Musings From A Musical Mind

Posts tagged ‘Learning Styles’

The Love Relationship

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I was in the gym today with Greg when he said something that sparked a long humorous conversation.  He was trying to tell me something – I didn’t hear correctly – started to interject something totally different – and he stopped me and said, ‘You’re just not hearing me – you’re not hearing my heart‘  Oh brother.  I say ‘Oh brother’ because he is saying it with TONS of sarcasm in his voice – and a chuckle at my expense!!

This has been a part of our love relationship for years now.  The differences in us that make us laugh.  Greg making fun of women – (mainly me) and imitating  all the silly ‘girly’ phrases and things we women do.  It works for him – because he always manages to get some kind of reaction from me – and he likes that.  And I tease and poke fun at him – when he becomes too serious – or too stuffy – and it always makes him laugh.

Men love to make fun of women.  Case and Point:  The movie ‘Titanic” – where the old Rose is saying about her memory of Jack (the man she loved) – ‘he saved me in every way a woman can be saved’.  Greg loves to make fun at that movie – and especially cheesy lines like that.  His first response is – ‘You’ve GOT to be kidding, right’?  But I know what she meant by that line in the movie – women get it. Women understand these deep mysteries of feelings and emotions – and Men pretend they don’t. When probed – I have discovered that men really do get it – it’s just not ‘manly’ to admit it.

Now why is this?  Men have feelings and emotions – this is for certain – and no one can hurt a man like a woman can.  Remember the recent series “Men of a certain age”?   Actor Ray Romano tells his son about women, ‘they have many ways they can hurt us”.

So if this is true – and men feel the same feelings about love and other things that we do – why is it considered weak – or ‘girly’ to admit it?  Very few men will admit to crying at a sad movie – although I’ve seen both my husband and son do it – but not many others.  Most men are guarded when it comes to expressing those ‘touchy feely’ feelings.  And I believe it is drilled into them as little boys to be tough and not show emotion.  That somehow it weakens them to admit they struggle – or have fear – or are afraid – or feel helpless in the midst of love – or can be hurt enough to cry.  Remember the song in the 70’s by the group ’10cc’ where one of the lines is ‘Big boys don’t cry’?  How sad that men believe this – how sad that they are made to feel they must be like this.

It is interesting that when you know a man – really know him – he is not afraid to reveal some of that emotion.  But he must feel safe. And just because they don’t feel like they always can express emotions like a woman can – does not mean that they don’t have them.

I’ve been married to this man of mine for 29 years this Sunday – and one of the great things I’ve discovered is this:  we are different – but we are basically the same underneath all the layers.  Our emotions are basically the same – with different reactions to pain and hurt.  We both know what it feels like to be vulnerable and misunderstood – or to be used and tossed aside.  We both understand love and relationships – and have felt all sorts of emotions in relation to each other and in raising children.  We both can still make each other laugh – and we’re great friends – even through some of the rough patches that life has thrown at us.  And that’s so nice to know. ♥

He will continue to tease and make fun – I will continue to make him scratch his head in confusion – and make him laugh – it is our dance.  And so our journey continues – with its mysteries and lessons – and its laughter. It is our story – it is our love relationship.

What Scares You?

“Do one thing every day that scares you.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

I thought about this quote today and realize the importance of ‘stepping out’ of my own comfort zone to insure that I keep growing. How easy it is to stay where I’m comfortable – no pressure – no expectations – no work. But on the flip side – no lesson learned – no real positive change – no opportunity to influence others by being unafraid to face things head on.

Last week I was asked by friend, radio host and local pastor, Doug Bursch to be on his radio show – “Live from Seattle”. I hesitated. I made excuses. Finally I could see that none of my excuses (one of them was that I teach in the afternoon when the show airs) were going to be enough – especially when a time slot was found that could accommodate me. The subject he was going to interview me on: Blogging and what God was speaking to me. Now before you judge my hesitations – just remember that I am the girl that has no problem singing you a song – or playing the piano at a recital for my students – can teach music in a theater class – but usually I don’t have to ‘talk’ much. I’ve never considered myself a speaker and in fact have turned down speaking engagements when we were in ministry over the years – because I didn’t feel qualified – or had anything to say – and was just plain terrified! So when Doug asked me to do this – I was pretty nervous – and that’s the understatement!

