Musings From A Musical Mind

Posts tagged ‘Northern California’

October Baby

Tomorrow you turn 22.  I remember this day so well, 22 years ago today.  A beautiful sunny crisp October day in Northern California, much like the day here in Seattle.  A day like any other.  The day before my life changed forever.

It’s funny how the seasons come and go – yet some things stay constant and perfectly formed in our memory.   Sometimes those moments that drastically change who we are forever are more clear to us than things that happened yesterday.

According to Dr. Phil, you can trace who you’ve become in this life to three types of external factors: 10 defining moments, seven critical choices, and five pivotal people. But first it’s important to understand the following terms:

Ten Defining Moments: In every person’s life, there have been moments, both positive and negative, that have defined and redefined who you are. Those events entered your consciousness with such power that they changed the very core of who and what you thought you were. A part of you was changed by those events, and caused you to define yourself, to some degree by your experience of that event.

Seven Critical Choices: There are a surprisingly small number of choices that rise to the level of life-changing ones. Critical choices are those that have changed your life, positively or negatively, and are major factors in determining who and what you will become. They are the choices that have affected your life up to today, and have set you on a path.

Five Pivotal People: These are the people who have left indelible impressions on your concept of self, and therefore, the life you live. They may be family members, friends or co-workers, and their influences can be either positive or negative. They are people who can determine whether you live consistently with your authentic self, or instead live a counterfeit life controlled by a fictional self that has crowded out who you really are.

 

As I reflect over those 10 defining moments of my own life – getting married and having each of my babies certainly ranks up there with the most important and most life changing.  No matter how old I am, or where life’s journey takes me – I am forever changed by the birth of Ashlee and you.  You are part of those seven critical choices and definitely one of my five pivotal people.

And so Shawn – it is with very sweet and sentimental memories that I remember today, the day before you.

09_27_4You made your entrance on October 5th, 1991 at 8:26 pm.  You filled up an entire room – even back then.  You were laid back, shy, sweet, calm and peaceful.  As you grew you developed a slow and steady manner and a great ability to make and keep friends.  Your sense of humor has sustained you even in the tough times of relationships and finding your own way.  Your deep faith in God continues to guide you and be your compass.  You are one of the things that forever changed me.

I could not have dreamed you up in a million years.  Shawn means “gift of God” and you were that for me.  It was a privilege to be your Mom and I am proud of who you are and all that I know you are still becoming.  It is in the letting go that we truly find.  And I have always known that you were on loan and that you would need to find your own way.  I’m so glad you are learning all those tough things while realizing your family loves and supports you in the background.  You are learning to rely on God’s help and have deepened your faith in those things that are really lasting and important.  Money, fame and even friends will come and go.  Love, family and faith in God lasts forever.  And I pray every day for that special young woman who will change your life forever.

Until you have finally found your stride and your place stay strong and firm in your faith.  You are loved and thought about each and every day.  You are special and have a special purpose.  Don’t give up, never lose heart – for a part of the end result is the journey you’re on right now.  And these times will be what you look back on as one of your defining moments.

I love you…Happy 22nd!

 

 

 

 

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Every Ten Years

As I sit here writing, Greg is outside my office window.  He has a couple of ladders and is on one about half way up our cherry tree.  He is pruning the branches.

forcing laughter faking smiles.

forcing laughter faking smiles. (Photo credit: shesthereasonfortheworld)

It looks a little sketchy to me as I watch from this position safe in the house with an ace bandage around my bruised foot, but he clearly knows what he is doing and is no stranger to climbing up ladders, being high up on roofs to clean gutters or being on sides of buildings cleaning windows.  He has only fallen once – and it was from a low roof at Christmas time when he was installing lights for someone.  He said it happened because he was in a hurry and being a little careless.

Luckily he knows how to fall – landed on his feet then did a quick ‘tuck and roll’.  No damage to himself physically, but he said he looked around him to see if anyone had seen him, as it was really embarrassing. 🙂  Now if that had been me, I would have put out my arm, probably my right one – and broken my wrist or arm, not to mention other bones in my body.

I do not know how to relax into a fall.  I tense up and when I fall I always injure myself.

My falls seem to come in ‘ten year intervals’.  And since I’ve already had my fall for this decade in my attempted leap over our puppy gate last week –  I should be safe for another ten.  🙂

Twenty years ago I fell on some jagged rocks at the Ocean in Northern California where we were living.  I broke a bone around my right thumb (yes I am right-handed) and had a painful sprain which put me in a cast for 6 weeks.  At the time I was the only musician at the little church where Greg was the pastor – so for 6 painful weeks there was no one to play the piano.

Ten years ago I fell down some cement steps at the church where Greg was on staff in Renton, Washington.  I broke my foot (yes my right one) and had to be in a boot for 8 weeks.  I couldn’t drive or use the sustain pedal on the piano in that long two months – and to top it off, Greg was in process of installing new oak stairs in our home.  There were no side rails – no rails of any kind going up and down, so I just had to hop on one foot and hang on to the wall, when there was one to hang on to.  It was loads of fun.

All of this occurred to me as I was in Dr. Clark’s office getting an adjustment a few days ago.  Because of the jarring that happened during my fall I needed and will need several adjustments on my back.  The facts dawned on me as I relayed to him the above events – they happen every ten years!

