open heart surgery.
that’s what right now feels like.
but not in a bad way.
feeling worked on, worked in, and worked out.
where i am supposed to be.
glad to be growing.
I am very glad it is Tuesday.
I have had a recurring appointment every single Tuesday beginning in January.
I like Tuesdays for multiple reasons.
My love for blogging and authenticity is met with hesitation to add additional details.
In part because I don’t know who all is reading this…and I fear what people will think of me…
Do you think it’s easy to just be an open book to everyone passing by?
But all the important people in my life already know about it…so who cares.
Sometimes I wonder WHY I blog. My only answer is that I find it helpful and necessary. I blog about my life and personal stuff, and I don’t have a blog plan and don’t make money from blogging. I do it for fun and for my sanity and enjoyment. I blog about my life and refer to it in conversations: “Yesterday I blogged about this…” And it’s strange to me that there are people in my life who don’t read my blog. But there are also people I don’t know potentially reading my blog? But what about the people who aren’t actively or presently in my life but have been at one time and read my blog…I feel conflicted sometimes…Who are you to get to read about my life? I wonder why people read my blog but don’t bother to see me in person or interact with me in any capacity…? I’m just asking…I really do wonder. I put a lot of myself out there, very vulnerable, and don’t get anything in return, it’s like I’m looking in a mirror and you’re looking in a window, except I can’t see you but you can see me….How would that make you feel?
Would you let me know you’re reading?
I have been thinking about my blog a lot this week. Thinking about starting up a new series, or potential new blog altogether. Thinking about lots of other things in my life and in and throughout my week.
Anxious about job searching.
Afraid of getting the wrong job.
But excited about the future mostly.
you may recall my ungratefulness in the recent months.
i’m happy to say that i sense a transformation taking place.
in my last post i mentioned sunrise, simplifying and praise.
I knew with my head, but I couldn’t, I just didn’t have it in my heart, outside of church and outside of singing along with music in my car, there was no praise taking place. I was slowly beginning to stop and thank the Lord for small things throughout the day or at the end of the day, but it was very small. But all of a sudden, that change has begun to take place. There are no significant changes in my life, aside from one major small thing.
And this is why I feed my heart, my soul, and my ears with worship music constantly.
God always uses music to connect to me, to encourage me, to teach me, to push me.
I’ve been listening to heaps of new music this week and I was listening to Don Poythress and the song was “I will bless the Lord at all times” and at that moment my heart began to grow.
May his praise be ever on my lips, I said, as I tweeted that thought. And I want that to be true.
Ever on my lips.
my theme for this year is: Sunrise.
my current season is going to be one of simplifying, sunrise, and praise. my goal for this photoshoot was to portray this new season, new hope, the light and glow of the sunrise and I am so excited how they turned out.
photos by the adorable Haley Brown
I have a goofy grin on my face. I am just really excited about my new little role with co+op. I’m the new leader of online community, and I’ve got myself a sweet little team of photographers and writers of all kinds, and I am just so excited. I had a tiny little meeting+snacks session with my completely new team last week, and was just so pumped that I didn’t even sleep that night! I finally fell asleep at 5 AM… (I’ve been sick too, so that has affected my sleeping habits too)…
This afternoon I sent them all an email today with each other’s contact information and everyone invites to dropbox. Then, not long after I came home from Church, dropbox notified me that there were new files in our shared folder, and one of my new photographers had uploaded new pictures from last week. I just finished uploading the album to facebook and am just so excited. It’s been awhile since I’ve been responsible for a team of people, and I am just stoked to love them and care for them and pray for them and have coffee with them!!
Please pray for me, I need my voice this week, as I’m supposed to be singing at our Christmas Imago Dei on Friday night.
Thank you! :)
I hope that this month and the coming days and weeks I can feel and experience the presence of God. That the work he has been doing inside me, in my soul and in my heart, the molding and the shaping, the pruning and the refining, that slowly some buds of fruit would begin to open. That healing would continue, that my eyes would be opened to things I don’t see, and don’t even know what wounds exist, that I would be strengthened and rely fully on the Lord, that I would find all my delight in the Lord, that he alone would be my source and my joy. Going back to some of the basics and relearning and trusting again.