But excuses aside – I did it anyway – knowing it was probably good for me to be forced out of my comfort zone of sitting behind my desk and typing – sharing things from my heart in written form only – and to be open to a new vehicle that God was gently nudging me in – with a little help from a friend. And I’m happy and relieved to tell you that it was not as bad as I thought – I actually could think on my feet and share what needed to be shared – was not ‘tongue tied’ or really dumb – and the nervous feeling left me almost as soon as the interview started. With a lot of help from Doug 🙂

I got to thinking – how many things scare us? Prevent us from a great blessing and possibility for growth – all because we’re terrified of stepping out? How many things have I missed out on – just because I refused to learn something new – and do something that really terrified me? Like…talking on the radio? Maybe talking to someone that could really use a friend? Doing something with children that I didn’t feel qualified for? Teaching a class? Volunteering my time to an organization? Giving of myself? Living by example? Being misunderstood?

As I thought of this – I am very aware in my own life – that I have been the reason – I’ve been the one that is afraid – afraid to tackle the strange unknown. Because of this I know that I have also held myself back from doing great things for people – for my family and friends and most of all – God’s kingdom – all because of fear. There are several ‘fear buttons’:

What if they don’t like me? They might not. Many that have known me through the years – don’t like me. I’ve managed to survive it and I’ve come to realize that not everyone will like me – and that has to be okay. But I won’t let that handicap me from being who I am – just because some don’t like me.

What if they reject me? Again – many have. Some of them that I considered good friends have rejected me – for whatever reasons of their own – walked away and have never spoken to me again. Rejection in the rawest form. But I’m still me – I’m still here – I didn’t die from the rejection. It hurt me – but I went on and found others who won’t play that game with me and don’t do that anymore. And I’m getting smarter – I’ve learned who they are – and those that are open to me and my influence are those that have won my friendship and trust.

What if I fail? Well – I’ve failed MANY times. I’m actually the ‘poster child’ for this. I can tell you how to do it and how to go down to that dark scary place – how to spiral out of control because of hurt, disappointed and frustration. But I also know that God is greater than any failure of mine – or any scrape I can get myself into – and that He is there – even in the deepest, darkest pit of self pity and pride. I know that it IS possible to dig yourself out – and begin again – because I have done it – not once – but many times. And what I find each time I fail is that His grace renews every morning – there’s enough to cover me and my mistakes. And the lessons learned from failing are invaluable and actually make me stronger and wiser. So failing doesn’t not scare me anymore. I can actually look failure in the face and say, ‘you don’t own me anymore’.

What if I can’t handle it? I’ve been there too. There are still days when I don’t feel as if I’m up to the task – and my daily schedule of teaching students can be a daunting task. There are days when I actually dread it. And I’ve had those bad teaching days where I don’t feel like I’ve connected with the student at all. I mean – a really bad day. The kind of day that makes me doubt my own education and experience – makes me want to give up entirely and ‘throw in the towel’. Then something will happen – an encouragement from a parent – an email and positive affirmation of some kind – and suddenly I remember why I do – what I do. And I know that I can handle it. And God has equipped me to handle it and to ‘bloom where I’m planted’.

Do those things above scare me? You bet. Everyday. More than once a day. But I also know that God will give me what I need for that day to accomplish what I’m supposed to. I can’t do it in my own strength – nor does He expect me to. One of my favorite verses in the Bible is found in Proverbs 3:5,6:

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.

I want to challenge you today – do something that really scares you. It may be that very thing that propels you onto a new pathway of discovery and growth – a journey that embraces and influences others in ways you never dreamed of before. Do that one thing that has been holding you back – and keeping you from missing a blessing in your life. What is it? You are the only one that can answer that. Step out and do it – you won’t be alone – He will be by your side as your greatest source of strength and encouragement. Reach out and embrace that change in your life. That change may be the beginning of your finest hour. A scary step. The thing most feared – may be your biggest blessing.

God Bless

Becoming Myself

‎”Now, with God’s help, I shall become myself” – Kierkegaard

Yesterday Greg and I were tossing around the above quote.  The simple and yet the profound.  The tangible and intangible truth of the above words – hard to fully process and difficult to wrap your mind around.

