Wednesday, May 28, 2014

I. Must. Art.

I love art.  All forms of it.  All mediums.  It is in my genes for my eye to naturally look for art in pretty much everything I see, and to create it in some form or fashion whenever I allow myself the free time to do so.  My primary medium has been music, but I have dabbled a teensy bit with other art mediums as well, i.e.: oil painting, water colors, sketch, dance, stained glass, etched glass, pottery, photography, poetry, fused glass and mosaic glass & tile work.  I have not come even close to mastering any of them, however, and for years I allowed the fact that I wasn’t “perfect” at them to inhibit me from trying to create art more frequently.  Even musically, the fact that I am not anywhere close to perfection by my own standards has quite often inhibited me from creating like I really want to.  Perfection and/or Mastery of an Art is definitely relative, and subject to each individual’s perception and opinion.  I am not actually even sure those things exist in art.  Beauty has always been in the eye of the beholder.  The older I get, the more I realize that I don’t need to be the very best at art or anything else for that matter in order to put my energy into creating it.  If the final product and even the very creative process itself makes me happy, fulfilled, inspired, etc; then that tells me that I cannot NOT create.

If I was only allowed to choose one word to describe my mother, it would be “creative”.  She is such a beautiful soul and an inspiration to me.  She is a professional artist.  She has owned her own art school for years now and has combined her background in teaching with her love of art to teach people of all ages how to create art themselves.  She is of retirement age now, but cannot seem to stop creating, not even for a day, so I doubt she will ever actually retire.  Art flows through her veins and is like oxygen to her.  I think she will be creating until the day that she dies.  I love this about her.  I love that she has passed on her love of art to me.  We have different “eyes”, so to speak, so our perspective on what is really good art is different from each other’s, but that is what makes art so special… the fact that it is up to interpretation by each and every individual. 

What is beautiful to some is not to others and that is more than ok.  The fact that each and every human being is so unique not just in how we view beauty but in multitudes of ways is yet another example of how creative our Creator was when he designed all the intricate parts of each of us.  It is mind bogglingly cool.  God is definitely the best Artist of all time.

I hiked up to one of my favorite spots on Memorial Day with some cousins of mine who were here from out of town.  We had the most amazing time.  Once we reached our destination, my breath was taken away by the beauty and serenity of it all.  The majestic view.  Nature.  Everywhere I looked, I saw God’s artistic handiwork, and I was in awe.  The lakes and valleys below… the trees and hills and mountains off in the distance… the sky and sounds and smells and how all of the colors played with and against each another in beautiful harmony… I just can never find the right words to express adequately the feelings a view like that inspires inside of me.  It was like a song, or like the most beautiful painting ever created by history’s most skilled and meticulous of Artists.  I thought, “How can anyone on the face of the earth be able to see all of this beauty and glorious art in nature and not become fully overwhelmed with the fact that God most certainly does exist?”  I cannot be standing on top of a mountain, or swimming in a lake, or wading in a stream, or walking in the woods, or gazing out at the ocean or even staring up at a cloud without seeing and feeling God.    He speaks to me in and through his artwork, which is probably why I love nature so much.

God has given me a love of art and a soul that seeks out beauty.  He has taught me that I do not have to be “perfect” at it, or at anything for that matter.  I just need to be, and to create, and to allow my heart of hearts to be expressed in some way, shape or form.  I somehow always connect with Him, my Maker, while I am doing so.  I love that.

I. Must. Art.




This is a picture I took on the hike referenced above on Monday, 5/26/14.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Life is a Gift: A Song for my Children

I wrote this yesterday and sang it this morning for my kids while they were eating breakfast.  They said they loved it, even though I probably made their ears bleed... my voice was cracking a lot this morning.  I think I am getting a cold.  LOL.... regardless, they listened graciously.  After I was done singing it, Bre asked me what prompted me to write this for them.  I explained my reasoning, and I won't go into the whole long explanation for it here, but I will say the gist of it... I want them to remember to take the road less travelled.  I want them to not live in fear of life, but to really, really live life big and well.  I know they are getting so big and life is moving so fast.  I wanted them to have a song that echoed the words I say to them in the hopes that it will pick them up in just the right way one day when they need it.  My three kids are the biggest inspiration to me... the very best thing about life.  I am blessed beyond what words could quantify.  They are each such beautiful people, and such individuals with unique gifts and strengths and quirks.  My heart is full every time I look at them, so I needed to write them a song, cuz' that's just what I do when my heart is spilling over.

