Tag Archives: music

Let Me Be Your One and Only

I was at work listening to Pandora, and Adele’s “One and Only” came on.

I started singing along. I sang it for real, like I was in my car or in the shower, and nobody was around.

Then my voice got wobbly and realized I was crying.

I felt like I was singing to myself (because sometimes I’m afraid I’m losing my gift), and to God (because I just want Him to trust me with this again), and to anyone who will listen (because I just want someone to listen).

“I promise I’m worthy! Come on and give me a chance!”

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Perfectionism

If I couldn’t sing,
I think maybe then I could really sing.
Then I might be free.

I’d wail and whine and
sound average or below,
and it wouldn’t matter because
What I sang would be exactly
what I meant to say.

Not homogenized
pretty-fied
manufactured
carefully constructed
sanded and polished
until I don’t care what it is anymore.
(As long as it sounds good.)

If I couldn’t sing
then I think whatever words were in me,
I’d just sing them.
(Imagine that … just sing them!)
Then I might be free.

How did I sing when I was little
and singing was what we all–
with little, happy voices–just did?
I can’t remember.

Perfection is a prison
and each note is wrapped in a straight jacket.
All of it is holding hostage a real thing that
most have never heard.
Not even me.

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On My Mind.

I’ve had a lot of stuff on my mind lately. I’ve wanted to blog about it, but I wouldn’t know where to start or how to finish. So I’ll just give y’all the highlights.

  1. In my “On Music” page, I wrote about how I struggle with vanity. I ended my essay with a scripture from Romans. But I recently learned something that showed me I’d totally missed it. Not everything, just the last part about how I’ll always struggle. I was wrong. I’m glad God is gracious! I’ll be rewriting that soon.
  2. I finally admitted to myself that I don’t like someone. It was a relief to admit it to myself, because I’ve finally put my finger on that niggling in the back of my brain.
  3. Now that I know I don’t like this person, I’m not sure what to do with it. What are my responsibilities here? Can I separate my dislike from the way I treat this person? I must. I refuse to be anything but entirely gracious and kind–without being fake. I can do it: I’ve been mostly doing it up to now, I just didn’t realize it because I didn’t know I didn’t like this person until this week. 
  4. I missed Unite the other day because I was getting my hair braided. (Dang it!) Are my priorities wrong? No … it just took longer than I thought, and you can’t walk out of a salon with one tuft of unbraided hair. Well, you can, but then you have to reschedule for the rest, and what if that costs extra? (Micro-braids are expensive.) And what if they have no openings for two weeks? Then either I look like a unicorn for two weeks, or I have the black woman’s equivalent of a comb-over. Both options are scary.
  5. Should I watch fewer movies? I flipping love movies. I probably watch about 5-7 movies a week (old and new). Is that a lot? (Sigh. I already know the answer.) Can you love Jesus and watch 7+ movies a week?
  6. More to the point, where’s the “line” with movies? I used to draw the line at rated R, but there are really good movies that are rated R. There are really bad movies that are rated PG-13. I have left movies (or shut them off) because I (think I) am mature enough to gauge which movies are right for me to watch and which aren’t. I know when the line has been crossed.
  7. Or do I? What if the line is moving backwards a little more every day, and I’m not noticing it? Newman!
  8. I love my husband. Many have been reading my Exhuming My Talent series, and they probably think I hate him. I used to (hey, just being honest). But God does miracles. I believe that. I’ve seen it. He resurrected my marriage from hell. And today, I love my husband so much it’s kinda weird. (I’ll conclude that series soon. It takes a lot out of me to write each article.)

Yeah. That’s enough for now.

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Songs | Poems

I got tagged by Chris to post my favorite songs that could also be poems. Here are some of my favorites:

Shadowfeet by Brooke Fraser
Walking, stumbling
On these shadowfeet
Toward home
A land that I’ve never seen
I am changing
Less and less asleep
Made of different stuff than when I began
And I have sensed it all along:
Fast approaching is the day

(I would’ve liked to use all Brooke Fraser songs, but I figured you guys might enjoy some variety.)

