Saturday, February 25, 2012

Saturday Afternoon Jam Sessions

I wish I were a musician and not just one who just  appreciates music.  Intrigued by a friend's post on facebook, I followed a link to the mothership of music, Spotify. Today, I have been cleaning house and jamming out to tunes on Spotify.  Okay, so I have spent a little more time listening to music than cleaning house.  But, I couldn't stop myself from browsing.  Everything my brain could find in its memories of timeless treasures, I found on Spotify.  It's been wonderful!

Many of the songs I listened to today take me back to a time when all I had was my transistor radio and WLS, an old rock station out of Chicago.  It is now a talk radio station.  :(   As a youngster, I spent hours listening to the likes of Led Zeppelin, Rush, The Who, The Allman Brothers Band, Neil Young...just to name a few.  Music was a form of escape for me, but yet more than that, it was vital to my survival of many rough times during my formative years. 

As the years passed, I upgraded the transistor radio for a hi-fi with a turntable and 8-track player.  It was totally awesome!  I used my 4-H earnings from the fair to buy this portal to paradise.  As the technology changed, I traded the hi-fi for a boom box.  Eventually, the boom box was replaced by a stereo system with a CD player.  Now, I have an iPod too.  However, even though I had the hottest technology I could afford, my love for music waxed cold.

As the demands on my life and time increased, my time to savor and enjoy music dwindled to the point where I didn't listen anymore.  Sadly, I barely noticed the atrophy to my musical ears.  However, lately, when I have been more down than up, the instinct to reach for the iPod has increased.  Loaded in my iPod are my favorite songs.  Songs that enhance the meaning to my life.  Songs that soothe my soul.  Songs that lift my soul.  And songs that make me wanna dance!  

Bringing music back into my stream of consciousness has brought me back to my other love, writing.  For me, music and writing go hand in hand.  Music simply inspires and calls to me like the sea to a mariner.  It's beyond words...  

Friday, February 24, 2012

I Went For a Walk

I went for a walk in a cemetery today.  Why?  I needed to find a place to be alone and think...and pray.  Where else is there?  Parks usually have screaming kids.  The walking tracks at community centers have too many people, and usually smell bad.  Sidewalks are next to roads.  Roads have cars.  So, I decided a cemetery would be the best place to be alone.  And I was right.  A couple cars slowly passed by me, but the folks inside were probably minding their own business.  More than likely, they were absorbed by their own pain.  

Was I in pain?  A little bit, emotionally.  Kind of melancholy, but mostly...lost.  I woke up feeling lost in the world.  I am a processor.  A thinker always thinking.  Noodling, as my boss calls it.  There have been so many transitions in my life lately.  Actually, looking back, I feel as though I have always been in some sort of transitional phase.  Never settling down.  Never putting down roots.  Truth is, I don't know how.    

As I walked through the cemetery, I asked God to speak to me.  I was listening.  I asked God for direction, for Jesus to be with me, and for the Spirit to quicken me.  The wind was blowing and, for awhile, that is all I heard.  Then as clear as day, the words came through my mind, "Why are you looking for the living among the dead?"  Great question, I thought.  Scanning the rows of gravestones, I had no answer.  The flowers, statues, pictures, names distracted me from my thoughts.  My thoughts were the reason I was there. 

I prayed for a widow when I saw the marker for her late husband.  Someone I know.  I thanked God for my job and my coworkers.  For my supporters, I thanked God for them as I walked.  I thanked God that my life would not end in a cemetery.   

I kept walking.  Searching.  For what?  Answers?  Clues?  Symbolism?  It was cold.  Blustery, with snow flurries.  I love this kind of weather, but I wasn't in the mood for what I love.  I wanted to keep walking until I was satisfied.  A bit while later, I asked for forgiveness.  I asked God to reveal to me what was hindering me from hearing Him.  I wanted to be rid of it.  Confess it.  So I could hear.  

A bit while later, these words appeared in my mind, "Why are you looking for the living among the dead?"  I stopped walking.  God was making a point.  I know He is not a riddler just messing with my head.  Nope.  There is a reason He spoke these words to me.  These are the same words spoken by an angel in Luke 24:5 to women who were going to the tomb of Jesus on the third day.  So the words impressed on my mind are not a new revelation, but there is a spiritual application for my life in them.  But what?  I cannot rely on my own brains for this one.  He must want me to come to him for the answer to the question for my  life.  I love that about God.  

Thursday, February 23, 2012


I went to the dentist today and it was not a wonderful experience.  The hygienist has been warning me about flossing and using an electric tooth brush for many years now.  Today, she attacked my choppers with that silver hooky scraper thingamajig.  Nevertheless, no cavities!  For my teeth and pocketbook, that is good news.  Clean, healthy teeth affect my smile. 

But, as I think of the word cavity, I think about the fact I may not have any cavities in my teeth today, but I have them in my heart.  I think God, like the hygienist, has been taking a spiritual silver hooky scraper thingamajig to places in my heart.  He is cleaning out the yucky stuff to prevent further decay.  The cavities He has found, He will need to fill as only He can.  I have tried to fill them before, but only He has the right mix of fixes to restore to me a clean, healthy heart.  My heart affects my smile too. 

Though I do not have to return to my dentist for six months, I do not think I am quite done with the spiritual cleaning in my heart.  Today, I was hurting a little.  Still am, quite honestly.  It could be the scraping of old wounds or maybe a nerve was hit.  Regardless, the working on my heart has left me a bit tender and wanting to protect myself.  However, I know I am in good hands with God working on my heart because in the Bible, Psalm 34:18 says “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” 

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Good Question

This picture pretty much captures what I would like to write about in this blog.  There are so many topics, but which one do I pick?  Which topic can I cover quickly?  Because, it is 10:36pm EST and I need to get to bed.  So, I can either cover a topic quickly but poorly, or I can just say... I do not know what to write about.  
I could write about this question mark, though.  It looks kind of sad, doesn't it?  At least the shadow does.  What do I see in the picture?  What is the life application here?  Could it be, why did I wait until 10:36pm EST to start writing my blog?  Good question!  :)   See ya tomorrow!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

It's About Time - My Blog, That Is...

