Tag Archives: music

Currently 

Happy Thanksgiving week! I know I’m already getting ready for the big day, so I bet you are, too. We’ve had a really busy weekend, resulting in my first NaBloPoMo miss (Saturday). Oops. I’ll try to make up for it this week, and cram an extra one in! Anyway, here’s a little update of what’s been going on around my house.

Listening || to a little bit of Christmas music. I’m planning on justifying myself a little more in tomorrow’s post, but let’s be honest: we all need some cheer!

Watching || Once Upon a Time. We get so behind on this one so quickly. I guess it’s because the episodes are an hour long, so if it’s late at night when we get a minute to watch TV, they’re often too long to want to watch. So now we’ve got four unwatched episodes – oops. Anyway, I saw this “family tree” on Pinterest and I loved it. (If someone knows the source, help me credit it!) (Also, is it really Nealfire? I sorta thought Rumple was saying “Balefire” all this time.)once.jpg

Planning || our Thanksgiving dinner! We’re hosting my family at our house, so we’ve got 12 people total, counting my kids. We don’t care much either way about turkey, so we’re having prime rib instead, and I’m SO excited. My aunt is making a bunch of desserts, and we’re combining some trusty family traditions with some new fun things. It’s going to be a good day!

Anticipating || Advent. It’s my favorite season in the church calendar, and I can already feel the excitement in the air as we plan our Christmas music, services, parties, and events. I can’t wait for this time with my family and my church family!

Well, I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving, filled with delicious food, relaxation, and sweet time with family and friends. What’s your favorite food to eat this week?!

Currently

A little late update is better than no update at all, right?! I hope you’ve had a good week so far, and want to join our link up! I’m joining Becky at Choose Happy, and we’d love to hear from you, too! Here’s what I’m up to currently!IMG_0614

Enjoying || catching up on some tv! We’ve been far behind due to busyness and lack of sleep, so I’m glad to say we’re almost caught up on our shows! By the way, are there any Grimm watchers out there? This season has me going nuts. 

Wearing || my retainer. Gross, right? Well it’s actually working. Being totally raw with y’all, and it’s a little embarrassing for me, but I’ve not worn it regularly in years… 

 and now I’m rambling about my retainer. Gross. I’m wearing it. That’s it. 

Eating || really healthy this week. My goal is no sugar, low carb, and less alcohol. I typically stick to very little sugar (I’m not a sweets craver usually), so hopefully I can cut it out completely. I’ve got a fun dress I borrowed from a friend to wear to a wedding this weekend, and I want to feel good in it!

Listening to || my Hubby play some music tonight! His band should be Bering up, and I’m out past 10pm! It’s a miracle. 

Hear It Differently

This post also appeared on My Big Jesus!

Have you ever listened to a song you’ve heard a thousand times before (you know the ones: they’re on the radio, friends hum them while they work, and your kids even sing a phrase or two here and there), but one time when you’re listening, you think, “Wow! I’ve never paid attention to those words before! Has that always been the line?”

That happened to me this past Sunday. To be more specific, it happened to me several times. You see, I’m a worship leader. And the set that was planned for my service that morning was one full of trusty favorites. Several of them I’d been singing for years, one is a newer song I’ve sung at one service or another every week since Christmas, and the set also included one song I helped write (I wrote a bit about that here). But all of a sudden, these songs were falling on fresh ears. Thankfully, it wasn’t in a “forgot all the words” sort of way, but a “never thought about it that way before” sort of way.

For example, we sang Paul Baloche’s arrangement of the hymn “How Great Thou Art”. While it’s a hymn that I grew up singing, and I know almost every word by heart, for some reason, I heard the words anew. This verse: And when I think that God His Son not sparing/sent Him to die, I scarce can take it in/ that on the cross, my burden gladly bearing/He bled and died to take away my sin. I mean, that’s crazy! God sent His very Son to take our sins. Jesus gladly bore them for us on the cross, because he knew it would save us. Who wouldn’t sing about that?

Or in Hillsong’s “Oceans”, it was this part in the bridge: Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander/and my faith will be made stronger/in the presence of my Savior. Being in the presence of my Savior will be what strengthens my faith. I could have that reminder again and again, and it would convict me every time. Oh, you of little faith, enter into His presence, and that little faith will grow.

I have this same experience reading the Bible a lot. I’ll flip through pages, and read something I’ve read a hundred times before. But every time, I read it differently. Maybe it’s that my perspective has shifted, due to life circumstances. Maybe it’s that the Lord is showing me something new about a particular passage. Maybe it immediately leads me to think of a friend who needs to hear those exact words. Whatever it is, when I allow myself to be open to hearing something new, the Lord almost always gifts me that very thing: a new light shining through an old passage. Or through the music I think I know like the back of my hand: I notice a word or phrase that will change the entire song and how it speaks to my heart.

So here’s the hard part, the part it’s easy to talk about but not as easy to do. Get rid of those pre-conceived notions. Lose the filter through which you might be tempted to see. Open your eyes, your ears, your heart. Don’t be afraid of what you might hear; it might just be the thing that changes your mind.

A New Song

  
I am a musician. I sing, I play, I improvise, and I worship.

But I’ve never fashioned myself a songwriter. I’m not much into creating “something from nothing” in that respect. If you give me some bones, I can arrange them and add to them and make something. I can take a good hook and a topic, and do a little from there. But as for writing a great riff, or creating a chorus without any building blocks given to me, I just wouldn’t be able to do it. (Which is funny, right? Because I’m a musician, and I’m a writer.)

I got the opportunity recently to collaborate on an original tune with the worship pastor at my church. It was surprisingly fun for me, and I contributed more than I thought I would. I am surprised and pleased to say I helped with some phrasing and several word choices. But still, it was eye-opening for me to even think I could help in the process, much less actually write a song. I have now entered into the world of songwriting, whether I like it or not.

My only problem is this: songwriters have a certain something about them. And on the whole, I don’t really fit into that something very well. I’m just not hipster enough (no hate, I promise!), or introspective enough. Or maybe I’m too loud and crazy – because, let’s be honest, I am. But the Lord is breaking down walls of things I think I cannot do, and opening my eyes to His purpose, and aligning me with it. His way are not my ways; they are higher and better. So here I am, waiting for a riff, a melody, a perfect phrase to build a song around. I’m searching, reading my Bible, praying for revelation of what my song should be. It’s new territory for me. I’m uncomfortable here, feeling pressure to be creative in a different – and challenging – way. I’m hard-pressed to spend time on it, because I am afraid I will fail. But I’m just as afraid I’ll succeed, and someone will cram me into the “songwriter box” that I’ve built, all on my own.

You see, I identify with many different titles. For instance, the list can begin with woman, mother, daughter, wife, and friend. It can continue with Christian, worship leader, musician, writer, feminist, and foodie. But it’s never really included songwriter, composer, or anything of the like. But I’m feeling the push in that direction. Opportunities are arising for me to try my hand at it, to make it my own, and to redefine what “being a songwriter” means to me, now that I’m flirting with the line to becoming one. And that, my friends, scares me. So here I go, branching out into new territory, breaking the mold in which I’ve put myself. I’ll let you know how it goes.

Currently 

Welcome to this week’s Currently! As usual, I’m linking up with Becky at Choose Happy and other wonderful bloggers as we share what’s going on in our lives currently. Join us! We love making new connections!

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Thankful for || lots of friends who let me do laundry at their place. The count of borrowed laundry rooms is up to five. It doesn’t sound like that many, but it feels like a lot. Thankful to have five places we can run to!

Loving || game nights with friends! Hubby and I have a few couples that like to play games with us on occasion, and they are some of our favorite nights! After our kiddos go to sleep, we play Taboo, Catchphrase, Buzzword, Heads Up, or spades (if there are exactly four of us). Looking at that list, it seems we like word games. Ha!

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Excited about || leading worship at two services this week that are a little out-of-the-box for me. One is tonight (I’ve never even attended this one before!) and one is Wednesday. I’m excited to be worshiping with some different people in some other venues!

Listening to || 1989. I’m just now (kinda embarrassingly) jumping on the Taylor Swift bandwagon. I didn’t like her as a country artist, and I don’t like much current pop music, so I just sort of assumed that I wouldn’t like her any more as a pop artist. HOWEVER I do really like her new album. Must be her take-no-shit attitude and I-am-who-I-am sentiment in her music. Cue sheepish grin.

1989

Counting down || the 24 days (exactly) that I have till Hubby and I have iPhone upgrades. We got our 5s right when they came out two years ago, and we have loved them well. Mine spends most of its time in a Lifeproof case, because I’m clumsy and I have kids, but it still has a giant crack (read: shattered screen) and Hubby’s does too (read: one crack). The memory is full, upgrades take forever, and they’re just plain running slowly. I cannot WAIT to get a new-fangled, enormous iPhone 6.

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Thanks for checking out my happenings currently! What are you up to?

Currently.

What my days look like. See "wishing".
What my days look like. See “wishing”.

Here is my second Currently. post to link up with A Mama Collective and When At Home! I love being able to connect with so many awesome writers and believers and thinkers and doers. Y’all are really, really wonderful.

I am currently:

thinking about my family. Not just Hubby and the kids, but also my parents, my grandparents (of which I have only one living, but three dearly loved and missed), my great grandparents (two of whom I knew well), my brother, my aunts and uncles and cousins… We have a circle of love and support, a tight bond that can only be forged by doing life together. Living so far away from them and missing things and coming home not as often as I thought I would has only made me think more about spending intentional time with them, wherever it is spent.

reading Dragonfly in Amber. It’s the second book in the Outlander series. My mom and one of my best friends (and 947204275 other women) read these when they came out, and I am just now reading them for the first time – partially because now that Starz is making a series about them, I want to SEE it, not just read it! So far, I’m a third of the way in, and it’s a little more slow-going than Outlander was, but I’m still in it to win it.

eating banana bread and macarons. I am in the middle of finding all the banana bread recipes I can, and make them healthier without losing their yum factor. Also, on the subject of macarons, my best friend Lauren is in a macaron-making swing, so naturally I’m on the helping and receiving side of that. Let me not complain!

loving this fall weather. NC hasn’t seen as much fall yet as some more northern states have I suppose, but it’s definitely cooling off a little, and I’m seeing a few yellow and orange leaves. Also, the temperature drop has really helped my running (read: I’m not as miserable doing it) because I tire less easily and I pick up the pace when I’m not sweating into my eyes and stopping to take a drink every 12 feet.

wishing my sweet daughter would extend her sweetness to her brother. Every time he gets near her, there’s a squeal almost at the pitch that only dogs can hear. And he adores her. I just want her to tolerate him a little, ya know?

watching all of those lovely shows I’ve been missing all summer. The shows Hubby and I are excited to start again include Modern Family, New Girl, Once Upon a Time, Parks and Recreation (SO SAD it’s on it’s last season!), Grimm, and 30 Rock.

listening to Citipointe Live. They’re an Australian Hillsong-like group that writes tons of worship music. A friend recommended them to me for possible new worship songs for church, and I was happy to listen to several great tunes to share with the worship team!

anticipating fall and winter and CHRISTMAS! I know, Halloween isn’t even here yet, but fall/winter weather and holidays are my favorite (yes, Hubby and I both have birthdays in there) and Advent through Christmas is by far my favorite few weeks of the year.

thankful for my incredible Hubby. When he found out that my grandmother had passed and I needed to get to GA, he cancelled his weekend, helped make a plan and pack, drove all the way here, and has done everything he can for the past few days to make my life a little less stressful. He is the biggest supporter and encourager I have, and I don’t know where I’d be without him. Love you, babe.

There ya have it – what’s happening with me Currently. in a nutshell. What are you doing currently?

A Tool for the Gospel

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This keyboard is a tool (a darn good one at that). I use it to make music, to provide accompaniment or melody. As a worship leader, I am also a tool, to be used to lead those around me into worship, into the throne room, into the presence of my God. Sometimes I feel like a broken tool, hurt or jaded or so very needy that I could never lead others. Who am I to stand up there, an exhausted and sometimes frustrated mama who makes an embarrassing amount of mistakes, a too-busy friend, a distant stranger, and usher those sweet seekers of grace to the place of self-abandoning worship of the Most High? Who am I to hammer out the chords, sing someone else’s words, and put my heart out there, when others are surely more worthy?

But I guess that’s the beauty of it. Flawed people do great things. Everyone has a little work to do to further the Kingdom. Moses tried to tell the Lord that he wasn’t good enough. In Exodus, when God called Moses to set His people free, Moses said, “Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh to bring my people out of Egypt? What if they ask me questions I can’t answer? What if they don’t believe me? ”  God simply says that He has the answers, He will provide the proof… “I will be with you.” Moses will be the tool God uses to do the work, the freedom work, the work for His Kingdom.

If He can do that, then Jesus can take my half-asleep-on-Sunday-morning self, who is insecure about her abilities and worrying about what people may think, and help me let go. He can take my meager gifts and turn them into something beautiful. He takes my simple singing and playing, and touches someone’s heart. Even on a morning that I feel unrehearsed, rushed, hoarse, and hectic, someone will tell me that they felt His spirit, that they were spoken to. If just one someone grows closer to Him, I know that He has used me for His good. What better purpose is there for a person – a woman, a wife, a mother, a friend – to have than to bring forth the Gospel? To bless others? To lead my precious brothers and sisters to adoration at His feet?

And who is changed? Me. I am most affected by His use of me. I am the one who is blessed by blessing others, who grows closer to Him each time I play a note or open my mouth to sing. I am growing and changing and marveling at His love. From there, I can spread that incredible, mind-boggling love to others.