Tag Archives: music

Mistaken

It’s not something I prefer to talk about, but I may have mentioned I deal with some tremendous sadness. Now and then it can seem like too much for me. Sometimes I like to say, “Hey, let’s stop the pain train.” Even when I’m trying to be funny, I’m usually serious about that.

I hate to admit it (but hey, it’s just us here), sometimes I want to just quit – though that mostly happens before coffee.

The trouble with quitting is

1. I still don’t know how, and
2. I can’t imagine explaining to God how I couldn’t trust Him any more.

My life’s main accomplishment has been to prove how easy it is to drift off-course, to lose sight of even the nearest, biggest, most important goal.

Seriously, from the time I was about three for thirty-odd years, I often felt I was a mistake.
Circumstances and developments can seem like too much, but at least now we recognize and understand PTSD.

My personal game-changer happened when I was thirty-something. I rediscovered that I love God. I’m not talking about sitting in sanctuaries where my family met every Sunday, First Friday or Holy Day, nor the beautiful buildings filled with art that I fawned over as a child. I mean I cried out to the Creator of the Universe, God. He answered me and He showed me He had never actually left me.

He stayed with me and since then God consistently proved to me that relationship with Him is the best way through this world.

Today I’m all about appreciating that God does not make mistakes. Not even the devil (evil, et. al.) was a mistake. (How else would we appreciate God’s goodness?)

More than ever before I appreciate that I’m actually co-piloting my journey. Like most everyone else I know, I will likely continue to diverge – occasionally often. Yet, I can unreservedly trust that God, my Pilot will continue to make continuous adjustments, redirecting me back to His intended route. And He does it constantly for me and innumerable other souls, all the time.

So, I can sum up my whole point today in three words:

I’m. No. Mistake.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5, 6 (NIV)

 

 

Video, Mistakes by Influence Music  

Images courtesy Pixabay

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Interval

Maybe it was the headlines, autumn even more manifest on my walk earlier, something I ate – or didn’t eat. It could be that Nickle and The Deuce are already back in my apartment. Perhaps because I’m missing my kids for the umpteenth time today – and it’s not yet noon. Regardless, work called and I answered.

Moments later I marveled that after all the years of work fixing what broke, I was stuck again.

Forget about why; the ear worm remained. Ultimately I caved, picked up my guitar as if I could already play it.  I listened, carefully and then just rolled with it –

 

and shared it.

 

You’re welcome.
 

 
 

 

“You made me; you created me. Now give me the sense to follow your commands. May all who fear you find in me a cause for joy, for I have put my hope in your word.” Psalm 119:73, 74 (NLT)

 
Video courtesy YouTube

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Still Workin’

Yeah, it’s been a while. Originally I imagined this imposed hiatus would be a week or two.

We plan – God laughs.

It turns out I’d carried a lot more baggage home with me than I’d realized. And surprise, I’d gotten so used to carrying it all I hadn’t noticed the the weight. As it happens, hurting my arm and shoulder wasn’t entirely a bad thing. I had to lay a few things down and I’ll tell you, sometimes doing that right can be a long process. I’m determined to stick with it and not need to do this again!

 

Still, I enjoy my new life on the ranch, despite how it humbles me – daily. So much to learn, such astounding lessons.

 

 

I finish the chores early in the day so I’m back to work on my chapters now: Write – edit – edit – edit – submit.

I don’t have my head around my new What’s Next format – yet – but I don’t want anyone wondering if I’ve gone off the rails either.

So for now, enjoy the link to what feels like my life’s sound track from Mandisa and keep checking in!

 

“Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end.” Ecclesiastes 3:11 (NLT)

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Celebrate!

american flag firefighter

In case I haven’t mentioned it lately, I love Independence Day. It has been my favorite holiday as long as I’ve been considered an adult. In my corner of the world it’s all about family then too.

While my guys were growing up it never mattered what was happening within our family, in the country, the world, or whose team is winning (go Cubs, GO!). We always gathered together to celebrate the Fourth of July in grand style every year. Regardless of who was promoted since last year, inducted, retired or who died we celebrate America with unbridled exuberance.

And my family has always done it with food, music, a bang, and especially with fireworks, usually on our property – and high above it. It’s another time it’s good to have firefighters and law enforcement officers in the family 😉

fireworks family

*

Even as the boys spread out across the country, sometimes the world, we managed to draw together – at least by Skyping sometimes.