We keep our eye on it or we lose track of it.  
We buy time and we sell time. 
We think we make time and make up time.
We spend time saving time only to waste it somewhere else.
We are all consumers of time.  
The problem is, though, time is not renewable. 
The clock keeps ticking…

Tonight, I had dinner with a friend whom I have known about 25 years.  We figured it has been at least 15 years since we last saw each other.  Wow!  How can I account for my own fifteen years?  I cannot pinpoint exactly where I have been for all that time, but I do know there were things to do, places to go, work to be done, and the like.  I’m not alone here.  Seeing my friend tonight was refreshing.  It was good to laugh with someone who knew me when I was young and crazy.  Now, she has seen me slightly older, still crazy.   

As with most good friends, the relationship picked up right where it left off.  Yet, there is so much of her life I do not know.  Sobering realization.  What I have missed brings me to shame.  I know I cannot go back and reclaim those lost years, but I can make changes in my life right now to not let it happen in the future.  I have a choice.

What is the life lesson here?   Where am I losing time?  Where am I wasting time?  The minutes add up to the tune of invaluable and irreplaceable.  The Bible says in Ephesians 5:15-17 “Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.”  Whose life am I living anyway?  Is my time really my time or has it been stewarded to me?

These thoughts here in my blog are not ground breaking or revolutionary, but they are points for me to ponder because I have yet to fully grasp the importance of time and managing it in a way that is wholly pleasing to God.   Every minute is a gift.  Every friend is a gift.  I must remember both are from God and both have been stewarded to me.  What do I have to show for my time that He has already given me?  I cannot bring myself to answer because my feeble attempts at excuses are not worthy enough to be uttered to the One who is all knowing and ever present.

All is not lost though.  God is the God of second chances (or third or thirty or three hundred).  According to scripture in Romans 8:1, “there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”  So my question to myself tonight is what am I going to do with the time I have left on this planet?

Monday, February 20, 2012

Bug - Part 3 - Relapse

Sleeping Cat by Teodoro S Gruhl
So last night I was feeling pretty good.  However, this morning, BOOM, I felt not so good.  Which quickly turned into really not so good.  Relapse?  I think so.  My error?  Dairy.  At least, that is what I think.  Cheese last night and dairy this morning both seemed to be good options, however, not so good when the stomach is ailing.  Didn't know that.  So I have been dealing with extreme nausea today and a couple other gastrointestinal goodies as well.  Resting, a la cat napping, has consumed most of my day.  Woke up to a text message signal.  Currently, dining on crackers and ginger ale.  Dare I try some broth?  I don't think so.  I hope this bug goes away soon.  My life is waiting... yet for now, so are my blankies.  zzzzzz

"">Sleeping Cat</a> by Teodoro S Gruhl

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Bug - Part 2 - One Sick Puppy

This morning,  I was on the schedule for nursery duty at church, and oh, it was difficult to get out of bed.  I decided to try some cereal to see if that stayed down before getting ready to go.  Showering, brushing my teeth, drying my hair, getting dressed, not matter what I was doing, I hurt everywhere.  It hurt to move.  It hurt even to breathe.  But, I was on the schedule, I had to go.  

I was late.  Not surprising to anyone who knows me well, but today I had a good excuse.  Another couple on the schedule were already there but no kids to be seen.  One little tyke showed up later than I, but he refused to stay in the nursery without his grandpa.  Little tyke and grandpa left.  Well there were three adults and no kids so the director of the kids program said we could go to the service.  Sad to say, but I was very happy there were no kids in the nursery for the 8:30 service.  Even though I was feeling horrible, I started towards the sanctuary.  But, wait!  I had been emancipated from nursery duty.  Normally, I love going to church and enjoy the worship and fellowship, but today, I only went to fulfill my nursery duty because it was too late to find a replacement.  I figured the nursery would be swarming with germs anyway, what would a few more hurt, right?   Perhaps God was looking out for me and the other kids today.  I dunno.  I took it all as a sign that I could go home.

After stopping by the market for some more tomato soup, I was finally home.  Exhausted, I was just plain exhausted.  Seeking solace in my cocoon of covers, I have slept the day away.  I haven't had a stomach ailment like this in a very long time, so I guess I was one sick puppy.  The aches and pains are, for the most part, gone now, but after this episode, I have a new found respect for anyone who suffers from arthritis, fibromyalgia, or any other chronic pain.  It was just 48 hours for me, but it opened my eyes to pain sufferers of the world.  My heart goes out to you!

On a somewhat related note, last night my niece called and invited me to her basketball game.  I have missed her whole season up to this point.  She is on a traveling league and her game today was too far to go for just a little bit and leave.  I sent her a message saying I couldn't go, that I was sorry.  Well, they won their game today!  Hurrah!  They survived another round of their tournament and now I can see her play next Sunday afternoon.  Is God giving me another chance to see my niece play because He is honoring my efforts to go and fulfill my nursery responsibilities this morning?  Maybe, maybe not, but I am very thankful to God that I do get another chance to see her play and also that I am feeling much better  :)  

As soon as I finish this blog and my bowl of tomato soup, I am back to bed.  Tomorrow is a new day and the start of the work week.  There is a lot to be done and I need to be ready for it.  May you have a blessed week!