Monday, February 27, 2012


Oh, Whitney. Such an amazing voice. She was my vocal idol growing up. I can't even believe how her life turned out. There might never be an equal to her vocal prowess when she was at her prime - and yes, I say that as a classically trained singer who is well aware that she was BELT city...but still. Such a terrible shame. I used this as a chance for a talk with all my 4th graders about the dangers of was an interesting talk. Hopefully they get it.

These are my favorite songs of hers:

Most amazing rendition of "Star Spangled Banner" ever. The arranger decided to put it in 4 (instead of how Key wrote it in 3) in order to give her more time for "expression." Whatever, but I love it.

And, of course - her signature song. Who doesn't love to belt this one out in the shower?

I also used to sing this next one with some regularity as a 3 year old (there are many family witnesses to prove it - one of whom pointed out to my mother that she shouldn't be letting me sing such provocative words...) My dad was a huge Whitney fan.

This is also one that I sing with alarming passion whenever it comes on the radio and I'm by myself in the car (or with the kids, because, hey, they have no choice in the matter and are too young to be embarrassed by me...yet). I've always thought that anyone could blackmail me easily if they would just put a secret camera in the car to watch my ridiculousless while I drive and sing. Hopefully it won't happen, especially now that I've given everyone the idea.

( the hair. the '80s were so weird, weren't they?)

One more...this one brings back memories of my gynastics show when I was about 6 or 7...we marched out to this and I was so distracted and wanting to sing that I forgot all about the fact that we were about to be tumbling and rolling and swinging and balancing our brains out soon.

P.S. - Oh, and anything from "The Preacher's Wife" soundtrack...that lady was born to sing gospel - and grew up doing so. I wish she had many amazing renditions of beautiful songs would we have! I especially like this one:

Hope you all had a great monday. Enjoy the music!

Sunday, February 12, 2012


I have been feeling like shouting:


all day.

I have been finding that there are days every now and then that I feel such an overwhelming sense of how unaccomplished, how guilty, how vain, how selfish, how insufficient, how unknowledgable, how lazy, how inadequate a person I am, that I am tempted to give it all up and leave.

For where, I don't know. But I do know that I long for heaven and it's apparant worry-free life more on those days.

Why has God given me so much to do!?! Has He actually given me all this? Have I mistakenly taken on too much? Is my mind and soul just incapable of holding all of this together?

Is that even a correct way to think about this?

I even recently talked about how I'm letting things go so I can focus on the important things. Well, maybe I've let go of some, but I still feel like I'm doing a pretty poor job of what I'm still in charge of here. It seems, at least in my eyes, that everywhere I look, I am not enough.

Really, everyone has lots to do, lots to be. How do we do it well? I need to:

- be a mother to Isaac.
- be a mother to Jeremiah.
- be a wife to Jon.
- keep a home running.
- teach 300 kids a week how to "do" music.
- sleep, eat, and generally keep myself healthy.
- be in relationship with friends
- be in relationship with family
- be in relationship with God.

I find that there is just not enough of me to go around. I am doing such a poor job of so many of these things...and I am finding that I am not the sort to cling tighter to what control I have, but to miserably admit failure and wallow in it.

Ugh...not a pretty sight to behold. And, not surprisingly, makes all the above listed things worse.

So, I've been thinking all these things, praying through my strained emotions to God, trying to release the guilt, when I read this:

“Because Jesus was strong for me, I am free to be weak;
because Jesus won for me, I am free to lose;
because Jesus was someone, I am free to be no one;
because Jesus was extraordinary, I am free to be ordinary;
because Jesus succeeded for me, I am free to fail.” -Tullian Tchividjian

Thank you, Jesus.

I especially like the line about being free to be no one. I fight feeling like I need to be noticed, and extraordinary, and liked by all...but it is simply ok if I am nobody special at all to anyone in particular...because my approval is in Christ. He loved me and loves me enough to call me His own. Praise God.

And may I remember that all this striving is in vain unless done in Christ's power.

- My babies are not my own - they are His and He has given me the privilege and responsibility to raise them. He could take them at any time and they are His.

- My husband is one in flesh with me and yet I fight the communion so often. I desire acknowledgment for my efforts, my desires, me, my, mine. But there is no me. And it's good. Great actually, when I put aside my ego and realize who God created us to be for Him. So hard, so anti-cultural...but good when realized rightly.

