Category Archives: Music

Music Monday: Never Once by Matt Redman

In August 2011, I took on a challenge to blog every day until the year ran out (I kept going after the year was over…).  It was the perfect time to start as I was spending the week at Village Creek Bible Camp in Iowa.  Every morning I went on a little adventure where I hiked, took pictures, and reflected.  I spent the afternoons with a good friend. And in the evenings, I wrote blog posts.

One of the first posts of that blog-venture, explored the difference between mountain tops and valleys.  In church yesterday we sang a song that talks about mountain tops, and I wanted to share it with you.

I do not own this video. It can be found on YouTube.

Have you ever taken a hike up a mountain – or even a hill?  When you reached the top, how did it feel?  Did you look back in awe that you had gone that far?

Standing on this mountaintop
Looking just how far we’ve come
Knowing that for every step
You were with us

When you consider your life, can you see the scars from some of the wounds?

Scars and struggles on the way
But with joy our hearts can say
Yes, our hearts can say…

When you consider your life, can you see the times that you felt alone but knew that you were not?

Carried by Your constant grace
Held within Your perfect peace
Never once, no, we never walk alone

As I look back on nearly 39 years of life, I know that there were times that I was carried…but I did not always realize it then.  What I know – not that I always feel – is that I have never walked alone.

The truth is that our feelings can lie to us, but we can know truth.

And the truth is that we are never alone.

Leave a comment

Filed under faith, Music

Music Monday: Easter, Opera, and Flash Mobs

Yesterday was Easter.

I could just stop writing there and let the thought of that sentence sink in.

Yesterday was not Easter in the secular sense with the bunny and the candy – it was also the day on which we celebrate the Resurrection, an event that – in my mind and in the minds of many – changed the course of human history.

Forever.

I did not eat a single ounce of “Easter” candy, but it was not because I oppose it entirely.  I just had no need and no time when it was available.  Besides – it will go on clearance today.  The sad thing about my kids growing up is that they now know when days of the week are and discuss that with their friends.  When they were little, I could give them candy after it went on sale.  And I needed to when they were little because we were living on a single, very-small income while at least some of that income went to pay for the pastor huz to attend seminary.

I did enjoy the day, the church service (the music and the sermon were fantastic), and the company at the afternoon meal.

Once all of the hub-bub settled down, I took to the internet to search for a song to feature on the blog today.  I thought it could be fun to feature a grand rendition of one of my favorite Easter anthems.  I have several favorites, and most make it into the church service each year.

Crown Him With Many Crowns, He Arose, Christ the Lord is Risen Today, and others top my favorites list.  As I searched for them on YouTube, though, I also happened about a few “Easter FlashMobs” that were fantastic and fun.  I do suggest that readers spend a little time on YouTube today checking them out.

What I happened upon in the searching that must be shared is a recording of Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus (also in FlashMob form) from a performance coordinated and funded by the Opera Company of Philadelphia as part of a series bringing opera into the community rather than being “stuck” in concert halls.

Watch as this fabulous idea takes over a Macy’s store.

I do not own this video. I found it on YouTube and share it here for the fun of all.

As I watched, listened, and enjoyed this performance, I thought how much like Christ this idea is.  Jesus spent little time in the temple; He went out to where the people were.

Rather than wait for people to find Him, Jesus went to them.

I am willing to say that it could be a stretch to make this comparison; however, this is what struck me.

Jesus still meets us where we are today whether that is on the streets of Jerusalem or the check out line in Macy’s.  If our lives are out of sync with His will, He says to us, “come to me.”

The hope that Jesus brought to the world is bigger than the smiles that 650 choristers brought through their performance on October 30, 2010, in the Macy’s in Philadelphia. This hope – that we could be in relationship with God – changes everything about how I see today, tomorrow, and yesterday.

He arose! He arose! Hallelujah, Christ arose!

Happy Monday!

PS: I am not fooling around in this post – not one iota!

Leave a comment

Filed under faith, Music

Music Monday: “Home” by Phillip Phillips

There are songs that can completely change the direction of my day when they come on the radio. Let’s face it, today Midwesterners need something to change the direction of our day.  I have already spent four hours on Minneapolis highways and bi-ways this morning because of a massive snow storm. For those of you who have snow days, it must be that Irish luck leftover from yesterday.

So – how can we change the direction of our day with just a song?

Take a listen to Home by Phillip Phillips. I have already heard this song four times today as I have driven around and around the metro….

I do not own the rights to this song. I have put it here from the YouTube link.

