Musings From A Musical Mind

Posts tagged ‘Skype’

Are Tears Healthy?

The Lost Valentine

The Lost Valentine (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Yesterday I watched two very sad things on TV that I had recorded earlier.  One was a movie I had seen a few years back starring Betty White called “The Lost Valentine“.  Not sure if the movie is based in fact – but it could have been.  The premise:  A young married couple during WWII,  the husband called away for duty.  She gets a telegram saying her husband is missing in action.  For over 60 years.  A young female television reporter hears about the story and becomes curious.  After interviewing the elderly woman who has never had any other word from her husband or the war department after that fateful day of the telegram, the young woman sets about to do some investigating.  Through a series of events and a lot of digging she finds a man who was with the missing man in the jungle across the sea, during his last days.  Through a Skype call to the widow – he is able to tell her what happened to her husband all those years ago.  He was a hero.  He could have come home – but wanted a man more seriously injured than himself to be allowed to go first.  There was only room for one man.  He stays and helps those men there in the jungle – gets caught in a cross-fire and is shot and killed.

What a relief to finally hear.  It’s the not knowing that will kill you.  They confirm the remains of her husband and in true pomp “military style” they bring him home and parade him past his widow.  That scene is very moving.  I did not expect the flood of tears – but they came anyway.

If that was not sad enough, last night we watched “Downton Abbey“.  The episode was very sad as well.  In the days before C-sections, mothers and babies were often lost due to serious complications.  Seeing the youngest daughter die after delivering her baby with something called eclampsia from toxemia was very hard to watch.  And might have been prevented if they had taken their doctor’s advice to have her moved to a hospital and have immediate removal of the baby.  In the early part of the last century – it was not something that was done very often – and people simply did not trust hospitals because of sickness and possible infection.  Oh my.  Things that are prevented today with proper medication and hospitals.

My own maternal grandmother lost her first baby while delivering at home and too far from a hospital when a serious issue came up.  Today this would not have happened.

I cried so much yesterday because of these two very sad things.  Of course my lack of sleep (we have a new 5 month old puppy that we rescued) might have contributed to my general feeling of sadness.  But I have heard that tears are healthy.  It’s great to have a “good cry” once in a while.  It resets the switches and cleans out the toxins.  I have always wondered about this – as the only thing it seems to do for me is give me bags under my eyes and a whopping good headache!

What about you?  Ever had a good cleansing cry?  Did you feel better or worse?  Do you feel that it is healthier just getting it out?

Not sure about me – but I have always been emotional and prone to tear up.  Sometimes I wish this was not so – it tends to happen at the most undesirable times!

Here’s hoping you have that good healthy release of emotions and toxins in your body today!  Maybe a good cry?

God Bless

Yes I Really Do Have 700 Friends On Facebook

Image representing Facebook as depicted in Cru...

Image via CrunchBase

The other day I attempted to “cut my friend list” on facebook.  You know how it goes – you have an account for a while, and pretty soon people just start “appearing” on your friend list until you have near 1000 people!  This happened to me a few years ago.  I heard the snickers and taunts from my other facebook friends, “no one has 100o friends!” and set out to cut it back and only have people there I actually knew in person and had a connection with.

That was 2 or 3 years ago.  Then over time it crept up again as I slowly added those that were “late adopters” in joining the social media world.  Students, former students and people I had a relationship with on some level all came on board and asked to “friend” me.  Usually I did – because I knew them, or a friend knew them.

And like you, I have also been forced to eliminate some who I don’t need to be seeing every little thing they do, have contact with – or who for some reason have made me feel uncomfortable by status updates, pictures and comments.  And some people I do not feel comfortable with them seeing every little thing about me either.  But luckily this number is very small.

The other day I noticed my numbers were climbing up there again.  “NO ONE has 800 or 1000 close friends”, I said to myself.  I went through my list of “friends” and started eliminating based on whether or not I ever had a conversation with them.  As I was cutting back my list – I noticed something.  Most of these people are students, former students, past ministry life, or current friendships and church connections.  And because I love being connected with those I have had a part in the investing process – I don’t want to cut it loose.  Students grow up, get jobs, get married and have children – how much I would miss if I didn’t have them on facebook.

I guess the bottom line is this:

Yes I REALLY DO have 700 friends in my life.  I would not have known that until I went to look at them closely, individually, one by one.  Each face is a reminder of an event in both our lives that made that special connection.  Some are people I know only through the blogging community and many of them I have been able to talk with on Skype, although I have not met them in person.  They are daily contributors to my world of writing – and we have a common faith in Jesus Christ.