“Life is a Gift: A Song for my Children”
mg ~ 5/20/14

Vs 1:
Don’t take the safe route.
Always stand your ground.
Be you and be proud.
Love big and love loud.

Find beauty in all things.
Be thankful for small things.
Laugh more.  Worry less.
God made you with purpose.

Chorus:
It will all be okay.
Tomorrow is a new day.
Life is a gift,
So live.

Vs 2:
Take time just for you.
Stop.  Enjoy the view.
Work hard.  Play hard, too.
Don’t forget, God loves you.

Dream big and take risks.
Practice forgiveness.
The hard times make us grow.
You’re stronger than you know.

Chorus:
It will all be okay.
Tomorrow is a new day.
Life is a gift,
So live.

Outtro:
You are a treasure.
Your worth can’t be measured.




Tuesday, May 20, 2014

You Make Me Brave

As I sit in the quiet of my home this morning, the mood is so tranquil.  It is raining lightly outside.  The day is a bit dark, but my home is warm and light.  Every room is clean.  Every bit of laundry is folded.  Every dish is washed.  The kids have had their breakfast.  I saw them off to school with lunches packed, hugs, "I love you's" and wishes for a wonderful day.  I have had my sweet, yummy coffee.  I have had enough sleep.  So why, then, is my soul not at rest on this very smooth flowing and peaceful morning?  I looked inside of myself and saw that although everything appears to be in order on the outside, not everything is completely in order within.  There are a few areas of my heart in which I am struggling to completely give over to God for rennovation.  I know it is time.  This day has been coming for years.  I know what to do.  And yet, now that the chance to be very brave is before me, I have found myself clinging to my dark corners and my fear, instead of running and jumping into the unknown, knowing full well that that is what it is going to take in order to have 100% restoration and healing.  Jesus has already done such a massive restorative work within me over the past few years.  I cannot begin to describe the transformation which has transpired within my heart.  But there are just a few closets left to clean out, and for some reason, that scares me.  

I was listening to praise music this morning, and stumbled upon a new song by an artist I had not heard of before.  She and her band are from a church I used to attend sometimes back when I lived in Redding.  As soon as I heard this song, it spoke the words my heart could not find, and the reason behind my unrest in spite of the peaceful, beautiful morning was revealed to me.  God is so good and loving and faithful and never changing and unconditionally gracious with me.  I don't need to be afraid of those closets, nor the work He is happily doing within me.  He IS my bravery!  I can run into the wild waves, knowing He has made a way for me.  I am running full speed into the massive ocean of freedom in Christ.  

I am thankful that God has given me a passion for music and a heart for Him, and I am thankful that He has placed within me the desire and ability to lead the music/worship at my church and to raise my children up in a godly home.  Yes, there are struggles, but He gives me strength for each new day, and I somehow always have enough.  I want to be the best light for Him in this world that I can possibly be.  I want to be as whole as I can possibly be on this earth, until Heaven.  I feel it is my duty to not just live my life for me, though He is teaching me how to love myself a little better, but to be a beacon and a lighthouse for others.  It is my duty, my desire and my joy.

Which brings me to the reason I am writing this today.  I know I am not the only one who might be holding on tightly to something that needs to be let go of.  I know each of us struggles in some way at some point with allowing darkness to hover over certain areas of our life, when the light could so quickly come flooding in if we would allow it.  I am using a ton of metaphors and word pictures here, because I don't know any other way to describe the things I am trying to put into words, but I am hoping you get it.  Closets... chains... locks... darkness... the safety of the shore... whatever word picture brings it home, then use that.  If what I am writing about is connecting to your heart, then it is for you.  I want you to be brave today, too.  What is holding you back?  Let God illuminate you, every part.  Let go of whatever chains hold you and you will be free of them.  The reality is, chains do not hold you, you hold them.  Let them go.  Run and dive in.