How could that song not change your day?

Being alone – in the sense of feeling like everyone has abandoned you – is one of the worst feelings we can experience as humans.  We were created by a communal being (God – the three in one), and we were created to be communal.

Know you’re not alone…

When we feel alone, it is so overwhelming. And it can happen in a large crowd as often as it can when we are sitting by ourselves.

But know you’re not alone…

I think those might be the best lyrics ever written (not by Phillips) and sung (yes…by Phillips). And then the ah..ah..ah…ah…that is just so fun!  It makes me want to stand up (even when driving) and do a little jig of happiness.

I could write more, but why?  I think we can resonate with it without much more explanation.  Just listen to the song again!

And – know you’re not alone…

Happy Monday!

What songs have a tendency to change your day?  Please share with us (in the comment section of the blog) so that we can all take a listen!

1 Comment

Filed under Music, Relationships, Thoughts

Music Monday: You Were Born by Cloud Cult

One of the things that I love about blogging is connecting with people from all over and hearing what other people are into, what they like, and what is touching them or has become dear to their heart.

In response to last week’s Music Monday post about the potentially autobiographical elements of the song Carry On by Fun., my aunt sent me a Facebook message asking if I had heard the song You were Born by Cloud Cult.

I had not.

And I am disappointed that I had not up to that point.  Apparently it was featured on last week’s episode of How I Met Your Mother – another “I have not heard of it” moment. Like I would do with a truancy problem, I did some sleuthing and found that the sitcom has a very cool premise even though it is known for it’s “typical TV sexual references.”

Cooler than the sitcom, though, is the fact that Cloud Cult has its roots in Minnesota, and I currently live in Minnesota – so…very cool.

There are cooler things about this group.

After the death of his son in 2002, the lead song writer (Craig Minowa) wrote over 100 songs to deal with the loss.  They have since tackled many of life’s big questions.

Some of their performances include live “paint jobs.”  Check out the website!

I love uniqueness in the music industry.  With technology as it is, just about anyone could sound good on a recording these days.  However, groups like The Civil Wars, Mumford and Sons, The Avett Brothers, and now Cloud Cult have added elements (or taken them away) to make music in purer forms. When this happens, we are all drawn in and experience music along with the artists.

Check out You Were Born by Cloud Cult below.

Video found on YouTube. I hold no rights to this.

 

What I love most about this song is that it is essentially an oath…to love the baby forever and to be thankful no matter what comes “in this strange world.” 

And we have to believe that our children are born “to change this life.”

As we head into Monday, let’s remember what it means to bring children into the world.  And let’s do our best to protect them from harm wherever we are.  They are precious.

Leave a comment

Filed under Music

Music Monday: “Carry On” by Fun.

As I sat down to write this post which has been rattling around in my head for a few weeks, I  did a quick search to find out how many other Music Mondays I had written.  I thought it had been sort of a feature of my blogging self.

It was not.

But I want it to be!  Oddly enough, the last Music Monday featured a Fun. song as well. And what I thought had been a “Music Monday” post was actually a post confessing that I let my kids listen to music with lyrics about getting “higher than the empire state.”

And – as it turns – all of these songs have been by the same group. 

I may have a little music crush happening?

On to the post…

It is hard to say for certain when a song is autobiographical about a group; however, as I read an article from the online version of The New York Times about Fun., it was hard for me not to at least consider that this song is that.

Take a listen:

Thanks to YouTube for this!

 

It seems to me that this is an anthem to encourage just about anyone.  In Friday’s post, I mentioned that we sometimes don’t pay much attention to how our life happens.  This song just grabs me out of that mentality whenever I hear it (which, btw, is pretty often right now if I am listening to the radio!).  I just want to put on my “walking shoes” and get out there and walk. 

You know what I mean?

I do not mean a literal walk.  I mean that I hear this song, and I want to just go and do whatever it is that I am supposed to be doing.

Watching the video is what made me think that maybe the song was somewhat autobiographical.  The music business is hard, and the three men of Fun. have had their struggles to get where they are today (three songs in the Billboard Top 100 is a great place to be).

But they have just kept making music.  It was in them. They had an idea of what they should do, and they just kept doing it.  And now it has paid off.

Some of my favorite lyrics (click here for all of the lyrics):

We are shining stars
We are invincible
We are who we are
On our darkest day
When we’re miles away
So we’ll come
We will find our way home

I want to be clear that I do not buy into the idea that we should think we are awesome at anything.  I am not quite 5’ tall; I am nearly 40 years old.  No matter how much of a shining star I believe I am right now, there is little likelihood that I would be able to play for the WNBA.  However, if I was willing to completely change my life and play basketball40-60 hours a week for the next five years, there might be a chance.  It won’t be without hard work, though. 

