Musings From A Musical Mind

Posts tagged ‘journey’

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

November Wind

something missing

but cleanly restored

swept away

no untidy remnants

drifted away

just a thought

nothing more

an idea when pressed

is only distortion

not complete

fueled by false

selective memory

and personal reality

meaning nothing

missing something

just what

I don’t know

what seemed real

now I know was not

yet missing it

has become

my reality

where is that truth

seen through my limited scope

it has become

a true false

without regard

or notice

blown away

bitter and cold

without remorse

sometimes sunshine

and laughter

but mostly

eternal rain

and confusion

past all reason

and time

like the November wind

God Is Still Working

I have been enjoying my devotional time with Joyce Meyer Ministries.  The other day Joyce was teaching on “Asking God” – as taken from these scriptures:

Matthew 7:7-11 (NKJV)

7 “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.

8 For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.

Matthew 21:22 (NKJV)

22 And whatever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.

If you are like me you have heard these scriptures many times.  I had heard them but must admit that I was not really asking.  Somehow it did not seem polite to keep asking for things – like a spoiled child who never thinks about anybody else but themselves.  Me, me, ME!!!!  Mine, mine, MINE!!!  Whah, whah, WHAH!!!!  It just felt WRONG.

So my prayer and communication had taken on a different tone over the years.  Always respectful and thankful, bringing out confessions, my weaknesses and concerns for others, my family and friends.  Walking and talking with God.  But I believe I was missing one important aspect to prayer.  I wasn’t asking.

Not only does God say to ask – but we are told to do so boldly.

Hebrews 4:16

New King James Version (NKJV)

16 Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

So the other night in my prayer time – I took a bold step and just asked.  And because God already knows what I am thinking about I have to believe that the asking is partly for me.  A step of faith.  It helps me get things out and really deal with them.  Rather than shoving them aside – or pushing them down deep where I don’t have to think about them.

Another thing Joyce said was this:  Even if we don’t see the answer to prayer after asking – we need to tell ourselves that God is still working.  That clear statement of faith with drive doubt and negativity from our minds and hearts when the waiting for answers seems long and hard.  To think that when I boldly ask – and then leave it with Him to work it out in His timing behind the scenes – leaves me feeling peaceful and reassured.

For some circumstances it is easy to believe and have faith in the process of God’s timing.  It is maybe even easy to ask.  But there are situations where it is very difficult to ask.  I have one right now – that has actually made me feel guilty about even asking.  But the other night I asked anyway.  I gave it away, and though I’m sure it won’t automatically just go away from my mind and heart – I took the steps to begin that great ‘behind the scenes’ work that only God can provide.

Have you an issue right now that you’re afraid to even ask about?  You can be reassured that God wants you to ask.  He will work out the details.  He is trustworthy to bring only good for your life, peace for your soul and health for your mind and body.

Ask Him today.  And know that He is still working.

God Bless

Ten Years

I’ve been reflecting this past month on the events of 10 years ago. It is the anniversary of purchasing our home in the Seattle area.

Time has a way of sneaking up on you, and for me – this journey happened slowly at times and at other times very quickly.

Ten years ago our daughter was 14 and a freshman in high school. Our son was 10 and in the 4th grade. That seems like a lifetime ago when they were that age – and at the time, it seemed as if time moved very slowly.

But in between the swim meets, choir concerts, endless baseball and basketball tournaments we knew these were the best years and we tried to enjoy them and hang on to every minute, knowing that once these days are gone – they are gone.

When 10 years comes and goes it is a funny thing – we say to ourselves and others around us, “What happened??” And we are truly surprised when things don’t stay the same or when we do something and our bodies don’t feel the same as they used to in the “good old days”. I truly do wonder where we got as much energy as we had to be running all the times with kids and their events and I know I couldn’t do it today without paying for it!

As I reflect on yet another Mother’s Day – I realize this is the first one where we are true empty-nester’s – our daughter has been married for the past 2 1/2 years and our son is going to school in Southern California – so it is my first Mother’s Day without him in the area.

But I also think to myself, “Wow – what great well-balanced grown up kids we have! We must have done something right – or maybe they turned out in spite of us – either way I’m thankful and grateful for all of God’s MANY blessings poured out to us in this last decade and the ones before that.

I am looking forward to a great future in this next decade and the ones to follow as God wills it for each of our lives and can’t wait to reflect back on those memories. But mostly I’m learning to live in the moment and enjoy the journey along the way.

Where we’re you 10 years ago?

God Bless

How’s Your Garden?

The LORD will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land
and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring
whose waters never fail.
Isaiah 58:11

This is our garden in our new home.

Ever felt really dry?  I’m so glad to know this:  No matter how dry, sick, diseased, tired, hopeless and out of strength I may be today – He will water me and give me the strength, nourishment and life so that I will flourish.  When all others around me are dry and broken – I will be sustained by that living water to keep me going, bringing health to my bones – and hope for all others around me looking for that water.  It is a spring that never fails.

How’s your garden?  Need some water?

Praying for you today.

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

 

 

Blessings

I was introduced to this song yesterday by one of my voice students, Taylor Smith.  Laura Story is the writer and singer in this video – and she reminds me very much of  the way Cindy Morgan writes and expresses herself in her lyrics.

I found the story behind this song here.  She wrote this song because early in her marriage her husband was diagnosed with a brain tumor.  And since then – together they have had quite a journey of healing and understanding of God’s grace and purpose through the pain.

I was encouraged by what she had to say about challenges and set-backs.  Sometimes the answer in our life in “No” – and sometimes God leaves us broken so His will can be accomplished in us.  Powerful words.

How do you deal with set-backs?

Can you see the “Blessings” through the pain in your own life?

When was the last time God said “No” to you – and left you broken to accomplish something through you?