I Gotta Find Peace of Mind by Lauryn Hill

They say it’s impossible
But I know it’s possible
To finally be in love
And know real the meaning of
A lasting relationship
Not based on ownership
I trust every part of You
‘Cause all that You say You do

  

Kiss the River by Victory Fellowship

I still remember
Falling to the floor and now I
I often wonder
How I ever dared to
Let You go
Even closer
Closer than the air around me
Underneath my skin

(Sorry, no video.)

One More Try by George Michael

Teacher
There are things
That I don’t want to learn
And the last one I had
Made me cry

None But Jesus by Hillsong

In the quiet
In the stillness I know
That You are God
In the secret
Of Your presence I know
There I am restored

When You call I won’t refuse
Each new day I’ll choose

I Got Soul by Eric B and Rakim

It’s been a long time
I shouldn’ta left you
Without a strong rhyme to step to
Think of how many ‘Ric’s shows you slept through
Time’s up
Sorry I kept you

(This is one of those back-in-the-day rhymes I still remember the lyrics to!)

There are so many more I’d love to do, but this is making my brain hurt much more than I thought it would.

Who’s on deck? So Supercilious and Saviore, along with Snowjunkie and Odd Ln. And I think Nikki might like this one too!

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12,775 Days

Today in our Crown Financial Bible study we estimated how many days we have left before we die. Assuming I live to age 70, I have about 12,775 days left. That doesn’t seem right. Somehow I assumed I had hundreds of thousands of days in the span of my life.

It doesn’t seem like enough time to do anything–but it’s also too little to waste! I don’t want to spend 12,770 of those days living a mundane existence with nothing memorable to mark them. I don’t want to spend thousands of those days being a slave to debt or fear. If I have 12,775 (or less) days left on this earth, I want to spend each day doing exactly what God wants me to do.

I’ve struggled since I got saved with whether I’m doing anything of substance–whether my efforts will withstand the transition from earth to heaven. It all comes back to worship. Am I just working, am I just singing–or am I worshipping God through graphic design, through song? And it goes much deeper: Am I worshipping God through the way I treat my husband and children? Am I worshipping God when I do laundry or balance the checkbook? Or are these just mundane things I have to do to survive? Things I’ll never think twice about, mindless chores that don’t matter? Clutter that fills up each of my 12,775 days? I think anything can be clutter–even graphic design, even singing worship songs–if it’s done without reverence, as though it’s mundane. And the stuff we do thoughtlessly or heartlessly won’t survive the transition from earth to heaven.

So if singing worship songs can be mundane because of my attitude, on the flip side, can doing laundry be a holy encounter?

I heard Jon Eldridge (a Christian writer) speak at a conference a few years ago, and he talked about how all of us were meant to live a great adventure like the ones we see on the silver screen. He said while we have to do things like take out the garbage and wash the dishes, that’s not what life’s all about. He said if we chase after God and step out of the boat (that’s a Biblical reference to Peter walking on water), life can be just as exciting as “The Last of the Mohicans,” for example. And he said all good stories mirror the greatest story, of the hero (Jesus Christ) giving his very life to rescue the damsel in distress (us). And I agree.

But I don’t want to relegate trash and dishes and laundry to unimportant details in my story. The fact is, no matter how often I step out of the boat or rescue Mary Jane or throw the ring into the flaming lava, there will always be trash and dishes and laundry. In fact, these things will occupy a good number of my few remaining days. So why waste that opportunity? Like … can I do the laundry with an attitude of thanksgiving to God for giving me this family whose clothes I’m washing, and for the clothes we own, and for the resources (water, washing machine, detergent, electricity) to keep them clean?

I probably couldn’t be that sanctified everyday. But if I could do it sometimes–more often than not–doing laundry could become a holy encounter. (It reads well, but I’ll have to practice it.) The opposite is true when I sing or design: I can’t let it be mundane. I must do it with gratitude for the One who gave me the gifts and who has given me an outlet to both use them and point others to Him as the giver of all good things. Otherwise it’s just as meaningless to God as it is to me.

I’ve got about 12,775 days to work on these things. And … go!

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