The longer I live – the more I am convinced that our lives are in process of ‘becoming’ who we are.  We are born – we have a certain ‘bent’ in our personality – those we genetically inherit and those we accumulate from our environment.  We develop in that environment – have friends in school to measure ourselves against – and if we’re really lucky – have good parents, a healthy church and many people we look up to – like teachers, coaches and mentors.  All of these help in the process of us ‘becoming’ who we are – but that in itself is not enough.

It takes many years of growing – getting through adolescence and young adulthood – to even begin to see our own unique gifts and personality.  We make shifts and adjust our likes and dislikes – to get married and have children.  For years we are lost in our lives – raising children – working outside the home – or in my case – in the home (being self-employed) and little by little – the years go by until you wake up one morning and your children – (that took over your life) – are all grown up and gone.  You get ‘judged’ or criticized for ‘just being yourself’ along the journey and little by little you make the adjustment and ‘pull yourself in’ so that you won’t stick out – be different – be wrong. After years and years we forget what it really was that made us unique – and made us ‘who we are’.

So the question is this:  Were we being our full and true self when we were younger?  Before anyone criticized us for being that? – Were we ‘ourselves’ when we were busy raising children – or going about our daily routine?  Or does becoming ourselves mean that we are on a journey – learning things from each of our experiences and taking it into the next step of our journey?  Does it also mean that I can be ‘real’ and ‘authentic’ – not hiding behind a facade of who people really think I am?   Because it’s easier?  Because it’s safer?  What if people don’t accept me for me – or even like me anymore if they find out who I am?

When you’ve spent most of your life in ministry situations like I have – you find many types of people out there.  Many that present a ‘face’ to others because it’s easier and ‘safer’ to just go along than to risk being different.  It was easier for me too.  Hiding behind a ‘title’ and a facade is much easier than risking rejection because we are who we are.

I believe the ‘with God’s help’ part comes in to play when I first acknowledge Him as the Lord of my life – allowing Him to refine and change me – my attitudes and my ‘old nature’ to become more like Him everyday.  But I also believe that God – through that process allows me to become who I am – and takes into account my personality – my strengths and weaknesses and surrounds me with people in my life that will help me and encourage me the most.  If we live lives that are dedicated to Him – and truly pray for His guidance and blessings on our daily activities and the people that we come in contact with – and those we will come in contact with – then we need not fear becoming – and being ourselves.  There is no fear – it is ‘safe’ to be me. We don’t need the ‘approval’ of man any more.

Whenever people tell me about their lives – troubles times and circumstances that brought them to this point  – they are discouraged (as we all are from time to time) and wish life could have been different – wish they could go back and make different choices. I am always quick to remind them that God used those trouble times of pain and frustration in their life – to help them become who they are today.  It is because of those circumstances – no matter what they are – that they are standing and talking about it today and they would not be who they are without them. Those very things helped to shape them into becoming themselves.

My prayer for you today is this:  That you would allow Jesus to lead you and guide your life – talk to Him about navigating through those rough patches (we all have them) and submit to the process of ‘becoming who you truly are‘ as those circumstances happen to you.  Be able to look clearly back over your shoulder at your past and say, ‘I can see now how God used that disappointment and hard time to make me stronger and set me on a different path’ or ‘I can look back and see His hand on my life during my journey.   See His hand in your life as He allowed different people in your life to help and encourage you –  and be convinced of the fact that He has been there every step of the way – in your past – here beside you today – and will continue on that road with you until you have learned everything there is to know about your journey.  That you would feel ‘safe‘ being yourself.  Let that be our prayer – all of us, to allow God to help us – as He gently leads us into the great unknown of becoming who we are.

God Bless

Wind And Sun – Which One Are You?

There is a great Aesop’s Fable about strength and gentleness – I have posted it below.  I remember the story from when I was in grade school – and was reminded of it once again when in conversation with my husband yesterday.  We were talking about those that try to ‘control’ through manipulation and force – and those that accomplish the same thing by ‘letting go’ and ‘releasing’.

God does not use forms of manipulation and ultimatums when dealing with us – He could – but He does not.  He chooses gentleness, mercy and grace.  We could all take a lesson from this – not try to ‘control’ or be ‘controlling’ with others – it always backfires and never turns out well.

We will win a lost world by our love and willingness to accept, embrace and love others – as Christ loved us.

God Bless

The North Wind and The Sun

letter N

The North Wind boasted of great strength. The Sun argued that there was great power in gentleness.

“We shall have a contest,” said the Sun.