Those are my words from the first day of November. As I reread those words last night, I thought about the process I have been going through in the past 28 days. It’s been a lot of what you’ve read here. Just processing and working through everything. I heard a quote once that it is through writing that we are able to think…and that is SO me. It puts them into words that don’t always makes sense until I see them with my eyes or hear them with my ears.
The first thought I had reading this was that God has answered this prayer. He has uncovered a part that I didn’t know hiding in a dark corner of my soul…in the ugly parts of my heart. So for that I am thankful. That it has been revealed, so that I can begin to deal with it, now that I know what it looks like.
And I keep going back to this song, You Are More, as different parts of this song stick out. Tonight the first few words stand out.
On the day I called
You answered me
And the hope in my soul increased
I lift my hands
And turn my eyes
To the God who heals my heart
And gives me peace
(sorry if parts of this were unclear…I’m on day 4 of some kind of sickness and my head’s quite fuzzy…ready to explode.)
On Wednesday, the last day I blogged, I expressed that I was not thankful. I was not feeling thankful. As I attempted to locate the home address of those feelings, I ended up in a neighborhood surrounded by bitterness, jealousy, envy, and quite possibly anger. Not exactly a cul-de-sac of happiness… but I was glad I had located it. Because I have had this bah-hum-bug-itis for several years when the holidays roll around, beginning with Thanksgiving.
It doesn’t help that my birthday being a few weeks prior always leads to reflection on my life and year and where I am and how unsuccessful I am and all the things that didn’t turn out the way I’d hope in that year.
Relationships, career, enjoying life and flourishing.
Instead, feeling two steps backwards. Goals always out of reach.
Thanksgiving has never been a big deal to me…I always chalk it up to the fact that I spent many years overseas…the primary thing it means in our house is the day dad cranks up Mannheim Steamroller and we pull out the Christmas decorations. That’s it. In recent years, I’ve taken on several side dishes as my part, but it still feels empty to me…it’s just food that everyone makes on the same day…still don’t get it.
So when people ask me about it..part of me is confused about how it’s such a big deal to everyone…seriously.
So as I honed in my satellite on that ugly neighborhood in my heart…I noticed that since I graduated, since that phase of my life was over…there was less music in this season.
Cue the going-back-in-time music…..
The fall semester of my Senior year I held my Senior Voice Recital, in November. I was so excited because it was not required of my major as a Church Music emphasis, but the chair of the voice department told me she would like me to have a Senior recital. So my voice teacher and I worked on it beginning in my Junior year, coming up with material to start working on. At some point I decided that the majority of my music would be Christmas music, and the November 16 date was perfect. I learned O Holy Night in French, a beautiful German Mary’s Lullaby, a Latin duet by Vivaldi with voice and Oboe, an aria from Handel’s Messiah How Beautiful Are the Feet, and a Ralph Vaughn Williams English lullaby. I have the whole thing on VHS…if you like arias and lullabies, lol. (pictures below…and no, I don’t know what’s wrong with my face…I look horrible in all of the blue dress pics, but in my defense, someone else did my hair and makeup…from Fall 2004)
During that same month, I organized, planned, and rehearsed a worship team I had put together the month before as part of my internship, at my parent’s small church.
The first week of December was our Christmas concert for UCO, Friday and Sunday. I had been learning Christmas music since September.
To go from big fish in a small pond having participating in numerous music specials, groups, duets, and solos throughout my entire life and then this concentrated amount of Christmas performances in College, and ending up in a big church as a small fish..where we don’t do much with all the talent we have for Christmas is very discouraging, honestly. And I just don’t know what to do with myself. I am participating in Imago Dei, and that’s great, but it’s just the start. I’m not saying I want to be the diva all star whatever. I’m just saying, I’m having a hard time with this season when I have nowhere to contribute. I don’t know where I fit. Where I belong. I don’t feel like I’m using the gifts…when I’m not using the gifts.