This song is going to be on replay all morning until I go to work.  It deeply inspires me.  The concept of bravery deeply inspires me, and thankfully, we do not have to be brave alone!  Here are the lyrics and below that, a link to the video on Youtube.  Such a powerful song.  Thank you, Jesus.  You make me brave.

"You Make Me Brave"
By: Amanda Cook

I stand before You now
The greatness of Your renown
I have heard of the majesty and wonder of You
King of Heaven in humility, I bow

As Your love
In wave after wave
Crashes over me, crashes over me
For You are for us 
You are not against us
Champion of Heaven
You've made a way 
For all to enter in

I have heard You call my name
I have heard the song of love that You sing
So, I will let You draw me beyond the shore
Into Your grace, Your grace

As Your love
In wave after wave
Crashes over me, crashes over me
For You are for us 
You are not against us
Champion of Heaven
You've made a way 
For all to enter in

You make me brave
You make me brave
You called me beyond the shore
Into the waves

You make me brave
You make me brave
No fear can hinder now 
The love that made a way

You make me brave
You make me brave
You called me beyond the shore
Into the waves

You make me brave
You make me brave
No fear can hinder now 
The promises You've made

As Your love
In wave after wave
Crashes over me, crashes over me
For You are for us 
You are not against us
Champion of Heaven
You've made a way 
For all to enter in



Monday, May 19, 2014

"Castle Heart"


There are certain parts of me,
Specific rooms
Left purposefully untouched...
Whole corridors in a dark castle,
Abandoned.
The locks on the doors
Have keys that were thrown away
Years ago.
I have for so long feared
The contents.
The memories.
The feelings.
And so, not only did I not enter,
I willed myself to
Forget.
But I, the involuntary Master,
Am making some very big changes
Around here.
I am bravely walking about…
Venturing farther with each new day.
I am dusting relics,
Clearing cobwebs.
Flinging open
Heavy, musty curtains
And letting rays of sunlight
Spill in,
Gloriously devastating the darkness.
Spring cleaning has begun
For the first time ever,
And I am inspired
To unclutter,
Unlock,
Unhide.
Some of those dank and lightless spaces
Do frighten me…
But I will break the seals
Anyway.
I will enter at any cost!
Darkness and fear,
And avoidance and denial,
Only exist in the absence
Of light and bravery,
And clarity and truth.
I am the sole proprietor,
The queen,
Of my castle heart…
And I am making this home
A place I want to be.



mg ~ 5/19/14

Friday, May 09, 2014

I Just Need To Be

:-)

“I Just Need To Be”
mg ~ 5/9/14

Verse 1:
I don’t need to be right.
I don’t need to understood.
I don’t need to be heard.
I don’t need to be eloquent.
I just need to be.

I don’t need to be happy.
I don’t need to be deep.
I don’t need to be everything,
Or anything, really...
I just need to be.

Chorus:
I just wanna live.
I just wanna love.
I just wanna breathe.
I just need to be.
Sometimes I feel the need
To try too hard to be
What I already am...
Me.

Verse 2:
I don’t need to be loved.
I don’t need to be strong.
I don’t need to be smart.
Or sing all the right songs.
All I wanna do
Is love you just for you.
And love me just for me.
I just need to be.

Chorus:
I just wanna live.
I just wanna love.
I just wanna breathe.
I just need to be.
Sometimes I feel the need
To try too hard to be
What I already am...
Me.


Saturday, May 03, 2014

Come To

“Come to”
MG ~ 5/2/14

F/Dm/Bb/C

I’m on the verge
Of something new
And somewhere close
You’re breaking through.
And on this path
I am alone,
But I am out here,
Not hiding home.

I will be brave
And patient too,
And praying you
Take care of you.
And when our paths
At last do cross
You’ll be familiar.
And I’ll get lost
…With you. (x4)

(instru…)

Shouting a song.
Whisp’ring a call.
Light on my feet,
Before the fall .
And do you hear
That bubbling spring
Babbling of love
Each time you dream?
…I do. (x4)

(instru…)

Come to (x4)

…me.