We have to be honest with ourselves.

But – if we think we are good at nothing, we need to step back and take stock.  We all have something that can be our “great thing.” It might not be a Grammy Award winning song, but it can be great.

Here are some other great lyrics:

If you’re lost and alone
Or you’re sinking like a stone
Carry on
May your past be the sound
Of your feet upon the ground
Carry on

I love this song because it puts the responsibility for who we are back in our hands.  If we are sinking, we need to carry on…we need to put our feet on the ground and keep walking.  We need to wake up every day and keep doing, keep trying, and keep believing.

We need to carry on.

Last thought: I want to be sure to state that I realize that some mental health issues can get in the way of our ability to carry on.  However, seeking help, finding out if we need medication, and choosing to try each day is part of carrying on.  I realize that it is not easy, but – honestly – we all have something past or present, real or imagined, and even medical or psychological that gets in our way … this is called the fallen condition of humanity.  And it is hard.  Really hard.

But…

We need to carry on.

So – readers: what are some tools that you have used to be able to carry on?

2 Comments

Filed under faith, health, Music

Music Monday: “Some Nights” by Fun.

Some songs get your attention at the start of the very first note in the song.

Some Nights by Fun. is one of the those songs.

Take a listen for yourself by clicking here (warning: there is an F-bomb dropped).

What caught my attention?  The usual – the music itself, the vocals, and the lyrics.

The Music

  • The drum parts in this song are incredible.  Although they have diverse rhythms, the underlying beat is that of a battle hymn drum corps.  Incredible.
  • The electric guitar is present but not overpowering.  In what is portrayed in the music video as a Civil War ensemble, the electric guitar would seem out of place.  Not so!
  • The piano mirrors the drums but is an instrument unto itself.
  • Overall – each instrument is heard, but they truly represent an enseble.

The Vocals

  • I am continually impressed with the lead singer of this group. What he can do vocally sounds like a synthesizer. (Is it actually a synthesizer?)
  • The opening bars of the song sound like an acapella choir.  The harmony is amazing.  I love the all male ensemble – so fitting for this song.

The Lyrics

What is a song without its message?  This song speaks to us all as we struggle with why we are here, why we fight for some things, who we are trying to please, and where the meaning in all of it is.  The music video’s setting is a Civil War re-enactment, and this leads me to think about all of the world conflict that is going on.  But this song is not only about literal conflicts; it is also about the conflicts within each of us as we strive for love, acceptance, and meaning.

Overall: great song with an awesome beat.  We each can find something in it that speaks to us.  However, it is not a song about answers.  It is a song that brings up more questions.  Perhaps this is just part of our current culture – that we just ask more questions because we still don’t know what we stand for?

I have posted about Fun. before. Click here to read that post.

My Final Thought

I may not know what I stand for, but I do know who stands for me.  As a rule, I do not try to put my faith out there too much on this blog, but this song pushes me to share a bit.  Many years ago, I was confronted with the reality that I, as is true of all humans, am sinful.  On the other hand, God is holy.  Because of my sin and because of God’s holiness, there was a chasm between us – no matter how hard I tried, I could not get to Him on my own.  Not only is God holy but He is also loving.  Because of this love, He sent Jesus to die on a cross for me…for you…for all of us.  In doing so, the cross created a bridge so that God and I (we all) could be in relationship with each other.

It is not that I stand for God; it is that He stood and stands for me.  When the rest of life seems uncertain and when we do not know what we stand for, we can know that God stood up for us by sending His son to die so that we would have everlasting life – together with God…not separated (note: Hell).

Without God standing for me, life would be meaningless.  I would live only for today, and I would lack assurance of redemption not only of my soul but also of my poor decisions.  I have no bad luck to cash in because God will bring it all together for His good intentions.

Unlike the song by Fun. – which ends in uncertainty and despair – we can all be certain and hopeful because of what God has done and because of what God will do.  Amen!

1 Comment

Filed under faith, Music, Thoughts

To Dream the Impossible Dream…

Yesterday was July 4 – Independence Day for those of us in the United States whose country started as a dream and became a reality.  I cannot imagine what it was like for many of ancestors to board boats from their countries of origin and set out for what they hoped was better than what they left behind.