Far below, a man traveled a winding road. He was wearing a warm winter coat.

“As a test of strength,” said the Sun, “Let us see which of us can take the coat off of that man.”

“It will be quite simple for me to force him to remove his coat,” bragged the Wind.

The Wind blew so hard, the birds clung to the trees. The world was filled with dust and leaves. But the harder the wind blew down the road, the tighter the shivering man clung to his coat.

Then, the Sun came out from behind a cloud. Sun warmed the air and the frosty ground. The man on the road unbuttoned his coat.

The sun grew slowly brighter and brighter.

Soon the man felt so hot, he took off his coat and sat down in a shady spot.

“How did you do that?” said the Wind.

“It was easy,” said the Sun, “I lit the day. Through gentleness I got my way.”

Self-Control

Inside my mind

I am who I am

living a life

unguarded and real

Fighting a battle

with myself

that all must fight

The right to have

the right to decide

the right to control

Many decisions

daily

hold me back

or push me forward

I play a game of chance

I love the thrill

and the rush

the intoxicating darkness

that whispers and calls

it is so easy to go there

But the pain

of choices

past

ruin

hinder

hold back

and rob me

of freedom

and joy

I tremble

and wait

for another unkind word

knowing it is well deserved

hiding

pulling away

from everyone

and myself

it is guilt

it is shame

I want to resist

for a while I am strong

I can do it

no trouble

no inward battle of my will

and then…

I am slowly seduced

by a memory

or a thought

or a ‘what if’

and the game begins

and I am the loser

once again

And so the song

echoes in my head

“I’m never going back again”

and I am firmly resolved

to be weak

and frail

helpless

and undone

It is only

with Christ Jesus

I am set free

I am in full control

my weakness is made strong

when I do not try to do it alone

He teaches me

that my self-control

is the secret to my happiness

the key to my future

the mystery of saying no

and resisting

I am the winner

Sin makes you a slave

Grace sets you free

gives you self-control

peace in your heart

and makes you strong

Better to be patient than powerful; better to have self-control than to conquer a city. Proverbs 16:32

I am praying for you today that you too will learn the secret of building ‘self control’ in your own life – so that your sin nature will not ‘own’ you – promising things that cannot be delivered.  In resisting and saying ‘no’ you embrace freedom – in surrendering to your weakness and losing your will – you will find it again.

God Bless

Acceptance – Or Just Tolerance

Heard a great Father’s Day message today from our pastor.  His main emphasis was this:  Do you accept people – or are you just tolerant?

It makes you think.  Somewhere deep inside of all of us – is this nasty habit of judging those that are different from who we are – or look different – or talk different – or do things that we don’t do.  The bible talks about this issue much in scripture – and that God is the ultimate judge of our heart and motives – and yet we still think we need to help Him out.

Maybe you were raised that drinking alcohol was wrong. Maybe it was the rules and regulations of the church you belonged to – although for the life of you – you can’t find anywhere in scripture where it actually says that it’s wrong.  It started out as a good idea once upon a time – or maybe had its roots in good upright moral principles – but then it went sideways somehow – and instead of it being a cultural thing or a church background thing – it became something more.  It became a judgement call.  You find yourself looking at those who have a glass of wine with dinner as less than spiritual.  Less of a Christian perhaps.  And they become marginalized. You politely tolerate them – but you do not accept their way of thinking. You do not accept them.  You don’t think they’re really saved.

Maybe it’s an issue of something as superficial as getting your ears pierced – or something else.  Maybe it’s a tattoo.  As was pointed out this morning – if we are going to make an issue out of a scripture in Leviticus about marking our body with a tattoo – then we better be willing to take the verse directly in front of it which talks about men cutting their hair and trimming their sideburns as being a sin.  And of course – that would be silly, right?  But we hold onto what we want to – or what we’ve been taught – and refuse to look at what scripture really means – and take the context and the heart of the message into consideration.  But how many people – especially from an older generation – just tolerate those who pierce and tattoo?  Instead of accepting.

Now accepting means I have to give in – and I have to let go.  And that is my safety net – to believe in something so strongly.  I feel justified.  I feel right.  I am right.  It means giving up that right – in deference to you.  It means swallowing my pride and self-righteous attitude and allowing you to be right.