 

Enjoy and God Bless

Color in Seattle – Drinking it IN!!

Callistemon citrinus flowers.

Image via Wikipedia

I was out for a walk today and noticed the brilliant colors of flowers on trees and bushes.  I also noticed something peculiar.   Healthy bushes next to dead ones.   Life and death right next to each other.  A beautiful and healthy bush  – full and lush with bright flowers in abundance – next to a withered up and dead plant.  Why was one alive and thriving – and the other one in the same yard, dead?  It didn’t make any sense to me.  I came across other dead looking bushes around the neighborhood and was surprised to  see that these were not just in an abandoned or neglected yard – but also in ones that were meticulously cared for.  Sometimes there is nothing really wrong.  Sometimes it just is what it is.  It’s the circle – a time for life and a time for death.

It was a puzzle for me.  Life is a little like this – life next to death – color next to black and white.  Openness next to closed and shut up.  A heart with a song – a life with no meaning.  Some people flourish and bloom where they are planted – others stop living, wither up and die.  And like in nature sometimes it is because there was not enough nourishment to the roots – or reason to live – sometimes it was just because it was the time to die.

Is there a time when death can become life?  New from old?   How did it change you?  Is there time to let something or someone go?  Have you ever had to do this in your own life?

Below is a little slideshow of some of the beauty in my neighborhood as I walked along.  I’m taking you along on my walk today – sharing a little of this with you.

Enjoy the color of Seattle – drink it in.

God Bless

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The Value of Past Experience

Reason-C++

Image via Wikipedia

We go through something.  Sometimes it’s REALLY BAD.  And we think, “Why is this happening to me?” – or sometimes we don’t think that – we just blindly accept it as our lot in life.

But I truly believe there is much more.  There IS a reason.  Sometimes we don’t see it until months or even years later.  Sometimes we never really know the reason – but I’d like to think that we always have a choice when hit with adverse situations.  Give in to the negative voices in our head that say, “just give up – it isn’t worth fighting” OR learn from it – change our course – go another direction away from the pain, humiliation or gut wrenching yuck.

I’ve had so many of these situations – that at the time I thought were the end of the world.  But later turned out to be – well – valuable, insightful, great information for someone else going through exactly the same thing.

I have some friends, Ray and Allison Carroll – who recently went through a touchy situation – very painful to say the least and they have shown great courage in telling their story through their blog articles.  They have found God’s grace and mercy in living and telling their story of failure and of redemption – so that others can be encouraged and learn from them – to show people who fail, sin, miss the mark entirely that God has not given up on them – that there is enough of God’s grace, mercy and love to take a dead and broken life, clean it up and give a new start.  Our Savior – the God of second chances – working through people in our ordinary lives – who make mistakes and are truly not worthy to be called righteous.  He uses those past experiences to bring clarification – reveal who He is – and give purpose and understanding.  As long as we are willing to change our heart, to share our story and to be an encouragement to others.

Case and point:  The other day my 19-year-old son came home from work feeling really weird.  His mouth was numb and so were his fingers – he was talking strangely too.  He said, “Mom, I’m freaking out right now – what’s wrong with me”?  I tried to be calm and think rationally, knowing of course he was too young and in shape to be having a stroke or a heart attack.  All I could think of was that he needed food and water – and I asked him how long had it been since he had anything to eat or drink.  I wondered, could severe hydration cause this?  While he was eating and drinking – and eating a banana too – just in case – I googled it.  Greg is ALWAYS gone when any and all domestic emergencies come up and I was mumbling under my breath – ‘where IS your father?‘  Let’s see… what causes numbing?  I was not finding anything conclusive.  I thought I was going to have to take him to the ER if something didn’t change soon.  But he did feel a little better after eating and drinking – said he was really tired and went to bed.

Not 30 minutes later – he came out of his bedroom saying he had the WORST HEADACHE in the world!  Then it dawned on me!  I know what this is!  And although I had not had these exact symptoms before – I knew about them and it was clearly a Migraine Headache.  The really bad kind.  I knew because of my past experience with them.  I get them so bad that I’m vomiting and lose a whole day.  Pretty soon – he was doing the same thing in the bathroom – but at least now I had a fresh perspective.  I gave him ice for his head and a bucket for beside his bed – just in case.  I could tell him there was no need to go anywhere – he was not going to die – he would just feel like it!  It was too late for pain pills – he would just throw them up anyway.  And even though the pain was bad and it’s never fun to up-chuck – at least I was able to reassure him – because I knew too well what was happening to him.

Now, am I glad I have had REALLY PAINFUL Migraine headaches?  Are you kidding me?  But did it help to diffuse a panic in my home?  Yes.  Would I have known otherwise?  No way.  I would have thought he was having a stroke or worse – maybe a tumor pressing on his cornea that was making his eyes not see clearly.  Oh the carnage that would have ensued – the money that would have been spent – only to find out – it was only a migraine.

I will take painful situations if they will help me or someone I love in the future.  I will not like them.  In fact I will HATE them.  But I will learn from them and ask myself – who can benefit from my pain?

How about you?  Who can benefit from your pain today?

God Bless

Everybody’s Talking At Me

Everybody’s talking at me.
I don’t hear a word they’re saying,
Only the echoes of my mind.
People stopping staring,
I can’t see their faces,
Only the shadows of their eyes.

I’m going where the sun keeps shining
Thru’ the pouring rain,
Going where the weather suits my clothes,
Backing off of the North East wind,
Sailing on summer breeze
And skipping over the ocean like a stone.

I’m going where the sun keeps shining
Thru’ the pouring rain,
Going where the weather suits my clothes,
Backing off of the North East wind,
Sailing on summer breeze
And skipping over the ocean like a stone

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