It probably seemed impossible.  Yet – because they dreamed it – we have a country now where freedoms exist like they do nowhere else.  They dreamed an impossible dream, and yesterday we remembered that. And I am thankful.

IMG-20120701-00557On Sunday, my family attended a production of Man of La Mancha at the St Croix Festival Theatre. We know the man who played the lead – Don Quixote – and the musical is one of my favorites.  The show is actually a show within a show.  The story set in reality takes place during the Spanish Inquisition.  Miguel Cervantes – author of the book Don Quixote de la Mancha – is in jail awaiting his trial for crimes against the Catholic Church.  While waiting, he pulls the other inmates into the musical telling of Don Quixote who believes himself to be a knight fighting giants (windmills) and wooing the lady Dulcinea (a prostitute named Aldonza).

When he describes his quest, Quixote sings a moving song that brings tears to my eyes pretty much every time I see the production (or even hear it on my car stereo…).  You can watch a performance by the original Broadway performer by clicking here.

The lyrics (taken from the Reel Classics website) are amazing:

To dream the impossible dream
To fight the unbeatable foe
To bear with unbearable sorrow
To run where the brave dare not go

To right the unrightable wrong
To love pure and chaste from afar
To try when your arms are too weary
To reach the unreachable star

This is my quest
To follow that star
No matter how hopeless
No matter how far

To fight for the right
Without question or pause
To be willing to march into Hell
For a heavenly cause

And I know if I’ll only be true
To this glorious quest
That my heart will lie peaceful and calm
When I’m laid to my rest

And the world will be better for this
That one man, scorned and covered with scars
Still strove with his last ounce of courage
To reach the unreachable star

Every time I hear this song, I am moved.  But, as I watched the performance on Sunday – only days after attending the Search Institute’s training about one of their Big Ideas called Sparks, I realized that Don Quixote is inspiring because he has found his spark!

According to Search Institute’s website, “Sparks are the interests that inspire, the activities that energize. Sparks are the special abilities uniquely yours to tend, to grow, to share with the world.”

Don Quixote’s spark is to fight for the ability see the world in the most positive light possible…he wants to dream the impossible dream and bring others along in what other characters in the musical see as madness.  But for Quixote, the dream is not madness – it is what gives him life.  It is what allows him to thrive.  And when the spark is put out, Quixote nearly dies.

Search Institute has a cool formula that shows how a young person’s spark helps them to thrive:

Spark 

+  3 champions (adults who support the spark/the young person) 

+  opportunity

= thriving

Over 200 years ago, 13 colonies and the Committee of Five had a dream that seemed impossible, but it came true. We are evidence of that today. Imagine what would be different if that spark had been put out. Imagine what would be different if they had chosen not to follow that quest and do the impossible.

What impossible dream does a young person in your life have? What spark does that young person have and how can you or someone else help it along?

3 Comments

Filed under Education, Music, Parenting, Relationships

Rap, Country, and Domestic Violence

I love music.

I love listening to all types of music.  As I mentioned in a previous blog post, our whole family loves listening to music. To the shock and surprise of many people, I may even dabble in music that is not entirely wholesome.  I do not submerse myself in this music, but I do like to keep on top of what is out there influencing the youth (and adults) of our society.

As I drove to Village Creek Bible Camp to pick up my kiddos a few weeks ago, I flipped through the radio stations.  I started off listening to the live broadcast of the “up north” disaster due to the flooding. I have to admit that I am a bit of a disaster-freak.  I like knowing what is happening when there is a disaster.  This was one of those times. 

Side note: I am completely devastated by the fact that the suspension bridge over the St Louis River in Jay Cooke State Park is gone.  This is not an easy reality for me to accept.

Back to music

After an hour and half of disaster coverage and then thirty minutes of a documentary about CCC camps during the New Deal era (quite fascinating – click here for the whole story), I started finding music stations more than news stations.  I like to drive to country music, but for some reason I did not stay on the country station long.  I always pause for a station giving the weather report, so I did that.  I heard a few songs on the 80s station, but then I moved on to a genre which I rarely enjoy but often find intriguing.

Rap.

A song ended in all of its hip-hoppy glory.  After a few moments of between-song silence, a haunting minor melody sung by a female filled my car.

You’re gonna stand there and watch me burn

Well that’s alright because I like the way it hurts

I turned up the volume.

Just gonna stand there and hear me cry

Well, that’s alright because I love the way you lie

I love the way you lie

And then – out of nowhere – a male voice in full rap rhythm took over.  He was angry, driven – taunting the girl. (You can read the full lyrics on directlyrics.com or watch the video on YouTube).  Be warned – there is explicit language in this song).

She replied with the same haunting melody and words.

And they went back and forth like this for about four minutes.  Both of them convinced and certain about how they felt as well as being resigned to the fact that they could not live without each other.  They are a tornado and a volcano – bound to blow up at each other but so happy when they are calm.

Until she crosses the line and decides to leave.  His response?

To tie her to a bed and set the house on fire.

The song ended, and I drove the rest of the way to camp where I was distracted by good things.  It was not until the kids and I were on the return drive home that I remembered how impacted by the song I had been.  I told the kids about it.  They both thought the song was a bit twisted.

When we arrived home, I did what we all do in the twenty-first century: I looked the song up on the internet.  My heart sunk when I saw the artist’s name: Eminem – someone of whom I am not entirely a fan because of the number of swear words he notoriously uses in his songs.  Unlike the radio version, the YouTube version is ripe with the f-bomb.

I have now listened to the song several times.  It is powerful as is the video (again, not exactly G-rated), and I want to say that we need to recognize this as a warning about where some relationships go very wrong.  I say that I want to say this because I hesitate to say so.

The problem that I have right now with most media forms is how accessible it is for everyone – young and old.  Music, movies, music videos, and all forms of written expression from news to blogs (like this one) are available at a mouse-click.  And it is the young minds for which I am concerned when it comes to this song.

As a parent, teacher, pastor’s wife, and thinker, this song touches me in so many ways.  I hear the beauty in the female’s minor melody; I sense the frustration with the relationship in the male’s rapping story-telling; and I feel the conflict between them.  More than any of that, though, I react strongly to the violence in this relationship and the awful ending to this story.

I recognize this as a warning about struggling relationships and their need for someone – or many someones – to intercede and help them to end the physical conflicts as well as the conflicts that push them toward the violence.

As a parent, teacher, pastor’s wife, and thinker, this song pushes me away in so many ways.  I hear the song of the siren as it pulls in young people to see this as the way that relationships just happen to go; I sense the frustration of young people as they see these types of relationships in their own homes and in the media; and I feel the conflict in young people who sense that this is not how it should be but do not necessarily have role models that confirm that sense.

I recognize that, in the wrong hands, this song only promotes the misunderstanding that many young people already have about the hopeless state of the relationships around them.

It is this conflict that pushes my hesitation.  It is the recognition that media, when unchecked by healthy and caring adults, promotes and misleads rather than educates the young people around us.  It is the realization that we see few clear and positive messages in the hands of our young people. And it is the realization that students do not think critically all of the time but rather soak things in and make those messages truth.

To be clear: I am not putting down this song nor am I putting down rap.  In fact, the same conflict occurs in me when I hear the country song “Independence Day” (by the way – Happy 4th of July!) which speaks to domestic violence having a brutal (fiery) end as well.  Martina McBride sings of a woman whose husband beats her and thinks that “the only way” out is to burn up the house with him and her inside.

rap country

This post has taken two weeks to compose.  I have struggled and struggled with it.  While these songs raise awareness of the domestic violence that occurs, I fear that – in the wrong hands without the proper guidance – the message is lost.

Should I be able to come down on these songs and say that they have no place?  Or should I be able to say that they are providing a public service?

What do readers think?

1 Comment

Filed under Education, health, Music, Parenting, Relationships

Summer With Seuss!

Few of us have escaped childhood without enjoying the writings of Theodor Geisel (aka Dr Seuss).  From the first publication of And To Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street in 1937 until today with over 40 books to choose from, a hearty dose of Dr Seuss seems standard fare in parenting.  Films have added to our consumption of Seuss.

And now, since its Broadway debut in 2000, we have a musical which combines nearly 20 of the most popular books in an entertaining and touching storyline bringing together characters who before have never met. This production quickly became a favorite for high schools, middle schools (with a Seussical Jr eliminating some scenes to make it more accessible for younger actors), and community theaters.

My children have the exciting opportunity to be part of Fridley Community Theatre’s production of Seussical this summer, and they are having a great time both on and off the stage.

601342_405091332869928_2043108735_nCreated in cooperation with the programming of the Fridley Community Education, the community theater was established in 2010 when it put on Music Man as its first musical.  Last year, they produced the highly successful Anything Goes.  The hope is that community musical theatre will continue in Fridley as a way to bring together performers of all ages to produce quality shows.  More information about the organization and for future information about auditions and shows for future summers (when posted) can be found at their website: http://fridleycommunitytheatre.org/.