My favorite tradition is, before dusk we all share at least one thing we enjoy or appreciate as Americans – this can go on and on… Granted, some of us call some things people enjoy all over the globe, but with a year to work on it the guys are usually creative.

This year with extra shifts, day camp, my move and the ongoing organization project here, the best we could do was to gather together and cut up in a private Facebook chat. I don’t mind too awfully much; airfare is too costly this time of year and the face time filled up my family love tank.

While browsing around I found a video link that inspired me. You’re welcome:

So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” 1 Cor 10:31 (NLT)

Images courtesy ABSFreePic, * Image by Audrey Larin, courtesy Unsplash

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Girlz Move Party!

paper-in-box-4608x3456_85917 Days away from loading my worldly goods into a storage cube, leaving my household, my church and home for the past 24 months, I’m profoundly reflective.

I get weepy often lately, but it’s all good. The last tears are almost always sweet with happy memories and gratitude. What’s more, the grit in the experience polished me, so I shine like never before. All glory to God, images actually reflect more clearly today.

I especially appreciate how My Girlz, my friends in the blogosphere carried me these past weeks. I love that about women. Men and women may also connect, and I imagine men encourage other men, but I’m callin’ it; women instinctively do it better.

So here’s my morning line up, hopefully a reminder to every reader to never underestimate the power of the pack(forgive me):

What’s Next: A favorite Oldie But Goodie, Stomp, Kirk Franklin
Michelle at Two Are Better Than One, The Mallone Zone:  I Can Be a Little Punk Sometimes, Hollyn
Psychromatic Redemption: Ever ready Mesca consistently brings beauty, humor, new ideas and inspiration, like: Broken Arrows, Avicii

Simply Marquessa; Life is Just a Story. And I’ve Got a PenShackles, Mary, Mary

Ann Voskamp at A Holy Experience – Beautiful stories and images; When the Word is Hurting…
Jacqueline Oby-Ikocha at A Cooking Pot and Twisted Tales: Would You?
Diane at LadiesWhoLunchReviews, For a quick, hearty laugh
Lisa at Kids Crumbs and Crackers: Homestyle laughs with just the right amount of grit

 

“As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.” Proverbs 27:17 (NLT)

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At The Movies With Alzheimer’s

Several titles stand out from the films I’ve seen from my Netflix queue lately. The top two, while not fun are intensely engaging. Both address Alzheimer’s Disease.

Seriously, I don’t recall intentionally selecting the two titles, I’ll Be Me and Still Alice. And yet like many Late Boomers memory loss is one of the first symptoms. I can’t say how many times a week I enter a room and wonder, “Now, what am I doing here?” Living with my 20-something niece who also does the same thing almost as frequently reassures me sufficiently today – misery still loves company.  Even so, these movies broadened my awareness.

Though I don’t agree with every idea suggested in both films, I definitely agree we must all invest to help understand and control the ravages of this disease. A particular common thread in both films left me feeling more hopeful for mankind; both victims remained within the embraces and care of their families, regardless of the hardships. Over the years I witnessed families place their infirmed in nursing and assisted living facilities, assigning their care and well being to trained professionals. While sometimes necessary, this can add to the victims’ confusion, anxiety and additional stress. Most families organize and arrange for constant visits with their loved ones. Occasionally some families can not.

Ill be me glen campbel

Image From The I’ll Be Me Alzheimer’s Fund

An early fan of Glen Campbell, I wept through much of I’ll Be Me and the stark images of the Glen Campbell Family’s experiences. Like no one else could adequately convey, each member of the family enhanced the film’s dimension. Viewers can easily grasp the full spectrum of emotions as the whole family supports Glen throughout his steady deterioration. However, Glen’s astounding ability to consistently find his way back to himself through music on and off stage continues to amaze me days later.

Many people identify with the Rhinestone Cowboy image, but I recall one of Glen’s slightly more obscure messages that still rings true today, Try a Little Kindness. Regardless of one’s preferred music genres, most can relate to and some love Glen Campbell’s touching lyrics and guitar mastery.

 

Still_Alice_-_Movie_Poster

 

What appears to be a tragically accurate illustration of another highly functioning family’s experience with Alzheimer’s, Still Alice is based on the 2007 bestselling novel by Lisa Genova.  Julianne Moore  and Alec Baldwin portray John and Alice Howland. Alice, a 50-year-old linguistics professor, becomes concerned about memory issues and is ultimately diagnosed as having familial Alzheimer’s disease. Kristen Stewart, Kate Bosworth, and Hunter Parrish play their children, Lydia, Anna and Tom.* While the married daughter, mother-to-be coped admirably, I especially appreciate the genuine relationship dynamics portrayed between Alice and their younger, unmarried daughter, Lydia.

