Monday, March 31, 2008

The Power of Music

I was watching The Opry on GAC the other night when they had on a bunch of country artists doing their favorite hymn or gospel song. They also talked about what a role music plays in their faith and as an expression of their faith. I think that's true with all of us. It's really quite interesting what power church music has to make you feel the Spirit. I remember back in my dark days, I was sitting at the YSA branch with Crystal and Kiersten's dad and was so depressed and feeling alone. We were singing "How Firm a Foundation" and I just started to bawl. Now, you guys know me, I'm not a crier, but the words brought such comfort to my mind and heart. Here are some of the verses (some we don't sing-but they are some of the most powerful)

3. Fear not, I am with thee; oh, be not dismayed,
For I am thy God and will still give thee aid.
I’ll strengthen thee, help thee, and cause thee to stand,
Upheld by my righteous, upheld by my righteous,
Upheld by my righteous, omnipotent hand.

4. When through the deep waters I call thee to go,
The rivers of sorrow shall not thee o’erflow,
For I will be with thee, thy troubles to bless,
And sanctify to thee, and sanctify to thee,
And sanctify to thee thy deepest distress.

5. When through fiery trials thy pathway shall lie,
My grace, all sufficient, shall be thy supply.
The flame shall not hurt thee; I only design
Thy dross to consume, thy dross to consume,
Thy dross to consume and thy gold to refine.

7. The soul that on Jesus hath leaned for repose
I will not, I cannot, desert to his foes;
That soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake,
I’ll never, no never, I’ll never, no never,
I’ll never, no never, no never forsake!

Text: Attr. to Robert Keen, ca. 1787.
Music: Attr. to J. Ellis, ca. 1889

What a wonderful song! Even now, I can't sing that 3rd verse without tearing up and sometimes overflowing. When I am down or feeling especially put upon and tested, I sing those verses in my head and I know that my Heavenly Father loves me, he's not going to try me more than I can bear.

Some others that I love: I Stand all Amazed, O Lord My Redeemer (not a hymn but I cry every time I hear it), We'll Bring the World His Truth (love that when the YW and YM sing that medley with As Sisters in Zion), Ye Elders of Israel (love to hear men sing!), The Spirit of God, I am a Child of God, I Believe in Christ, etc, etc, etc.

Someone told me one time that our songs are "boring". I don't see them that way at all. To me, if I can be quiet and listen to the music and the words, that brings me closer to the Spirit and I can hear what I need to hear. When we were in Nauvoo last year watching the Joseph Smith movie ( holy tearjerker Batman!), at the very end, the bagpipes play "Praise to the Man"-man, chills went all over me and the tears began again. By the way, the tune for that song is the unofficial Scottish national anthem called Scotland the Brave. So, if you ever go to the Highland Games and they start playing "Praise to the Man" don't freak out. The bagpipes just make it so much better!

What are your favorite hymns or songs from church? Have a good week everybody!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Make each day a special day

This is the last post for the week probably unless I am struck by the bluebird of inspiration, which probably won't happen but one never knows when you're going to get blindsided by a bird.

Yesterday as I was listening to my favorite morning show (Bob & Sheri out of Charlotte), they were talking to people where one day had changed the course of their entire life. Example, a single mom received a check from her dad for $50,000 from an inheritance. Sheri accepted a job to be Bob's co-host and changed where she lived, worked and pretty much everything in her life. I was thinking I haven't had really life changing days, but I try to find something about each day that will make it special. Some things I have thought about recently

-that first really blue blue SC sky in the springtime (before the pollen turns the air yellow)

-an unexpected hug and sniggle from your child

-a thank you from someone that you helped at your job (and they actually mean it)

-the first spring flowers or a Bradford pear tree budding out

-hearing from a friend just to chat about books that you love (just got off the phone w/ Crystal----Crystal + Edward Cullen 4 ever)

-laughing at yourself at line dancing class at church (what fun we had last nite and Michelle always gets me in trouble)

I found that it's important for me to sit down after the kids are in bed, have a little quiet time and think about all that's happened in the day. Usually I can find something that would make it a special day. What about you?

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Musings about Kiersten and American Idol

Greetings all-I am basking in daughter happiness at the moment. Kiersten is at that in between stage where her moods can swing radically and it's somewhat frightening to behold. My mother just laughs and laughs, but anyway. Last evening, I had the pleasure of spending time with the not so baby girl by ourselves (the boys were fishing until late). I had a blast! We talked, we laughed, Kiersten almost shot fruit punch out of her nose! After eating dinner out, we went back home and watched the idiot box for a while (American Idol was on). I actually heard my daughter squeal for the first time last night when we were watching Dancing with the Stars and they announced that The Jonas Brothers were going to be on. Cue Kiersten squealing and almost hyperventilating. I don't see what the big whoop is, but then again if Mr Darcy came walking through the mist I would probably squeal and hyperventilate as well-maybe even fall over, I'm not sure. We talked about the progress of her story (200+ pages people!) and her upcoming birthday and just silly stuff. It's quite interesting because a lot of people see Kiersten as a quiet, reserved, very shy person, and she is like that until you get to know her and then she's loud and silly and very funny and can cop an attitude with the best of them. I love her so, she makes me bonkers, I don't know what I would do without her.

On to AI---the top 10 performed songs from the year of their birth this week. It was actually quite scary that I was a teenager when most of these people were born. The ones that stood out for me were Michael Johns (the one that sang the Queen songs), Carly Smithson (sang Total Eclipse of the Heart) and David Cook (sang Billie Jean), David Archuleta (didn't catch his song title) and Brooke White (sang Every Breath You Take). Michael Johns---I do love Queen! Some people try to sing it and it just is sick and wrong-you've got to have a great big voice to sing Freddie. MJ did a great job. Carly Smithson---our resident Irish tattooed person. I really love her voice and although the judges weren't all that big on it, that's a crazy hard song to sing but she has just enough raspy to do it. David Cook knocked it out of the ballpark with the Chris Cornell version of Billie Jean (never want to hear the Michael Jackson version again!). David A. is just so darn cute and he's got a really nice voice-Simon was right though, it did sound kind of theme-parkish. Brooke took the most famous stalker song of all time and made it sound like a love song. Even Sting has said that he gets a kick out of people thinking it's a love song when it's actually stalkerish. I can't remember where I read/heard that so right now it's the gospel according to me. I'll be DVRing the show tonight. Who do I think is out? Bottom three will be Ramiela, Chikezie and Jason C (dredlock boy), Ramiela will be hitting the doors.

Monday, March 24, 2008

A post just for Connie....

Today I received a slacker email from a dear friend (hello dear friend Connie) reminding me that I had not posted anything in a week and a bit. So, here are my ruminations over the past week...

1. So long crazy biker/nurse/screamer/singer on American Idol. Amanda of the crazy hair needed to learn to enunciate and maybe sing something slower. She said ballads are boring. Has she never heard the Monster Ballads CD? Some of the COOLEST Ballads were done by hair bands. Now Kristy Lee whatshername needs to leave and we'll have us a show. Also, what's up with David "Could I be a balding rocker?" Cook's hair?

2. I am back on dish washing duty since Mike took pity on Kiersten and she no longer has to wash the dishes. Instead she now has to do the clothes (hang and fold-not wash). I personally would rather do dishes because I can wash 4 loads of laundry a day. That's a lot of clothes (most of them are hers).

3. I'm still waiting for new books to come out. My 2 B bought list is up to 7 books by September and it starts in May. I think I get a break in July, but I'm not too sure about that. A few are in hardback but they are usually reasonably priced as long as I get them at Wally-World the week they come out. I was telling DFC (dear friend Connie) that I need an allowance just for books. Note to self---talk to Mike about said allowance. If Kiersten gets one, I think I deserve one as well.

4. We got our notice about the IRS economic stimulus package on Friday. Can I get a WOOHOO! That pays for the kid's bathroom redo this summer and a little in savings.

5. I am pretty much caught up at work which is in and of itself a small miracle. I still have stacks on my desk just so that my boss won't think I need anything else put on my desk that tends to migrate from his desk with a scribble on it.

6. An answer to one of the great questions posed in the why post a few weeks ago. The question: Why do cars in England drive on the left and we drive on the right? Answer: From The Book of Totally Useless Information---I'm cutting it down for the sake of space. In the 1700s in England, coachmen sat on the right side of the carriage. If the carriage traveled down the right side of the road, the whip would have whacked people. So, they stayed to the left so that the coachman could use his whip and pedestrians could meander safely.

There you have it. A post for Connie. Maybe now that I'm back in the swing, I'll post again tomorrow, this time about the weekend.

Friday, March 14, 2008

A Story

Gather around guys and I'll tell you a story. A story of a quiet, shy girl and a funny, outgoing boy. Our story begins in the summer of 1987 (yes, I know, a long time ago). The girl was 13, with braces and the gawkiness of that age. The boy was 15, on a vacation to visit family. They met and hung out together. He kissed her best friend (the 14 year old blond who was as outgoing as our heroine was shy)-and our girl was sad to see him leave. Fast forward a few years, the girl is now 16 or so, the boy has graduated from high school, another vacation to visit his family. The girl is now a little more social, still quiet but she thinks she loves the boy. At that age everything is "love", isn't it? Moving on, the boy lives at the beach and occasionally comes to visit, but thinks that the girl doesn't like him, so they really don't see each other a lot. Fast forward another few years, the girl is now 20ish and the boy has again come for a visit. They get to hang out and have fun together, but the girl is wrapped up in someone else.

We're getting to the good part, hang on just a bit. Moving forward another 2 years, the girl is in a little house in Camden, praying for the first time in years for guidance, praying for someone to love her and her precious girl. The girl makes the decision to move on, to leave with her precious angel and hope for the best. An angel tells the girl, did you know that the boy is moving this way and he'll be here around Thanksgiving? No says the girl, but her heart is lightened a bit thinking that she her friend is coming and they can hang out together and the grown up girl can be, for just a moment, a girl. A few weeks, go by and the girl answers the phone and hears a welcome, warm voice asking if the boy can come and see her. The girl says yes. The boy knows what's happened with the girl, but it's just like all the times before, they talk like they've been together all this time. The girl is glad to have her friend to talk to, but then something changes. The grown up girl's feelings are changing back into something they've always been but different, stronger. When the grown up boy asks the grown up girl to marry him, she says yes and is happy for the first time in years.

Let's fast forward again, to this year and this place. The boy and girl are married and have added a precious boy to the family. The girl loves the boy more each day because of the things he does. He is a wonderful husband, always thinking of her before himself. He is a wonderful father, an example to the precious boy and the precious girl's example of what a husband should be. He is still funny, outgoing and just generally crazy (but in a good way). There have been 10 years now since the boy and girl were married, some bad times, but mostly good.

We've been through a lot, that boy and I. I love him more today than I did 20 years ago, 10 years ago or even yesterday. I see him as he teaches our son how to be a good man. I see him as he comforts our daughter better than I can. I see him laughing at me when I'm being silly or answering my questions or holding me while I cry. I love him so dearly, words cannot express it and my heart is full. So, happy anniversary my love, my heart, my answer to a prayer. I love you Michael.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

My Normal Strangeness

Hello all in the bloggerverse! It's been a crazy week all the way around, usually one place I go (i.e. work or home) is normal. Not so this week. Jared's been sick, Mike is in a funk, Kiersten is on the teenage roller coaster, work is out of control. But, I have the car and a nice drive and peace once I drop the little man off at school. As I was contemplating the goings on this week, I decided that I'm a tad odd. I know, this is no surprise to some but sometimes it sneaks up on me. Examples of my regular, everyday strangeness

-eating one thing at a time, nothing touching, thing I dislike most gets eaten first

-hating to go under bridges where there are cars sitting in traffic. This is weird even for me. I go under the I-126 bridge every morning coming to work and I'm always afraid that this is the day that it's going to fall smack on top of my car. Yes, there are ways to get to work without having to go that way, but they are longer and more stop lights.

-Going a different way to and fro just in case I'm being followed. Sometimes I go a different way everyday to see if I ever was followed and had to change up the routine, just how many ways I can get to my office.

-Going around logging trucks or any trucks with stuff hanging off the back of it as fast as my little MPV will carry me. I know in my head that those things are tied down, but I always think about a boat flying off or a log coming off. Where would I go? Is the ditch safe or would said flying whatever still hit me?

-Not liking to drive in the country without someone else in the car. Connie knows about this b/c I wouldn't drive to Carol's by myself for fear that car would break down, there wouldn't be cell phone reception, I would walk to a nearby house and never be seen or heard from again. Go ahead and laugh Connie.

-tapping my incoming work mail on my desk to settle any crazy powder that an unstable unemployed person sent to me.

So, what are some of your weirdness things? Have a lovely day!

Friday, March 7, 2008


Why is one of my favorite words. I LOVE to learn something absolutely useless. My BFF Steph even bought me a book of totally useless information for my bday a couple of years ago. I loved it! So, for fun Friday a list of why questions from me. If you happen to know the answer, please tell me-these keep me up nights.

-Why are there 60 seconds in a minute, 60 minutes in an hour and 24 hours in a day? This has been answered by my boss (brilliant man that he is). Something about a base 60 or 12 instead of 10.

-Why does a platypus look the way it looks?

-Did Adam have a belly button? This has long been a matter of in depth thought for me. I'm thinking not, but, who knows.

-Why do we have eyelashes?

-Why do people in England drive on that wrong side of the street and we don't? To me this is odd because a lot of our stuff came from England, if they started driving on that side wouldn't it have come over with the Pilgrims as a tradition and we're actually the ones driving on the wrong side?

-Why are the interstate signs green with white letters? Wouldn't they be more attention grabbing if they were yellow w/ black letters?

-Why 10 hotdogs and only 8 buns in a pack? That drives me CRAZY!!!!

-Why do people knock on wood?

-Why do airplanes actually fly? If you think about, it should be impossible given the weight of the airplane, passengers and luggage to get the thing off the ground. Hope no one is flying any time soon. That's something I think about every time I get on a plane.

I think that's enough for now, I have to get back to work. Have a great weekend and if you have any why questions, let me know and maybe we can figure it out.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Mistakes or Blessings in Disquise

Today as I was wending my way back to my lovely office in downtown Cola town from picking up lunch at Taco Hell, I was in a reflective type mood (hey, it happens). I was thinking about the blog entry that I wrote the other day and about the mistakes that I would/would not make again. Mike and I have this conversation often and we tend to disagree on some things. For instance, he says that he would choose not to get married (I'm his 2nd wife btw) and suffer the heartache that that first marriage was. He assumed that I would pick the same thing (1st marriage not working out). I told him no, I would change things about the way some of it happened, but I would never go back and not have that experience. If I had not met my 1st husband, I would not have Kiersten, and I can't imagine my life without her. I would also not be the person that I am today. Kiersten has been at the age for a while now that some very pointed and sometimes uncomfortable questions are being discussed about my life in general and with her father in particular. I answer as best I can, as truthfully as I can. I have told her that she needs to talk with him about these questions as well, but she says no. She asks me if that period in my life was a mistake-well, it wasn't the best time in my life, but it was more of a blessing in disguise. Why a blessing when it was so painful? I think that the mistakes I have made lead me to another part of life, usually a fuller, happier part. I am in no way advocating getting pregnant, married and divorced all within 2 years, that's just crazy and it almost killed me. I am saying that because of the choices I made, things happened both good and bad. It took the good a while longer to come around, but the good is appreciated more after the bad. Like the scripture says, there needs to be opposition in all things: good and bad, joy and sorrow, light and dark. If we get through the bad things, the good are so much better. So, the ultimate question is would you make the same mistakes over again? I think I would, because those mistakes have brought the greatest blessings.

I'll try to have something more fun for Friday---less deep thoughts, more silly!

Monday, March 3, 2008

Letter to Me

This morning taking Jared to school, I heard a song where the singer is writing himself a letter looking back on his life and I thought, huh, wouldn't that be interesting to get a letter to yourself written in the future. So, here goes my letter to my younger self...

Dear Self,
No, you're not crazy but let me tell you some things that you have learned now that you're almost 34. Your parents are not stupid, they're actually pretty interesting people that you need to listen to. Your brother is also not an idiot although sometimes you think so. He is a secret keeper of sorts for you in your later teenage years and he's okay. Your friends in high school won't necessarily be your friends now (except Crystal and we've been together since elementary school-you'll end up being her conscience a few times and she'll make you laugh at the craziest things). Your first REAL love is not married to you, no matter how much you pray. That young man you thought was pretty darn nifty when you were 13 IS married to you and he IS an answer to a prayer. You will make mistakes, I'm not telling you which ones because if I tell you about them, you won't make them and they actually make you a better person. Study harder in school, you'll need it eventually. Work harder even though deep down, you and I both know that you're inherently lazy. You have two beautiful kids, take more pictures of both of them. Your life won't be tulips but it's a good one. You're married to a wonderful man, your parents are doing well after some scares, you have lovely children who are bright and healthy. Don't give in to your temper where certain people are concerned, it all works out for the best in the end. Take more interesting college classes and study harder. That Russian language class that you thought you were too busy for-you're not, go ahead and audit. Don't be so wrapped up in yourself, think more of others. Save more money! Some of that stuff you buy doesn't last a year so really think before you spend. Go with your gut on some things. You'll know what I'm talking about, it will save you alot of pain and heartache. Keep better contact with your friends from college, you'll wonder where they are and what they're doing. Try to talk your parents into letting you live by yourself a little longer, you'll appreciate having people around. All in all, you're not a bad person and you have a good life, live it and we'll see each other at 34.

What would you write as a letter to yourself? Y'all have a great week!