Oh Those Mondays

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Track 2: Mondays. Song type: fun, comical, little bit of country and swing. The Point: Part of Let Go.

So, we had just moved to Germany. We were just barely in our home, complete with borrowed military furniture until our own stuff would arrive. But we were finally out of the hotel on base after almost 3 months. Ah. Life was so very busy at the time, and I didn’t want to get up the next day and do school with the kids, I didn’t want to think about all the to-do’s coming up already, and the weekend was already over. Oh, those darn Mondays!

And so, at around midnight, I began to write about it. I put my complaints to a tune, and as I did, I realized that I needed to let go of my ‘wants’ and see things from a different perspective. One day, I might miss all this crazy busy life has going on. One day, I will be old and frail, I’ll be missing my kids and wishing I could run around checking off the boxes of all the errands I want to accomplish. One day, I won’t have so much to do, and I’ll probably miss it.

Do you complain about what’s going on in your life? Do you need to let go of certain wish-it-could-be’s or if-only-I-had’s? It can be as easy as 1)Pray: talk to God about it, and give it to Him. Let go of the complaints. 2)Try to put in it’s place some gratitude (I’ll be talking about that at the end of this series with the last song, stay tuned!)

To hear the song in it’s entirety, click here!

To purchase the entire album online, click here!

To read the first post about this album, click here!

The beginning of a new adventure

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2 years of working in a studio in Germany, preceded by at least 3 other attempts to record this album in the states, and so many small stories of how God brought this about along the way: all to finally be realized just a few short weeks ago while in my favorite place in the world, Siracusa.

Okay, there is the snapshot. Now what am I talking about? I’m talking about my new album Let Go and Try Againcd cover Let Go and Try Again.jpg

 

 

 

 

I have to pause there and just say a quick prayer: Thank you, Lord, so much for making this happen. It’s all You, and all for You, and all because of You. Amen. and wow…

Now, where was I? Oh yes, this adventure. Well, I’ve talked about writing songs before and I’ve focused in on one song in the past, Soldiers Memories. But now, there’s an entire album of songs that tell you a story. And the story is about Letting Go and Trying Again.

The first part of that story is to recognize that we are all on a journey (I know I am not the first person to say that ever). That journey of life is leading each of us to the end. There are so many people out there that believe the journey ends when you die. That’s it, finished. I hope you would consider that it’s quite possible (I believe firmly it’s very true, not just probable) that our end is just the beginning. We each have a destination, and this journey will lead us there, the choices we make and the paths we decide to take will end somewhere for eternity: either eternity with Jesus…or without.

I was thinking about all this when I wrote the words to the song, The Journey, the first track on this album. My thoughts were mulling over all the crazy unexpected turns my own life had taken. The couple of weeks before, we had just finished digesting the news that we’d be moving to Germany for a few years, got kids passports, decided to leave our sweet dog with wonderful friends, packed up a trailer, and headed back to New Mexico to finish packing the rest of our belongings for this next bend in the road. Along the way, we were able to stop and say hello to a few dear friends scattered now over Texas, as well as my husband’s grandma for possibly the last time. As I thought about all of this, God gave me words to describe it all:

The temporary life, ’cause everybody dies

One day sooner or later

It’s the only guarantee so why do people seem to be

Scared to talk about the future after.

The words continue to talk about all the miles we go leading up to a point: that point, when we die, that we have to give an answer to the Creator, the Lord of all, for what we did along our journey. And there is only one key that will get us into a destination with Him. That is His very own Son, Jesus Christ. Read what He had to say about Himself in John 8-15. He has come to set you free, to give you life, and He’s the only one who can make your journey have meaning.

Then, the little adventures (and misadventures!) along the way have so much more value – I’m so very thankful for the one that I’m on right now.

Christmas Concerts

This year, we are looking forward to seeing the Sound of Music, go to a Christmas Circus, and attend the Nutcracker – but another big highlight for me is getting to be on the other side of the scene – it’s been a very special and honored privilege to take part in putting on a couple of Christmas Concerts. And not just that, these are concerts with a purpose.

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The purpose has been two-fold: to support a group called Kainos, and to provide those who would attend in support of that Human Trafficking Awareness organization with lovely, relaxing, and meaningful Christmas music.

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And the end of the Sicily Vacation Story…

And it happens to be the end of the month also. I have been playing a lot this month, these last good days of summer. I’m told that today will be the last hot day we have here in Germany – so it’s back to work, back to waking up early and getting school going with kids, back to a lot of things that I really did take a break from over the summer. I always find ending things kind of bittersweet. But I’m glad I shared here some key thoughts and words about our vacation in Sicily. It’s a nice way for me to be able to look back too, and remember the lovely Sicilian countryside, the sweet family time, and the dear dear friends who gave 2 weeks of their lives to spend time with us. Ti voglio bene con tutto mio cuore!

(written June 22, 2015)

“The morning that my hubby left, we enjoyed a relaxing time at the campagna until he had to drive off. The kids played with their Nonno as he drove them around in his forklift, let them help feed the animals, and what not. Hubby and I got his suitcase finished. And we enjoyed one last yummy meal together before he took the rental car and left for the airport.DSC00528

The rest of the day was a day of repose for me as well: Mamma took Cloe and Zeke for the afternoon, and I went with the girls for a treat at the spa for the afternoon. It was fun :)…

The next day, Sunday morning, we went back to Arinella beach, Mamma, Manuela, the kids and I. It was very packed, but we still found a nice spot to relax and take in the beauty of our last time playing at Arinella. The kids and I made up a song on the way back: Playing at the beach (echo), the sun and sand so lovely (echo), we’re swimming with the fishes (echo), and drinking in the beauty. Arinella, la bella spiaggia; Arinella, la bella spiaggia.DSC00504

And there’s nothing quite as wonderful as playing at the sea, then eating wonderful grilled fish from the sea. Which is what we did.

That evening, I shared the song, Pace. It was so dear to my heart to play that. The song had kept me company almost this entire trip. And it spoke to the people of that church as well. Paolo played base with me, and Marco on the drums. In the end, I sang it along on stage, but because I’d been playing it all the time, my family and a couple of friends were singing with me from the congregation…. Continue reading

A Little Reflection

So I’ve been needing to start on my vacation tidbits, but honestly, I was allowing the political tone of the world to get me down. So this morning with my coffee, I read this post by my fellow blogger, Don, and was listening to this song I wrote at the same time. Here are both for you. I pray that if you’re down, it reminds you to look up.

The Life Project

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It’s Sunday again; what better day for a little reflection?

Has God been filling your life with blessings?  Has he given you peace in a tough situation?

Well, you see what I mean by reflection…

We spend so much time and energy running ourselves ragged these days, and so much of our lives just rushes by in a sort of blur; we need a moment, so it’s time to seize the moment.  Let’s give thanks to God for all He is doing in our lives, let’s thank Him for all of the ways He’s blessed us.  Let’s recall the great things He has done, like sending His Son to die for our sins.  Let’s take a minute to give Him the praise that is His due for all He is doing in His Body, the Church.  Let’s praise Him for all of those who have come to know Him recently…

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Memorial Day, again

Hey, folks. I guess I tend to follow holidays and special days. They give us landmarks in our lives that keep the days from slipping one into the other without distinction, I think. And as Memorial Day comes around again, I realize a few things: first, the year has gone by so quickly! And secondly, this for me personally is one of the more serious and important holidays that I solemnly want to be sure to recognize….and give back what I can. So first, read this re-blog. Then, help me do something special this weekend:

(original post, here) MAY 26, 2014

Have a Memorial Day…

                                Remember the Fallen…

                                                                                Remember their Families…

I was speaking with my dad at the end of the day; my husband, kids, and I had finished our day with a few tribute videos, standing to the National Anthem, and praying for the families who have lost loved ones. My husband can number friends among those fallen in the recent years, as can I. My dad almost said “Happy Memorial Day” then said, no that is not fitting. We talked about how it should be said: Respectful Memorial Day, Appreciate Memorial Day, Consider Memorial Day… and then we came to a thought at the same time. Have a Memorial Day. If you took time to consider the fallen, show respect for those who gave all, and made your gratitude and appreciation visible by either wearing a patriotic symbol, having a moment of silence, saying a prayer, or visiting a cemetery, you did just that….

Don’t ever stop standing. And thank you to the men and women who continue to do just that.

(present day)

So I had shared some other thoughts last year about the political temperature and how our media and even government seem to forget the importance of the men and women who give all. But this year I have a different focus, and I’m asking for your help.

soldiers-memoriesThere is a song I’ve written called SOLDIER’S MEMORIES. Here’s what you can do: over the weekend, every sale of this single on iTunes I will donate to The Green Beret Foundation. Also if you are a veteran who has lost dear friends or a family member, I want to give you the song for free. Just send me an email letting me know, and I’ll send you a free download. click HERE to email me directly for that. For everyone else, click HERE to purchase the song. And to all included, have a Memorial Day. God bless.

April Fool’s, weather-style

Last year, I did some fun April Fool’s jokes on my kids that I found from the internet. This year, I had nothing planned – it kind of took me by surprise. But not as surprised as German weather’s own April fooling…here’s a little video I made very quickly this morning:

 

 

And it continued all day too! Sun…no, snow! ….. no, rain…. no more sun…. no, actually snow, at 6.5 Celsius?? Strange, foolish weather 🙂

Christmas Gifts

So, Christmas shopping and giving…we have decided this year will be a good transition from the focus of getting to giving for our kids. I’ll confess, last year I overdid the gifts for them, probably in trying to compensate for our first year away from relatives for Christmas in a while. But this year, I want to get us back on track. So to ease into it, we’ve decided to make the giving the main event by working together as a family to buy one present per person. So that means my husband, son, and I will go together to get a gift for my daughter, the kids and hubby will go for one gift for me, etc. I hope this helps the kids to see how to put their hearts into being the giver, just like we did with the shoeboxes.

But speaking of giving, via my sister I saw that we are not the only ones celebrating the giving this year: Noisetrade has some Christmas music they are gifting to people, and with any tips they receive they are donating money to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital. Go HERE to see that, but I’ve put a song here from the cd for your enjoyment from their free download.

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No Reason :)

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Okay, I’m going to admit to you, I have nothing pointed to say, no focus for this post, no reason or great inspiration to share. I just wanted to give you something.          

A photo to say, “breathe.” A song to say “relax.” And some scripture to say “be encouraged.”

Old-Fashion Letter Writing

DSCN0260  Countryside in Dormremy, France

 

Imagine getting to sit on this bench and read a hand-written, good old-fashion letter, listening to good old-fashion tunes, like my version of ‘Nearness of You’

Ah…well I wish I could write this blog as a hand-written note to you that you’d be sitting outside somewhere like that, listening to some relaxing music like this. You know why? It’s soothing, food for our souls. When I sit at the computer, I walk away most of the time feeling drained. When I open a letter from my sister-in-law and read it sitting in the sunshine while my kids run around in the grass, I’m revived. Why has this beautiful art disappeared? I’m not going to blame it on computers. I blame it on you and I. But this is supposed to be uplifting, so listen:

When was the last time you put pen to paper for someone? ‘Oh, I don’t have time.’ I understand. Me neither. But when I find the time, it is so rewarding. I just finished a special letter to my dad for his 60th birthday, I’m sending it this afternoon. And as I’m reviving this beautiful habit for myself and encouraging my kids to write to their grandparents and cousins, I am realizing that I love it! And I’m beginning to write more often. and guess what? There’s time to do that!

Now I know, being moved across the ocean is pretty good motivation for renewing a love for letters. You might not have that push. So let this be your inspiration, and motivate you to write. You know, half the New Testament is letters. I think that’s significant. Words written down to tell someone hello, you are thinking about them, encourage them, recount a funny event are more than just a piece of paper stamped and sent. It carries with it an unwritten message: I think about you and love you enough to invest my time and money (even though only 49 cents or so) to let you know that. I went out of my way to make sure you felt it, and had something tangible in your hands to prove it.

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