The personal, social and financial devastation of Alzheimers is not a pleasant reality. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, in 2015 “of the 5.3 million Americans with Alzheimer’s, an estimated 5.1 million people are age 65 and older, and approximately 200,000 individuals are under age 65 (younger-onset Alzheimer’s).”

 

My life is an example to many,
    because you have been my strength and protection.
 That is why I can never stop praising you;
    I declare your glory all day long.
 And now, in my old age, don’t set me aside.
    Don’t abandon me when my strength is failing.” Psalm 71:7-9 (NLT)

 

*Source: Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Still_Alice The official movie poster for the film Still Alice, Copyright: Sony Classics, Source: WP:NFCC#4, https://twitter.com/alzassociation/status/526747191042273280 Use in article WP:NFCC#7, Still Alice, Purpose of use in article(WP:NFCC#8), to serve as the primary means of visual identification at the top of the article dedicated to the work in question. Not replaceable with free media., minimal use (WP:NFCC#3) will only be used at primary means of visual identification/, and used without commercial opportunities.

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A Door Ajar; Relationships in the Postmodern World

When is a door not a door? When it’s ajar, of course.

Image Viktor Mogilat

Image Viktor Mogilat

Image Autumn Mott

Image Autumn Mott

 

I value relationships above most everything else. When I’m alone and I feel down I want ice cream. But the rest of the time relationships are my top priority.

My relationships with God, family members, friends, neighbors, etc. are the axis of much of my conscious thought.

Most great literature throughout the ages developed from one being’s relationship with other beings. Entire religious systems stem from the desire for relationship with one’s creator, higher power, diety – God. Evidently I am not that unique.

Image Charlie Foster

Image Charlie Foster

Image Nick Wilkes

Image Nick Wilkes

 

I believe relationships are a doorway to meaningful life, like a wonderful dance production illustrating intertwining stories to a universal orchestra. Relationships also complicate, confound and sometimes impair human life. Sometimes the world seems to spin out of orbit; such times we want to slam our door shut, close ourselves off and retreat from humankind. When we actually attempt that, the earth continues to turn, the music usually continues, but our dance pauses.

Though an occasional retreat with the door closed is good, life is best when the door is ajar.

Roo and Noo 1995

Roo and Noo 1995

Roo & Noo 2015

Roo & Noo 2015

Some of us grow up with more (or less) pain, trauma, distress, severe or prolonged illness or any-of-the-above.

We navigate life with a little more dis-ease, dis-sociation, dis-ability, dis-functionality, etc. than others. I like to think of those of us that survived some hits and bear a snag or two in our leotards as Dis-cos.

Like everyone else, my life has been an ongoing story full of varying interdynamics, and I appreciate most of them better in hindsight. Like all those lovely vegetable gardens we toil over from mid-spring, summer and into autumn. Some of our buds don’t get exactly the same sun/shade ratios, water and food as others; some get bugs and birds peck and carry our fruit away. Still, plants continue growing, and ultimately our gardens nourish and delight the world. Okay, they help feed our households and some neighbors at the very least.

2015-06-23 07.48.07IMG_95731          IMG_28561

For many years I preserved the best of my crops in glass jars.

 

If people were vegetables, being canned in a jar, we are preserved and nicely displayed, all neat and tidy. Any bad elements that can potentially make us toxic are sealed out. We sit, pretty to see; perfect – unless a bacteria inside survives: pressure builds, the lid bulges, and eventually the seal breaks. If our jars sit too long colors and nutrients fade.

Image allcanningjars.com

Image allcanningjars.com

How we live, how we develop and grow with our dis-eases, with whatever degree they enable or disable us, when or at what seasons they affect us, they can eventually affect our relationships with others. In my life so far I worked my garden; watering, feeding, weeding, etc. Then harvesting, cleaning, planning, combining, cooking, jarring, sealing and boiling it all up, I then display the jars.

I learned when a lid doesn’t seal right the contents of the jar can make life painful and frightening. Typically I inspect my jars carefully and empty ones that didn’t sing out the “pop,” seal perfectly with the rest of the ensemble. When caught right away those jars can nourish as well before poisons develop inside.

I am passionate about sharing experiences and hearing new stories about people’s doors and their jars. I welcome fellow Dis-cos and all to come share their stories – and dance!

 

Contact Roo:

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