Monday, August 31, 2015

Life and death in music

We have gotten used to synthesized and auto tuned music. I even "heard" back up singers that were not there because of a plugged in device that multiplied/harmonized a (singular) singer's voice. I only knew this because I was at a concert and it was explained and demonstrated. Wow! It was awesome, but really hit home the point that what we hear may not always match up with what we see if we are watching music being played.

I have had a thought when I SEE music being played, especially recently. There is something different about watching music being played: a band (marching or otherwise), a symphony, a concert, etc. and just hearing it played as a movie backdrop or on the radio.

The thing I notice though is that while watching music being played, I NOTICE more if an instrument is missing during a certain section OR I NOTICE an instrument being played. I may not know the name of it, but I see it being played and can pick out the sound or lack of.

Music. The tempo of our lives. People. The instruments that play along with us in our own personal symphonies.

One of our family's favorite movies has become Mr Holland's Opus for numerous reasons. It is about a teacher by default as music isn't paying the bills. Along the way, Mr. Holland finds out he loves teaching more than he ever thought he would. The music is used to show the passage of time and is almost a character of the movie. The movie has mentions of John Lennon (Husband is a fan of all things Beatles!). There are really good references to history. Throughout the movie, Mr. Holland is always working on a piece of music that could make him rich, famous or possibly both. In the end, he wasn't rich or famous outside of his little town. His family, friends and students were his Opus and they were the music of his life.

In the plot of the movie, I see how this finally tied all together for me. The instruments of our own life symphony are those closest to us. We (most of the time) play well together and make beautiful music. Sometimes more often than we'd like, we hit sour notes....but continue on. Sometimes we lose a member of the band we've formed. Sometimes it is temporary. Sometimes it is permanent. And the beat goes on. But differently.
It has been 2 weeks since husband's dad passed away. Our beat is out of sync. We're learning to live without one of our musicians. More difficult than thought prior. :(
1 Chronicles 15:16 (NIV) David told the leaders of the Levites to appoint their fellow Levites as musicians to make a joyful sound with musical instruments: lyres, harps and cymbals.

2 Chronicles 5:13 (NIV) The trumpeters and musicians joined in unison to give praise and thanks to the Lord. Accompanied by trumpets, cymbals and other instruments, the singers raised their voices in praise to the Lord and sang: “He is good; his love endures forever.” Then the temple of the Lord was filled with the cloud,

Psalm 57:7 (NIV) My heart, O God, is steadfast, my heart is steadfast; I will sing and make music.

Psalm 98:4 (NIV)  Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth, burst into jubilant song with music;

Psalm 108:1 (NIV) My heart, O God, is steadfast; I will sing and make music with all my soul.

Monday, August 17, 2015


Hubby and I are journeying on a new road as of Sunday. We have been married 26+ years. We have experienced highs and lows. Sometimes in the opposite order. Sometimes for extended periods of time. We have experienced the joys of our children, the miscarriage of a child, the death of grandparents and pets that have felt like family members, but not until Sunday have we experienced the death of one of our parents.

We are so grateful that at the ages we are that we have been blessed to have all of our parents for as long as we have. We know many children that have not been able to have parents in their lives as long. We know parents that miss their children and that ALWAYS seems way too early.

Sometimes death creeps up unexpectedly or comes crashing into our lives quickly.We were blessed to have some warning so that we had time to take for some special memories to be created and later remembered. We had a chance to say I love you, goodbye and we'll see you again someday. We know too often that we always think there will be a next day and then one day, there isn't.

I'm sure, eventually, we will find a new normal. BUT right now, there are tears. Happy and sad.

There will be tears that will be accompanied by laughter because we will remember one of the many times we shared laughter or near the end, an eye roll when words just couldn't (or shouldn't) be said at that time.

There will be tears that will tear our heart apart.

There will be tears when we pick up the phone to call and we realize we can still talk just in a different way.

There will be tears that fall down our face like gentle rain and tears that will gush like a waterfall just because.

There will be tears of sadness as a memory crosses our mind and we realize there will be no more new memories. They will become tears of gladness as we realize we are grateful for the memories we have.

There will be tears as we realize that there will be others that will pass and we don't know when or how and we don't know how we will even begin to handle all of that. There will be tears as we realize it is a blessing to not need to know the future it is enough to know WHO holds our futures.

There will be a day when the tears don't come as often. We'll be able to mention and talk about our loved one with less tears and we will smile at the memories and thoughts that they bring to mind.

Life will never be the same, but our lives are changed because of the time we had together and eventually we will smile through the tears.

John 11:35 (NIV) Jesus wept.

Psalm 126:5-6 (NLT) Those who plant in tears will harvest with shouts of joy.They weep as they go to plant their seed, but they sing as they return with the harvest.

Revelation 21:4 (NIV) ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”

Saturday, August 01, 2015


Necklaces, lovely to look at. Necklaces can be a piece of art. Necklaces can enhance our wardrobe. As long as they are put away properly, necklaces can be a great source of beauty.


Maybe one gets in a hurry. Instead of hanging the necklaces nicely in a jewelry box, the necklaces get jumbled up, knotted and, in general, causing a big problem. Especially when the ONE necklace you REALLY want to wear is right in the middle of the jumbled up knot! Of course, by the time one adds the final piece of jewelry before leaving the house, time has already flown by and the necklace is grabbed almost as an afterthought. The jumbled knot is discovered. Time continues to tick. Try to undo the knots? Pick another necklace? Go necklaceless? ;(

Emotions and thoughts, lovely to feel (sometimes), can be expressed through art, can enhance our outlook on life. As long as handled properly, emotions and thoughts can bring a great source of fulfillment.


Maybe one gets a little bit too much of life thrown at them. Instead of handling emotions and thoughts as they come up, they get pushed down or aside, making us feel knotted up inside and, in general, causing a big problem. Especially when that ONE event you REALLY DON'T want to deal with is right in the middle of the jumbled up knot! Of course, by the time one realizes the emotions and thoughts are heading downhill, time has already flown by and the skills we have learned to deal with them are remembered almost as an afterthought. The jumbled feelings are becoming overwhelming. Time continues to tick. Try to handle on our own? Get some help? Go emotionless? :(

Kind of a silly comparison, but sometimes what life feels like sometimes, doesn't it? The necklaces are just a visual of what our heads and hearts can feel like sometimes. A way to give a picture to the feelings. When thought of like this, maybe we can even feel like we can have a bit of control over what feels like will control us. When we take a bit of time hanging up necklaces (self-care), there is a much less chance of the necklaces ending up all knotted up and in a jumbled mess (feeling like our emotions and thoughts are controlling us!)

Find what works best for you. Use what works. Have a plan in place that when you feel overwhelmed, you can know what to do without having to add more stress. Phone, text or e-mail a friend. Write in a journal. Pray. Read the Bible. Talk to God. Listen for answers.

We don't have to wait for our lives to feel like a jumbled up, knotted mess. We can start using some of those things ahead of time to strengthen us for when we can't control the knots.

Wear your necklaces, thoughts and emotions. DON'T let them wear you out.They are meant to be shared. YOU have something worth sharing. Keep that jewelry box in your head and heart knot-free. Hugs, my friends.

30 Proverbs 14:30 (MSG) 
A sound mind makes for a robust body, but runaway emotions corrode the bones.

Isaiah 55:8 (NIV)
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord.

Psalm 139:2 (NIV) You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar.

Philippians 4:8 (NIV) Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.