann's Haven

Jesus ( Yeshua) Saves!!

PROJECT: A Journal for Project Management

Project is a journal for project managers to express their ideas and share their work through writing, conversation, design and image

The Light Post

Scott & Christina Graff

Natalie Breuer

Natalie. Writer. Photographer. Etc.

iwedplanner wedding vendors

This WordPress.com site is the bee's knees

Granny Smith: Unleashed

Observations and random thoughts from a "not so teenager."

meganelizabethmorales

MANNERS MAKETH MAN, MADS MIKKELSEN FAN, & PERPETAUL CREATIVITY.

The Life Project

Finding Clear and Simple Faith

Humanity777's Blog

The Church of Christ

lostcompanion

Alcoholism

Brendan Cole - Writer

Musings On Life and Other Minutiae

Chickens Bring Peace to the Earth

Slow down, pray, make better choices

incomingfeed.wordpress.com/

Feed Only via TSS Team

generaliregi

Romance of Five Clouds and Magical Poetry

FOGwalkerBirdie

Walking in the Favor Of God

PROPEL STEPS

Education is Everything

GIFT FROM THE HEART - Share and Care!

Appreciation, Respect and Gratitude towards all...... that there is!

Upside DIY

Born from the love of, "Do It Yourself" attitude!

Soul Access

LAY DOWN YOUR MASK AND BE KNOWN BELOVED

Traveling with Thomas

Follow me as I study in London and travel Europe

HarsH ReaLiTy

A Good Blog is Hard to Find

Mercy Not Sacrifice

The Blog of Morgan Guyton

Life Confusions

"I Will Find Words, Smith them Down. For Love Is Infinite And So Are They."

ann johnson-murphree

Artist, Writer of Confessional Free Verse Poetry and Fiction

Stealing Kisses & Making Mistakes.

Following God's path while stumbling through this world with a heart of a woman.

Gotta Find a Home

Conversations with Street People

Ed Mooney Photography

The home of Kildare based Photographer, Blogger and self proclaimed Ruinhunter.

MyCreativeHaven

”Art washes from the soul the dust of everyday life.” -- Picasso.

gabrielsfury

poems & stories, thoughts about people and places between moments of clarity, or not.

Grow up proper

A raw view on life

A Blumes With a View

Putting the "blah" in blog!!

Ray Ferrer - Emotion on Canvas

** OFFICIAL Site of Artist Ray Ferrer **

%d bloggers like this: