Posted in Inspired by Music, Uncategorized

Crossroads

A week ago Gil and I headed down to St. Petersburg to see one of our favorite bands perform at The Hideaway Café. It’s such a great venue and the perfect spot to catch Sarah Mac Band when they’re in town. Of course, with any favorite band there must be favorite songs. Here are my Top 5 SMB songs, in no particular order:

Baptised
Crossroads
Gloryland
Satisfied
I’m Not Scared

In looking at these 5 songs, I realize there are very distinct reason why each one is special to me. Satisfied, because…well, just because. I’ll leave it at that for now. Gloryland is precious to me because of the memories surrounding the first time we heard it live, and it is now at the top of my list of funeral songs.  And of course I can’t hear it without crying, although it’s not the only one in the list above that leaves me in tears. Crossroads is a song that wrecks me every.single.time. I can’t help it. It’s spontaneous crying, kind of like when I’m in church during worship and my soul starts overflowing out of my tear ducts.

When I hear Crossroads I find myself transported back to certain moments and events in my life. I think it’s human nature to think about all the crossroads you’ve faced and what your life would be like if you went left instead of right, north instead of south, straight ahead instead of taking the detour.

“It’s funny how we don’t know then the weight of what we’re choosing at the crossroads”

Memories of the choices I made as a child often slip up out of nowhere to haunt me. If I had run faster for help, could my grandfather have been saved?  If I had not wrestled the gun away, would we have survived in the wake of suicide? If I hadn’t gotten into the truck with my crush, would my innocence have lasted a few years more?

“Spent so much time thinking about how it might have been
How my life could’ve turned out
It’s long gone and part of history now
No turning back and no regrets
No room for doubt, no holding debt
‘Cause from here on out, I’m gonna just forge ahead
It’s funny how we don’t know then the weight of what we’re choosing at the crossroads”

As my teenager years drew to a close, my wrong turns were numerous and with abundant  regrets.  I was a strong willed teenager who had a weakness for the boys. I didn’t go to art school because of a boy. I did start junior college because of a boy. I left a boy and embarked on a solitary journey that led me toward too much alcohol, sexual promiscuity, irresponsibility, bankruptcy, and one of the deepest depressions I had ever faced.

“In the dark, all alone, I tripped on a dead seal washed up on the shore
The smell was on my hands when I handed in my visa at the border the next morning
Left behind, something died, washed to Asia by the pull of the Pacific that night
But it made room for something new and it brought me to you”

When I hear these lyrics, I can’t help but think of where I am today. I have a job, a home, a car, and a healthy family. I have a husband who takes care of me and loves me without reservation. I am blessed. My life is blessed. Had I taken the straight path instead of staying on the winding one, any one of these blessings might not have happened.

“…But it made room for something new and it brought me to You”

Even though I could easily apply these words to my relationship with Gil, it’s often not him that I think about when hearing this song.  I think mostly about how my bad decisions, stupid mistakes, careless behavior, and sinful transgressions have all allowed me to experience God’s grace and love. God was at every crossroad I’ve encountered, and He allowed me to choose my own direction. While I wandered aimlessly, He held on and He loved me.  When I took the path that led me away from Him, he would just wait at the next crossroad, ready to show me which direction to take. For so long, I just turned away from Him seeking acceptance and love from other sources.

There was a point several years ago that I realized how tired I was from all the years of running down roads that never seemed to go anywhere. And sure enough, when I stood at that crossroad, my God was faithfully waiting for me, just as he had been my whole life.

I hope one day I don’t look back at my journey through a lifetime of crossroads and feel regret and shame. I hope that I will someday cherish my wrong turns and know they were not wrong at all. Each of them was preparing me for the greater God has planned for me as I serve His kingdom here on earth. I try to look at my trials and tribulations as blessings, because with each one I have come to know grace and forgiveness in ways I never thought possible.

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Posted in Inspired by Music, My life in pictures, Post A Day Challenge

298/365 It’s a Listening Room, People!