Jesus came along as a radical to teach us that the Kingdom of God is backwards from what we normally think.  It teaches us to be servants and the lowest of all – when we want to be seen and heard and be the one in charge.  It teaches that we must be willing to forgive – even when we did nothing wrong.  It teaches that you are more important than I am.  That I have no personal rights.  It teaches that I lay my life down for others.  And this goes WAY beyond tolerance – even beyond acceptance.  It means that even with our differences – you are more important than I am.  And I submit to you.

And because God is the final ultimate judge of the heart – then I must lay aside my opinion of you and allow you to work on you – and allow the matter to be between you and God.

Ouch.  You mean – I can’t have an opinion and tell you to your face that you’re wrong – even if you are?  Not if we live by Kingdom principles you can’t.  We must let God do His work – and our job is to love and win others by our love.  There is nothing more motivating than a person who loves – and does not judge.

This is why it does not feel right when Christian brothers and sisters judge one another – and cannot be reconciled together after a grievance.  God is love. He dwells in relationships of people.  We need to forgive each other – and we need to love.

I am praying for you today that you will not just tolerate your brother or sister – but that you will learn to love and prefer them and their opinions and choices – over your own.  Accept them in love – just as Christ Jesus has loved and accepted you.

God Bless

Shake Off The Shame

1 Timothy 1:15

15Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst.

Heard an excellent and thought-provoking message from our youth pastor Andy Douglas this morning.  “How many mistakes do you make”?  It was an honest question – and we say to ourselves – “Sure – I make many – or  “I at least make some” – or even – “I hardly ever make a mistake any more”  But the bottom line is this:  we all make them – even when we think we are too spiritual or too far above that in our every day life.  Andy went on to illustrate how when he first got his driver’s license – he made 3 big mistakes in the first hour – being pulled over by 3 different patrol cars.  He had us laughing hysterically – so FUNNY!!  And it was interesting to note – that even though he was talking about mistakes – and ultimately the grace and forgiveness for mistakes we make – I was thinking about those 3 different police officers that pulled him over that night.  They could have been ‘letter of the law’ and each given this new young driver – a ticket – but none of them did.  They gave him a friendly warning – and the last one said to him, “maybe you better go home now” – which he did.  That’s the definition of grace.

This is what God does with each one of us.  Grace by its very definition is this: not getting something we deserved.  It is not something we have earned.  We couldn’t earn it.  It is freely given to us.  And like Andy said this morning – if we cannot accept the ‘gift’ of grace and forgiveness – but instead  walk around with shame for something we have done – and live in bondage to that shame – then we cheapen the fact that Jesus was beat to a pulp and had to endure a horrific death on a cross – so that we could be free from that shame.

Do we continue to make mistakes on purpose.  I hope not.  No one usually does.  They are usually innocent at first – even starting out with great intentions.  You may have a huge heart for people and mean well by loving and embracing them – but then something happens you did not plan on.  You may love helping people – but then you get yourself in too deep and realize – “I made a mistake”  Or you may be naive and think that everyone has the best motives in your world – and then something happens – and you realize that there was another motive altogether and it blindsides you.  Every good well-meaning person makes mistakes.  Pastors and leaders make mistakes all the time.  They don’t mean to – they just do – because they are human.  It is humbling to admit you made a mistake – to ask forgiveness or to forgive someone else – when you may not always be at fault.  But there are times – when it is all your fault. That’s what God’s grace and mercy is there for.  God’s love does not condemn – but rather it renews and gives life and hope to brokenness and hopelessness – bring life from death and joy from despair.

Do we really believe this?  Sometimes.  Do we live like we do?  Not always.  I would like to think that when we make a mistake – and live through the consequences of that mistake – or someone else’s mistake – that we gain perspective and wisdom – and we rarely repeat the same one again.  Oh – we’ll continue to make mistakes – just hopefully not the one that caused so much pain and hard work to recover from.  This is what we gain.  A fresh understanding of the love of God.  A fresh knowledge of grace and mercy.  An understanding of the high cost of that grace, mercy and forgiveness – offered in an ever abundant supply from Jesus.  But so often instead of believing this – and living like this – we walk around with a heavy cloud over us – sometimes choking the joy right out of us.  And we think everyone must know what we’ve done – even though they rarely do.  It paralyzes us.  It prevents us from living a joyful life – a full life where we are able to clearly see the needs of others around us.