- this house. oy, this house. How to make a house a home? It is the relationship inside that matters, not the dust. Not the clutter everywhere (and I do mean...everywhere). My security in Christ speaks volumes to my family. He will make the house a home if I allow Him in.

- Teaching is a joy and a curse sometimes. I love music but I hate having to be in a world where there is such striving for more more more knowledge, better techniques, more efficient analytical technology and training training training. I very much understand the reasoning behind the education to teach, but sometimes it overwhelmes my un-perfectionist spirit and crushes my desire to give music for fear of assumed failure in their eyes. But...

because Jesus was extraordinary, I am free to be ordinary;

even in my secular teaching job where I am not allowed to even tiptoe around His precious name for admins fearing parental scrutiny. I do not need to do the best, simply strive to do my best.

- I have been taking steps to regain my health and happiness from a bodily's amazing what you forget to do when children take over your brain. I never meant for it to happen, but you find yourself eating goldfish for lunch and not peeing for the entire day because the kids "need you every second". But, that's the guilt talking. So, I have been treating my basic health needs as equal to theirs...and it has been better. God has released me from the fear of being a bad mother because I need to take care of myself.

- my family, friends, my God. To be in relationship is one of the hardest things I do. I desire to retreat when I am feeling crummy, overwhelmed, or ashamed. I want alone time when I've been tugged at, talked at, and brain picked all day. I don't want to ask how people are. I don't want to invest in relationship with loved ones...and yet God has placed in my life such extraordinary gifts of family and friends who know me so well, and are trying to get to know me better, despite my introverted tendencies. It's ok if I disappoint them. I fear I do all too often with my snubs of their offered time and apathy in inviting them into my time. God has accepted me anyway, and I should trust that these beloved people will too. And just trust that being "myself" - whatever that is - with all its spacy, awkward, unclean, ratty nature -

is enough. Because Jesus is.

Wednesday, February 08, 2012


Very exciting!!

You can see the website with all the info about the Carmen production I am in here.

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Resolutions: Jan update

January was a good month for me. Not only was I less busy than I normally am, I feel somewhat accomplished in my resolutions. Here's the update on how I'm doing (as in, maybe I'll actually stick to them if I write about it and feel ashamed in my failures while others reading about it. Or maybe not...I don't tend to care about what other people think about the "little" things in my life...although some of my resolutions have to do with big things...anyway, on to accountability!)

1. learn to garden it's still winter here, although the weather today would have convinced anyone it was the beginning of spring (50s!?!), so no gardening yet. But...I have picked out 3 books about gardening from the lady of the house's collection and am slowly but surely learning all about soil acidity vs. alkinity (not sure that's the real word, but too lazy to look it up right now), why hydrangeas turn blue vs. pink, and how to not rot out your roots in the wintertime. Amongst other fun tidbits that will hopefully help me grow something.

2. begin exercising again

This is exciting...we joined a local gym yesterday. That's right, january 31. Which, of course means that we haven't gone yet, but I'm excited to figure out how that's going to happen and just start. I'm planning on at least 2x a week at first, then maybe up to 3. I think more than that is unrealistic with the kids.

3. bake bread at least 2 times a month

So, I did bake bread once this month, and it didn't rise. But it tasted really good. Yes, we eat everything around here, even if it doesn't turn out. And, I'm counting the fact that I made my husband's family recipe of whoopie pies as well, because it was really messy and time-consuming and made lots of whoopie pies. Or, would have made lots of them, except I made them really large since I didn't have instruction of how big to bake the pie they ended up as large as the span of an adult hand. So, I think that technically counts as two times a month of baking bread. (ok, maybe not, but at least I got flour-y and messy)

4. Create a sitting area in my room where I can sit and read.

has not happened yet. Tried to bring a nice chair upstairs to our does not fit up the stairs. Without a chair, I feel unmotivated to work on the rest of the area.

5. Get up before family to do said Bible reading and prayer.

Still not happening. Very sad.

6. Not eat fast food.

This is the most shameful to admit?! I ate 3 munchkins that my friend had brought over and then left even though she knew I was trying to not eat fast food. And I ate a #5 crispy from McD's. With a sweet tea. Boom. Well, there's always february to try again.