Monday, October 22, 2007

Musical Moments

This post may be too sappy for some of you. Don't say I didn't warn you. It is adjective filled.

1. The first musical moment happened in the car driving back to Amarillo from Abilene this past weekend. If you have read this blog for very long, you know how much music means in my life. You have seen the posts about musicians, songs, concerts - I love it all. So here I go again. While driving back from Abilene on Saturday I was thinking about what my favorite song is. I don't prefer that question really because I want to get technical as I answer it. I want to be able to have a favorite in every genre, for different life stages, you get the picture. It is almost impossible to pick just one. However, it struck me that I think if the "pick a favorite song police" ever arrive and try to arrest me for not having one, I can avoid the disaster. I have one. Period. This may shock some of you because I am not usually seen as a "hymn" kinda girl, but read these words and hum the music in your head, it is incredible.

I grew up singing this song at the Methodist school that I attended. We also sang it at the small Church of Christ in South Africa that I attended. We sang it in assemblies at high school and not much more after that. It was not an Abilene song. Occasionally, Craig Noland one of the worship leaders where we worked in Coppell led it. I can hear his incredible voice caressing the words and music. Rarely do we sing it in Amarillo. And quite honestly I think when MercyMe released their version of it 3 or so years ago I fell in love with it again. Their interpretation is my all time favorite. Enjoy these words.

The Love of God

The love of God is greater far
Than tongue or pen can ever tell
It goes beyond the highest star
And reaches to the lowest hell
The guilty pair, bowed down with care
God gave His Son to win
His erring child He reconciled
And pardoned from his sin
Could we with ink the ocean fill
And were the skies of parchment made
Were every stalk on earth a quill
And every man a scribe by trade
To write the love of God above
Would drain the ocean dry
Nor could the scroll contain the whole
Though stretched from sky to sky
O love of God, how rich and pure!
How measureless and strong!
It shall forevermore endure
The saints' and angels' song

2. The second one happened last night. After Michaela's middle school discipleship time I picked her up and we went to Polk Street United Methodist Church for an Organ Concert. Michaela wanted to go because her school choir teacher was singing, her Amarillo Youth Choir pianist was one of the featured Organists and the Conductor was Mr. Rolando Salazar who directed the Prepatory choir she was in. So off we went. I know a middle schooler dragging her Mom to an event like this??? Little did we know what an incredible event it would be. 2 fabulous soloists (one soprano, one mezza soprano)were featured, both having performed from Prague to New York. They now live here in Amarillo and teach at WT. Several amazing Organists played. The WT Chorale sang with the Polk Street Choir. The Philharmonic Orchestra was there - just unreal. The final piece was "Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing" and it was beyond words. I felt tears just running down my face and as I looked at the lady I had made friends with next to me, tears were her response also. The music was so overwhelmingly moving that you almost felt your own heartbeat. The choirs were outstanding. However without a doubt the most amazing element was watching Mr. Salazar conduct. You could see the emotion, the music, the perfection consuming his body and his face. Every part of him was fully present in every note and his body almost danced the music as he conducted. Tears began rolling down his cheeks and it was clear that as a young, professional, freakishly talented man who turned down a position teaching at Julliard to remain in the Panhandle - this was about life and love and faith. The power of music amazes me.

Rugby Happy Dance

We won, we won.. we are the best in the world. Woohoo South Africa. Who would have thought that the group of us South Africans gathered to watch the final together would all be in tears by the end of the trophy presentation. Remember the line from an old 80's song, "wherever I lay my hat, that's my home." It's a lie.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Self Care

I almost hate to post this because I do not want to communicate a message that is individualistic or "all about me" - not even a little bit. In fact I am drawn to this subject because I think with some self care we tend to be better at community.

I had breakfast with a friend on Saturday. She happens also to be one of the best counselors I have ever known. Yes, very good for me. I get "friend therapy". We talked about what it is in us that motivates us to seek approval through the "doing" of things. Good, real, deep, insightful conversation. She made a point, that Dan also mentioned on Sunday. Hurt people, hurt people. We all operate out of our woundedness.

Even those of us who have not had great childhood trauma, we have emotional wounds simply because we have lived. As a child, we are egocentric and while our core personalities are forming we funnel everything through that "I" filter. So, for a child if my parents are always pushing me to do better and never seem pleased with my performance, instead of ascribing that to their issues, I take that on as not being good enough. You fill in the situation and the result is the same.

And I believe the Accuser hurts us where we hurt the most! So, if we believe we are not significant because of the way we attributed a set of feelings and behaviors as a child. We function out of that as an adult. We work, work, work in order for someone to tell us that we are significant. We can spend our whole lives looking for significance and when people do not fill that need our worst fears are confirmed and the cycle continues. How can we possibly function as fully alive disciples living in the extravagance of God's love for us. We can't. In some form or fashion we live out our Christian walk trying to earn God's love, the approval of our church family and hoping to just manage sin at best.

That leads to the idea of self care. Only when we understand this and know that people all around us are struggling in the same way can we begin to grow in health. We can then begin to understand people, and not just label and judge them. When we take the time, risk and energy needed to know ourselves and name our fears that drive us, there is hope. Then we begin the journey to filling our minds and hearts with the attributes of God. When we fully believe that He is enough, sufficient, supreme we can take deep breaths. We can really believe, regardless of what the 6 year old inside our head says, that we are chosen, heirs, elect, children of the King, empowered, filled and loved. Now having that as the go to list in your brain instead of the other is self care.

The other aspect to self care that I love, is God care. Actually it has got nothing to do with self and all to do with God. The result though is a full, alive self. The self is actually cared for and brought to life. The work of God in us. Transforming us into who he wants us to be. A gift, but one that we can pursue. We position ourselves in ways that soak up all he has to offer. We make space for him. We listen during prayer instead of just speaking. We do all we can to be the most open vessel possible for him to fill.