But if we could just grasp  concept of grace – we are changed. We no longer live under man’s scrutiny or insinuations – we no longer feel condemnation – and we no longer let what others think of us – rule our emotions and feelings.  We are free – and we understand what that grace means for our lives – because we can agree with Paul in the scripture above – that Christ Jesus came to save sinners, and like Paul we say – …’of which we are the worst’.

If this is true of your life today – you can shake off that feeling of shame and brokenness – forever.  It is only by embracing and accepting the love of Jesus and His covering over those mistakes in your life – that you can really be free.  Free from yourself.  Free from the weight of carrying years of guilt and shame.  Free from the lies that you cannot be forgiven – that you can’t be productive – that God won’t use you anymore because of what you’ve done.  Accept His love and forgiveness today – don’t wait.  Don’t spend another day carrying around this burden on your chest.  He is waiting for you.  Let’s ‘shake off the shame’.

I am praying for you

God Bless

Turning The Light On

Watched a great new show on TV last night – “Losing it with Jillian” – I usually never watch many reality shows – except American Idol because I’m a musician and it’s interesting to me – and educational too as I am always looking for fresh material for my students. Everything else I watch is usually an interesting program or movie that I have my DVR record for me – so I can watch it when I want to – don’t sit and watch too much TV at one time – it’s boring.

But last night something about this show really interested me. I was flipping back and forth between a public TV show on the music of Diane Warren (very interesting – as she has written much of our popular music in the last 20 or so years) and the “Losing” program. Soon the “Losing” program won and the music one – recorded for later. The reason? It was gripping and raw – it was real and authentic. Instead of this fitness coach just giving them instruction on a daily exercise and eating regime – which she did – she quickly got to the root of the emotional problem that was causing unhealthy behavior which in turn lead to obesity. Once that was uncovered and dealt with (it was painful to have it uncovered and dealt with) this family began to heal and move forward – and make healthy steps toward real change in eating habits that had bound them up for years.

It is like each one of us has a room in our head. Sometimes it’s very dark in that room. It’s very easy to ‘hide’ things in that place – when there’s no light on. We can stay in that dark place for years sometimes – and feel like it’s perfectly normal because no one is asking us to turn on the light.

Sometimes it’s a matter of finding the ‘switch’ to turn on inside of our head. Sometimes we can see the ‘switch’ – sometimes we can’t. Sometimes we choose not to see it – because turning it on will mean revealing painful and ugly things we would rather leave in the dark. Turning it on will mean we can no longer hide behind them – and it forces us to ‘clean house’ and once and for all get rid of all the ‘stuff’ we’ve been hiding there – where we thought it was safe in the dark.

This is what it was like watching this program. Someone forced them to not only find that light – but to crawl to the ‘switch’ and willingly turn it on.

How many of us wander around in the dark – or even in the semi dark – not wanting to acknowledge that there is a ‘switch’ to turn on – until someone lovingly helps us to turn it on – and reveal the contents of our dark room. It is in deciding to turn on the light in our own room – where change and health can begin.

My challenge for you today is this: find out what areas you have that are preventing you from moving forward in health and wholeness. Have a trusted friend help you walk through that dark room to find the ‘switch’ and turn it on – making you take a positive step toward emotional health today. Once you discover what it is – you will see real growth and change happen in your personal life.

I am praying for you

God Bless

Beautiful Music

Music makes one feel so romantic – at least it always gets on one’s nerves – which is the same thing nowadays.

Oscar Wilde (1854-1900)

Music is the language of the heart.  No one knows for sure why we connect to certain styles or songs – but one thing is for certain:  Everyone has a certain style of music that speaks and moves them.  One style can be just ‘noise’ to one person – and a beloved ballad to another.  Music can be annoying to some – and greatly appreciated by another.

I was raised on classical music – it played in my home growing up – night and day.  After a steady diet of this for 20 years of my life – I would have to say that I have an appreciation for classical – but it is not what I listen to when I relax.  I have always liked and responded to ‘pop’ music of my generation – the 70’s and it is still my favorite genre of music – by far even though I have an appreciation for other styles.  I would listen to my transistor radio or cassette tapes in my tape recorder at night before going to bed.  I was also a song writer and my ‘style’ of music on the piano was in a ballad form – or what you might call ‘easy listening’ today.  Music has to evoke an emotional response from me in order to be good – and it usually has something to do with the chord progression or lyrics – or both.  Movie soundtracks are also my favorite for relaxing and one of the best musical scores in my opinion is from the movie “Meet Joe Black”.  I also love the soundtrack from “To Kill a Mockingbird” – these are both noteworthy in my opinion and brilliant.