For those of you who are not aware who is on your friend list – I encourage you to do the same thing.  Look at your list and for each person you keep, remember why they are in your life and what brought you to this point in time.

I love making new friends – but mostly the people who I remain in contact with are the relationships that have stood the test of time and have meaning in my life today.

I am thankful for facebook.  It has allowed me to stay in touch and be a part of those I love as we share pictures, love and laughter together, encouraging and praying for each other – it helps to fill in those times when we can’t be together in person 🙂

As a teacher – facebook has been a great tool for keeping students and parents informed.  I have a page for my music studio as well as one for my blog.  These have both been great tools of communication!

And I’m a sucker for former and current students “dropping by” my page and saying “hello” to me 🙂

How many “friends” do you have on facebook?

God Bless

Article Sharing Friday

Each Friday I am going to share some of my favorite people and a favorite article that they have written.  Today I thought I would share three favorite people with you – they are not only great writers – but great people I have come to love and respect.   In my day-to-day life in social networking and especially in the blogging community – I have met and interacted with many – but a few individuals stick out in my mind.  These I either know personally and have a “real” relationship with – or have connected with online through common experience and subject matter.  There are so many choices when it comes to following a blog.  I have found, that for me – I am better if engaged in conversation with the person who writes the blog – and the investment goes both ways.  So I am choosy when it comes to which ones I feature on my site – and those I choose to comment on.  Here are my top three choices for today:

1. Taste Hope  Is a blog site from my real life BFF Deanna.  She and I have known each other for 15 years – and served in ministry together with our husbands at the same church for about 5 of those years back in the 90’s.  She and her husband run a beautiful little B&B in North Bend, Washington.  Deanna is a pastor’s wife, licensed counselor,  gifted writer, communicator and chef.  She has amazing humor and great insight on life through her own journey.  One of my favorite articles from Taste Hope is:

  30 Things I wish Someone Had Told Me When I Graduated From High School

2. Art Of Eloquence  A blog site from my online buddy JoJo.  I have known JoJo now for about 3 years. She is a master communicator, has numerous works published for home-school curriculum and many other things on communication in general. She has hosted her own radio show – and at one point she had Greg and me join her to talk about marriage.  She always has something fresh and humorous to write about and she is a daily presence in my blogging and social networking life.  I have appreciated her comments and encouragement so much over these years and look forward to meeting her someday  in person – other than just Skype!  One of my favorite articles from The Art Of Eloquence is:

The Case For Wrinkles

3. The Fallen Pastor  A blog site from my online buddy, Ray.  I met Ray less than a year ago – stumbled onto his blog and read his story – one of failure and forgiveness.  The true story of a pastor caught up in discouragement, depression and ultimately, failure of his marriage through an affair.  He has been restored and is full of hope for the future – is a very gifted speaker and writer – whose mission in life is to help and encourage fallen ministers.  He and his wife Allison are humble and approachable – and Greg and I have visited with them both through Skype – and with all my communications and comments via blog sites or social networking – I feel as if Ray is my brother from another mother.  I love his tender and caring heart for people – and his humble and broken heart for others who have gone through trauma in or out of ministry.  One of my favorite articles of his is this:

My mess, His Message: Introduction

I trust you will be blessed and encouraged today with these three awesome people – and look up their blogs for more awesome articles!

God Bless

The Future Of Social Networking

I just read an article and watched a really cool video showing the future of social networking on my friend David Mile’s blog.  David has a wonderful and innovative blog site and I encourage you to check it out!  David is a former staff buddy who served alongside my husband at New Life Church in Renton, Washington.  He is fun, quick and full of great ideas.  He has a beautiful wife and a new baby girl – and it is fun to read his blog about his experiences about being a new father.  It is also fun picking his brain and seeing what other ideas he can come up with!  The church where he now serves, Maple Valley Presbyterian – is lucky to have him 🙂

I have been increasingly frustrated with some social networking – and would LOVE to have it be more like what is presented in the video on David’s blog.  This is MY kind of future!!

I love facebook because of the interaction. I have a regular group of friends and we communicate almost everyday – share jokes, pictures, links and laughs.  If you are one of those newer “facebookers” and have about 10 friends – and I am one of them – you will see me a lot on your home page – because I am talking and communicating with friends.  It will look to you like I am talking to myself to just hear myself talk – or something equally ridiculous.  I’ve actually had people with a few friends say to me, “You’re on ALL THE TIME”  or, “I know EVERYTHING about you”  which of course is silly and not true.  I am on facebook to connect with others and to have fun, sure – but it is NOT just ME out there.  Now if you have several hundred people on your friend list then my comment are very seldom. And almost non-detectable to most on my list.  It’s all in your lens and how you view social networking.  It is simply a tool – used to connect.  I can tell you that I’ve found hundreds of people from places and situations where my husband and I  have lived all over the country – and it is so fun to share life with them again – where it would not be possible any other way.