There will be many massages in my future as I get my shoulders, back and neck to relax after last week – but it really hurts to have those areas massaged. This kind of pain is gain and anything that gets me back to normal is very welcome.  

And as I look back over these events, I smile.  I’m pretty clumsy – and I’m truly surprised that they don’t happen much more often!  So for now I will heal and try to be careful, “look before I leap” and keep my knees and elbows “in” when walking through doorways – and lift my feet up when I step up on a curb.  At least, I’ll try.

God Bless

Fragile Like A Tree

Redwood grove on north flank of Sonoma Mountai...

Image via Wikipedia

Our pastor used a great illustration several months ago.   He told about the redwood trees found in Northern California.  Greg and I know all about the redwoods because this is  where Greg and I pastored a small church for 3 1/2 years in the early 90’s.

Redwood trees are the largest trees in the world.  So large that you can drive a car through them – and in fact there is a tree with a hole cut out of it where a car COULD drive through – we’ve been there to see it.  But something very strange about these trees – their roots are actually very shallow – only a couple of meters deep. You would think that for trees this size – the root system would wind down for hundreds of feet and they would be very strong and invincible.  But they are not.  They are very vulnerable by themselves.  Their real strength comes from the other trees.   They act as a barrier and protection when close together.

We have much to learn from these massive beautiful trees.  They appear so strong and stable.  But they have a weakness.  And like the trees, so do we.  We cannot stand alone.  Oh I guess we CAN – but we SHOULD not.  We need each other.  We are fragile – like these trees.

Who are you close to?  Do you have anyone in your life that acts as a barrier and protection?  Who has your back?

We started a small group in our home with other like-minded and fragile people.  As we share our stories of joy and pain – it is good to know that we were never meant to do life alone.  We need each other.  I need support and help from my brothers and sisters – those who can share my everyday battles, opportunities and  circumstances – but who also have my back when life goes sideways – giving support and holding me close,  offering assistance and encouragement to keep me from giving up – or from falling over – like a tree.

I’m thankful for the people who God has placed in my life and along my journey to help to encourage me, lift me up and be there to protect and love me – when I mess up, get it wrong and need a little extra grace.  My friends – the trees in my life.

God Bless

My Son

Today my baby boy is 19.

I feel like I’ve lived a whole lifetime since he was born.  Greg was pastor of a very small church in Fortuna, CA at that time.  Shortly after – Northern California had an earthquake that did considerable damage to our little town and nearby ones.  The quake happened in the middle of the afternoon while I was nursing Shawn – and four-year old Ashlee was watching TV nearby.  Our family room was a pile of junk and clothes – getting ready for an upcoming garage sale to be held that next weekend.  It created a rocking sensation and things began to come out of the cupboards and the TV ‘walked’ out of the entertainment center and almost fell on Ashlee.  It was amazing and Greg RAN from his office next door to see if we were alright.  We were – just shaken up a bit.  But in the night the after shocks were just as bad – but infant Shawn – none the wiser – slept peacefully for the first time ALL NIGHT LONG.  The quakes just lulled him to sleep.

It’s crazy what things you remember from the past – sometimes it’s the most insignificant things – the little moments that pass by so quickly.  The early bonding we had – the time we had together while he was small – I am grateful for each and every day that I got to spend with him.  I was very lucky – I was a ‘stay at  home mom‘ for both of my children and I will never regret that.

Shawn was always an easy child with a quick wit and much natural talent.  He is everyone’s friend and has that certain ‘X-factor’ that is intangible – but still just a fact that is accepted and acknowledged by everyone who knows him.  A favorite with the grandparents and relatives – he just simply is a special person inside and out.

At 19 – he is still trying to find his way – and I am touched by his gentle spirit – the way he interacts with kids younger than himself and the way he ministers with his gifts – using them to bless others.

And yet – in many ways he is still a child – not yet ready to face the world.  He is one step closer – but still not ready.  He still has some lessons to learn – some pain to face and get through – some hard times to wrestle with and toughen him up – finding his way and finding out who he is and who God has designed him to be. We have done our best with him – and most of our lessons are through – he has absorbed all he can – and now the rest is up to him.  And like all parents of boys of this wild and adventurous age – we are anxious for him to make the right choices and hope and pray we have equipped him to do what he needs to do.  At this age – the parenting is mostly over for him.  And all we can do is pray – and wait.

Happy Birthday to my son who used to light candles for me – play soft music and run a hot bath for me – just because.

Happy Birthday to my son who was very wanted and planned for. I remember praying for you before you were born and asking God for another child – and I knew that child would be special – and you are.

Happy Birthday to my son – who is far from perfect – but who is perfect for me. You make my heart smile – and your humor brightens even the darkest of my days.  God gave you to me – to raise, watch over and pray for – He knew what He was doing – you are my gift – my love and my life. And He knew that I needed you. I can’t imagine what my life would have been like without you in it.  Each day you make me proud and happy – just by being you – and along with you big sister – you are the best thing that ever happened to me.

I love you

P.S. It’s after midnight now – officially your birthday – I texted happy birthday to you – and just received  a text  back – ‘ I love you too, Mom – you’re the first to wish that to me, Mom – almost home  – wanna chat?’  Ahhh – not too grown up yet.

Yes – I do.

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