Thursday, May 7, 2015

There Is Always A Try

"Do or do not. There is no try."

Yoda. I cannot believe you. You are wrong.

I have to consistently believe that my tries mean something. I have to believe that my attempts at anything mean something. Or else I am left with nothing.

Pathetic failures at achieving anything in my life is all I have to look back on. If I measure my life by my achievements my track record is pathetically bleak.

That's why I can't measure myself by what I have done or what I have achieved. I have to look back on what I have tried to do with my life.

There are no awards I can put up on the wall. I can't list my achievements in a line or a title. Resume writing is the single most torture in my life because how can I tell the people out in the world that the greatest achievements are the ones that I have made within the confines of my heart behind closed doors and in empty rooms? How can I explain that I have never distinguished myself except in ways that only I have seen?

All I can say about myself is that I try. I do my best with what I have and when it comes to comparison maybe it withers, but it's what I have to offer.

That has value.

It has to.

Otherwise, what am I but a pathetic, bleak person who hides behind failure because she's too afraid to achieve anything.

Monday, June 23, 2014

A Lesson On Peace

My husband has left to be in the field for a month. I am learning to cope.

Of course my first coping mechanism was to run myself entirely ragged until I couldn't think. Then I would just sleep and then wake up and continue running again. That started on Friday when I worked a 10 hour shift, then went for ice cream and didn't get home until 10pm and then stayed up later talking on the phone and watching Netflix. Of course then what happened Saturday? I woke up at 7am started cleaning my house, then ran out the door to run errands and stayed away the whole day until it was time to go home and make dinner.

I tell you what, that worked. I was busy, busy, busy and I didn't have to deal with feeling of loneliness once for almost a full 36 hours. Go me.

And then I had this experience.

I had invited the sisters over for dinner on Saturday night, which is why it was important for me to go home and make dinner. The sisters were great as soon as they walked in the door and even helped me finish some of the dinner preparations. We had a wonderful dinner while we talked and laughed and had a good time and I thought "Yup, I'm in the clear. No emotions tonight."

And then, of course, as they inevitably do, the sisters asked if they could leave me with a spiritual message. And I said "Sure, I could use some of the Spirit in my life." Thinking of course, nonchalantly that this would be just another nice conversation and that we would chat pleasantly about the gospel and then the night would be done and I could continue my binge watching of Netflix to numb my feelings.

Well, I was wrong.

The sisters started off asking what my favorite scripture was. I automatically turned to John 14: 27.

This was the moment when the world slowed down.

I didn't even have to read it. I've read it so many times it's memorized.

"Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid."

I sat in my chair feeling, for the first time in about two weeks, peace. This was a serenity of heart that calmed my soul and chased away my panic. But I did not feel pain or anxiety as I had thought. No. Instead I felt love and hope and faith enter and permeate my heart.

I realized that for the last two days my frantic racing had done nothing but stress me out and take me further from the Lord. That is the last thing I wanted. The place I needed to go to find solace in my feelings was closer to the Lord, which takes me being brave enough to face my anxiety rather than finding every excuse to run from it.

This was my lesson in peace. I can't find peace in Netflix. I can find numbness and entertainment, but in the end I am left just as weak as I was before and still just as anxious as before.

The Lord is where we find peace. He gives us strength. He gives us faith. He will not take our feelings from us. We still have to face and deal with them. But he will give us the strength and comfort to deal with them.

Everything is better with the Lord on your side. Everything is possible with the Lord on your side.

It is the Lord's promise that if we seek, we shall find. If we seek Him, we will find Him. We are loved by Him and I know he will not abandon us to the darkness.

I, for one, have decided to seek His light, because there is better way to face the trials of this earth than by His side.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

I Get It

I get it.

I get the halfway panicked breathing that's always coupled with wide eyes and almost hysterical giggles. Everything is just short of pulling apart. I've watched several spouses look around as they've explained their situation and I've seen the same thing. How do you hold together two lives when most of the time you don't know what's going on in the one that's not yours?

I get it.

I get the depression that sinks you down right before he leaves. Because you know no matter how hard you hold on time will always roll slowly forward and eventually that last night will be gone and he will be gone with the sun.

I get it.

I get it because I now have experienced it.

I do not pretend to know everyone's situation. I do not pretend to know how to fix every situation. But I can tell you right now something I've learned from watching other spouses deal with the same emotions that I do.

You are not alone.

Sometimes the best remedy is someone looking at you and saying "I understand". I have a good friend who told me exactly that the first time I encountered these feelings. At that time, her validation was all that I needed. Now, as I sit here waiting for morning to come and take my husband with it, I can think about the other women I have seen and know that I am not alone. But not only am I not alone, I know that I can make it. I can watch those around me rise to the occasion and do what needs to be done despite the hardships they go under. I know that with such great examples to watch and to lean on, I can rise as well.

I will not say that people are invincible. There will always be good and bad days. I am proud to know that I can look around me and find friends who I can help and who I can support while they find their feet and I am completely confident that in my hour of need, they will do the same for me. Because in that time when we've been through a day that just hasn't seemed to go right for whatever reason, we can look at each other and say "I get it."

And for the moment it takes us to stand back up, it is enough.

Go Army Wives.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Once upon a time Charming and Snow White....WHAT!!!!

So heeeeeeerrreeee we go rant!

Netflix has many tv shows available and true to my binging nature I've been watching through most of them. One show that is very popular is "Once Upon A Time". This show is all about fairy tale characters in the real world and magic and intrigue and dirty secrets and all that jazz.

Sound cool right?

That's what I thought. So I tried watching and getting into it about a year or so ago but then I just found myself really not liking it. More than just not being interested. I really didn't like it. At that time I didn't explore the reason behind it and just stopped watching the show. Well, I tried to get back into this year and I got a little farther than I did the first time I watched it. But then again, I hit a point where I just had to stop watching. I realized the reason behind it though and thus the rant on my blog.

So the whole show is about twoo wuv.

The writers come up with interesting twists with show that not all the good guys have true love and that the bad guys can have true love too. Fascinating right?

....Until the "Oh. I'm going to leave my wife because I'm not truly in love with her." And "It's ok for us to have an affair because we just can't stay away from each other because its true love."

THAT'S the Snow White story? If you get bored with your wife cheat on her til you find your "true love"? No.

But its ok on the show because in the magic world they were actually married so in the curse he was just married to the other girl because the evil queen made it that so its all ok right? Because it was never real? it was never true love?

I say again. No.

Then we have good old Rumpelstiltskin. Fascinating character who is able to play both sides and really begs the question: is he good/is he bad? Great writing there.

Until of course they hit the second season and find out that his wife left him for Captian Hook because Hook was just so much hotter right? Oh what and he was more interesting. Not like a son or a family could tempt her to be loyal no. It took adventure and jewels and extravagance to tame her heart. But its ok right because it was twoo wuv.

 Excuse me while I go throw up.

NO! Really people? We are condoning cheating and disloyalty with two completely misunderstood and over used words!

True love does not inspire someone to break a loyalty. True love does not inspire secrecy. True love definitely does not inspire some one to run off and hurt so many people in order to fulfill their selfish desires.

True Love is not about yourself.

So there is my number one issue with the show. And then here came the second one.


So, Frozen is a recent Disney movie (and it was a good movie don't get me wrong) but now they're putting her on the show. Here is my issue with that.

At first I thought that the show would be an interesting contrast to the Disney movies to show different settings or takes on the same fairy tales. Until of course I realized that ABC has a deal with Disney to use the Disney characters, not just the characters from the stories. I realized this when they stuck Mulan in there.

Really? (Personally I think they lost out on the chance to bring in Shang, who would have been a totally kick butt awesome character but that's just me)

But after I get over the fact that they are using Mulan, who is pretty cool, I see that they are ADVERTISING their use of Elsa in the new season.

So let's just forget the fact that every episode they've got about four story lines anyway, which can get pretty annoying and confusing. Oh, and forget about the fact that they have AN ARMY of characters. In fact they had so many characters they just randomly drop some in the middle of the season.