Clearly, people are either blind, inconsiderate, or just plain stupid. We went to Hideaway Cafe tonight to see the Sarah Mac Band perform. It’s just an incredible venue because it’s small and intimate. And because the people who generally attend these shows are actually there to hear the band or artist perform. Unfortunately, tonight was not one of those nights, and sadly, it took away from our enjoyment of the show. However, Sarah has such a strong voice that even with all the chatter in our ears, I was still moved to tears during several songs.

draft

Posted in Inspired by Music, My life in pictures

111/365 On The Twelfth Day Of Christmas

On the twelfth day of Christmas, my Father gave to me…

Family.

Family that is not my blood, but who holds such a special place in my heart.

Family separated by distance, but only a Facebook post away.

Family, because I said “I do.”

To my family, I am blessed by the grace of God when it comes to all of you in my life I get to call family. No matter how far apart we may be, how disgruntled we may get with each other, or how much time passes between phone calls or emails, you are always in my thoughts and I love each and every one of you.

I know what we share isn’t always perfect, but I also know those negative times could be a million times worse. We could be the family portrayed in this song covered by my friends, the Sarah Mac Band. I wanted to share it with you y’all because – well, let’s face it – I think we can all relate just a little bit to the words in the song.

(especially the part of the Mexican boyfriend)

Feliz Navidad!

Posted in Inspired by Music, Post A Week Challenge

Miss Grumpy Pants No More

I’ve been in a super funk today. I think it’s a combination of complete exhaustion from lack of sleep, work stresses, life stresses, traffic , and some unnecessary laughter at my expense this morning. I won’t even go into that but I will say that it’s not okay to make jokes at someone’s expense when you aren’t really that tight and you don’t know what you are talking about. So anyway, by the time my day got rolling, I was in a foul mood.

I posted a message on twitter about my mood and was happy to see that other people also experience bouts of unexplainable grumpiness. At least I know I’m not alone and that always makes us feel better, right? Also, I felt the love from some of my real life friends and from some twitter friends I haven’t met in real life yet. This lifted my spirits considerably. I don’t know about you, but just knowing someone cares is enough to turn even the worst moods around.

I also realized, thanks to Twitter, again, that I really need some sun and retail therapy. I am a girl after all and these things always make us happy. I’m not a big sun worshipper, never have been, but I do think some time just soaking up some of God’s natural Vitamin D will lift me out of this haze. As for the retail therapy, I have a $50 Old Navy gift card just burning a hole in my pocket. As a bonus, I got a 30% off coupon in the mail today for their Give& Get event in which 5% of what I spend goes to The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. I get to shop AND support a good cause. How awesome is that? Just the idea of all of this made me smile and gave me something to look forward to in the next few days.

My day may have gotten off to a really bad start, but it is wrapping up on a high note. I just had a really fun conversation with our new General Manager at work. My boss was in the room but kind of hanging back just listening to us talk when he interjected and said, “I’ve really got to get out of my office more. Lee, you get to do all the fun stuff.” WHAM! Did I ever feel that ‘stop feeling sorry for yourself’ brick hit me square up side my head. What the heck do I have to be all depressed and grumpy about? I have an amazing life and have been give opportunities that others only dream about. I am so blessed and I hate that I need to be reminded of that.

I made the comment today that I was going to ‘change my mind’ and ‘just feel better’ and by golly, that’s exactly what I’m going to do. I’m going to salvage the rest of this day and live it to the fullest. The rest of my evening is going to be all about music and friendship and love. I’m leaving the stresses of this day way behind me in my rear view mirror. I’m off to see the Sarah Mac Band at The Hideaway Café. We are picking up our friend Rebecca who is in town on business and I am super thrilled about this.

Getting to spend time with Rebecca tonight is such a bonus for me. Rebecca is one of the main reasons I started blogging in the first place and I’m excited to talk to her about how it is changing my life and how she’s partly responsible for that. I’m pretty sure she never set out to change anyone’s life with her blog but I’m living proof that it’s happening. I can’t wait to tell her thank you and to let her know that I count her when I count the blessings in my life.

And now I’m simply giddy with anticipation about the wonderful things this night has in store for me. I will be Miss Grumpy Pants no more!