I like to think I am extremely tolerant of any kind of music – even though I’m sure my own children think I am not.  That’s pretty typical.  But since they know I appreciate any style of music if it’s good – they are quick to share their music with me.  Shawn loves to play ‘his music’ for me in the car – going quickly to a song he feels I will like – and usually he is right.  I don’t like everything he likes – but there are certain songs from bands he likes – that he knows I will be able to appreciate and give positive feedback to.  I think it helps him to feel better about his music in some weird twisted way ☺

About a year and a half ago –  he was driving me to a Chiropractor’s appointment and he played me the song below, “Amsterdam” from Coldplay. Now crazy as it sounds – it really moved me.  I remember it was raining and dark and this song played in the car and we drove in complete hushed silence.  It was one of those moments I will never forget.  A bonding moment with this song playing – just me and my son.  It was pretty emotional – I was going through a rough time that fall – and it meant a lot to me that Shawn actually seemed to ‘get it’ and find something he knew I would connect with.

The other day Shawn drove me to a wedding and he again pulled out this song and it brought back such memories of that day for both of us.  Imagine?  Two people from two entirely different generations – actually agreeing on and liking the same song – and the same band.  Crazy right?  Actually – Shawn likes classic rock from the 70’s too – so that’s always been the way we’ve been able to connect with music over the years.  I think it’s really great.  And because I have tolerance for his music and he with mine – we’ve been able to agree on many things over the years.  It is wonderful to know that he is a much sought after musician in his church on both drums and guitar and that he can appreciate music of all styles too.  I am very proud when I hear songs that he has written and recorded on the guitar – mixed in a studio – and they sound just like something you’d hear on the radio!  In fact when doing my own music ‘mix’ a few months ago – I accidentally added a song he had written – thinking it was a great song from “Angels and Airways” or something.  He saw that I had added it and said, “Mom – did you know that is the song I wrote”?  Ha!  No I didn’t! – but it was really good and that’s why I choose it for my CD mix.

Music – it’s a crazy thing – one man’s ‘noise’ is another one’s ‘bliss’ – and it’s nice to know that good music – is still good music – no matter what generation it is produced.  There are classics that have and will stand the test of time because they are well written – from the heart.

Do you have something that ‘moves you’?  We all do – and it’s nice to know that we are all different in our likes and dislikes – and yet the human element of music is still there – touching and affecting our lives – evoking good and bad memories – but most of all – deeply moving us.

Here’s to beautiful music – and not just annoying ‘noise’ in your world tonight.

God Bless

Come on, oh my star is fading
I swerve out of control
If I, If I'd only waited
I'd not be stuck here in this hole.

Come here, oh my star is fading
And I swerve out of control
And I swear I waited and waited
I've got to get out of this hole

But time, is on your side
It's on your side, now
Not pushing you down
And all around
It's no cause for concern..

Come on, oh my star is fading
And I see, no chance of release
And I know I'm dead on the surface
But I'm screaming underneath

And time is on your side
It's on your side, now
Not pushing you down
And all around
Oh, It's no cause for concern

Stuck on the end of this ball and chain
And I'm on my way back down.

Stood on the edge
Tied to a noose
Sick to the stomach
You can say what you mean
But it won't change a sin
I'm sick of the secrets
Stood on the edge, tied to a noose
and you came along but you cut me loose
You came along and you cut me loose
You came along and you cut me loose

My Love List

There is an excellent book called “The Love List” by Drs. Les and Leslie Parrott that has a list of wonderful things for marriages.  In it they have things that couple should do once a day – once a week – once a month and once a year.  I thought I would take this list and add a few of my own personal favortes to it.  Enjoy!

The most wasted of all days is one without laughter.

E.E. Cummings

Once a day:

1. Find something that makes both of you laugh.  Humor has become the foundation of our  marriage – even in the rough patches.  Humor can relieve the tension – and even take the focus off of the negative and prevent us from being too self absorbed and selfish.  Those that are the healthiest laugh often and can even laugh at themselves.