No. They're not worried about story. They are worried about keeping their Disney audience.

Elsa wasn't even the Snow Queens name in the original story! Seriously?

ABC isn't worried about giving us a good story, they are worried about shoving as many Disney characters as they can through the show so that they can pull in the viewers and the money.

So at that point I washed my hands. I am done. What I thought was going to be an original, interesting, swashbuckling series turned out to be nothing other than a magic excuse of a grownup Disney reality show.

Disclaimer: Seeing as how I am not turning this in for a grade, I do not expect to be judged on my use of grammar. A blog is an emotional out burst or family update. A blog is not an academic paper. I do not expect for it to be treated as such.

I'm not passive aggressive at all.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

We Do Hard Things

Life is hard.

Many times I look at myself and the mistakes that I make and think "Really? I just did that?" Other times I look at my failures and think "Why can't I do this? I'm a strong person. I am capable. I should be able to do this no problem. This should be easy."


Life is HARD.

Most of the time when people ask me if playing the harp is hard I say "Not really" because I've been doing it so long that I can't really tell if it is difficult. But then I played in a concert this past weekend with a harp score that I really struggled with. Finally I had to look at it and say "This is HARD" not "I can't do it".

And I did it.

I just spent the last week without my husband. I look at other women who's husbands are deployed or in training for months. My husband was gone for ten days. In comparison what I went through was easy-peasy. But life isn't comparison. This is the first time my husband and I have been separated since we have been married. This was my first real experience without my husband. And it was HARD.

I couldn't go to sleep until 2:30am most nights because its odd trying to sleep without him there. I had to beg attention from friends and family because I had no one to talk to in those dull moments in between responsibilities (and some of those were long moments). One morning I actually got scared to go grocery shopping.

Who gets scared to go grocery shopping?

I did.

But you know what?

I did it any way.

My husbands training is very difficult. I cannot explain it because I myself do not understand or know everything he goes through. All I know is that when he walks in the door he looks ragged and worn and I know he's been through some very tough situations.

But he did it.

We do hard things. Life will always be hard. And what may be easy for some people is hard for others. We should not compare our lives with others because we all have different challenges. I can look at other army wives and say "My challenges are nothing compared to yours." Or, I can look at my own life and say "This was hard for me, but I did it. And I can do more."

I can look at others and admire what they go through. At the same time I can look at myself and admire what I go through.

This isn't about saying "My life is harder than yours". That is possibly the most selfish thing any one could say to another person. That statement invalidates someones life and all of the challenges that they ever have, are or will go through. Our trials should not be a source of pride to hold above other people to prove that we are strong.

I need no ones approval but God's, my own and my husbands.

We do hard things.

But we still do them.

I am proud of you.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Lets Go Fly A Kite

Shallow education breeds shallow understanding and therefore shallow performance.

I went to see Saving Mr. Banks over the Christmas holiday. I found it to be a very good movie. I truly enjoyed Emma Thompsons performance.

But what of the message of the movie? Obviously by the title it was about saving Mr. Banks of the Banks family in the story of Mary Poppins. This point was made very apparent when Mrs. Travers had her break down in the rehearsal room and stormed out. Then followed my favorite scene in the entire movie.

Mrs. Travers enters the rehearsal room the next day to some excited and apprehensive people. They then run the scene and end up handing her a patched up kite. The look on her face as she touches the kite is one of such hope and tenderness it hit me to the core. The scene continues with the happy frolicking of the group while singing the song "Let's Go Fly A Kite". I did cry, and smile, through this whole scene.

Before I had seen this movie, that ending song of Mary Poppins actually really annoyed me. I felt it to be very repetitive and simple and thus it annoyed me. After that movie however, my emotions have changed. This song was not written as a second hand thought to fill time and make the movie a musical. Instead, it was written as a motion of kindness to woman who was obviously hurting. The song was written for the redemption of a man. Granted he's a fictional character, but if humans did not connect so well with fictional characters we would never have stories. So yes, "Let's Go Fly A Kite" was a song written to redeem a father both in the fictional world and in the real world. I don't think I can look at that song the same again.

