Archive for the ‘Music’ category

Have You Got the Time?

March 4, 2014

Since I’ve stopped working, I’ve sometimes felt like I have time on my hands.  I’m not sure that I’ve been using it as wisely as I could be, but one of the reasons why I felt like it was time to come home for good was that I was getting glimpses of inspiration while I was at work and by the time I got home, it would be gone.  I had no energy to pursue creativity.

I resigned in November, and then the holidays came, so I didn’t feel like I could really find a new normal until late January or February.  I’m falling into something of a normal pattern now.  It involves some outside activities like my Ladies’ study one morning a week, a piano lesson for a new homeschooler, and my weekly shopping.  I also usually visit my Mom and younger brothers at least once a week.  And then I have a bunch of projects going at home.

Beside the furniture and painting plans we’ve been making and the various household items that I’ve been working on picking up during my shopping excursions, I’m also working on a few craft projects.  I think I posted once about all my hobbies/crafts.  Right now, I have two crochet projects, three painting projects, and one cross stitch project all going at once, plus two or three other painting projects and a crochet project or two in the wings/early planning stages.

And now that I’m at home, when inspiration strikes, I pick up my guitar and work on a song.  I’m just beginning to see the fruit of the decision Sir K and I made last fall that I needed to come home.  I have the time and the freedom to write the melody that is singing inside of me.  And that wants to be shared.  I have the time and energy to practice my playing and singing, to become better able to share all God’s songs with people.

These days I sometimes feel like I have time on my hands, but I can usually find something constructive to fill it.  And I finally have time to focus on the things that God has called me to do.  One is to create a welcoming home for my husband, future children, and friends.  Another is to share the music He has put in my heart.  I am a vessel through which He wants to sing the songs of His heart, and I just pray that I can keep getting out of His way.  My songs may only ever touch my small circle, my church family, but God knows and will send me the songs He wants them to hear.  If he wants a song heard by the nation, he sends it to someone on the national scene.

Do you have time in your schedule for the things God is doing in and through you?  So many people these days, especially women, are so busy at work that they have little time for the basics at home, let alone hobbies.  Between work and their social life they are emotionally drained, leaving less and less for family and self.  Or their work and family take up all their time and they have little left for socializing or for God. I’m not trying to say that everyone should give up working, but that you should give some serious thought to this question.

What is your calling, and are you spending time on it?

The Wonder of that Moment

April 4, 2013

Robin Mark’s “The Young Man”

And what of us, so distant from that far gone day?

Forever and Ever, Amen.

March 6, 2013

Okay, okay, so you’re all getting impatient with my lack of posting by now.  All of you, that is, except those readers who have been through this time themselves (and isn’t it the time of your life!) and know how little time a Best Friend leaves for anything else.  I thought I was going to call this post “This is why I never wanted a boyfriend,” and I may yet write that post, but I decided that tonight I want to share a video.  Sister sent me the link many months ago, perhaps over a year ago, and we have both enjoyed it very much.  Now, it has special significance for me…so enjoy.

Sir K and I will be embarking on our “forever and ever” this summer, so be prepared to wait a little longer between posts for a few months while we get a wedding planned!

To Carol, or Not to Carol

November 23, 2012

Okay, so it’s after Thanksgiving now; we can safely move on to Christmas themes – and Christmas music, right?

As I’m sure you’re all aware, many stores have been playing Christmas music for weeks now.  I’ve been hearing mixed reactions, and while this isn’t the first year I’ve heard the “it’s too early for Christmas music” line, this is the first time I’ve seriously thought about it.  Not that my opinion has or needed to change, personally, but I wanted to see the other side (if possible).

Why would people have such a problem with Christmas music?  Actually, I think the problem is partly just that they’re not ready for it to be Christmas already (and again).  For crying out loud, summer just ended . . . and now it’s Christmas already!  I also heard one radio DJ complain that it was taking the focus away from Thanksgiving, not allowing us the time to truly be thankful.  I can sympathize, to some extent, although Thanksgiving has always come without needing that much in the way of music to herald it.

Another complaint is that all this music commercializes Christmas.  Yeah, I can see where the stuff that stores play is pretty much all the secular stuff that would indeed commercialize Christmas, especially the ones about Santa bringing us stuff.  Let’s face it.  Why would stores and radio stations be playing Christmas tunes this early?  To sell more, of course!  If we start thinking about it earlier, maybe we’ll end up paying more by the time we get to Christmas.  Whether it’s that we end up buying more overall or just that we have that much longer to talk ourselves into paying more for that gift we really want to get that special friend or family member, listening to Christmas music probably gets us more into the spirit of giving, or more importantly buying, and more of it.

So why do I still not have a huge problem with Christmas music this early?  Well, to tell you the truth, I started even earlier.  And I’m not just talking about the Christmas Cantata that I’m a part of at church.  We started rehearsals for that in October.  But I’ve been singing Christmas music, some secular but mostly sacred, since . . . last Christmas.  And the Christmas before.