2. Take time to touch.  Even if it is just a caress on the arm or hand – and kiss on the cheek  – it is still some physical contact that says much.  I am a “huggy” person – so physical touch is never hard for me.  If you don’t tend to be too physical – it may be just what your partner wants and needs – just a little squeeze for reassurance can mean so much.  Learn to be a FLIRT!!  It does wonders, that’s all I can say!

3.  Say something nice.  We can live off a good compliment for days – sometimes even weeks!  A kind word of encouragement is so endearing – especially from one you love.  This will boost their self esteem level and help them to be more positive and productive.  Our words are so powerful.


The development of a really good marriage is not a natural process.  It is an achievement.

David and Vera Mace

Once a week:

1. Have a date night.  More often than once a week if you can manage it.  It isn’t always possible at different seasons of your life – especially with young children, as that can get expensive – but budget for it – it is time and money well spent!  We are in a season of our lives where we have been dating much more often than once a week and it has changed and rejuvinated our marriage.

2. Plan to do active things together.  Maybe you both could take up golf or join a gym together.  Greg and I love to play golf – we played it before we had any children and we began to get back to playing it a couple of years ago – we need to do it more often!  It’s fun to play together!  Maybe just getting out for an after dinner stroll – or driving to a scenic place and doing some hiking and have lunch together.  All good stuff.

Spending recreational time with his wife is second only to sex for the typical husband.

Willard F. Harley Jr.

Once a month:

1. Plan your schedules together.  Find out what is happening during what days – what times are going to work for “dates” and when you’re going to be especially busy.  We do this now – sometimes even doing this on a weekly basis so we know how to plan – the schedule gets trickier when you are both self employed!

2. Take inventory of the previous month.  What worked?  What didn’t?  Talk about it – and make a conscious effort to spend more time to put the priority of you marriage at the top of the list.  Greg and I have literally spent hundreds of hours talking over the last year to make our marriage better.

3. Stay connected during the week physically and emotionally.  Be in tune to the other ones needs.  Greg has learned that I need emotional connection.  I need it all the time.  It has not been easy for him to stay alert and in tune – but he decided that it was worth it – and he says it’s been like going back to school and getting his degree in understanding me.  What a high compliment to me!  That he thought I was worth it.  That he would relearn some things that he had not been doing all through our marriage – that led to some misunderstanding and problems.  It was hard work – but he was determined!  Physical connection has been a bonus because of the hard emotional work.  We’ve become like a couple of teenagers – and I wouldn’t trade that away for anything in the world!  So worth it.  Talk A LOT!!!   Get really honest and authentic.  Do it.  It’s worth it – not always easy – but worth it.

Thrills come at the beginning and do not last…Let the thrill go and you will find you are living in a world of new thrills.

C.S. Lewis

Once a year:

Have a real vacation get away.  We try to do “mini” trips throughout the year – but once a year you should really go somewhere new and have a real “change”.  Plan for it in advance – put it on the calendar and then DO IT.  We like to go on cruises – we plan about a year and a half out – book it – put a deposit on it and then save for it throughout the year and a half.  We have been all over the place because we have not only talked about it – but we’ve been ON PURPOSE about going.  If you never plan for it – you will never do it.  This is our special “alone” time – just the two of us and it is not easy for us to share those times with others.

2. Don’t be afraid of change.  Change is the constant in this world and we must embrace it.  If we settle just for the “same old, same old” – that is what kind of marriage you will have.  You must stay current and be willing to listen more and talk less – truly make the necessary adjustments for our partner.  If we truly love and want to be loved back – you must resist the tempatation to take them for granted and think, “they already know how I feel”.  As time goes by it is even more important to do things for your partner to let them know that they are first priority.  If you do not do this – it can be like “death” to a marriage.  Ask your partner what you can do to be “better”.  And then really listen.  Make the decision that they are worth it to you.  Woman need emotional connection and a smart man will fill that need for her.  Men need physical love and admiration.  A smart woman will fill that need.  No one wants to be accused of not doing the best thing for the one they love.  Marriage problems begin because people stop doing these things.  They don’t pay attention anymore.  Don’t be that person.

Chains do not hold a marriage together.  It is threads, hundreds of tiny threads which sew people together through the years.

Simone Signoret

Here’s wishing you and yours a Happy Valentine’s week as you embrace a “Love List” of your very own.

God Bless

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