I write about this because I notice that many times music can become so repetitive that it means nothing. This happens with the radio many times. How many times has a song been released and then you can't listen to it any more because it continually gets over played all over the radio? This is an example of just mindless repetition. This is not the purpose of music.

In my education I have sung much religious music. While in choir I was never given the opportunity to let this kind of music become mindless and annoying. constantly we studied the words and their meaning. Constantly we thought about the effect of the music. Again and again we were asked "What did the composer want or mean when he/she did this?" Because of this, I have always sung with power in my heart. Because of this I have never become tired of the same songs even when we sing them over and over and over again.

Education brings a great understanding to the things we do, especially in music. As a performer I know first hand that music that you are not mindful of while you are playing meas nothing.

Music is powerful. Music is the communication of emotions between one person and another. If music is played without that emotion and without that communication it is nothing but noise. If you want a song to be powerful, give it your heart. Study it. Understand it. Let your heart and emotions be free to the beauty and joy that music can bring to your soul.

Let's go fly a kite.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Christmas Tree oh Christmas tree! oh christmas tree... oh... christmas tree... bleh

And so Thanksgiving is done and Christmas is here. I have mixed feelings about the holiday so bear with me as I rant.

For those of you who actually read my blog, Thank you. I know its just kind of random but I find it is good a way to share my feelings with the word since my human interaction is rather limited these days and we all must rant in someway. Blogging is convenient because I can write whatever I want and if people read it great if not no harm done! The internet still listens to the dark musing of my soul... or whatever. You know.

And so on to the rant!

Christmas. That wonderful time of year when we set apart time specifically for our families and give to those who are in need and think about becoming more Christ-like and all that wonderful oohey-goohey deliciousness that we talk about every year. And yet, I am appalled every time I hear radio stations start to play Christmas music. I still can't listen to the radio half-way through December. I am sickened every time I hear a JC Penny commercial telling us to show our love with a new sweater. (one for your mom and one for yourself of course! because we have to show ourselves love! right? during Christmas? a time of, well... thinking of others?)

And so here I am trying to find the joy in the season without becoming pushed and pulled into the materialistic consumerism that goes on at this time of year. Now do not get me wrong, I love my family and I wish to show them that love. However, in the wisdom of every stinkin' single Christmas movie that has ever been made, you cannot buy the love of your family with expensive and extensive gifts any more than a sinner can bribe their way into heaven. So why, if even Hollywood can get it right, can we ourselves as human beings get so lost in the meaning of Christmas?

Christmas is the time when we celebrate the birth of Christ. Christmas, more than Thanksgiving, should be a time of gratitude and love and family. Christmas should be that time of that we recognize the gifts and blessings already given to us from our Heavenly Father. We do not need more stuff. In fact, we all could maybe use a little less.

This last week, our apartment complex caught fire. Nothing of ours was damaged but I did get to watch as two couples were told that there was nothing left to be salvaged out of the ashes of what had once been their home. I do not know what it would mean to lose everything, but after seeing others go through that, I am more than grateful for the things I do have and for the blessing I had of being able to keep what I already have.

I would implore whoever reads this, to give a little more from your heart this year. Don't think about the sales and the obsessive thrill that goes through crowds as people rack up more piles of useless and meaningless stuff. If you must shop, then shop. But instead of being a shopaholic, just keep a little Christmas in your heart and think of what will truly show your love for others. Give others in need what they need. A gift that doesn't fill a whole is just excess stuff. It has no place.

I myself am working on a different project.

I love music. I love Christmas music. But the genre of Christmas music is a little limited these days and I can only listen to bad renditions of Oh Holy Night so many times before I go a little crazy. And so this year I have started writing Christmas music. It will be my way to bring myself back to the spirit of Christ and show my excitement and gratitude for the Lord God on High and the blessings and joy His presence in my life and on this earth has brought me. So sing a little hallelujah and give a little gift of love. Love a little more like Christ.

I wish you all a very, Merry Christmas.

God Bless.