I know choirs are old school and blah blah blah. But I truly believe we could make something really beautiful and non-cheesy in a setting even like our church. For as large a size a church as we are, I truly believe we are doing a disservice by not doing something with all the talented voices in our church who may not all necessarily be soloists, but can sing, and put in the right environment, or in the right group, with the right direction, could be something truly beautiful and glorifying to God.
So I guess you can say I’m a Christmas music addict and I’m going through serious withdrawals. But I did enjoy the remembering. I’m trying to figure out what I need to do to work through this “neighborhood”.
not feeling thankful.
the reality is there is stuff under the surface that i just started identifying why i’ve started feeling all bah-humbug-y
just identified a few things tonight. so i’ll keep processing and trying to pray about it.
pray for me?
and if anyone has any suggestions that don’t include ‘be thankful’ go for it.
I was a “missionary” for 106 days, from the date of commissioning.
Or 140 days if you count from my first day in Colorado.
But for all of my life I’ve identified myself as an MK.
I never did get used to the term missionary for myself. Probably one of the many indicators that would lead to my exiting the organization I had joined.
I have slowed down my blogging in the past week, almost out of exhaustion. I’ve little else to say, I’ve said so much in the first 16 days. But I’ve also not moved forward in any ways in the past few days. On Sunday I said it was beginning to smell like hope… but the past two days of being at home do nothing to remedy my situation.
Francis Chan refers to the idea of the spiritual life being like one of swimming upstream. You can’t stop swimming, otherwise you start going backwards. I can totally see that. It’s easy to sprint ahead and then glide on the speed you’ve set for yourself…but then you start going backwards, even when you’re just stopping for a break, a breather, stalling.
I must keep moving forward or get swept away in the rushing down stream.
I have to continue to fight for the time spent getting away with the Lord. Quieting my heart, opening my ears to hear. And as I seek guidance desperate that a clue will appear. Courage. Wisdom. Direction. Light on the step ahead. My head spins in so many directions I’m completely unsure where it will slow down. What does it smell like, what color is it, what shape is it? How and where do I fit in the grand scheme of life. What risks and faith leaps do I need to take next? Is it possible to get through all this without being continually wounded and discouraged at doors that don’t budge or shut in my face? What door? Does it even resemble a door? Will I even recognize it?
So I sit in these questions. And seek.
*not gonna lie…definitely have Amy Grant’s Lead Me On playing in my head…so I looked it up for your viewing pleasure. I totally used to watch this on TV. ha!
…it was a dark and stormy night…”
It was a dark and foggy night in my case (thankfully no rain…I needed new wipers…last week!)….I was driving home at midnight-thirty from a birthday dinner 25 minutes away. As I head down the freeway I notice spots of fog, literally spots, and confirmed that indeed it was fog on the freeway. It’s very dark with hardly any street lights so after going through the first patch of fog, I reduced my speed to about 50-55 mph, and carefully went from the middle to the right lane. I only had about 3 miles to go before my exit, but I still had a long drive once I got off the freeway. It was a much longer drive than usual. Everytime I went through a patch of fog, I slowed way, way, WAY down. I could not see a cars length in front of me in some spots. It feels like you’re driving blind.
I just had some quiet, mellow classical music on in the background, which helps me concentrate when driving conditions are difficult. As I drove on the long main road which spans 8 miles from the freeway before I turn off that road to get home.
The fog seemed worse as the elevation rose slightly.
As I drove through yet another thick patch of fog and slowed down to a crawl this time, this thought occurred to me:
If I can’t see in front of me I need to slow way down.
It was a deep life metaphor for me that I needed to experience. I think this is the place that I find myself. I have a destination, I have the vehicle, and I know the road to get there. There are times that I can’t see in front of me beyond my nose. In those times I need to stop and slow way down and inch forward until I get out of the fog and can see more clearer the road ahead.
I know it’s cheesy. But tonight for me it was a revelation. What does it look like to slow down, what brakes do I need to put on?
Lots of questions to think through.
But I did make it home safely.