Skype is also great!  I talk to my parents on this fairly often even though they only live about 25 minutes from me.  It puts a face with the conversation and makes it feel like you’re right in the same room.  My Mother loves this 🙂  I have other friends from different parts of the world too – and it’s been great to actually see them real-time and have a conversation – I love this!

As a person who has a business – it has been really great for me to stay connected with students and teachers through a website and facebook page.  I love knowing what is going on with my students and be able to connect and communicate such things as upcoming events and schedule changes – as well as fun music I want them to see – or past recital performances to inspire!

I’m still getting used to twitter and can’t say that I love it.  I know that everyone else DOES.  It puzzles me more than anything.  Here’s what I don’t like:  People just spewing out random little “nothings” about every 2 minutes or so.  Now to be fair – I found out from my friend and fellow “Twitteror” Deanna, that  people have apps that run all these random little “nothings” for them – so they don’t have to actually do anything themselves – all work is done for them.  It makes them appear plugged in and engaged in social media – when they aren’t even there. Pretty crazy.  I’m kinda wondering, “what’s the point”?  And as far as connecting with others in the music profession like myself?  Blah.  Nobody takes the time to answer questions on twitter.  I can reply – retweet and follow those I think will have helpful tips and be able to share education experiences – and I’ve come up with MANY dead ends on this.  Most will NEVER ever reply to me.  Following a blog is a WAY better idea.

Which brings us to blogging.  This is probably my favorite social networking of any of them – and I belong to them all – even Linkedin, Stumbleupon, Reddit and Digg.  Blogging brings people together in a very specific way – those that are on your same journey.  There’s something powerful about that.  At least for me.  I started this blog site a little over 2 years ago because I felt the need to express myself and thoughts through writing.  The site was really just for me – but it’s turned into way more than I ever thought and the Lord used it in a mighty way that blows my mind.  I’ve even been on the radio talking about it my blog and blogging in general – as well as being a “guest blogger” on many different blog sites.  It’s humbling to say the least – I never thought that my words or thoughts could be so powerful in motivating and encouraging others – but they have been and I thank God for that because that’s all I ever want to be – a blessing to others.  I get private emails all the time expressing how my writing of a particular article is just for them – it’s really wonderful to hear.  I can’t tell you how many friends I’ve gained by blogging – just look at my blogroll and RSS feed and you’ll see the friends and people who have influenced me and literally rock my daily world. I’m proud to call each of them friend.

Now there is a secret with blogging that some of us understand.  I’m going to let you in on it too – if you are reading this and contemplating a blog site for yourself or you want to gain more readers.  You have to take the initiative.   You have to be a presence on their blog site.  This takes focus and is a time commitment on your part – but it’s well worth it.  Decide who you want to invest in – and then be there – make a contribution by commenting.  It should be returned – but sadly, it isn’t always.  Be the one to leave the comments as  a courtesy and eventually they will follow your example.  Is this always easy to do?  No.  I follow about 10 or so blogs consistently and it does take time – but the relationship and contribution through blogging is invaluable and you can’t find that elsewhere – so it is worth investing in.  Women are better at this than men – and I don’t hold it against my guy friends who don’t always contribute to my blog – they simply are just not able to with time constraints and let’s face it – men don’t need to connect like women do – so go easy on them.  They are still reading your blog 🙂

Just don’t be one of those that thinks, “If I comment on their blog – no one will want to visit and comment on my blog anymore”  You couldn’t be MORE WRONG.  Change your attitude and decide to be the positive and encouraging word for them.  You may literally change a bad day.  And be the reason that they keep writing.

Click here to see the video “A Day Made Of Glass” to see all the future possibilities in store for us!  And thanks to my friend, David for posting this today!

God Bless

What I’m Most Thankful For

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Image via Wikipedia

I’ve been seeing status updates all month-long, on facebook – saying what people are thankful for.  I’ve even seen longs lists in various places by others, stating what they are thankful for.  But it was not until I saw my friend David put up such a complete and heartfelt list on his blog – that it really made me want to reflect on those things in which I am most thankful for.  And here they are – in no particular order:

 

1.  I am thankful for the love of a good man  (He’s loved me for 30 years – amazing)

2. I am thankful for my children who are young adults now with lives of their own – and who are finding their way and who both have a strong faith in God – and a great friendship with me and their Dad.