You see, I never really stop singing carols altogether.  They just become more infrequent as I give myself space to sing all the other good music out there.  And I’m not the only one for whom Christmas is an all year deal.  A lot of people I know will say that Christmas is for all year round.  And my boss will walk down the halls either whistling or reinventing “Deck the Halls” in the middle of July!  Other people complain that it’s too early for him to be whistling that, but I just grin.

Maybe I like Christmas, and Christmas music in specific, because in my expectant hope of Christ’s second coming, I enjoy looking back to His first coming.  As One Small Child, Away in a Manger, In the Little Village of Bethlehem.  Having played an angel many years ago (not necessarily any more of a typecast now than it wasn’t then), I like to imagine myself on the hillside as a whole choir of angels sang.  I’ve long been in awe of the way God brought the wise men to Bethlehem, bearing gifts that must have been, well, a Godsend, when Mary and Joseph fled to Egypt with our Savior.  And just as I joy in the first coming and all that happened, I look forward to the next coming singing “Joy to the World.”  You do know that one isn’t actually a first coming song right?  It’s about the second coming!  And I love it just as I do all the rest of God’s music.

So, while I have to say that those folks complaining that it’s too early for Christmas music have a point in terms of the commercialism it breeds, I am as guilty as anyone else.  And I’m not likely to stop my year-round habit any time soon.  So what if we have a whole month to remember the birth of Christ?  The rebel in me simply wants to remember it all year round!  After all, it was the most important thing in our history so far, so why not!?

Sharing

October 27, 2012

Yes, that skill taught to most toddlers (which few of them would master otherwise), sharing.  It seems you never stop learning to do it.

I’ve come in for some recent lessons on sharing.  Not that I have any trouble sharing my toys, my books, or my family.  I have learned to do that pretty well.  I even share my thoughts, probably more often than people care to hear them.  But in the last few months, God has been teaching me to share His music.

I have not made much mention of my music on this blog, and I don’t intend to make a big deal of it now.  The bare fact is that I sometimes write songs, both lyrics and melodies.  As to the quality, I can’t say much, although about half of my songs never make it past the first or second listener, while others don’t make it out of my notebook.  I have a quality control check for my music – if I play it for one of my siblings and they don’t “get” it or I don’t feel like my message was communicated, then either the song needs major work or it’s not worth pursuing.

Sometimes I have a good topic and I just go about writing it the wrong way.  Sometimes, though, a song will speak to me and to those preliminary sound boards (pun semi-intentional), and I give it some time to work out the kinks.  At that point, I have been willing to play some of my work for larger audiences, such as a coffeehouse kind of setting.  But God has been showing me lately that there’s more to it than just playing my songs for people.

Because they aren’t my songs at all.

The music I write is not mine, but His, and I am beginning to understand that as such, it has to be shared with His people.  This month, we attended the Bible Conference that I’ve written about in previous years.  Now two years ago, I wrote a song that, for me, embodied everything I love about the fellowship we share at the Conference.   A couple of months ago, I realized that it was time to share the song with everyone else there.  So I emailed the conference coordinator and asked if I could sing the song at some point during the weekend.  He was very gracious in allowing me to do so.

Now, I get nervous about singing solos, and that only gets worse when I’m singing an original song.  But when I stood up to sing, I wasn’t nervous.  I can’t say I was particularly calm either, but the song came out all right anyway!   I’m  glad now that I was able to share, because although I doubt I’ll ever write anything that would hit a Top-40 list, even of Christian music, what God gives me is meant for more than just myself.

I have the privilege of living with the music, playing it over and over as I hunt for the exact wording and melody that it should have, and gaining new insights into Him with each song I write.  The least I can do is share the end result with other people, and let them glean what they may from that.

So, what is it that God has given you to do?  Perhaps you also write music, or maybe you paint, stitch, write, speak, or carve.  Maybe your talent comes in caring for people.  Probably your gift is completely different from mine, but the principle remains similar.  He means you to share Himself with others, in whatever He has given you to do.

Ancient Words

September 22, 2012

Much of Contemporary Christian music does not impress me much, although there may be nothing wrong with most of it, but I do have a couple of favorite artists.  One of these is Robin Mark.  I’m partial to “Revival,” but he has many great songs focusing on the Truth, such as this one.  May we all come with open hearts to hear God’s Ancient Words.

Enjoy!

To the beat of a different drum

July 5, 2012

This song spoke to me again the other day, reminding me that I am indeed a warrior, but I am also a child.  And I do go running home when I fall down.

As Christians, we are soldiers.  The battle belongs to the Lord, but He has chosen to clothe us in His armor and let us stand in the fight.  Most of the armor we wear is defensive, although we do participate when we use the “Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God,” and when we “pray always with all prayer.” (Ephesians 6)  It’s not as glamorous as the colorful depictions of cavalry charges from centuries gone by.  Most of us don’t even go out to fight; instead we fight by living everyday lives through His strength, which upsets the Enemy very much.

Probably few would look at us and say, wow, I want to join them, that’s so inspiring.  I’m okay with that being a first response, and I will endeavor to show them otherwise as time goes on.  Most of the world will laugh and turn away, but that’s okay.  I’m used to swimming up stream.  I’ve pretty much always marched to the beat of a different drum.


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