With a cast of over 40 and with many generations and age groups represented, this production promises to entertain.  More than that, though, the community that surrounds this production – on the stage and behind it – is amazing.  Musical theatre has a way of bringing together people from many ages, stages, and walks of life.  They come together around an exciting product, and these people will produce!  From costumes to props, acting to set creation (and don’t forget about the orchestra, techies, marketers, and ticket peeps!) – those involved give of them time and talents to create and amazing production.

And to think that it happens right here in Fridley, MN….

ps: Tickets go on sale today!

Leave a comment

Filed under Education, Music, Parenting

To Be Gracious

On Tuesday, I drove many miles for an appointment that ended up not happening because the young lady that I was to meet became ill.  Unfortunately, I had actually arrived at the meeting place by the time that she told me about the change of events. Either way, time spent on the road at the end of the school year meant that I could actually listen to the radio rather than make phone calls the entire time.

I think I needed to think that day because I have been thinking ever since…

On both the drive to the meeting place and the drive back to the office – on two different radio stations (yes, I use all 6 pre-sets on my car radio) – I heard a song by Mumford and Sons that challenged my thinking and has made me sit back and think and think and think some more.

Typically, my thinking has to do with other people’s behavior, and this allows me to feel as though I have it all together (yeah…right…), but on this particular day, one line continued to hit me over and over…and it hit me squarely in my heart, mind, and soul.

The song is Roll Away Your Stone, and you can listen to it/watch the band perform it by clicking here, and you can read the lyrics in their entirety by clicking here.

I have to be honest that writing what I am about to write is not easy for me.  It is humbling to share in this way, but this blog has always been about being honest and putting myself out there in the hopes that perhaps others can avoid the stupid moves I have made.

If you have listened to the lyrics and/or read them, can you guess couplet has challenged me?  The picture below is both a space holder to give you time to guess as well as a hint.

IMG-20120530-00501

It seems that all my bridges have been burned,

But, you say that’s exactly how this grace thing works

This couplet has kept me awake at night and has made me rethink who I am and how I approach others.

Who am I?

Am I someone who allows others to burn their bridges with me and still give them another chance?

Nope.

This song…this couplet…has sent me for a loop, and I am not sure how to fix it.

I realized as the day went on during the day on Tuesday that I am judgmental.  I have known this for a long time, but it became quite apparent as a sadness that I felt in the morning due to a circumstance out of my control that broke my heart was replaced by anger when other circumstances which were also out of my control simply made me angry.

Those for whom I felt sadness would likely experience grace from me; however, those whose actions flamed my anger might not.  In fact, I found that I flippantly spoke of them later in the day as I relayed the experience to a friend.

And why would this person stay my friend?

In fact, why is anyone still my friend when I talk this way about others?

I am so thankful that God wrote the book on how grace works, and that He rebuilds the bridges that I have burned.  Now it is time for me to practice what I preach and become one who extends grace – rebuilding bridges when others burn them down.

Interestingly enough, my children have pointed out my character flaw in this area.  In fact, just yesterday as I drove them to school, we experienced this – yet again.  As we approached a 4way stop, two cars sat side-by-side at the intersection.  There was no one coming from any other direction, so I could not figure out why they were not going through the intersection – one turning left and the other turning right.  I have to be honest and say that I was annoyed.  It was nearly 7:30 a.m., and we had an appointment with a teacher at the school.

As the two cars (finally) turned their opposite ways, I noticed that the windows next to each other were down.

They were talking to each other!!!

While I sat and fumed about this, my kids jabbed at me, “Mom, you are so self-centered.”

And they are right.  I am.

How many Stacy Bender’s does it take to screw in a light bulb?

(Just one; the world revolves around her).

While this example does not truly play out because the “offenders” did not even have to experience my wrath, it is a great example of just how high strung I have allowed myself to become (again).  I would like to say that it is the end of the school year, and that might be part of it.  I would like to say that things are crazy busy with teens in the house, and that might be part of it.

But the bottom line is that I have not embraced what it means to be gracious.  I have not extended to others the same grace that has been extended to me by so many others and by God Himself.

It is time to breathe, listen before I talk, and consider before I act.

Maybe I will print out the picture of the bridge above…oh wait, I don’t have to…I just need to step outside of my office and turn my head to see it.  May it be a reminder that burned bridges allow us the opportunity to receive and to extend grace.

Happy Thursday, all!

2 Comments

Filed under faith, Music, Relationships