3. I am thankful for the opportunity to use my gifts everyday in music and I LOVE my students so much.

4. I am thankful for good friendships – both past and present and what I have learned from both – but especially the ones who stayed – you are the roots in my life.

5. I am thankful for Christian parents

6. I am thankful for my relationship with Jesus Christ – that started at a very young age.

7. I am thankful for a discovery about myself that allowed me to be free to express myself without fear

8. I am thankful for like-minded believers at my church family – and especially my pastor Stephen and his wife Mandy.

9. I am thankful for Starbucks coffee

10. I am thankful for a fireplace in the winter

11. I am thankful for an outdoor grill in the summer

12. I am thankful for laughter – the daily medicine

13. I am thankful for facebook and my blog site to connect and reconnect with people from all over the world

14. I am thankful for Skype – so that I can see and hear my friends

15. I am thankful for my DVR that records programs I can’t see right now

16. I am thankful for my big screen TV for watching holiday movies and specials.

17. I am thankful for new facebook and blogging buddies – who have found a way of expressing ourselves that is quite unique to us.

18. I am thankful for a warm bed – with adjustable frame so I can sit up in bed and read or watch TV.

19. I am thankful that my husband still brings me a first cup of coffee in bed – after all these years.

20.  I am thankful for all my readers.  We are in a unique world of the written word – and if you have found  yourself here – you know a little more about me than most folks – because this is where I live and express myself.

 

God Bless

Addicted To Love

Addicted to Love (song)

Image via Wikipedia

It’s so great how the ‘lost’ can be ‘found’ – if you wait long enough.  25 years ago, Greg and I were youth pastors in Jeannette, PA.  We had a small youth group – but with those eight or ten ‘kids’ we developed  deep and lasting relationships – especially with four of the boys.  They were and always will be ‘the lost boys’.  This was my pet name for them – because each one had their own unique set of circumstances and challenging home lives.  We came into their lives in that crucial part of life – when they were teenagers.

You never know how you will affect lives while you are in the middle of your own journey – or what the future impact may be.  We were just simply doing our job and it was easy to love these kids.  And with no other distractions and no children of our own yet – they became our ‘children’.

After moving away from Jeannette in ’86  – we took a position in New Castle, PA and two of the boys came to visit us.  I was pregnant with Ashlee at the time and it was so great to see them!  They told us of some trouble that one of the boys had found himself in – and we wanted to reconnect with him – even back then – but it was hard in those days with no internet.  Sadly we lost touch with all of them and some time later moved back to the west coast.  Because there was no internet yet – or at least very limited – I had no way of finding anyone – but always thought about them and wondered what had happened.  The memory of my ‘lost boys’ was always on my mind.  When we first had internet, back in the late 90’s I tried once more to locate them.  Nothing.  Years passed and I got on myspace and looked.  Nothing.  Then a few years later I got on facebook and tried again.  No luck – until….about 6 or 8 months ago.  I typed in two of the boys names and FOUND THEM!!  It was like a miracle!  I contacted them – one now lives back in Jeannette and the other is in the army and stationed in Afghanistan.  What a thrill to talk to them and catch up on their lives – there’s a whole lot to catch up – 25 years!

One of the ‘boys’ suggested that we use Skype to talk to each other using a webcam on the computer and seeing a real face in front of you while you’re talking.  We had never used it before and after a lot of bugging on his part – Greg finally downloaded Skype.  Last week we were able to call him.  I can’t tell you how it felt to see him (this was the one that had some trouble in his teens after we left) and to see that he’s all right.  During the conversation I said, ‘You know Randy – you were the original ‘lost boys’ – you were like our kids’  and without missing a beat he said, ‘Well in many ways – you were our parents’  That was so nice to hear.  That ‘lost boy’ is 40 years old now.  And he has never forgotten us.

Two of the other boys were found from this blog.  I wrote an article about a year ago – still looking for these ‘boys’ and wrote their names in an article hoping someone would see them.  Someone did.  One of the boys himself –  who was not on facebook – was using ‘google’ to find another one of these boys and my blog popped up!  He commented on the article and gave me his email.  That was amazing too!  He told me news of he and his brother and what a journey their lives had taken.  Randy and I pushed and pleaded with him to join facebook – and he finally did!

Here is a video I made for the four ‘lost boys’.  This song has much meaning – it was an ’80’s tune that played on the radio ALL THE TIME back then and Bill use to ‘sing’ parts of it and make us all laugh.  Good times, good times.

Here’s hoping that whatever  you have ‘lost’ – will someday be ‘found’.

Enjoy!

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